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Navy SEAL's Dog Stays By His Side, Even in Death

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August 25, 2011

Navy SEAL's Dog Stays By His Side, Even in Death

By Chad Love

If, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, then this heartbreaking photograph of Petty Officer 1st Class Jon Tumilson's black lab, "Hawkeye" refusing to leave his master's side during Tumilson's funeral earlier this week speaks volumes...

From this story on msnbc.com

Navy SEAL, Jon Tumilson, lay in a coffin draped in an American flag, in front of a tearful audience mourning his death in Afghanistan. Soon an old friend appeared, and like a fellow soldier on a battlefield, his loyal dog refused to leave him behind. Tumilson’s Labrador retriever, Hawkeye, was photographed lying by Tumilson’s casket in a heart-wrenching image taken at the funeral service in Tumilson’s hometown of Rockford, Iowa, earlier this week. Hawkeye walked up to the casket at the beginning of the service and then dropped down with a heaving sigh as about 1,500 mourners witnessed a dog accompanying his master until the end, reported CBS.

The photo was snapped by Tumilson’s cousin, Lisa Pembleton, and posted on her Facebook page in memory of the San Diego resident. Tumilson, 35, was one of 30 American troops, including 22 Navy SEALs, who were killed when a Taliban insurgent shot down a Chinook helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade on Aug. 6.

According to the story, Hawkeye was such a huge part of Tumilson's life that his family actually followed the dog down the aisle as they entered the church, and then, as one of Tumilson's friends approached the stage to give a speech Hawkeye followed him and then laid down if front of the casket, where he remained for the entire service.

Man's best friend, indeed.

Comments (47)

Top Rated
All Comments
from huntinhuntinhuntin wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

No need to say anything except, Man's best friend.

+15 Good Comment? | | Report
from WesMcCormick wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Poor dog, Its a shame we still go through this for nothing. Bring our boys home, as someone who did 2 tours in Iraq, I hate to see anymore lives taken in that Sh*thole!

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

God bless.

+10 Good Comment? | | Report
from luke_striegel wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

From all that I have read about this gentleman, it sounds like he was a heck of a person,friend and soldier. RIP
Go Hawks

+8 Good Comment? | | Report
from krissygirl333 wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

dogs are kind and loving and should never be treated poorly. They are faithful to the end. God Bless.

+10 Good Comment? | | Report
from mspl8sdcntryboy wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Honor, Courage, Commitment.

+9 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Just caught this.

Some call themselves "Dog Owners"

The question is how we can call something that relentlessly loves us back without fail regardless of treatment.

Hawkeye will never stop looking for his faithful friend bonded for life and Hawkeyes grieving will be a thirst impossible to quench

Memorial Day

No one under the age of fifty really understands what Memorial Day is about. To them it's about BBQ and Party. What? Someone died for me, really?
- Jim in Mo

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Thanks Chad

This should give those who take that 4 legged annoying critter starving for attention which we take for granted something to really rethink things over.

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from dogwood wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

"This soldier, I realized, must have had friends at home and in his regiment; yet he lay there deserted by all except his dog. I looked on, unmoved, at battles which decided the future of nations. Tearless, I had given orders which brought death to thousands. Yet here I was stirred, profoundly stirred, stirred to tears. And by what? By the grief of one dog."

Napoleon Bonaparte, on finding a dog beside the body of his dead master, licking his face and howling, on a moonlit field after a battle. Napoleon was haunted by this scene until his own death.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

+23 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

The picture says it all.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from weedless97 wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

He served to protect America and made the ultimate sacrifice.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from VAHunter540 wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

"I've seen men bury their dogs and not be able to stand up to leave the grave." Bill Tarrant

I guess it goes both ways.... Hope he is heading to a good home.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

The family will be keeping the dog and Hawkeye will be well cared for. A tragic end for one of our finest young men.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from J4huntfish wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

God bless him and his family, that picture is heartwrenching

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

On the news this morning, Hawkeye has a new home of a fellow Sailor and will be taken good care of.

