Eight-year-old Lady Diana has had a tiring last two months. She alone had to secure Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally venue at least a dozen times. PM Modi has held over 30 rallies in the last one month in several assembly segments of Gujarat.
Every morning, Lady Diana's day begins with a round at the BJP media centre at Sola, Ahemdabad. Most of the union ministers have been visiting this centre for the last one month to address the press.
Z-plus security cover leaders such as BJP chief Amit Shah or Finance Minister Arun Jaitley have been camping here mostly and hold regular meetings with BJP workers.
So Lady Diana secures the area before other anti-sabotage checks are done. Not only this, whenever a VVIP or a Special Protection Group-protectee holds a rally around Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar or Banaskantha, she travels to those locations too.
Lady Diana is set to retire later this month, so just before that the hectic schedule seems to have caught up with her. Her work detail includes sniffing and detecting improvised explosive devices or IEDs.
"She is old and has become weak. We need healthy sniffer dogs," says Vikram Barkote her trainer.
There are 12 dogs with the Bomb Disposal Squad of the Crime Branch. All of them have been traveling around the state to secure VVIPs and also SPG-protectee Rahul Gandhi, who is set to become Congress chief.
"There have been road shows of the visiting VVIPS, rallies and visits to so many areas so we have to travel wherever we get a request. It has been a tiring season not only for us but doubly for the dogs," says a senior officer of the Crime Branch.
Police dogs are usually Labradors, Doberman and German Shepherds. During their years in service, the dogs are trained to follow a daily schedule and kept in good environment.
Most dogs get disqualified from service due to age, medical problem or injury. The senior dogs carry the weight of their jobs and many end up having arthritis and skin diseases.
From being working dogs on duty every day, their lives suddenly change when they are confined to a kennel.
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