An Indie pup, looking for food, enters a cantonment area one day. A pack of dogs, led by their vicious leader, Sir Kattapa, thrashes him for entering their territory. But the same night, he meets his Dadda and his life changes forever. Puma, as he is fondly called, then on, only dreams of becoming a soldier like his Dadda. A soldier whose aim is to save lives, not take lives. A sudden terrorist attack on his Dadda’s unit gives Puma a chance to prove his mettle. Puma’s journey of transforming into Commando Puma is a tale of adventure, fun, hard work and sacrifice, and love and hope. ___
Do you love dogs? Do you respect the army? Do you like tear-jerker fiction? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes” then forget the review and grab your copy of Puma: A Soldier’s Dog by Richa Kashyap right away.
Puma, the narrator, a cute indie doggo, is the pet every hooman needs in their lives. He is smart, loyal, brave, and strong. Basically a good boy. I love how the story is presented from the perspective of Puma as if being presented by a kid (like the protagonist, Jack, in Room by Emma Donoghue). I feel that a little more work could have been done on editing and paragraph breaks while switching between speakers.
The entire journey of Puma running away from his home to being adopted by his Dadda up till the end of the story is a roller coaster of sad, happy, heartbreaking, and brave moments. The book is a testament to the loyalty and innocence of dogs.
This book will make you fall in love with dogs and also make you cry for whatever Puma is going through. The author talks about the condition of street dogs and army dogs. The moral of the story is to adopt indie and street dogs not only as pets but also include them in the army, which predominantly uses Labradors and German Shepherds. Overall, it is an emotional read.
The story is apt for all ages. I would highly recommend it to the younger generation to teach them empathy, kindness towards animals, and respect for the soldiers.
“Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day.” —John Grogan