Six loyal dogs waited patiently for a whole day outside a hospital where their owner was being treated after suffering a stroke.
After chasing the ambulance carrying their owner, a homeless man known only by his first name, Luiz, the dogs could be heard howling for hours after being separated from their human who was suddenly taken ill.
The devoted pets waited outside the entrance of the Santa Casa Hospital in Cianorte, south Brazil, last Wednesday when the man was rushed to Accident and Emergency.
In a touching display, footage has captured the six dogs chasing after the ambulance Luiz was taken to hospital in, after the man, who has lived on the streets for 20 years, had a stroke.
After chasing the ambulance for several miles, right to the hospital doors, the dogs sat for 24 hours as though guarding their owner.
Simone Zilane, a volunteer at the animal welfare group, Amigos de Patas (Paws Friends), witnessed the doggie devotion firsthand.
She told Brazilian media:
The dogs were desperate. They followed the ambulance, racing after it down the roads and arrived just as Luiz was being taken into the hospital.
They went mad as they took him in and howled non-stop at the entrance. After a while they lay down on the ground and refused to leave.
Luiz was discharged after recovering the following day.
But the reunion which was observed by onlookers nearly didn’t happen, as Luiz left through another hospital door with his brother, who had been with him during treatment.
When we realised Luiz had been discharged and his pets were none the wiser, one of our volunteers went to fetch him from his brother’s house and take him to where the dogs were still waiting for him.
It was only then that the dogs rose from the guard and greeted their human.
Luiz is said to consider the animals his family.
Zilane, speaking of the man’s canine companions, continued:
He hadn’t realise they were outside all this time, but he wasn’t too surprised.
According to the Amigos de Patas, a Brazilian NGO, Luiz has declined help from homeless charities and his family, as he prefers to live on the streets with his dogs.
We rented a very simple house for him a while ago with a big yard for the dogs but he didn’t accept it and refused to enter the house. He said his home is the street.
At that time, the dogs were also taken to a kennel, which a volunteer from the NGO created, but they escaped by jumping over the wall and going after Luiz.
After recovering from the stroke, Luiz – who has reportedly suffered with psychiatric conditions – accepted a shower and a plate of food while his dogs were watered and fed.
Zilane, on the relationship between Luiz and the dogs, concluded:
Wherever he is you can guarantee the dogs are never very far away.
By the weekend, Luiz had recovered and back on the streets with his six friends and faithful followers.
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A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.