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  • ivanildotrindade 9:39 pm on September 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: dog mourning, dog sleeps on grave, dogs have souls, grief, learning from animals, loss, loyal dog, loyal dogs   

    A Dog Teaches a Human an Old Trick 

    There are things neither evolution nor theism can explain. In Argentina a dog named “Capitán” has been sleeping on his former owner’s grave for the last six years. Every night, according to the caretaker of the cemetery, at 6:00 pm sharp, the dog assumes its post and stays there all night.

    No one knows how the dog found the cemetery to begin with since it stayed home on the day of the funeral, but the fact is that after the owner’s passing, the dog found its way through the city of Cordoba until it found the scent identified with the man it once knew. (But didn’t the man already stink, thus emitted a different odor?). Maybe the dog followed the residues of the smell on the clothes of the people who attended the funeral? Or maybe it “talked” to other dogs living nearby? Or maybe the former owner had taken it there on a premonitory trip? Who knows?

    No matter. The dog disappeared shortly after the funeral and the family thought it had been run over. After one week, when they went back to the cemetery, they found the dog keeping vigil on the grave. When it saw them, it emitted sounds that appeared to be the sounds of wailing.

    But that is not all. After returning home for a few days, the dog returned to the cemetery for apparently it could not bear the thought of being that far away from the remains of its owner.

    Now how do you explain that? At the risk of showing my ignorance here, I imagine that evolution would possibly say that it is purely instinctive. But how come other dogs don’t exhibit such signs of loyalty? And what “advantages” for the survival of the species would this behavior bring? Theologians would have nothing to say. After all, for so many of them dogs don’t even have a soul. But how can you be so loyal without a soul?

    I don’t know what to say either, but here is what I have learned from “Capitán”:

    1. There are some bonds that transcend the grave. I find in this story some indirect evidence that there is something in all beings that is intangible but real — some kind of a “soul connection” that apparently even animals can feel. This should give pause to those who believe that the material is all there is.

    2. Dogs have this almost innate ability to know who their owner is. In a home with several people, how do dogs know who their real “papa” is? Is it related to how much love and care they receive or do they simply “pick” someone? And is this knack for branding only innate to animals? I once heard someone say “I am a fool for Jesus, whose fool are you?” Is it true that someone always has our heart or is there someone out there whose lord is only herself?

    3. Grief is the deepest, most heartbreaking feeling anyone can ever experience. It’s been with us as long as humans have been around. If a dog can express its sadness over separation from a human, imagine what this sort of tear of the soul can do to a human being… Never underestimate the power of a loss. That is why I personally am happy that for me there is hope beyond the grave.

    I never knew a dog could teach me lessons, but today I take my hats off to “Oh Captain, my captain,” faithful in life, loyal in death. Long live el “Capitán”!

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

  • ivanildotrindade 9:01 pm on September 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: grief, , ,   

    Though dead, he yet speaks 

    Most of my readers probably don’t know this, but I have another son besides Joshua. I say I have because I do believe in the immortality of the soul. Caleb would be 23 this October. My first male child, he lived too little but taught me so much with his short life.

    My son was born with a lung deficiency and the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck didn’t help matters. He lived in the warm womb of his loving mother then moved to the cold womb of an incubator. A few days was all he had.

    I was out-of-state when my wife went into labor. By the time I heard the news he was already too ill. I went to the airline to buy tickets so I could be with my family and while there I met a college roommate who had come back to our hometown to be at the funeral of his teenage brother who had succumbed to cancer. Little did I know that in a few days I was going to bury my son. I was absolutely certain that my son was going to be okay. After all, I believed in God, I was serving Him and I erroneously had it on the back of my mind that these things didn’t happen to people like me.

    I gave my friend my condolences and never once mentioned that I was going to travel to see my sick son who had just been born. Part of the reason was that I didn’t know how serious his condition was. The other part was simply confidence that God would not let me down.

    I arrived in the hospital and saw my son first from a distance, then from so close I could almost touch him. He had a sweet face, peaceful, almost oblivious to everything happening around him. He had four medical specialists taking care of him. His family was surrounding him with love and prayers were being offered by everyone. Next to him was a boy who never stopped crying. He had the lungs of a soccer announcer screaming “goooooollllllll!” Nobody paid attention to him. Not a one. Not even his mom. I learned later she was a 16-year-old who delivered him and fled the hospital.

    You can’t miss the irony: on one corner, the baby everyone wants, surrounded by love and care, but fighting for his life with his every breath; on the other, the baby no one wants, living life fully and annoying everyone with his every breath. In the end the one with the collapsed lung died and the one whose heart would one day be broken lived.

    The grief that followed my son’s death was the most intense feeling I ever had in my life. But it was also the time I felt most loved by people in our church. Out of utter darkness came the brightest light. And with every new day hope was restored brick by brick. I never lost my faith in God and never once blamed Him for taking my son.

    Sometimes I feel the breeze on my face when I am driving my car with the windows down. For some reason I think of Caleb in those times and tears come down my face. I think of his beautiful face and the smile he would give his mom when she got close to him and talked to him. My son recognized his mom’s voice and his smile was love displayed in soft strokes.

    My son never lived to consciously teach me anything, but his short life and swift going taught me that there is no depth of suffering in this world that can’t be overcome with the hope that we have in Christ. And I am glad I found the way and keep finding the way every day out of the mess which I tend to make around me from time to time.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

    • ivanildotrindade 10:29 pm on September 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I checked your blog, Bonnie, and was very touched by it. God’s peace to you and blessings in all you do. Thanks.

    • Rebecca Carney - One Woman's Perspective 11:07 am on September 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      “You can’t miss the irony: on one corner, the baby everyone wants, surrounded by love and care, but fighting for his life with his every breath; on the other, the baby no one wants, living life fully and annoying everyone with his every breath. In the end the one with the collapsed lung died and the one whose heart would one day be broken lived.”

      You are right…sometimes the irony is hard to miss…

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