Last night when I went to bed with Gracie's bed next to me she did her annoying sounds dogs make before going to sleep but this time it didn't bother me as before.

dogwood

It's sad to say some people will never understand

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Sir Chad, I'll let you pick this one up later for one of your next blogs Sir.

Poor dog?

After this, how can anyone refer to them as just a dog

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

My previous post was based an a news report I saw this morning. hawkeye was given to Tumilson's good friend.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Neal Keifer wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

I consider myself extremely lucky to have witnessed this in person. Before the casket was ushered in, and Hawkeye was laying on the floor in the front of the gym, I watched him as his head and ears perked up and looked in the direction of the door he couldn't he, when I turned and looked the door, the casket was rolling in. Most amazing thing I have ever seen.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from billyjo bondurant wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

humbling,

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from badshot wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Man has no monopoly on love

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from dogwood wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

These stories just tear your heart out. Earlier this year the parents of a Marine killed in Afghanistan were allowed by the military to adopt their son's bomb detecting Labrador who rushed to his side to protect his body when he was killed by a sniper.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41412775/ns/us_news-wonderful_world/t/fallen...

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dennis Rahn wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

I cried when I saw this on the morning news. My friend is a Pastor in Tucson told me dogs don't go to Heaven.....I don't think I want to go there then.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from rick13 wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Heartfelt prayers to them all!!!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from VAHunter540 wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Clay, DSM. Thanks for the updates about where Hawkeye is heading. I havent seen the news lately so its good to know Hawkeye will be looked after. So many great dogs dont get that chance after they lose their owners.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jfish wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

The unconditional love a hero deserves

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from lachoneus wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

"You think dogs will not be in heaven?
I tell you, they will be there long before any of us."
Robert Louis Stevenson

"If there are no dogs in Heaven,
then when I die I want to go
where they went."
Will Rogers, 1897-1935

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from ILBassin wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

that just shows you a dogs love is unconditional to the end. " he is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart"

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from dzinn wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

It is a terrable waist to loose such a great young man. It damages a family and friends including his best friend "Hawkeye". So sad!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

my biggest hope is that i go before my dog and my children!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from iron giant wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Really heart wrenching. Anyone who doesn't elieve that animals have feelings and can't think and understand are out of their mind. And from all I've ever read in the Bible and Theological books, I think animals will be there. Alot of the greatest Theologians have held similar oppinions.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Diane Boyle-Mather wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

This brought tears to my eyes. Hawkeye is more than a just a dog but a true and loyal friend. I too had one of these friends sadly she has passed. God bless Hawkeye and Navy SEAL, Jon Tumilson and his family.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from ahunter101 wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Thanks Jon,
For your service to our country! If the peoples loyalty to our country was as your dogs was to you we sure could learn a few things.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from shotgunlou wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Hey Sandman256,

I think its time to find a new church. If God created dogs and if they have a soul (I believe they do) then they will meet us in Heaven. If you look at the relationship men have had with thier dogs back through time and even just recorded history or if you just read some of the dog stories written detailing love given and love lost when an animal goes you cant help but believe God loves dogs and gave them to us as companions. Hence..."mans best friend."

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Eric Greene wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Thoughts and prayers to the families of the Navy Seals, and all our brave Men and Women who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from mspl8sdcntryboy wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Billy Graham once said "If it takes my dog being in heaven to make me happy then I think God will have him there waiting".

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ruckweiler wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Jon Tumilson is on eternal patrol awaiting the final muster. RIP.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fisherman23 wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Thank-you for your service to this great country.

