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. Bilbo

    This my friends...is why dogs are the best. You'd never see a cat do this. For a dog, this is common. I lost mine a few months ago and I sat by his grave for almost a week.

    January 18, 2011 at 7:34 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Gaunt

    Look, cats and dogs can be cute, and I can see how they could enrich the lives of some people, I dont begrudge them that. I also think that, though I am not an animal person, the picture above is very powerful.

    However, the pathology of some pet owners is borderline insanity. Love your pet by all means, treat it well, but its a pet.

    When my uncle died a few months short of his 45th wedding anniversary, my aunt was understandably devastated. At the service this woman came up to my aunt, put a hand on her shoulder and said "I understand your loss my dear, I lost by beloved cat just lat month".

    I'm not a violent person, but it was difficult to resist the urge to slap this woman upside the head.

    January 18, 2011 at 7:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. jezta

    My dogs are members of the family all 4 of them the 2 boxers inside the pitbull and the german sheppard/lab that guard the outside i have seen all 4 guard each of us with their life including my 2 sons whom when their around them are the most gentle animals ever. What that dog in rio is doing is greiving let it be to do what it feels it has 2 do it knows more storms are coming and it still wants to be with mom thats true love right there. I'm sure if someone owned a wolf and treated it the way we treat our dogs as family it would grieve to just the way a pitbull will just because ppl find a few bad eggs in a breed doesnt make them all bad

    January 18, 2011 at 7:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. A

    Now how many of you are going to go out and eat a hamburger? It's ridiculous, I feel for this dog, as I do for any animal. But some of these comments. People talking about China murdering cats and dogs. What do you think is happening right here in the U.S, mass murder of cows, pigs, and chickens. They may not be dogs but they hurt and have feelings too. Enough rambling though, I hope someone takes in this dog and gives him the love and care he needs.

    January 18, 2011 at 7:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • minnielou

      Thank you for your inside , But I don't have a cow at my feet,or a pig on my bed,and as for the chicken it just likes to run around.All I'm saying is cats & dogs give you love>your pets are part of your family.and if I had a cow,pig,or chicken as my pet I would feel the same as I feel for my cat & dog....Family I do understand what you are saying we need to change and have a more human way of putting them down'

      January 21, 2011 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dave254

    I have always maintained I've met more good dogs than good people.

    January 18, 2011 at 7:49 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. BK

    Was this dog rescued?

    January 18, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Lisa

    Seeing all the different people on here saying they wish to adopt this dog reminds me of something that happened here in St. Louis, MO. We had a dog survive the gas chamber at a local kill shelter. Immediately this dog who had been in this shelter long enough that it was decided he would not be finding a home had people coming out of the wood work wanting to adopt him. The local no kill shelter got control of him and the owner of that shelter decided that those who wanted him did so for themselves, not him. They wanted the dog from the news. He kept Quintin himself and that dog went everywhere with him.

    There are so many loyal and wonderful dogs in shelters that will be put down without someone's intervention. Those of you who want this dog go out and save another one in his honor. You will never regret it.

    January 18, 2011 at 7:59 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Joe

    When a dog gives "kisses" it isn't kissing you its cleaning the bacteria off of its tongue. I can't believe how naive people are. Dogs lick their butts clean with their tongues, they eat their own poop and other animals poop then they come in the house and lick you all over the face... Their is less bacteria on a public toilet seat then a dogs mouth. Yuck, its not cute its disgusting and people wonder why we have infection and disease problems.

    January 18, 2011 at 8:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Joe

    When a dog gives "kisses" it isn't kissing you its cleaning the bacteria off of its tongue. I can't believe how naive people are. Dogs lick their butts clean with their tongues, they eat their own poop and other animals poop then they come in the house and lick you all over the face... Their is less bacteria on a public toilet seat then a dogs mouth. Yuck, its not cute its disgusting and people wonder why we have infection and disease problems....

    January 18, 2011 at 8:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • dogs rule

      This ranting shows what an ignorant ass you are, JOE. Dogs don't masticate (that means "chew", Joe) because they have no BACTERIA in their mouths to begin digestion. Also: they do not get tooth decay (cavities, Joe) for the same reason. I have 6 German shepherds, and would rather kiss any one of them than any human I know. And I do, and I'm never sick. You sound like a creep, and if YOU could lick the way dogs do, you'd probably never leave the house!
      Thes story is about devotion, not licking, you cretin (means "dummy")

      January 18, 2011 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
  10. Devara

    I hope someone will take this precious pet in before he starves or mourns himself to death.

    January 18, 2011 at 8:06 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Fish

    CNN You have brought this dog to our attention... I see many people on here that would adopt her in a heartbeat. Please share with us some good news that someone has taken care of this lost soul.

    January 18, 2011 at 8:15 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Randall

    UPDATE – Since Wednesday, this beautiful dog was adopted by a family who lives in Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro.

    January 18, 2011 at 8:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. dogs rule

    How did this beautiful photo and this sad, sad story become about "bacteria" and someone's stupid AUNT? ALLL you people need to get lives.

    January 18, 2011 at 8:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Randall

    UPDATE to previous UPDATE – The adoption was on Sunday, The real name of the dog is Carame.l

    January 18, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. dogs rule

    How did this wonderful photo/story about love and loyalty become about someone's old aunt? Focus people! You all need to, collectively, get a life!

    January 18, 2011 at 8:23 am | Report abuse | Reply
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