I remember reading a message on a notepad years ago that said, “If you want loyalty, get a dog.” Well, although those words were meant to be sarcastic, we came across a story that tugged at our heartstrings and definitely showed us how loyal a dog can really be. This story moved us to tears, but no doubt teaches us a lesson about how animals also mourn a loss.
Petty Officer Jon Tumilson, a U.S. Navy SEAL, was killed on August 6, in an Afghanistan helicopter crash that also took the lives of 29 other American service members. His funeral was held in Rockford, Iowa where friends and family members remembered the wonderful, dedicated and brave person that he was. Even more heart wrenching was a photo of his dog Hawkeye who laid on the floor in front of his casket and refused to move during the entire service.
The type of compassion and loyalty this dog obviously felt for Jon Tumilson is truly a lesson many of us need to connect to. Whenever you lose a loved one or a dear friend, whether expectedly or unexpectedly, your heart feels heavy and very sad. Fortunately, Hawkeye will not be orphaned or alone with his and sadness. He was willed to Scott Nichols, one of Petty Officer Tumilson’s close friends who looked after Hawkeye when Jon was deployed overseas. This is noble and charitable. Charity is love.
“The disposition of noble dogs is to be gentle with people they know and the opposite with those they don’t know…How, then, can the dog be anything other than a lover of learning since it defines what’s its own and what’s alien.” ~ Plato