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. Sandra

    Li o comentario da CLAUDIA. Nos ultimos anos, tenho visto muita (s) ajuda (s) nao ter chegado aos necessitados (pessoas, animais, etc), e isto e mais triste ainda ou um segundo desastre.
    I read the comment of CLAUDIA. I am not impress how donations help people, animals during catastrophe (s),
    it may become a second catastrophe, it is sad.

    January 18, 2011 at 2:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. JESSE ORTIZ

    Loyalty. Reminds me of the story of Hachiko. Remember, dogs only know how to love!

    January 18, 2011 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. MNGrrl

    Amazing photo.. You can tell the love and appreciation that was between these two. My dog means the world to me- I walk in the door and she just is soo excited to see me- she knows when I am happy, sad, mad, confused and is always there for me unconditionaly. I wish this dog a wonderful family and a contiued life of love and attention. This picture speaks many words about the lady that has passed away.. May she rest in peace..

    January 18, 2011 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  4. Abner Jenkins

    Dogs are highly social and genetically predisposed to remain with the pack. This is typical behavior for animals with high intellects. This is also the same thing most mammals do when confronted with the death of a loved one. The higher the intelligence, the harder it is to let go. Dogs are very smart and they feel as deeply as any human 5 year old would feel about a given situation. We do deserve this devotion from our animal family members, as long as we do our part and keep them safe and make sure they feel love in return for all that they give. -www.MySafeMedia.com

    January 18, 2011 at 3:22 am | Report abuse |
  5. cynic

    Maybe the dog knows something we don't... better dig up Christina and make sure she's not still kicking!

    January 18, 2011 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
  6. Northern2011

    Dogs have been known to mourn their owners when they die and starve themselves to death.

    January 18, 2011 at 3:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. Christina Honigberg

    Another Grey Friers Bobby the little Scottish terrier did the same if only humans loved as animals do the world would be a better place .

    January 18, 2011 at 3:41 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dannon

    Nasty...time to bury that one a little deeper

    January 18, 2011 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
  9. Joannie

    I have rescued many dogs that have had horrible stories. This pictures just breaks my heart. I know the love and devotion of a dog. Every one that I have rescued was so grateful and became the best dogs ever. When my Grandmother died, her dog starved himself to death. Family tried so hard to get him to eat and drink but he wouldn't. He lasted two weeks after her passing than he died too. Dogs grieve, there is no doubt, they stay devoted until their own death. Humans should learn from the love from a dog! The only thing in life that can honestly be trusted is a dog!

    January 18, 2011 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
  10. cici

    heartbreaking..

    January 18, 2011 at 4:16 am | Report abuse |
  11. Maya

    I READ THE COMMENTS ABOUT "CHINESE IN CHINA" TORTURING ANIMALS ALIVE FOR THIER FUR. YES, CHINESE ARE THE WORSE KIND OF PEOPLE WHEN IT COMES TO CRUELTY TO ANIMALS. PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT CHINA SHOULD GO TO PETA.ORG AND SEE THE VIDEO ON THE FUR FARM IN SOUTHERN CHINA. THEY BEAT THE DOGS SENSELESS, HOOK THEM UP A POLE AND SKIN THEM ALIVE, AS THEY WRITE IN UTTER PAIN. THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE ANIMAL LOVERS AND SAY ALL THE WONDERFUL THINGS IN THE COMMENTS IN RELATION TO THIS LOYAL DOG IN RIO WAITING BY HIS MUM'S GRAVE...YOU ALL SHOULD ABANDON ALL CHINESE PRODUCTS. BOYCOTT THEM FOR THE LOVE OF ANIMALS. I HAVE! THEY ARE CRUEL TO ANIMALS ...NOT SUPRISING SINCE THEY EAT ANYTHING THAT WALKS!!

    January 18, 2011 at 4:39 am | Report abuse |
  12. Maya

    HEY YOU CALLED 'ANIMAL" ...IF YOU DON'T LIKE DOGS, WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING ON THIS WEBSITE. HYPOCRITE!

    January 18, 2011 at 4:43 am | Report abuse |
  13. BONN SCOTT

    I miss my only best friend: Coyote/German Sheperd/ Red Chow... her name is/was.. MORNIG STAR-MALIA-CROME LADY-HONEST GIRL-LOCUST-RIOT GRRL-CONTROL FREAK-BEANNIE!!... I called her, "LIL' GIRL" for short.. cheese....

    January 18, 2011 at 4:46 am | Report abuse |
  14. BONN SCOTT

    Morning star... small buttons... sun in my eyes.... crying too hard... total heart break.. that hurts way too much... i love animals!!!!

    January 18, 2011 at 4:53 am | Report abuse |
  15. Joe

    A lot of dogs in shelters wind up there when their owners die. So when their master dies, the dog gets put to sleep.

    January 18, 2011 at 5:07 am | Report abuse |
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