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. Eddie H

    The image of the loyal dog brought me to tears, literally. This is coming from a person that disliked dogs ALL my life. However, just this past year, I was given the most loyal and lovely pug that has brought joy and happiness to my life. She just brings me to my knees at how much I love her. I feel so bad for the dog in the picture but I am certain it's owner is in heaven proud of her loyal and dear dog.

    January 18, 2011 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
  2. Angela

    I'm sure there are thousands of people all over the world wanting to adopt this dog. I wouldn't be surprised if Leao died of a broken heart, loyal to the end.

    January 18, 2011 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
  3. erib baumen

    I had a dog who had parvo and survived alot people told me its just a dog dont spend money on a dog stupid people the only thing that is always excited to see me my dog

    January 18, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  4. Heather

    So sad. I wish they would say whether someone has or will take care of the dog. Especially if more heavy rains are expected. I'm sure the owner would at least want to know her dog was taken care of.

    January 18, 2011 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  5. Mark M

    There are no words that can describe the emotion of this photo. It seems simple enough, but look it at for longer than a minute, and then tell me you don't know something about this woman. We may not see an actual image, probably haven't met her, but by this simple final act of her friend not leaving her side, even at the end, speaks a lifetime of words.

    January 18, 2011 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
    • sad4brazil

      =) so true may she REST IN PEACE!!!

      January 18, 2011 at 1:56 am | Report abuse |
  6. bluebird

    I hope someone takes care of that dog.

    January 18, 2011 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
  7. K9ZGirl

    True Love....
    Bless all the people and animals during this terrible heartbreaking time.
    This dear dog exhibits what a pure soul really is.

    January 18, 2011 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  8. dlb19595

    Dog's touch us to our soul, never underestimate the love and loyalty of a dog, this picture is proof positive!!!

    January 18, 2011 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
  9. Steve

    This just in... the dog was sitting there for two days because they accidentally buried his biscuits with the owner...

    January 18, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      correction.. "her" biscuits

      January 18, 2011 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Perry

      You my friend are an idiot! If you were trying to be funny you missed the mark by a long shot. I hope someone shows you the love and compassion that this incredible animal shows her loving mistress.

      January 18, 2011 at 6:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      I thought it was a lil funny... of course I don't want people to die in a flood, but it was funny... I love animals I have a working dog that works and lives with me everyday

      January 18, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. victoria

    It seems those who are declaring their love for animals are very rude to people in their comments.

    January 18, 2011 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
  11. Anonymous


    January 18, 2011 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Jess

      That was the only Futurama that made me cry...

      The loyalty and unconditional love that dogs show is a lesson to us all.

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

    I can't believe these comments are ALL about the dog and animals.

    rip 600+ people. i can't even wrap my head around how many people that is

    January 18, 2011 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Jess

      And how many other articles are there keeping up with the human losses and death toll? I'm pretty sure the comments you are looking for are there. This is just one face in thousands of the individual disasters occurring now in Brazil, this one happens to be a dog's.

      January 18, 2011 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
  13. trojam

    somebody pls feed that dog. give him water.

    January 18, 2011 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
  14. NatalieDoan

    Leao was rescued! 🙂!/photo.php?fbid=1648657688561&set=a.1103821788004.2018192.1000522876
    Sorry, it's a Facebook profile but if you go there and click on "Photos of Fabiano Jacob", you can see some rescue pictures. – here is one picture.

    January 18, 2011 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
  15. Three Dog Mama

    Loyal to the end. And people say dogs don't love.

    January 18, 2011 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
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