Histories are more full of examples of the fidelity of dogs than of friends. --Alexander Pope

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from semp wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Yup!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Sandman256

Got to confess myself, my first entry was very hard. Being a Veteran myself and knowing first hand of our companions do suffer when we are gone especially for a long time. Riff Raff my Old Friend past away a few years ago from old age of 14. For the year I was gone, Mom said he was always depressed. When I returned, I went straight into the shower and to bed and we whas going to see how long it would take for the Ol'Boy to find me. When Riff Raff was let in from the back yard (now remember I've been gone for a year now)he caught my smell and immediately came busting into the bedroom and did a body slam landing on top of me, all 55 pounds!

Sir Chad, your turn!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Can't think of anything more emotional than a military funeral and this is even more so. US Army SFC, Ret.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jeff Bowers wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I went a lot of years without a dog, and can't imagine not having one now.

As I get older, I want two things for my dogs. I want them to live a long, healthy life. The other is that I want them to die before me.

All our animals have been rescues. Between them, and what we've seen, I don't want to see my animals dumped in a shelter by family that doesn't want them. I don't want them to die without someone who cares nuzzling them. I've seen dogs in the shelter who jump up every time the door opens, sure that their person is coming for them.

After that, just anyone can dump me in a hole.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I pray that this soldier is resting peacefullly and that his family and friends are able to heal quickly from their loss. Dogs are the most amazing animals. They never have a bad day, they just love unconditionally.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Del and I can attest to one thing.

Regardless of Rank, Branch of Service, even if we never knew the person who gave all, it hits us as if we lost our best friend, more so a Brother.

I'm out of here, can't stand it

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago
from Kyle VanBritson wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I'm not much of one to be "emotional"...but this story really tugged on some strings in my heart. Very sad and very powerful.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from willisriverbuck wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

It's sad to see a man and his Best Friend separated by such a pointless war that we have practically no right being involved in. I honestly feel sorry for this dog.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from PutnamValleyBoy wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

This story reminds me of "The Eulogy on the Dog." If you don't know it, here it is, and get out another box of Kleenex:

George Graham Vest (December 6, 1830–August 9, 1904) was a U.S. politician. Born in Frankfort, Kentucky, he was revered for his skills in oration and debate. Vest, a lawyer as well as a politician, served as a Missouri Congressman, a Confederate Congressman during the Civil War, and finally a US Senator. He is best known for his closing arguments from the trial in which damages were sought for the killing of a dog named Old Drum on Oct 18, 1869.

During the trial, Vest stated that he would "Win this case or apologize to every dog in Missouri." Vest's "Eulogy on the Dog" is one of the most enduring passages in American courtroom history:

“Gentlemen of the jury: The best friend a man has in this world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it the most. A man’s reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads. The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.

'Gentlemen of the jury: A man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.
If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies, and when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death.”

Vest won the case. The jury awarded $500 to the dog's owner. He also won the appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court.

A statue of the dog stands in front of the Warrensburg, Missouri courthouse.

. . . and I pray, LORD, God almighty, help me daily to become the person that my dog already thinks I am . . .

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from dogwood wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

"This soldier, I realized, must have had friends at home and in his regiment; yet he lay there deserted by all except his dog. I looked on, unmoved, at battles which decided the future of nations. Tearless, I had given orders which brought death to thousands. Yet here I was stirred, profoundly stirred, stirred to tears. And by what? By the grief of one dog."

Napoleon Bonaparte, on finding a dog beside the body of his dead master, licking his face and howling, on a moonlit field after a battle. Napoleon was haunted by this scene until his own death.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

+23 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntinhuntinhuntin wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

No need to say anything except, Man's best friend.

+15 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

God bless.

+10 Good Comment? | | Report
from krissygirl333 wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

dogs are kind and loving and should never be treated poorly. They are faithful to the end. God Bless.

+10 Good Comment? | | Report
from mspl8sdcntryboy wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Honor, Courage, Commitment.

+9 Good Comment? | | Report
from luke_striegel wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

From all that I have read about this gentleman, it sounds like he was a heck of a person,friend and soldier. RIP
Go Hawks

+8 Good Comment? | | Report
from WesMcCormick wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Poor dog, Its a shame we still go through this for nothing. Bring our boys home, as someone who did 2 tours in Iraq, I hate to see anymore lives taken in that Sh*thole!

