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. Mel

    Unconditional love has no limts....I hope the dog finds a good home.

    January 17, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Crystal

    This story and photo broke my heart. I hope someone is giving the poor, lonely pup some food. I bet that's the only person who's ever shown him/her compassion and love. What a sad, sad event. I am praying for all of Brazil, the humans and animals alike.

    January 17, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tom

    I am balling my eyes out right now!!!

    January 17, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. pete moss

    i am going to buy me and my family a lab TOMORROW! dogs do have a 6th and even a 7th sense, my wife, children, grandchildren,guns, bullets and A DAMN GOOD DOG!! ok im ready

    January 17, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • GYPSY

      PETE: don't BUY a dog, go to your nearest shelter of if you MUST have a lab, go to a lab rescuse. There are far to many dogs looking for homes due to various reasons: owners have become homeless or my fav. they didn't realize the effort it took to take care of another living being. Either way, save a life get a rescue BUT realize it will take effort and patience on your part.

      January 18, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  5. elidude

    hasn't anyone ever reald Jack London's Call of the Wild? Buck?

    January 17, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mike

    How does the dog know which grave is hers? Unless he can smell her, which is icky.

    January 17, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • itsjustme

      Mikey: not as icky as you think. 🙂 Dogs have highly sensitive noses; they can sniff out anything anywhere, even if it's been long gone from the area.

      It's been theorized that dogs can sniff out cancer - and there are service dogs that can tell when their master is going to experience an epileptic attack or even low blood sugar. A lifesaver to individuals who have epilepsy or diabetes.

      Viva le chien!:)

      January 17, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Raven

      Death is icky. I suspect with that many dead, waterproof caskets are no longer available.
      Life is realistic sometimes....

      January 17, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Alex

    send mike vick down there. i'm sure he can figure something out.

    January 17, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • wolfermom

      You do not know animals well or you would know that a rabbit will die because of the death of it's mate, one of mine did. I have a cat that will find me and sleep by my head every night. She does not like people. My husband has taken in cats people throw out and we have saved many of them, they are all fixed.Took us a year and me holding a lot of them while they died as I did my rabbits. Now I hve hybreed wolves. Two of them and they are very smart. They are in my house and my silver one sleeps with me. Right now they are both laying in front of me on the floor. God gave them to us to care for. As for Vick. He should be put in a pen he can not get out of with blood on him and a pack of the dogs he used, also shut the door to the room and waljk away and let him feel what all these poor dogs felt. wolfermom

      January 17, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. cymarausa

    Wow have anyone watched the movie Hachi? this picture reminds me of that movie

    January 17, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. opie and anthony lover forever

    Knick knack patty wack give the dog a bone... Oh wait. Too soon?

    January 17, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      LOL Good one.

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

      A frog goes into a bank and approaches the teller. He can see from her name plate that her name is Patricia Black.

      So, he says, "Ms. Black, I'd like to get a loan to buy a boat and go on a long vacation." Patti looks at the frog in disbelief and asks how much he wants to borrow.

      The frog says "$30,000." The teller asks his name and the frog says that his name is Kermit Jagger, and that it is OK, he knows the bank manager.

      Patti explains that $30,000 is a substantial amount of money and that he will need to secure some collateral against the loan. She asks if he has anything he can use as collateral.

      The frog says, "Sure. I have this," and produces a tiny pink porcelain pig, about half an inch tall. Bright pink and perfectly formed.

      Very confused, Patti explains that she'll have to consult with the manager and disappears into a back office.

      She finds the manager and says: "There is a frog called Kermit Jagger out there who claims to know you and wants to borrow $30,000. And he wants to use this as collateral."

      She holds up the tiny pink pig. "I mean, what the heck is this?"

      The manager says, "It's a knick-knack, Patti Black. Give the frog a loan. His old man's a Rolling Stone!"

      January 17, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Kim

    Very sad.. I hope the dog gets away, for his own safety. Another example of a pet's loyalty. What a sad but sweet story.

    January 17, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. opie and anthony lover forever

    Thanks Mike 🙂

    January 17, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. opie and anthony lover forever

    Just waiting for the haters and those that don't understand sarcasm to chime in. 😦

    January 17, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. TheC10

    The news from Brazil is that he was taken to a shelter and adopted today so we will be ok.

    January 17, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. opie and anthony lover forever

    And how the hell did kermit secure ID? Who strapped the pack to his little pack? 🙂

    January 17, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. itsjustme

    That doggus must be heartbroken.

    (If you can, and you've got a corner of your heart available, please adopt from your local shelter. You'll never regret it)

    January 17, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
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