Loyal Argentine dog dies beside owner’s grave after 12 years of waiting there for him

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 21.02.2018 17:03
Sabah File Photo
Sabah File Photo

One loyal German shepherd in Argentina died this week beside his owner's grave, where he had been passing his days since his owner died 12 years ago, local media reported.

Capitan, age 15, first made headlines in 2012, when local papers reported the dog had been waiting at his owner's grave in the town of Villa Carlos Paz. His story soon spread, inspiring dog lovers around the world.

Miguel Guzmán died in 2006. Capitan disappeared from the family home shortly after, only to be found by Guzmán's widow, Veronica, at the gravesite.

Despite several attempts to take the dog home, Capitan always ran back to the cemetery, about 15 blocks from the house.

The canine was well-cared for by the cemetery caretakers, who fed him and made sure he received annual vaccinations. Nevertheless, graveyard life took its toll, as local media reported Capitan had lost his eyesight and could hardly walk last year.

Cristian Stempels, the veterinarian who treated Capitan until his last days, said Tuesday that the dog suffered from chronic kidney failure and had been treated for several years for the disease.

"We had detected the kidney problem four years ago, and all this time he had been taken care of with special food and medicine," the vet told La Voz newspaper.

"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," Stempels said.

The municipality is currently mulling the best way to honor the dog's legacy.

How the dog first located his beloved master after death remains a mystery.

"We have no idea how he found the tomb because his owner did not die in Carlos Paz, but in Cordoba," retired cemetery caretaker Héctor Banegas told La Opinion last year.

"From there he was transferred to the village for the wake and from there directly to the cemetery, he did not return to his house and he did not see the dog again. The big mystery is how Capitan didn't forget the scent of his master's scent for months after his death."

Carlos Paz town members have compared Capitan to Japan's Hachiko, the Akita dog who waited for his owner at their meeting point at a train station for nine years after his death.

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