For anyone who says animals don’t feel emotion, all they have to do is look at this picture of a dog mourning her owner’s passing to know that’s not true.
Sadie, a 13-year-old border collie/dalmatian/shepherd mix, had been raised by Andy Beaulieu since she was a puppy. The two shared a special bond and spent every moment they could together.
Sadly, though, Andy recently suffered a heart attack. As they waited for the paramedics, Sadie tried to comfort Andy.
“She was putting her head on his hand and tried to nuzzle him,” said Jeremy May, president of Elements Cremation, Pre Planning and Burial of British Columbia.
Heartbreakingly, the paramedics were not able to revive Andy, but Sadie didn’t know that. She waited for her beloved owner to come back to her, growing more despondent by the day.
“During that time she displayed all the signs humans do during a loss,” Jeremy said.
Sadie waited by the window for Andy to return. She refused to sleep alone and she wouldn’t eat, causing her to lose 10 pounds in just 10 days.
When it was time for the funeral, Andy’s widow knew she needed to let Sadie say goodbye. She arranged to have Sadie attend the service with her, and when the time came for the visitation there was not a dry eye in sight.
As the pair slowly appraoched the open casket, Sadie put her paws up and peered inside. Then she calmly stepped down and walked out of the service.
“There wasn’t a dry eye in the house,” Jeremy said, calling Sadie’s emotional reaction “electrifying.”
Seeing Andy lying there gave Sadie the closure she needed to move on. When she got home, she ate two meals worth of food and soon went back to her normal routine.
We often speak of grief in human terms, but as Sadie’s behavior shows us, animals can also feel sadness and loss.
“Grief is not a human emotion. Love is not a human emotion. These are emotions we share with other animals,” says Barbara J. King, anthropology professor at the College of William and Mary and author of “How Animals Grieve.”
How heartbreaking to see the pain and grief Sadie had to endure, but what a beautiful picture of the love and friendship that can exist between two different species.
We know Sadie will never forget Andy – her love for him will last the rest of her life.
Were you touched by Sadie’s poignant goodbye? Then share it!
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