A loyal dog’s faithful vigil by his owner’s grave has come to an end after 11 years. The dog named Capitan touched the hearts of millions around the world when his story came out several years ago.
The dog began living at the cemetery after his owner, Miguel Guzman passed away in 2006 and would sleep at the man’s graveside every night. Touchingly, Capitan died peacefully at his human’s graveside at age 15. He passed away due to kidney failure.
Capitan’s remarkable story of loyalty began on March 24, 2006, when Miguel died. 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 Municipal Cemetery of Villa Carlos Paz in Cordoba, Argentina.
Since that time, the dog stayed by his deceased owner’s side. Every day at 6 pm, Capitan would lay by Miguel’s headstone.
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. 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.
According to the cemetery director, Hector Baccega, the dog earned the affection of precinct workers and cemetery caretakers, who made sure he was 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 would occasionally 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 deceased best friend.
Damien also recognized Capitán was caring for his dad. Damien admitted at the time that he had wanted to bring Capitán home to stay over the years, but he knew the dog would want to return to his dad’s side.
Hector Baccega said that Capitán would walk with him through the cemetery every day, but when the early evening approached, he would go to Miguel’s tomb and lay down next to the headstone. Hector feels the amazing dog shared a valuable lesson with humans – to appreciate the memories of the dearly departed.
Four years ago, Capitan was diagnosed with kidney failure after he was taken in for a check-up with the vet. The veterinarian and family felt it was best to let Capitan continue on as he had for so many years.
“We could have admitted him to the vet, but only so that he could die in the veterinary surgery, so we preferred to leave him and attend to him in the cemetery, where he lived and felt calm,” vet Cristhian Sempels told reporters.
Rest in Peace, dear Capitan.