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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 March 2006, 13:09 GMT
Secret Service dogs live it up
A dog of the US Secret Service K-9 squad at the Gandhi memorial in Delhi
The dogs sniffed for possible explosives at Raj Ghat...
While US President George W Bush was checking into the presidential suite at one of Delhi's top hotels, a group of canines belonging to his security detail were enjoying similar comfort nearby.

Some 17 dogs belonging the K-9 squad of the US Secret Service have also been put up at top Delhi five-star hotels, Indian media reports say.

Special rooms have apparently been booked in the Sheraton hotel, where Mr Bush is staying, and at the equally plush Le Meridien hotel.

We have been told to address them as per their ranks
Sheraton hotel staffer
The German Shepherds and Labradors are staying in rooms which cost more than $200 a night.

Early on Thursday, they were pressed to work as they sniffed their way through the marble memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, which President Bush visited later in the day.

Air-conditioned comfort

Delhi police have their own dog squads which were used to comb all the locations POTUS (President of the United States) was to visit.

"But the US Secret Service is pressing their own dog squad at the locations," an unnamed official of the Delhi Police Dog Training School is quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

Delhi's Maurya Sheraton hotel
...before retreating to their plush hotel rooms
But while the Indian dogs retreated to their kennels, the K-9 squad were taken back to the comfort of their air-conditioned hotel rooms.

"They are inside the hotel, but in an area where they will not be seen by everyone," the Hindu newspaper quoted a hotel official as saying, adding that the dogs were not known for their friendliness or affection.

Reports say the dogs hold military ranks including sergeant major, first, second, third and fourth lieutenant.

"We were told to be careful while addressing the animals and not call them dogs," the Asian Age newspaper quoted a staff member of the Sheraton hotel as saying.

"We have been instructed to address them as per their ranks."

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