After Brazil flooding, loyalty to the dead
January 17th, 2011
06:10 PM ET

After Brazil flooding, loyalty to the dead

As the death toll from devastating flooding in Brazil continues to rise, a single picture drives home the sense of loss.

Leao, a medium-sized brown mutt,  lies next to the grave of her owner, Cristina Maria Cesario Santana, who died in the catastrophic landslides caused by heavy rain.  This AFP/Getty picture was taken on Saturday, the second consecutive day that the dog refused to leave the woman's grave at the cemetery in Teresopolis, near Rio de Janiero.

Brazilians are bracing for more rain, fearing more landslides after waves of muddy water swallowed towns in the country's worst flood disaster on record.

At least 655 deaths were reported in a mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro state, northeast of the city of Rio.

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Filed under: Animals • Brazil • Weather
soundoff (563 Responses)
  1. Ales

    Hey people i'm brazilian and this history is totally fake, this dog belongs to the gravedigger of the cemetery, would be beautiful if the history was truth but...anywhere thanks for the support that all people arround the word gave to us

    February 5, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mario

    This news is not right – This pics is a mistake – please your CNN news are delivering a wrong news – THIS IS THE TRUE...

    Best Regards

    February 6, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. billyunb

    Good morning.
    Actually, is it a moving scene. Congratulations on the picture.
    Leão means lion in Portuguese. It is a masculine name. So, I think the right possessive adjective is "his" in the fragment below, even tough his owner is a women.
    Leao, a medium-sized brown mutt, lies next to the grave of his owner, Cristina...
    Please take a look at spelling of Rio de Janeiro which is misspelled: at the cemetery in Teresopolis, near Rio de "Janiero".

    February 7, 2011 at 3:39 am | Report abuse |
  4. kiki

    What REALLY upset me are the comments: No a single one showed compassion for the suffering of the people!!!!!! Common!!! Have we all lost our humanity? People died, lost loved ones, their properties and everyone is crying for a dog who has his master alive, is fed and is simply resting........wake up !!!!!

    February 10, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jolly in the face of Chaos

    Brent wins for best post. I love this picture, made me sobby, but c'mon...realisitcally, someone is going to take care of the dog (even in Brazil, they obviously LOVE dogs). It is extremely sad to see, but that animal will not starve...regardless. The really sad thing about this photo is that it is clear that the graves were dug by a dozer...all of them were. So many...and yet, we keep spinning. Done...I'm going to go hug my pooch. And 'Realist'? YOU'RE photoshopped.

    January 17, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Fiona

    Oh, please. Just because someone remarks on the loyalty of an animal, that does NOT indicate any less empathy for the humans lost. Who do you think you are?

    January 17, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Caramelo

    Brent always wins. He's SOOO funny and smart. For me to poop on.

    January 17, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mike

    Dog's are special beings put here on this earth to keep us humans sane, they love us with all their hearts...think of a world without them. If anyone know's of a dog that is being abused and mistreated please report it to your local SPCA.

    January 17, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tiff

    I totally ...Dogs are special, and loyal towards their owners. I wish someone would come and take it home and give it the love it is now missing.

    January 17, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Taliesin

    Your aunt sounds like a nut job and an animal-hater.

    January 17, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. GraceintheHills

    In case you haven't noticed, this story is not about YOU. Have you no compassion?

    January 17, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. frieda406

    what does any of your endless yammering have to do with the story and photo of a devoted pet?

    January 17, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. nuffsed

    I would rather talk to the dog than your cold and bitter aunt.

    January 17, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Animal

    "blah blah blah blah blah blah. I dont like dogs blah blah blah blah blah blah."
    That's all I hear you saying.

    Did you read about the hundreds killed? Who the hell cares about your aunt's dislike for dogs and your son's dog not on the furniture?

    I dont trust anyone who isn't drawn to animals.

    January 18, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  15. Stephanie

    Sounds like your aunt is a cold-hearted woman, uncaring. I would have at least acknowledged the dog.

    January 18, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
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