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Ramakanta Biswas

The southern town of Paralakhemundi in Odisha’s Gajapati district on Monday witnessed a grand funeral procession being carried out for a pet dog. 

A family in the small town organised the procession to bid a tearful farewell to their pet dog, Anjali, who died on Monday after being with the family for over 16 years. 

The town was reverberated with the sounds of traditional musical instruments, DJ and fireworks as the funeral procession was taken out by Tunu Gouda, the owner of the pet. Many people from the locality joined the procession. 

Gouda, who reportedly born in penury, said he used to work in different shops to eke out a living after the death of his father when he met the dog 16 years back. Though he adopted many dogs in course of time, he believes Anjali brought good fortune for him.

His family was devastated by the death of Anjali on Monday morning and went into mourning. All the family members were seen crying inconsolably after the pet’s death.  

The bereaved family bathed the dog with turmeric water and garlanded it before the pet was taken out of the house. Amid beating of drums and DJ music, the pet dog was taken to the well-decorated vehicle. Later, the funeral procession was taken out in the city.  

Later, Gouda performed the last rites of the pet dog as per the traditional rituals. He said the pet’s other post death rituals will also be performed as per the tradition. 

“Anjali was with us just like a family member for more than 16 years. Despite treatment, we could not save our pet. I used to work in different shops to earn a living, but my financial condition improved after I brought Anjali home. I never faced any financial hardship after Anjali came to our home,” said Gouda while accompanying his pet in the final journey. 

“I will organise a community feast for Anjali just like it is done after the death of a human being,” Gouda added.

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