Palampur, February 7
A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.
An incident in Himachal Pradesh’s Bir-Billing in Kangra district couldn’t have proven this adage more as a German Shepherd named Alpha stood guard beside the body of his master Abhinandan Gupta at a height of 9,000 feet amid snow for 48 hours.
Alpha not only saved himself from wild animals like black bear and leopard, which are common in the area, but also the bodies of his master and his friend. The bodies bore signs of attack by wild animals.
Abhinandan’s family members have already reached Baijnath to take the body and his pet to Pathankot. They said Alpha was the only memory Abhinandan had left for them.
Abhinandan and his friend Parnita Bal Sahib, hailing from Pune, had gone to Billing, a popular tourist station near Palampur, on Sunday afternoon by a private car. Because of heavy snow, they left their car midway and moved on foot to reach Billing along with their pet dog Alpha.
While returning to their base camp at Chogan near Bir, both probably slipped in heavy snow and fell into a deep gorge. Both tried to come out of the gorge, as indicated by footsteps of failed attempts visible on the snow, but in vain. Later, both seemed to have died because of acute cold conditions and injuries.
The rescue team comprising the police and paragliders found the dog wailing, sitting next to the bodies. “Alpha’s continuous wailing reflected his desperation and grief as if he was hoping that the team would save his master. Alpha too had sustained injuries but he survived and continued to guard the bodies for 48 hours till Tuesday when rescue team reached on the spot,” said an official.
Police officials said it was around 7 pm that they received a call from Abhinandan’s brother-in-law that he had not reached home. The rescue teams were constituted to search the area near Lambar Mod where the bodies were later located, they said, adding the duo probably slipped and fell down.
“They were last spotted on a ridge by some other tourists. So, two teams were sent on either side of the hill. Finally, their bodies were found with the German shepherd sitting guard for the last 48 hours,” rescue team officials revealed.
Bir SHO Dalip Saklani while talking to The Tribune said it was a heart wrenching scene when the police found the dog crying and moving around the body of his owner. However, the dog allowed the police and rescue officials to peacefully remove the bodies from the gorge and accompanied them till Bir where the bodies were shifted.
Abhinandan and Parnita were missing since Sunday. Their mobile phones were switched off. After frantic search for two days, the rescue teams on Tuesday spotted Alpha barking deep in the forest where the duo were lying dead.
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