PATHANAMTHITTA Dec 30: Naveen, an employee in Kerala Electricity Board, started his ‘padayatra’ (walking journey) to Ayyappa Temple of Sabarimala from Kolluru Mukambika Temple on December 7. On the second day, he met Malu.
In the beginning, he thought that it was a stray dog and tried to avoid her. But when she started following him with stubborn intentions, he thought that there is something strange with this dog. She walked 600 Kms with him continuously for 17 days and has proved that animals also have emotions and spiritual aspiration.
The devotees who go on ‘padayatra,’ often face trouble from stray dogs, particularly early in the morning. Naveen also feared that she’s going to attack and bite him. But she ended up walking quietly along with him till Sabarimala and surprisingly returned along with him as well.
“In the first few days she was walking 20 meters ahead of me and kept on looking back at me to confirm whether I’m following her or not. Gradually the distance reduced she lagged behind me and she started following me. She is very intelligent. She used to wait for me patiently wherever I halted for bathing or to have my food,” Naveen said.
After visiting the Ayyappa Temple, Naveen came back in a KSRTC bus. He felt bad to leave her there. Hence he narrated her journey to the bus conductor and requested for a ticket for the dog and took her back to his home.
“She had walked continuously for 17 days and was completely exhausted. As soon as the bus started moving she went off to sleep,” Naveen added.
Now he has named the dog as ‘Malu’ (a shortened name of ‘Mallikkapuram’. Usually the female devotees of Ayyappa are named as Malu). Now Malu is a part of his family.