Dog mourns loss of his animal friends by staying by their side after they die

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This three-legged rescue dog living in an animal sanctuary in Mineral Bluff, Georgia, has a very human trait. Whenever one of his friends crosses the rainbow bridge, he mourns for them.

The sanctuary’s owner, Lester Aradi, said that like many of us, animals have a “sense of loss” they all need to work through. Tricycle, the Golden Retriever, is a testament to that. The canine has been known to mourn the loss of his friends at the Horse Creek Stable Rescue Sanctuary.

It began four years ago when a rescued St. Bernard-mastiff mix named Major passed away. The dog came to the farm nearly broken, with severe back issues caused by abuse. His injuries were so bad that he lost the ability to walk. It wasn’t long before Major became friends with Tricycle.

When Major died, Lester and his wife, Diane, buried him in a makeshift plot on the farm. Tricycle was there during the internment, but it wasn’t until the following day that the couple realized how heartbroken the dog was over his pal’s death. When they went out to the yard the next morning, they spotted Tricycle lying on Major’s grave.

“It touched us so much that we posted pictures on Facebook,” Lester shared.

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Tricycle would come into the house. But every time he was outside, he would go to the grave and lay on it. The couple observed that the dog would typically grieve for three days.

“He normally spends his day laying on the gravesite until he comes in at night,” Lester said.

Tricycle, who happens to be the subject of this book, lives with a myriad of animals with special needs on the farm, including horses, goats, alpacas, llamas, and other dogs. Just recently, another one of his co-residents in the animal sanctuary has crossed the rainbow bridge: a 21-year-old alpaca named Trixie.

Facebook | Lester and Diane with Carrie the alpaca

Once again, Lester and Diane, the owners of Horse Creek Stable Rescue Sanctuary, found Tricycle lying on the grave and mourning the loss of his friend. It was a heartbreaking sight, but seeing this dog mourn the death of his loved ones was truly thought-provoking. It just shows that some animals have the same emotional capacity as humans.

Tricycle stays connected with animals who have passed on, the sanctuary’s owners make the same effort as well.

“Every animal that has passed over the Rainbow Bridge has been buried on our farm so their spirits can live on where they spent the latter years of their lives,” Lester said.

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The graves for smaller animals, like cats and dogs, are marked with a circle of stones. The bigger ones’ graves, on the other hand, are planted with fruit trees to “continue the circle of life.”

When it bears fruit, visiting children will have the opportunity to pick apples, cherries, and pears from those trees. It’s a beautiful way of remembering these animals who’ve spent their remaining days on the farm.

Indeed, there is nothing like the pain of losing a friend. And just like what we humans do when we lose someone, we’d like to believe that Tricycle’s days of grieving was also his way of healing his heart.