One of the more gut-wrenching videos you're likely to see: Dog buries dead puppy in Iraq

One of the more gut-wrenching videos you're likely to see: Dog buries dead puppy in Iraq
Dog and fallen cancine comrade
Dog and fallen cancine comrade

Maybe it drives home the senselessness of the loss of life in war time. Or maybe it’s just the translation that has been affixed to Arabic title, “Dog buries his son in Iraq.”

However you explain it, a viral video of a dog compassionately burying a dead puppy is sure to bring a lump to the throat of even the most stoic observer.

The footage, which is below, shows a dog approaching and gently sniffing the puppy, which lay lifeless in a ditch amid empty water bottles. The older dog then proceeds to give the pup a “proper burial,” nudging the sand and dirt over the little body with its snout. In the background, men can be heard speaking Arabic inaudibly while the dog works. At the end, one calls outs, in English, “Thank you very much.”

One feature of the video that lends its universality is its anonymity — its “Everyman” (or “Every Dog”) quality. There is no information about where the scene occurred, the relationship between the two dogs, how the puppy died, or who shot the footage.

The Christian Science Monitor in its coverage of the video quotes Dr. Sophia Yin, a San Francisco-based veterinarian and applied animal behaviorist, who told HealthDay.com, “Grief is one of the basic emotions dogs experience, just like people.” Stories abound of animals refusing to leave the sides of companions killed by accident.

Some behavioral scientists believe that the manner in which dogs express emotion is probably learned from their human masters. Studies suggest that dogs learn from their owner’s facial cues, performing good acts when their owner is watching, waiting until the human’s back is turned to misbehave.

“Does that mean this dog in Iraq learned from its owners how to mourn the loss of a child?” the article asks. “Certainly, Iraq has been a venue for some of the worst in human behavior in recent years,” author Elizabeth Barber further posits. But whether that is the case here is a question destined to remain unanswered, which is perhaps as it should be. Acts of love are best left unanalyzed.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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