Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. His current project is a non-fiction book about the lack of personal and economic freedoms in post-Independence India.
The New York Times reports:
A video of a dog apparently mourning the death of his owner at a funeral has gone viral, prompting an outpouring from viewers around the world.
The footage was captured by a woman whose cousin Jon Tumilson, a member of a Navy Seal team, was killed in Afghanistan when his Chinook helicopter was hit by enemy fire on Aug. 6. A funeral service was held for Mr. Tumilson in Rockford, Iowa, last week and attended by 1,500 people.
But also in attendance was Mr. Tumilson’s loyal Labrador retriever, Hawkeye. The dog wandered over to his owner’s flag-draped casket and lay beside it throughout the service. [Link in original.]
Humans have ways of coming to terms with death. We rationalise, divert our minds to other things, and find different ways to move on. But a dog can’t do many of these things. So how does it cope?
From later in the piece:
“There are famous stories of dogs returning to a grave site every day for five years, and you can’t account for that by saying he can smell the body there,” she said. “In fact, dogs return to the grave sites of their companion dogs and animals that they grow up with.”
It must be hell.
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Here’s the video:
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