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. Andagain

    Greyfriars Bobby. Tears.

    January 17, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Realist


    January 17, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • guest

      prove it.

      January 17, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • kb

      you are incorrect, there are multiple pictures of this from many different angles.

      January 17, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Linney17

      There is also video, genius.

      January 17, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. canadian jingle

    maybe tomorrow, i'll wanna settle down...until tomorrow, ...

    canadian jingle ...

    January 17, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • CanadienMike

      That was dumb

      January 17, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Corriebeth

      @Canadian Mike- this was the theme song to an old Canadian tv program about a wandering German Shephard who found people in need and helped them. It was called "The Littlest Hobo".

      January 17, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. rowdy

    Proof that dogs are human`s best friends

    January 17, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BB

    I am happy to report that the dog has been adopted!

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

      and you know this how? I hope it's true.

      January 17, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. NeNe

    This is really sad it breaks my heart though it shows us how smart and loving dogs are

    January 17, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Linda

    Such a sad pic... and I bet that dog will stay by the side of its owner until it dies also.... Man, animals are such loyal beings...

    January 17, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. LEah Thomason

    if that dog needs a home, I will take it.

    January 17, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Linda

    of course there would be someone like Realist that would think it was photoshopped... There is always one that has to be negative.... whatever

    January 17, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Z


    January 17, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • puprplepuppy

      The dog will go back to the grave, best thing to do is for some one to start feeding it where it sits. It will eventually come around to the person who is feeding it, and another important thing to do would be to have a piece of clothing from the original owner. It takes a long time for dogs, to come around. They do not understand death, they just know there whole life is now buried

      January 17, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hairycarey

      I agree they (must be some) don't understand death? We had 2 family dogs.
      One died and the other kept trying to pull the other out of the sack the deceased
      dog was lying in. Old playmates.

      January 17, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bella _Gata

      According to a major Brazilian news source (O Globo), the dog was rescued by a team, but not without a fight, he did not want to leave the site. 🙁 He was ok, just a little frightenned. And Caramelo, his name in Portuguese, will be listed for adoption. Hopefully, there is a nice guy/gal out there who will take good care of this loyal friend. 🙂

      January 17, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mr. Hoffman

    Feed Jake..

    January 17, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Leslie Rose

    They are my best friends. I have several of those and several times I was asked why I have them, all were taken in as strays and unwanted. They are devoted to me like no human ever has been. This woman and her dog were lucky to have each other.

    January 17, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Marilene

    Good news. Today Leao found a new home.

    January 17, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. T. Lee

    Please – some responsible person or group GENTLY approach, feed, and eventually try to relocate to a loving home.

    January 17, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. CanadienMike

    You'll never see any stinking, selfish feline show such loyalty. Food source gone, worthless cat gone!

    January 17, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • TexasAdGuy

      Not at all true, Mike. I've had both cats and dogs and both are loyal to the end if you treat them right. I don't expect you to understand, but it's true.

      January 17, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      dogs have masters. cats have servants. have you ever seen a cat do something like this? no. can cats be used to sniff out bombs and drugs? no. the loyalty of a cat does not even come close to the loyalty of a dog.

      January 17, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Savannah

      Not true. I've worked as a vet tech for years and watched cats die after their owners die.

      January 17, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • homer

      You are plain wrong. Just because you don't like cats doesn't make you right. They show their feelings in a different way. I have had many of both & they are both capable of great love & devotion. My spouse is a veterinarian & certainly backs this up with many stories. You are nasty people writing posts like that.

      January 17, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • standingwave

      Keep in mind that we've been breeding dogs for exactly this kind of loyalty for tens of thousands of years. Cats, on the other hand, are one of the few wild animals that have adopted us and that was only a few thousand years ago.

      January 17, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hairycarey

      Google Youtube-incident of a woman being attacked by a stray dog.
      Cat came flying out of nowhere to intercede. Very unusual, but it's there.

      January 17, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alexandra

      People that speak so poorly of cats have never had the priviledge of having a cat. It just goes to show the ignorance that surrounds us, and why the world is so messed up. Cats and dogs are wonderful, intelligent, loving and loyal beings. They just show their love differently. Cats are fascinating creatures that show just as much love as dogs, if not more to those people that are worthy of it. Live with a cat for a week, and without judgement observe and give yourselves the chance to know them and love them. Then talk! I can assure you cat haters that you will love them as much as I do.

      January 17, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Corriebeth

      You obviously never had a cat. Cats may appear aloof but underneath that facade is a loving, loyal soul. Every time I had to go away and leave my cats (my husband remained home with the animals) one of my cats would get sick. It was always brought on because of loneliness. My Siamese kitten is the main reason I emotionally survived a hysterectomy at 25. Every time I cried my Sweets would come running, get up on my lap or lay beside me and just be with me until I was okay. This attentiveness carried on throughout the rest of his life! Dogs and cats are both loyal and caring souls. They just show it in different ways! God Bless the dog in this story. I pray he finds a new, loving home.

      January 17, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • CanadienMike

      I've had cats as pets so those of that assumed otherwise are wrong. If their owners really cared about them and their loyalty so great, they wouldn't let them let them out to roam at will for hours, days and weeks. All the while fornicating until cities are plagued with an overpopulation of stray cats, raiding filthy garbage and bringing back home deadly microorganisms on their paws and claws.

      January 18, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
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