A DATE WITH JIMMY & JOHNY Today is eleventh anniversary of theft that took place in my home. This is what happened downstairs after my home was robbed overnight when family & I were sleeping upstairs. The police arrived with their dogs in van. I told the trainer cum police Ruby to let the dogs sniff the towel and rooms and places from where the articles were stolen. She gestured to the two dogs –Jimmy and Johnny - accordingly. While Ruby gestured and instructed with articulation, spouse & I noticed the dogs stiffen their ears and they stood still while watching her with rapt attention. In the meanwhile, I desired to know how these dogs help police in tracking the thief. As I watched, Ruby began enlightening me & spouse. She said that dogs of special breeds are so trained to give the police a lead or two in tracing the culprit. The two dogs with them now are search and rescue type. One is a Labrador and the other a Doberman- both used to locate thieves or find missing articles or objects. Bloodhounds are also often used for this task. They have the ability to smell and remember and track the places or spots continuously till they succeed in reaching the source or abandon their effort once they are confused with smells - when diluted with something else. She added, that these dogs can locate, even if the source is caught buried under the debris of say quake affected areas such as buildings, bridges or even settled underneath water. She recalled the hero of 26/11 terror attack- a Labrador -the Prince of Mumbai Police’s dog squad, helped to locate four live bombs and 17 hand grenades during the siege of Taj Mahal hotel and its assistance during investigation of Mumbai train blasts in the year 2006. Ruby was full of enthusiasm when she further added that these dogs are treated as police officers and enjoy special food; and if they happen to die during their induction or in action or the period to assist police, they will be accorded full honours and respect in the same manner as any police officer die on duty would command. While Johnny seemed to be ignoring the towel and strayed around the room, Jimmy seemed to have had caught with the scent of the towel. Ruby let the Jimmy continue sniffing the blue bordered towel that was lying over a cot in the room from where things reported stolen. Spouse & I & Ruby were watching the Jimmy clutching the towel between her teeth, moving around for sometime in zigzag fashion from one end to the other end of the room and sat for a couple of minutes on all her fours underneath the cot. Then jimmy moved to the hall, went close to the show case. It stood there for a while and took u turn from there to the dinning table. She jumped on to the dining table and sniffed at the salt-pepper-chilly-sprinklers and then jumped out toward the store room. She ambled out to the side entrance, stood near the tall shady custard tree within the precincts of the building. She seemed to bask in the glorious morning sunshine, the rays glimmer and gleaming on her robust skin. Wagging her small trimmed tail and stiffened ears, she leapt over the barbed-wire-fence, entered the adjacent building and passed through the narrow backyard; and reached the northwest corner where the compound walls meet at right angle. She then went near the closed grilled-wooden door of the rear entrance of the building and their on brick steps she climbed up and down several times and finally sat on the steps leading to the door. Sensing the noise from inside home, akin to rustling of silk, the lady of the house opened the split door of backyard wide open came out and got stunned seeing Jimmy resting majestically on the steps clutching-a-towel-between-her-teeth. When Ruby briefed about ongoing search, she was taken aback and introduced herself as Supraja. In the meanwhile, jimmy ignoring the presence of the lady of the house, darted inside and sniffed the articles around the narrow passage leading to their wash-room and the tall wooden-stool kept close to washbasin. Then she hesitantly sniffed for a while the soiled-clothes in a tub, kept underneath washbasin. She dropped the blue bordered towel aside and picked up clothes from the tub one by one and dropped them in succession. When she picked up and held a trousers for a long time, Ruby was keeping cool though inwardly she must be very excited. At one stage, in her characteristic style, Ruby knitted one of her eye brows and that was the moment when I guessed that she now knew that Jimmy had connected the scent of the towel to the trousers and investigation would probably reach a high-point. All these time, I was just following Ruby who was following the Jimmy. Jimmy was moving zigzag horizontally and sometimes vertically in search of the scent. A young man with beads of perspiration on his forehead, sporting a T shirt emblazoned with quote - Live as if you were to die tomorrow.Learn as if you were to live forever- just stood at the threshold of front entrance of the house and seemed to return from shopping. Leaving the stuffed carry bags in the hall, he scurried in hurry toward the rear of the house. He seemed to have got bewildered with the sight of the towel by the side of that yellow tub and Jimmy holding between her teeth a pair of trousers. With source of the scent seemed to have been almost established, Ruby turned stern. I could see the countenance of the NEXT-DOOR young man becoming pale while his pregnant wife looking perplexed. Facing the couple, Ruby questioned as to whom the trousers belong that Jimmy had picked up now. The man hesitantly, in halting Tamil told that it belongs to a guest who had left it behind. Ruby shifted her gaze at once to lady of the house. Supraja was looking perturbed. I noticed her eyes jerked couple of tears and that was the moment, I concluded that the man was lying. Ruby inspected the pair of trousers carefully and checked its side pockets; her hand deep inside the pocket while Jimmy stood on her hind legs leaning over her side. Patting it over, Ruby retrieved a tiny “red ruby-gem stone” that rolled between her fingers. It was a pomegranate-red-ruby-stone of jwellery grade. It was having prism like bottom and hexagonal flat faces around; and its bottom impregnated with some dried-glue like material. With this find, Ruby & I wondered as to how the gem stone could reach the pocket of the trousers. Ruby showed the stone to spouse who just came up to us. When Ruby showed her left palm with the stone at its centre, my spouse eyes widened & brightened up, she exclaimed and said her golden-necklace was fixed with stones identical to the one Ruby now held in her open palm. Now Ruby’s tone of questioning and line of enquiry shifted to the man of the house. It turned more commanding, firm & stern. She warned the young couple, things as emerged would now point an accusing finger to the owner or wearer of the trousers and therefore the couple of the house should cooperate and reveal the truth and whereabouts of the owner of the trousers, his contact number and any other material information that would guide the police help further investigation. She also told them in a sterner but in low voice that if they prefer to hide and attempt to protect their trousers-owner-friend, they might be considered as abettors of the crime and that would land them to cool their heels in puzhal jail. This statement did not produce any tangible response from the young couple. In presence of all, Ruby dictated a statement, which I wrote it down on A4 size paper. The statement contained briefly about the theft, Ruby’s detective Jimmy tracing the scent to trousers in the next house and the gem-stone recovered from the trousers that could be related to one among the many Jewells lost to robbery. She took the signature on the statement paper of all the persons who were witnessing the scene.