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. Ken Wood

    either the dog saw its owner buried and knows under which pile of dirt she lies, or it picked a random pile of dirt. there is also the story about the dog who waits for his owner to come home from work everyday by the road but the owner was killed in a vehicle accident. and yes, John is right, dogs are, mostly, extremely loyal and we humans don't really deserve their loyalty and unconditional love.

    January 18, 2011 at 5:17 am | Report abuse |
  2. opie and anthony lover forever

    Nothing like a dog to bring the emotions out of men.

    I'm not an animal!

    January 18, 2011 at 5:46 am | Report abuse |
  3. Truthbetold

    Makes me sad that I just had to give mine away. He went to a rescue home and will be there until he is adopted, so he will have a better life with people that can be there during the day to let him out instead of having to hold his needs all day while I am at work, but I was missing him already and this reminds me of my loss 🙁

    January 18, 2011 at 6:10 am | Report abuse |
  4. iordanis

    Some of you probably have half a brain. Hundreds have lost their lives to this natural disaster, and you praise dogs and feel sad for the animal, while remembering personnal stories of yourself with animals. Adopt a child from brazil not the pet!!! How did humanity end up being so shalow and blind to the serious issues that plague our world. Non of you said anything about the endless homeless people , about their living conditions (they live with the income of $1/day) in the mud, etc etc. Anyone who has gone to brazil has seen the 'tent' cities these people live in. And at this dark hour for them, you show sympathy for a dog (I do to, but i cant stop thinking of the people) and dont even refer to the humanatarian crisis. To those that i am refering to, you have serious issues.

    January 18, 2011 at 6:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      So in other words, we responded to the article? Shame on us.

      January 18, 2011 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  5. Anthony from Maryland

    This is why I love dogs. They are so faithful and they show their love openly when they take their nose and move your hand, jump on you when you are playing with them and when you rub their belly they go crazy for affection. That dog misses the only one who was good in their life. Funny how the dog watch the owner get burried and stayed right by her side thinking she is going to wake up. RIP lady as you are a true saint!

    January 18, 2011 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
  6. jt

    Unfortunately, it's a dog. It will stay their until a basic instinct kicks in..namely hunger and then it will be off. It will find a new pack to attach itself to and that will be that.

    January 18, 2011 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jena Woods

    Just makes you want to cry for the victim and the loyal dog that awaits her return. Sadly it will not happen. How tragic...

    January 18, 2011 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
  8. pocketphilosophies

    This reminds me of Greyfriar's Bobby in Edinburgh, Scotland, a puppy who stayed by his master's grave for something like 18 years! This is true love.

    January 18, 2011 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
  9. Tiffany

    Watch the movie, Hatchi: A Dog's Tale, if you haven't seen it.

    January 18, 2011 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
  10. DisgruntledGrrl

    I hope someone feeds this pup. I recall hearing this story about a similar case in Europe. Old man died, his dog waited by his grave until he could be buried with him. People visiting the graveyard would bring food for the dog. He passed away 2 years later. No one was sure where he would hide during the rains.

    January 18, 2011 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
  11. b4nftr

    Our youngest brother died on new years day. We love him....this dog made me cry again.

    January 18, 2011 at 7:20 am | Report abuse |
  12. John

    I hope the pup is at least getting some food and water brought to it, I do not see any sign of it in the pictures?

    January 18, 2011 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
  13. Tracy

    So many people are willing to take in this dog, adopt him, pay for his food and medication... why not look to the homeless dogs in your own town? I am sure this dog is not ready to leave, and it would be highly unlikely someone from out of the area would be able to adopt the dog. So take that compassion and care for another dog in need of a home – our hearts go out to this one because he's on CNN and we take his picture, but there are so many more dogs out there like him that need good homes and are being euthanized each day.

    January 18, 2011 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |

    I once had a white lab and when I used to stay about a mile from my grandfather my dog would check on my grandfather everyday. The day my grandfather died my dog became very sad and soon after he died. I know they are keeping each other company. I miss them both.

    January 18, 2011 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
  15. wow

    Beautiful,sad,and wonderful at the same time. Feed,water, and take care of the dog who actually tolerates us! Absolutely sweet.

    January 18, 2011 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
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