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Dog Buries Puppy, Not “Heartbreaking” as Some Assume

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It didn’t take long for the “dog buries puppy” thing to trend.

Long story short: A dog “somewhere in [the] Middle East,” as the Daily Mail describes it, came across a deceased puppy in a ditch, then spent a few minutes burying the corpse. On a human level, it seemed poignant . . .

A dog, wandering down the road, sees a fallen child of its own species. It knows the hardships of such a life. It mourns that an innocent has fallen. It seeks to respect and honor that life. And does so conspicuously before a human camera.

According to the Daily Mail, it was a “heart-rending act of animal kindness” in which a “mongrel circled and sniffed the lifeless pup after finding it in a ditch where it had been left to rot in the midday sun.”

“Rather than leave it to scavengers, who would inevitably have torn it limb from limb,” the Daily Mail notes, “she spent more than three minutes gently raking sand over the corpse with her snout with extraordinary care.”

Fair enough. But has anyone ever seen a dog bury one of its own kind out of respect for the dead? Is there no chance this could be rampant anthropomorphizing, projecting our own habits onto man’s best friend?

Dogs, as per their hereditary training, are notorious hoarders. Dogs feel compelled to bury bones and other treats. Dogs are also known to eat their young, especially when they die soon after birth, or, live, if the adult dog senses that the pup is unhealthy.

Let’s call this spade what it is. A dog found a fallen–and tasty–soldier, and decided to store it away as a snack. Said dog was baffled to find that its snack-hoarding captured international media attention.

That’s not to say it didn’t say a prayer over the fallen pup. Only that that prayer was less requiem than grace.

Dog Buries Puppy, Not “Heartbreaking” as Some Assume
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  • http://yahoo pam

    what is wrong with you non feeling people that over analyze every damn thing

    • Jeff

      because the facts and truth matter. and we can only get to the truth through ratiocination

      • Crystal

        Facts and truth matter but how do you get the truth? Interview the dog? Dog hoard and the also show emotion. Why take a beautiful story and turn into something else? You can’t prove it either way.

        • brit

          Its only a beautiful story because someone put their own emotional spin on it. If someone reported the story as starving dog finds carcass that could possibly be tonights dinner would it be just as beautiful? It is only what you observe it to be. Obviously some people feel the dog is just doing it’s doggie business and others feel its compassionately caring for a fallen puppy. Its only a beautiful story if you see it as such.

  • http://tina.sdfin Tina

    This article is ironic in that it has less foundation for its explanation as the original source it uses the explanation to denounce.

  • Marc

    Base your opinion on what you know, not speculation. The dog buried a puppy; it’s flimsy speculation to suggest it was “hoarding” it. Do you find it useful to believe this dog lacks compassion?

  • carl

    the author of this article is making a lot of assumptions and in my view knows no more than anyone else

  • Brandon

    David Powell (author) is an asshole. Are you just looking for ways to make this story morbid?

    • chris

      How classy and eloquent you are.

  • Jessica

    I haven’t seen the video. I saw it was trending on Yahoo and this was the first article I came to. I skimmed the very beginning and knew exactly where it was going.
    To be honest, this article is mostly true.
    My mom’s a vet tech and my dad’s a farmer, so I come from an animal medicine background. The most recent puppy we got started hoarding he bones and toys in the couch, in a burying motion. My mom told me from the beginning that many breeds of dogs show that type of behavior.
    My other dog buries her food outside all the time.
    When the chicken house company occasionally leaves a chicken behind by accident, our neighbors dog always catches them…and rips them wing from wing. I guarantee she would bury it if she didn’t eat it all at once.
    Whoever wrote this article isn’t over analyzing it, they were simply stating facts of a dogs nature. Who knows what the dog in that video was thinking. Dogs can do amazing things. I’ve watched a video of two stray dogs, one blind, and the other partnered up with it to be its seeing-eye dog. Dogs are incredible creatures.
    I just don’t think this person should be getting as much grief about this article as they’re getting. They were simply stating the facts.

