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. Janey

    A dog is usually loyal because the HUMAN treated it with love and respect.
    Not because they are better than humans.
    We were commanded to care for our animals, this should be normal reaction for a pet to morn the lose.

    January 18, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. Aaron

    i wonder if my dog would do the same or crap all over my grave

    January 18, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jeannine Paddock Smith Whitlow Givens

    The bond of one to one's Master. Only those who love these precious animals Know this loving bond.

    January 18, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. LS

    Poor dog... I hope someone is taking care of her, she needs a new home.

    January 18, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Patricia

      His name is Leao or Caramelo and God Bless he was adopted
      and is now fine.

      January 18, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. youngone

    SOMEbody needs to check and make sure there are no signs of life in that grave!!! Sometimes people are determined to be dead when they're not.....

    January 18, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. jerry

    Ok people , I appreciate the concern but enough about my psyco wife. Things could be worse. I could be in one of those muddy graves with her living it up on my life insurance.

    January 18, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bette-Ann

    Who is caring for the dog now is the only comment that should appear here...I can not believe how many of you diverge from the focal point of the story and turn it inward on your own self imposed misery. Don't like animals, read another story, don't like your wife, get a divorce, don't like your job, give it to someone who needs a job, any job but for crying out loud this is not about YOU!

    January 18, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Silvia

    What this article doesn't mention is that Leao helped firefighters find his owner's body and that he was seen digging the grave. Moving...

    January 18, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mightaswellbe

    Dogs never lie about love.

    January 18, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Fabiana

    The dog was adopted by a lady in Rio de Janeiro but unfortunately run away after spending the first night at his new home, lets hope his safe!

    January 18, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Thomas H

    The Greyfriars Bobby of South America; I hope someone will take him/her in !!!

    January 18, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Karen

    I was so touched by this photo. My husband and I have four dogs. It really makes me think about how they would react if they were all of a sudden left alone.

    January 18, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Patricia

    Hello, I just want to let people know that the dog Leao was rescued
    and adopted by a family in Rio, also is no 100% sure but it seems
    that one of the dogs that was taken by the water in that women
    rescue video was also saved.
    There is a beauty in all that sadness when people come forward
    to help, donatiing food, blood , time and so many other things.
    At this moment there are a lot of people there helping humans and
    animals, all victims of this horrible tragedy. God Bless all.

    January 18, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • 4Dogs

      Is that the truth? How do you know that the poor, loyal dog was adopted? I sincerely hope that is true!!!

      January 19, 2011 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
  14. Interpid

    Anmials are the light of out souls reminding us we are all the same. For some it is a threat, for others it is a relief that connects us to evolution. Sadly, life has become a measure in monetary value instead of true love. Animals know no different. Protect and survive to endure. The most affluent out there share the same priciples yet neglect the true connection that sustains life in itself..

    January 18, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Interpid

    Grew up learning to kiss my ass good bye in the cold wars. This time I'm afraid something far more powerful is at work. I'm thinking bend over is the easy part.

    January 18, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
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