You will never have a more loyal friend than a dog. Who else will greet you with such joy after a hard day, or show such sorrow when you have to leave the house again?
For some dogs, their love for their humans can transcend death itself; as demonstrated by this devoted Alsatian, Capitan, from Argentina.
This steadfast hound has now passed away after sleeping on his master’s grave every night for 11 years. He is believed to have been around 15 years of age.
Capitan’s beloved master Miguel Guzman originally bought the faithful pet as a gift for his 13-year-old son Damian.
Miguel died back in 2006 when Capitan was four-years-old, leaving the beautiful animal completely grief-stricken.
Soon after Miguel’s death, Capitan vanished and his family believed he had either been killed or found another family to live with.
The true answer to his whereabouts was far more heartbreaking than they could have imagined. While visiting Miguel’s grave in 2007, the family came across Capitan watching protectively over his master’s remains.
Neighbours and cemetery staff revealed to the family how they would feed the dedicated dog after realising he slept at Miguel’s graveside every single night.
Perhaps most strangely of all, the cemetery where Miguel was laid to rest was reportedly fifteen blocks away from the family home in Villa Carlos Paz, close to the city of Cordoba.
Mysteriously, Capitan had never accompanied the family to the cemetery before he ran away. It is still unclear how he managed to find his master’s resting place.
So this dog, Capitán, visited and slept by his owner's grave for 11 years. The town where he lived, @CarlosPaz_Ok, is going to bury it in a square near the Cemetery and build a monument of him. This story is sad but heartwarming ??, and it also proves how loyal dogs can be ?. pic.twitter.com/IXZayoJ0o6
— TheArchDeus (@TheArchDeus) February 21, 2018
Although the family attempted to bring Capitan home on multiple occasions, he always ran back to the cemetery to continue his vigil.
Miguel’s wife Veronica told the Cordoba: newspaper
We searched for him but he had vanished. We thought he must have got run over and died.
The following Sunday we went to the cemetery and Damian recognised his pet. Capitan came up to us, barking and wailing, as if he were crying.
We had never taken him to the cemetery so it is a mystery how he managed to find the place.
We went back the next Sunday, and he was there again. This time, he followed us home and spent a bit of time with us, but then went back to the cemetery before it started getting dark.
I don’t think he wanted to leave Miguel on his own at night.
Prior to Capitan’s death, cemetery director Héctor Baccega told La Voz:
The dog appeared here alone and went around the cemetery, until he also came alone to the grave of its owner. Nobody took him there.
And that’s not all: every day, at six in the evening, he goes and lies down in front of that grave.
Captain goes through the cemetery with me every day. But when that time comes he goes to the bottom, where is the grave of his master.
This dog gives us a lesson. I think that we humans would have to appreciate more the memories of those that are leaving us. Animals teach us such fidelity.
Capitan was reportedly well-cared for by caretakers, who gave him food and ensured he received his yearly vaccinations.
However, by last year the dutiful dog had been showing issues with his sight and mobility.
The veterinarian who looked after Capitan during his final days, Cristian Stempels, told reporters the dog had been receiving treatment for chronic kidney failure for several years.
We had detected the kidney problem four years ago, and all this time he had been taken care of with special food and medicine,
He is an iconic dog in Carlos Paz, and since he lived most of his life in the cemetery, we decided he should die there.
He was buried the same day, and there was not much else we could do.
— Grupo Fórmula (@Radio_Formula) February 21, 2018
All those who met Capitan will no doubt remember him throughout their own lives and will continue to be inspired by his love and loyalty.