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. RUFFNUTT

    I wonder if the planet is finnaly getting tired of us?

    January 17, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      Just you and your friends...the earth is auto-washing all the mess you all are making.

      January 17, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      then how come it is floding only overseas?

      January 17, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      It in tailgating mode...

      January 17, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don

      Could you blame the planet if it were sick of us?

      January 17, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon D

      Ruffnut – what are you talking about? did you miss Katrina? or eastern north carolina?

      January 17, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clyde

      If the world is tired of us it is only because some of us are too dumb to spell....

      January 17, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kidding, right?

      Only overseas? Ever heard of Hurricane Katrina?

      January 17, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lachman

      Please don't wonder that the planet is getting tired of us, its just that the nature is taking its due course, because the human race has abused nature since ages.

      January 17, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • IwonderIf

      Over seas because for them , they are in the middle of summer( their rainy season)... For us.. we are in the middle of winter.. We are getting record breaking snow falls this year.. They are getting record rain fall.. Makes sense?

      January 17, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • truthinrock

      It's tryin to shake us off like the fleas we are.

      January 17, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Suz

      Bring the dog to me. I'll take care of this particular dog. Such a sweet soul.

      January 17, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Think

      The planet isn't getting tired of us. It's just that there are more of us around, so that when natural disasters occur, more people get killed. Sure, human exacerbation of erosion and things of that nature may affect how these disasters occur...but if Krakatoa erupted now instead of 170 years ago when there was only about a billion people alive...

      January 17, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mmmmm

    Wow I have never seen this kind of devotion by an animal. I alway tease friends for treating dogs like children. Beautiful picture and storyline.

    January 17, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      Very touching. The saddest part is to come because the dog will stay, and starve and eventually will die by it's owner grave.

      January 17, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • ed

      They are better than us humans.

      January 17, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • April

      My dad's lab did too when he passed away, he howled for 24 hours on the steps of the church it freaked everyone out pretty good.

      January 17, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • nick

      Naah. He's just waiting for his next meal. He'll figure it out eventually.

      January 17, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheRealJames

      there was a similar story on here a while back about a dog that never left the curb of the driveway waiting for its owner that had passed to return home. stayed there every day for months.

      January 17, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daina

      Lived with dogs all of my life and that is unconditional love and loyaly few people are capable of even coming close to. All rescues and hubby & I are surrounded by our lovebugs as I type. I strive to be the person my dog thinks I am 🙂

      I do hope the attention to this story results in someone rescuing this dog.

      January 17, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesus

      Some people have the mentality of dogs. Why there are people around today thinking that a mythical 2000 year old dead guy will come back to life? They conduct services, give away money, and order their lives around that dead guy's return. Are those people smarter than a dog? I think not!

      January 17, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • mr.spliff

      I'll take a dog as a companion over most humans any day of the year! Geneticists just need to figure out how to double or triple their life spans.

      January 17, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kelly

      @ Jesus.. First off, I don't see where your religious (or lack thereof) opinions play into this story at all. But since you spew yours so freely, here is mine: I'd rather live my life like God exists and then find out he doesn't than to live like he doesn't exist and find out he does.

      January 17, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cathy

      This is why I love dogs!!!

      January 17, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Reminds me of the story of Hachikō. I'm not allowed to name the nation that we dropped two nukes on, as the story DID originate there and IS a true story.
      Said dog came to greet his master at the train station every day for 9 years after the master died at work.
      A statue now stands where Hachikō once waited so patiently before joining his best friend in death.

      January 17, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      CNN's auto-filter is a prime example of how foreign outsourcing and H-1B visa workers don't work. One may not even use the proper names of nations here.

      January 17, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trent Sellers

      To dumb "To Spell!" Guess your Mommy took U to Private school
      and U don't Even Appreciate Your Gift!!!!!!

      January 18, 2011 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
  3. PS

    Absolutely heartbreaking!

    January 17, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JAE

    This picture just kills me. That poor dog. It just doesn't know. Dog are fabulous and so very devoted to their owners. I have two Golden Retrievers and YES, they ARE family.

    January 17, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon D

      Dogs are amazing. Sometimes i wonder if we are worthy of such innocent love

      January 17, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doglover

      Goldens rock! Mine died last year and we got a golden pup. They are, indeed, family!

      January 17, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Master Jack

    I hope someone is taking care of this sweet animal. If I was closer I certainly would.

    January 17, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • rs1201

      He needs food and shelter. They're expecting more rain and mudslides. Someone should definitely take him in and adopt him. As to dogs being family...certainly, my dog is to me and to my family. We treat him no differently than if he were just another member of the family...and I think he knows it.

      January 17, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • ralbk

      He was adopted, fortunately....

      January 17, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Maria Lee

    I hope some nice person takes pity upon this poor dog and adopts him.

    January 17, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • ed

      I'm sure someone already has, the thing is Leao will always try to look going to that grave where lies his owner, always.

      January 17, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dizzyd

    So sad, yet sweet.

    January 17, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. just me

    Apparently she was extremely kind to this animal, and she was it's best friend. An alternative, heart breaking example of the aftermath of nature.

    January 17, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. cb

    I hope he is being fed.

    January 17, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • traggic

      dont they eat dogs over there?

      January 17, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • ralbk

      To traggic....no we do not eat dogs here ....

      January 17, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jennifer

    I would give this poor little soul a home... least I could do for his owner who obviously showed her companion great love while she was alive....

    January 17, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. db

    Any animal, be it dog, cat, or anything else will show devotion for the little love and attention that they get. It is to bad that most people do not feel the pain the animals do when they are seperated from their owners.

    January 17, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      And who are our owners?

      January 17, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      @Joe, I hear it's either God or mammon.

      January 17, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      a cat wouldn't do this.

      January 17, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • yep

      Joe, nobody owns me.

      January 17, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jan farmer

    my heart just breaks for him/her. what a display of total love and devotion for his/her owner; more than most humans have for eachother. oh the beauty of innocence.

    January 17, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. AMERICA 1st

    theres a statue of a dog in Scotland in a cemetery. the dog stayed at the grave of his master till he died. 10yrs later, if i remember correctly. thats devotion. his master was a constable

    January 17, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Greyfriars Bobby was the dog's name and his owner/caregiver was a shepherd if I remember the story correctly.

      January 17, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill Mann

      The dog was called "Greyfriars Bobby".

      January 17, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      To Michael – he was a Skye Terrier. There for 14 years.

      January 17, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janet

      Is that the statue at the cemetery in Edinburgh?

      January 17, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Animal lvr

    Agree...animals r much better than humans. i love my 3 children, 2 of whom r dogs. cheers 2 all the people that treat ALL their children well. hope this sweet puppy makes it!

    January 17, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. tabitha

    what an amazing dog. Sad but sweet.

    January 17, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
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