  • Jonathan Davis

    Someone had to do it and David Powell took the hit for the team. Thank you, David.

  • mary

    When dogs bury bones or other objects they usually use their paws to dig; not gently nose dirt over them.

    • Jeff

      that’s not true
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y21PCrax0oY

  • Mark

    Given the tenor of this article(if that’s what you want to call it). I’m guessing the author is a staunch atheist. Because only an atheist can look at a situation like this and totally dismiss that it was anything other than ‘the way of things’. Some of what he said about dogs is true…I’ll give him that much. What he refuses to understand(I only can assume it’s refusal since other people seem to have no problem getting it), is that dogs are also capable of emotions similar to that of humans.
    I say only similar because they lack the communication skills to relay what they are truly feeling. I have seen dogs lay by a sick child simply because they understood two things….this little creature was sick and it is part of their pack(family). I have heard of(never witnessed, thank goodness)Police K-9′s putting themselves between a perp and their human partner, literally ‘taking a bullet’ for their handler(the same thing is true of military dogs). Why would an animal whose sole purpose in life (if the author is to be believed)is self preservation do such a thing. I’ll tell you why, it’s because they have a level of understanding about the concept of unconditional love that we humans can only speculate about (or as the author has done here) Trivialize to suit his own personal belief system (or lack thereof).

    • guest

      I don’t get what atheism has to do with this, considering the fact that I’m atheist but ok lol

      • Dale

        I’m christian and I don’t see what it has to do with atheism. But I do see that person is a judgmental waste or air.

      • k0dell

        You Too, You are, without a doubt, a sub humanoid, without basic compassion. You could take some pointers from this poor dog, & perhaps make yourself into a better person, that is actually respected in this world, by other’s, such as people that do see this as an act of something that needed to be done, life if real tough over there, in case you didn’t know, & probably shows a sign of mourning too, something you are void of, compassion,
        in your being. I would hate to be your dog, your wife, your daughter, your turtle !. No L0L from me !. This is not funny.

    • Brad

      I prefer the word heathen.

      I have had many dogs that bury things. They ALWAYS dig a hole, first. This is weird.

    • jane

      Mark – I doubt the article was based on the writer’s “personal belief system (or lack thereof)” He, as good reporters are supposed to do, was taking emotion out of the story and simply stating facts. Actually your own stated examples of dog behavior support the writer’s claim. Dog’s act on instinct and/or training. Treating a child as part of it’s “pack” is instinctual and police dogs are trained to form a bond with and protect their partners. It can be dangerous when people start to anthropomorphize animal’s behaviors. Some of the comments here seem to suggest the world would be a better place if humans acted like animals. That would be very scary, indeed.

  • chris

    Thank you, Mr. Powell. In a sick world where people refer to their pets as their “babies,” you reminded everyone that they’re nothing more than animals. So sorry to all of you people who talk baby talk to your little doggies and take them wherever you go (and frequently don’t belong), but they aren’t human and don’t have the capacity to be anything other than what they are — animals. If you can’t grasp this basic premise of our planet’s nature, seek help. And stop screeching at the writer who simply told the truth, even if it hurt your puppy’s (nonexistent) feelings.

    • k0dell

      You are, without a doubt, a sub humanoid, without basic compassion. You could take some pointers from this poor dog, & perhaps make yourself into a better person, that is actually respected in this world, by other’s, such as people that do see this as an act of something that needed to be done, life if real tough over there, in case you didn’t know, & probably shows a sign of mourning too, something you are void of, compassion,
      in your being. I would hate to be your dog, your wife, your daughter, your turtle !.

