When one faithful dog lost his best friend, he was devastated. His owner, Mehmet Ilhan, was a massive part of his life. When the man went to work or left the house, his Pooch would miss him. Mehmet had lost his own wife, and his children were grown and had their own lives. Even though they visited often, he wanted someone to be with him, to go on walks, to sit and watch television, and just to live life.
This is when he decided that it was time to adopt a puppy. He named the little black and browned pup Cesur, and they were inseparable ever since. They went everywhere together. Mehmet was never alone because Cesur was with him. They would play with the ball in the wide open spaces outside of town. They would go for long walks in the countryside. And even when Mehmet went shopping in town, all the shopkeepers knew that Cesur would be with him.
And then Mehmet became paralyzed, and this companionship became even more important. Those days of long walks were over, but Mehmet knew he needed to take care of Cesur, so he had to get out of bed and get on with life, no matter how he felt each day. It was like the little dog had saved him, or he would have become very depressed.
And besides, they could still do lots of fun stuff to fill their time. Mehmet could throw the ball for far distances, and Cesur would fetch. Watching the little dog bouncing over the grassy terrain had Mehmet almost feeling like he had his own legs back again.
But he was getting older, and one day Mehmet became very ill. At first, he didn’t want to leave Cesur, but his son Ali came and convinced him that he needed to go to the doctor. The family promised to take care of the dog for however long they needed. And finally, Mehmet relented and agreed to get help.
With tears in his eyes, the old man begged them to pick up Cesur so he could give him a cuddle. He hugged him tightly, scratched his ears, and gave him his favorite snack, telling his canine best friend that he loved him and that Cesur should behave for Ali.
Then it was time to say goodbye. He put the dog down, and with one final look, he left. He was admitted to the hospital and stayed there for days, but his condition kept getting worse.
As he got sicker and sicker, Cesur refused to eat at home with Ali and his family. They tried everything to tempt him, but he just wanted to be left alone. It was like the little dog knew that his owner wasn’t doing well.
Ali’s children would sit with him, trying to feed him from their hand, but he would just refuse to eat and put his head on their legs for comfort. It was starting to become clear that Mehmet was never going to come home again.
And days after he said one last goodbye to his canine friend, the old man died in the hospital. His family was incredibly sad, but no one felt the loss quite as deeply as Cesur did. The person that meant the world to him was never going to come back again.
Ali explained this but did not know how much the dog really understood until it was the day of the funeral. They delivered the body back to the family in his coffin, and there, among the mourners, was Cesur, ready to pay his last respects and say goodbye to his best friend.
Cesur sat next to the casket, his head bowed for the entire service. He didn’t bark; he didn’t make a sound. The sadness was like a blanket surrounding him. A dog doesn’t have words, but you only have to look at the pictures they took of the funeral and the little dog sitting underneath the coffin to feel how devastated he was.
When they walked and carried the coffin to the cemetery, the little dog walked with them, following closely behind. Some of the family tried to pick him up to comfort him, but he wouldn’t allow them to. He moved away. His entire focus was on the coffin. It was only after it had been covered in soil and his friend was in his last resting place that Cesur allowed the rest of the family to pick him up.
Ali had promised to care for the dog for as long as was needed, and now he would live with the family permanently. He would have everything that he needed. But that didn’t mean that he wouldn’t still mourn. Ali and his family gave Cesur a lot of love and attention, but life had to go on.
The children went back to school, the parents had to work, and some days Cesur would be alone in the morning. He’s a really good dog that is well-behaved and obeys commands. But some days when Ali would check on Cesur in the morning, the dog was nowhere to be found. He didn’t know where the dog went during these times, but they realized that he was slipping out each morning as everyone was leaving and then going on his own little adventure.
But in the afternoon when some of the family got home, Cesur would be there waiting for them. To get there, where was he going every day? On his day off, Ali decided to follow him. Everyone left, and through a little hole in the fence, one that the family didn’t even know about, Cesur also slipped out.
It was really weird. In all the years that Ali had known Cesur, he had never behaved this way. But here he was, going on a slow walk on a secret mission, and only he knew where it would take them. Ali followed close behind.
Cesur walked with confidence. He clearly had a destination in mind. It took them through the entire town. Ali couldn’t believe that the dog was walking all this way. They went past Cesur’s old house. Would this be what he had in mind? But no, he only stopped for a short while, looked at the house, and then he was on the move again.
When they reached the outer borders of the town, Ali began realizing what was going on. It was the cemetery. Even with so many different graves, the dog knew exactly where he was going. He ran past some of the people working there, and they all greeted him like an old friend, giving him scratches. But then he ran on to one of the newer graves, the one where his best friend was buried. Here, he laid down and took a rest.
He was exactly where he wanted to be. The men working at the cemetery finally noticed Ali and asked him if he was joining Cesur for his daily visit. Surprised, Ali wanted to know when Cesur had started to come. They explained that every single morning, ever since Mehmet was buried, Cesur would come for a visit in the morning. He lay on the grave for hours each day, and then in the afternoon, he would run back home to be there when his new family arrived.
No one knows how long Cesur will feel the need to visit his old master, but at least now the family knows where he goes each day. He loves them, but his heart is still with his best friend, and his loyalty didn’t disappear just because Mehmet died. Ali often joins the pup in visiting his father’s grave.
There they can bond and share in the grief that is still so very fresh. The dog doesn’t cry, but as Ali looks at him with tears running down his own cheeks, it’s very obvious that Cesur misses Mehmet just as much as any of the other family members do. At least they are all in it together, and they can lean on each other in their grief. That’s what a family is after all, whether that family is human or canine.
Do you think a dog understands when someone is sick or dying? Do animals grieve when their owners pass on? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section down below.