There is nothing more tragic than when good men, among the most elite in our military service, are killed in battle. But when 30 are killed in one crash, the nation should mourn. And the leaders of our country should stand up and proclaim a national day of mourning with flags lowered in their memory.
It took a few weeks for the bodies of these dedicated men to come back to their families for burial. And, at one memorable funeral, the devoted canine, a beautiful Labrador Retriever named Hawkeye, mourned his master, Navy Seal Jon Tumilson, originally of Rockford, Iowa.
When Scott Nichols, a dear friend of Jon’s, rose to give his eulogy, Hawkeye followed him up to the casket. With a huge sigh, this precious dog laid at the foot of the casket and didn’t move.
He knew exactly what was going on. He was in shock and understood that his master was dead. He stayed there to protect him for the last time.
There are people who believe that animals cannot or do not grieve the death of their owners. And this is proof that this theory is not true.
Like people, animals are devoted to those they love and who care for and about them. We feel this intense bond with our pets, so what would give us the idea they don’t also feel this bond with us?
Beyond protecting us, loyalty is a pet’s greatest gift to us. He is there whenever we are hurting, either physically or emotionally. He is the one who soothes us when no one else will. He is the one who greets us when no one else is around. He is the one who worries about us and sits near us when we’re sad, alone, hurt, disappointed. He knows how we feel and does whatever he can to make us feel better.
For this lovely dog, the tables are now turned. He is the sorrowful one and, like humans, it will take him some time to adjust to his loss. And like humans, he will feel depressed, perhaps not eat, lay around more than usual and tend not to play or participate in activities he may have in the past.
He also needs his time to be alone and sad, just like the rest of us. He has lost an amazing master and he feels the grief of all around him, also.
The pain associated with loving someone and losing someone is not exclusive to humans. Pets grieve, too and even though they can’t communicate in words their sorrow, it is evident through their actions.