    • Kathy Gaffney

      Well Chris & David – From your ignorant statements we have all thoroughly concluded that you possess absolutely NO understanding of animal behavior, hold no degrees in such (albeit perhaps a high school equivalency?) and have no knowledge what so ever of the plethora of animal (specifically canine) intelligence research that has been conducted at universities such as Harvard & Cornell for the past several years. Sorry to burst your narcissistic bubble(s), but human animals are not the only animals that possess intelligence (I exempt you & this author from such description but of course) & generate/express emotions. But despite the fact that your archaic hypothesis has long been scientifically proven to be incorrect, you & the author are the two singular losers here not for your abject lack of knowledge & your resounding idiocy in your resultant writings but because you lack the otherwise “human” ability to interact with other species on the planet and be fulfilled in turn by such inter-species relationships – a gigantic loss & one that you will never know. Perhaps mama didn’t allow you boyz your own puppies when you were mere toddlers or perhaps, more likely, you were born with the inability to empathize with others & the other creatures who inhibit this earth we all live on & respect others’ belief systems without striving to belittle & degrade them — PARTICULARLY when such beliefs are BACKED in fact by the aforementioned SCIENCE. Do a little reading on the topic Einstein(s) – there are a myriad of books on the topic. Wow…..You two are really happy campers, huh?

      • brit

        Here’s some science for you. Animals have instincts, which have been documented and observed for hundreds of years. One of their instincts affords them the means to survive in situations where hardships are frequent (such as the middle east). Science says survival of the fittest are the ones who carry on. If a dog needs to bury a dead carcass to save it for later in case no other food is found that day, then my guess is the dog is reacting on instinct and not emotion. People give animals human emotions. Animals don’t have human emotions, they’re not human. That’s not to say they don’t have emotions, its just animals are capable of using alot more logic than people are because they don’t get all emotionally wrapped up in a situation where simple logic will suffice. Maybe the article was just saying the dog was doing what dogs do. It was stated as a stray, and the fact that it’s still alive means it knows what it’s doing to survive. Maybe the dead carcass is a future meal when none are available. You don’t really know. All anyone is doing is speculating.

        • jane

          Well said, brit! When we start to assume that animals possess human emotions we can get into some dangerous situations.

    • Jim

      Hey Chris, I’ve got a newsflash for you, you’re an animal, too! Deal with it. And I’m going to assume that you have never had a dog, or if you have, you beat it or never bonded with it, because Dogs, and sometimes cats, can be the most loyal friends you will ever have. Just from your comment alone, I can tell that you are a selfish POS that I would never want as a friend, and unworthy to be in the presence of a lowly Dog.

  • Matt

    My dog is as much as my family as any “human” family member. Your inability to acknowledge love and compassion shows the reason this video went viral. In a world full of hate, this dog did what you obviously would never do. Such a thoughtful and wonderful animal to be above a human who doesn’t consider the action “thoughtful”. Another reason I love my dog so much more than other humans.

  • Zoso

    In Iraq, the dogs are more decent than the humans.

    • Johnna

      Dogs are more decent than humans everywhere. That is obvious by reading this article.

  • L

    Though the person who commented may be right, it seems that it is beyond stating facts. There is indeed some intent to be morbid for political reasons or to be insultive

  • Patricia

    My dog buries and hides anything he thinks is awesome and may want later.He’ll dig it up at a later date.I saw the arm of his stuffed monkey sticking up out of the dirt one day, lol

  • jane

    Please don’t kill the messenger! I love dogs, I own dogs, I’m am not an atheist – but I agree with the writer and can recognize this event for what it is; a dog acting like a dog. One of my dogs loves to bury things – bones, golf balls, treats and the occasional carcass it might come across in our meadow. I had actually never witnessed this behavior in any previous dogs I had known. Our older dog certainly never exhibited it. But, it seems to be a deep urge that our second dog just has to act upon. She can secretive when she goes about it. If she’s interrupted during the process or senses that we’re watching her, she’ll find another spot. Sometimes she has to dig a hole, but if the soil is soft, she uses her snout just like the dog in the video did. I have also witnessed her digging up a previously stored “treat”. In fact whenever she shows up with a dirty snout – we laugh because we know she’s been rearranging her inventory in the back yard. I love it when I come across an video that makes me feel good – I think in today’s world we are all searching for happy moments. But to attack this writer for bursting your bubble and pointing out the truth is very wrong. Maybe we should look beyond our computer screens for inspiration.

