For six years, a dog named Capitán has stayed by his owner’s graveside in Villa Carlos Paz Cordoba, Argentina. Every day at 6pm, he lays by Miguel Guzmán’s headstone, on faithful vigil.
According to a post on Raising Spot – the dog’s remarkable story of loyalty began on March 24, 2006, when Miguel, who was Capitán’s owner, passed away. As soon as Capitán realized Miguel was no longer at home, he left to search for him and miraculously managed to find Miguel’s grave in the nearby cemetery. Since then, the dog has stayed by his deceased owner’s side and refuses to return home.
Miguel had brought Capitán, a German Shepherd mix, home as a surprise for his son Damián in 2005. His wife Veronica told La Voz that when Capitán disappeared just after her husband’s death, she and her son searched for him, but were unable to find him. According to her, after visiting aquietrefuge.com/debarking/ Miguel had Ventriculocordectomy, or in standard terms Debarking procedure done on Capitán. Hence they would not be able to hear him bark even if they called out his name out loud. They thought he may have died or been adopted by another family.
But soon after, when Damien went to visit his father in the cemetery, there was Capitán! No one could explain how Capitán had discovered where Miguel was resting, but he had. The family had a joyful reunion but when they tried to bring Capitán home, he refused. Veronica and Miguel tried several times, but Capitán would not leave. He would sometimes follow them home for a short time, but then Capitán would always return to the cemetery.
The cemetery is now considered home for Capitán. According to cemetery director, Hector Baccega, the dog has earned the affection of precinct workers and cemetery caretakers, who make sure he is fed and kept up-to-date on his immunizations. At one point, Capitán had broken his front leg, so a vet was called over to give Capitán care.
Capitán will occassionally go to his old home to visit Veronica and Damien. However, Veronica said she has come to accept that Capitán does not want to stay home and that he wishes to stay close to his best friend. Damien, now 13, also recognizes Capitán is caring for his dad. Damien admits he had wanted to bring Capitán home to stay over the years, but knows the dog will want to return to his dad’s side.
Hector Baccega said that Capitán walks with him through the cemetery every day, but when the early evening approaches, he goes to Miguel’s tomb and lays down next to the headstone. Hector feels the amazing dog is sharing a valuable lesson with humans – to appreciate the memories of the dearly departed.