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Just caught this.

Some call themselves "Dog Owners"

The question is how we can call something that relentlessly loves us back without fail regardless of treatment.

Hawkeye will never stop looking for his faithful friend bonded for life and Hawkeyes grieving will be a thirst impossible to quench

Memorial Day

No one under the age of fifty really understands what Memorial Day is about. To them it's about BBQ and Party. What? Someone died for me, really?
- Jim in Mo

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from VAHunter540 wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

"I've seen men bury their dogs and not be able to stand up to leave the grave." Bill Tarrant

I guess it goes both ways.... Hope he is heading to a good home.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Thanks Chad

This should give those who take that 4 legged annoying critter starving for attention which we take for granted something to really rethink things over.

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from weedless97 wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

He served to protect America and made the ultimate sacrifice.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from J4huntfish wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

God bless him and his family, that picture is heartwrenching

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

On the news this morning, Hawkeye has a new home of a fellow Sailor and will be taken good care of.

Last night when I went to bed with Gracie's bed next to me she did her annoying sounds dogs make before going to sleep but this time it didn't bother me as before.

dogwood

It's sad to say some people will never understand

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Sir Chad, I'll let you pick this one up later for one of your next blogs Sir.

Poor dog?

After this, how can anyone refer to them as just a dog

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dennis Rahn wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

I cried when I saw this on the morning news. My friend is a Pastor in Tucson told me dogs don't go to Heaven.....I don't think I want to go there then.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

The picture says it all.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

The family will be keeping the dog and Hawkeye will be well cared for. A tragic end for one of our finest young men.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

My previous post was based an a news report I saw this morning. hawkeye was given to Tumilson's good friend.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Neal Keifer wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

I consider myself extremely lucky to have witnessed this in person. Before the casket was ushered in, and Hawkeye was laying on the floor in the front of the gym, I watched him as his head and ears perked up and looked in the direction of the door he couldn't he, when I turned and looked the door, the casket was rolling in. Most amazing thing I have ever seen.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from dogwood wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

These stories just tear your heart out. Earlier this year the parents of a Marine killed in Afghanistan were allowed by the military to adopt their son's bomb detecting Labrador who rushed to his side to protect his body when he was killed by a sniper.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41412775/ns/us_news-wonderful_world/t/fallen...

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from lachoneus wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

"You think dogs will not be in heaven?
I tell you, they will be there long before any of us."
Robert Louis Stevenson

"If there are no dogs in Heaven,
then when I die I want to go
where they went."
Will Rogers, 1897-1935

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from billyjo bondurant wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

humbling,

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from rick13 wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Heartfelt prayers to them all!!!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from VAHunter540 wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Clay, DSM. Thanks for the updates about where Hawkeye is heading. I havent seen the news lately so its good to know Hawkeye will be looked after. So many great dogs dont get that chance after they lose their owners.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jfish wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

The unconditional love a hero deserves

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Diane Boyle-Mather wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

This brought tears to my eyes. Hawkeye is more than a just a dog but a true and loyal friend. I too had one of these friends sadly she has passed. God bless Hawkeye and Navy SEAL, Jon Tumilson and his family.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from badshot wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Man has no monopoly on love

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ILBassin wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

that just shows you a dogs love is unconditional to the end. " he is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart"

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

my biggest hope is that i go before my dog and my children!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from iron giant wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Really heart wrenching. Anyone who doesn't elieve that animals have feelings and can't think and understand are out of their mind. And from all I've ever read in the Bible and Theological books, I think animals will be there. Alot of the greatest Theologians have held similar oppinions.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ahunter101 wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Thanks Jon,
For your service to our country! If the peoples loyalty to our country was as your dogs was to you we sure could learn a few things.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Sandman256

Got to confess myself, my first entry was very hard. Being a Veteran myself and knowing first hand of our companions do suffer when we are gone especially for a long time. Riff Raff my Old Friend past away a few years ago from old age of 14. For the year I was gone, Mom said he was always depressed. When I returned, I went straight into the shower and to bed and we whas going to see how long it would take for the Ol'Boy to find me. When Riff Raff was let in from the back yard (now remember I've been gone for a year now)he caught my smell and immediately came busting into the bedroom and did a body slam landing on top of me, all 55 pounds!