    • Fred

      You have to admit, though, that some of the anti-messenger logic is quite compelling. Like James’ observation: “YOU SUCK! WTF do you relly know about anything?”

  • Randle

    You know this dog is burying the puppy simply because he is using his snout and not his feet to bury. Also the time and patience this dog enacts in this burying, shows it’s compassion to the puppy. Dogs bury things w/there feet and dont take much time or meticulous care when doing it

    • Chantal

      Bullshit. Dogs use their paws to dig a hole and quite often use their nose to put the dirt back in. They do that with toys and treats (‘snacks’) and this is not rare. Your conclusion about the dog showing compassion by simply watching this video and anthropomorphising his or her behaviour, indicates the level of your intelligence. ;)

  • James

    David Powell, YOU SUCK! WTF do you relly know about anything?

  • DJ

    Why is it that these nasty, sad people feel so obligated to abuse animal lovers? The lack of compassion is not a virtue. Animals do feel emphathy. One famous example is Oscar, the nursing home cat, who somehow knew when patients were dying and would spend their last few hours comforting them and their families. Animals do mourn the death of their friends and owners. The most famous example is the skye terrier Greyfriars Bobby, who guarded his master’s grave for 14 years until his death.

  • Erich

    You know this is exactly why I left the US and moved to Europe. This type of “reporting” is basically white trash. This person takes a simply video, nothing more than sad but sweet. They psychoanalyse it, rip it apart, attempt to sound intelligent by proving their absolute mute point instead of taking it for exactly what it is. A sweet, and heart touching video. These people have too much time on their hands and simply live sad lives because they can’t see the simplicity or beauty in a simple act. So sad.

  • JT

    Dogs are also known to stay with their dog friends when one has been hit by a car and refuse to leave it side when people try to help them. They do not eat them at all. Can you explain that ?

  • ManInTheStreet

    He probably gets paid per site visit. He’s just trying to make a buck. (But money doesn’t buy empathy.)

  • Donna

    Whatever Dude. Lets just crush any good feelings people may have over this video and push us into depression over how life sucks and every human and animal has no conscience or feelings. I guess you proved your point. Happy now?

  • Johnna

    You are a cold hearted dumbass! There’s not really much else to say.

  • melmay

    I have dogs. I love dogs. I believe it’s true that dogs experience the same chemistry that humans do when we’re in love, when they’re next to their owners. Dogs can be sweet. Dogs can be kind. Dogs protect and mourn for those they love, both animal and human.

    But dogs don’t bury things for any of those reasons. Dogs bury things that they want to hoard for later, mostly edible things, and occasionally toys. Dogs DO USE THEIR NOSES to bury all kinds of things. My dogs have used their noses to “bury” toys and bones in fabric and pillows indoors. Every dog I’ve ever had who had an “accident” indoors tried to cover it up by “burying” it – WITH THEIR NOSE.

    So I completely agree with the author that we anthropomorphize animals too much. Pointing that out in no way indicates the bitterness, godlessness, or hatred of animals that supposedly he has, per the huge volume of vitriol spewing hate posters. Pointing out the truth is simply that. It’s truly amazing to see how on the internet doing so is always met with a violent backlash such as the one in this comments section.

  • Frank

    Mr. Powell makes perfect sense, I’ve been a dog lover for years. I’ve observed them, played with them, appreciated their love at any cost attitude. But to say they have the resoning ability to show the dead respect is over the top. If you think you have an argument, how many cognitive thinking humans, chase balloons for hours, hump each other and our legs in public, lick their balls( you can’t do that), and take a dump in the yard only to return hours later to eat that treat they left earlier. You can say the author is off base, but I say he hit the nail on the head and as your kissing your little four legged friend, think about what he might have just eaten out there in the yard.