The heartbroken dog, lying next to its owner in the final days of his life, serves as a poignant reminder of the deep and unconditional love that exists between humans and their furry companions, evoking powerful emotions of empathy and sorrow.
A lot is considered where human grief is concerned but animals grieve too. Dogs, who are loyal animals to the end, show many signs of grief after losing their owners and furry friends.
But in the case of a dog called Gunner it seems he knew the end was near for his beloved owner and couldn’t face a life without him.
Wisconsin firefighter Daniel Hove started his career in the Air Force and after continued to sacrifice his life for others serving his community of Burnsville.
“He was someone that his department really relied on to innovate, educate, train and keep up with the new firefighting technique,” his daughter Heather Nicoletti said, as per Kare 11 News.
But the heroic firefighter and veteran was stopped in his tracks after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2011 and forced to retire in 2012.
Heather said her father endured rounds and rounds of chemotherapy.
For 8 years retired Assistant Fire Chief Hove was surrounded by loved ones as he faced the biggest battle of his life. But there was one family member who never left his side: his 11-year-old Labrador Gunner.
‘We knew it was coming’
The devoted dog who wanted to be wherever Daniel was, also started to get sick soon after his owner was diagnosed.
“When my dad would get agitated, the dog would be agitated, my dad was restless, the dog was restless,” Heather said. “My dad was unresponsive, the dog was unresponsive. So once we saw how the dog was doing–he wasn’t moving much anymore, not doing well– we knew, it was coming.”
Heather said one day she looked at Gunner and knew he was near the end and rushed him to the vet clinic, where she used to work. There staff put Gunner to sleep and about an hour and a half later her dad died too.
“I had said I don’t know what’s going to be more traumatic for him: to try to take him away to end–to put him to sleep– to end his suffering, or if you let him live through dad dying. I think either way it’s going to kill him,” she added.
“We knew they were going to go together. We just didn’t know it was going to be hours apart.”
Please share if you think dogs are the most faithful friends we humans have.