Sir Chad, your turn!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jeff Bowers wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I went a lot of years without a dog, and can't imagine not having one now.

As I get older, I want two things for my dogs. I want them to live a long, healthy life. The other is that I want them to die before me.

All our animals have been rescues. Between them, and what we've seen, I don't want to see my animals dumped in a shelter by family that doesn't want them. I don't want them to die without someone who cares nuzzling them. I've seen dogs in the shelter who jump up every time the door opens, sure that their person is coming for them.

After that, just anyone can dump me in a hole.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from shotgunlou wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Hey Sandman256,

I think its time to find a new church. If God created dogs and if they have a soul (I believe they do) then they will meet us in Heaven. If you look at the relationship men have had with thier dogs back through time and even just recorded history or if you just read some of the dog stories written detailing love given and love lost when an animal goes you cant help but believe God loves dogs and gave them to us as companions. Hence..."mans best friend."

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Eric Greene wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Thoughts and prayers to the families of the Navy Seals, and all our brave Men and Women who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from mspl8sdcntryboy wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Billy Graham once said "If it takes my dog being in heaven to make me happy then I think God will have him there waiting".

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ruckweiler wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Jon Tumilson is on eternal patrol awaiting the final muster. RIP.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fisherman23 wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Thank-you for your service to this great country.

Histories are more full of examples of the fidelity of dogs than of friends. --Alexander Pope

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from semp wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Yup!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dzinn wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

It is a terrable waist to loose such a great young man. It damages a family and friends including his best friend "Hawkeye". So sad!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Can't think of anything more emotional than a military funeral and this is even more so. US Army SFC, Ret.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoBowHunter wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I pray that this soldier is resting peacefullly and that his family and friends are able to heal quickly from their loss. Dogs are the most amazing animals. They never have a bad day, they just love unconditionally.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Del and I can attest to one thing.

Regardless of Rank, Branch of Service, even if we never knew the person who gave all, it hits us as if we lost our best friend, more so a Brother.

I'm out of here, can't stand it

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago
from Kyle VanBritson wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I'm not much of one to be "emotional"...but this story really tugged on some strings in my heart. Very sad and very powerful.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from willisriverbuck wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

It's sad to see a man and his Best Friend separated by such a pointless war that we have practically no right being involved in. I honestly feel sorry for this dog.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from PutnamValleyBoy wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

This story reminds me of "The Eulogy on the Dog." If you don't know it, here it is, and get out another box of Kleenex:

George Graham Vest (December 6, 1830–August 9, 1904) was a U.S. politician. Born in Frankfort, Kentucky, he was revered for his skills in oration and debate. Vest, a lawyer as well as a politician, served as a Missouri Congressman, a Confederate Congressman during the Civil War, and finally a US Senator. He is best known for his closing arguments from the trial in which damages were sought for the killing of a dog named Old Drum on Oct 18, 1869.

During the trial, Vest stated that he would "Win this case or apologize to every dog in Missouri." Vest's "Eulogy on the Dog" is one of the most enduring passages in American courtroom history:

“Gentlemen of the jury: The best friend a man has in this world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it the most. A man’s reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads. The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.

'Gentlemen of the jury: A man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.
If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies, and when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death.”

Vest won the case. The jury awarded $500 to the dog's owner. He also won the appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court.

A statue of the dog stands in front of the Warrensburg, Missouri courthouse.

. . . and I pray, LORD, God almighty, help me daily to become the person that my dog already thinks I am . . .

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