Recently, video taken in South America in 2014 resurfaced and made the rounds on social media. The video shows a bedraggled, but determined, dog chasing a moving ambulance down the street in Goiana, Brazil, at top speed.
According to media reports and commentary accompanying the video, paramedics had just loaded a homeless man suffering from epileptic seizures and were departing for the hospital at speed. In the video, the ambulance crew speak Portuguese, speculating about the dog’s feat, and its ability to keep up. One paramedic films the desperate dog for several blocks, before the driver decides to slow and let the courageous canine catch up.
Although paramedics often confront pets at the scene of an emergency, these animals reportedly often shrink from contact and behave shyly. No such reticence troubled this faithful pet. His desperation to remain at his owner’s side in the owner’s time of need is as plain as the wag of his tail.
Thankfully, rather than watch the dog run for miles, or collapse from exhaustion, the driver relents, stops the vehicle, and invites the dog inside.
According to text overlaid on the video, the grateful dog remained at his owner’s side offering comfort and reassurance, for the remainder of the owner’s visit to the hospital. And according to an article published by DailyMail.com, the plucky dog’s devotion was an unprecedented display of loyalty, never before encountered by the seasoned EMTs.
It’s difficult to witness such selfless displays of dogged devotion and not be moved. Loyalty and faithful love are perhaps the greatest gifts our pets can give, and this pooch was a big giver.
His desperation not to be separated from the human he loves is so clear, his determination so fierce, it’s all but impossible not to be touched. It underscores the unbreakable link between love and loyalty among dogs and the humans who love them.
With their need for food, shelter, companionship, routine veterinary care, and even regular exercise, our pets demand much of us. But what do they give in return? Arguably, something few humans can match: intense, unquestioning, undying, uncompromising love and affection. In a dog’s mind, it seems, there is no separation between the two. Loyalty to the beloved goes without saying, and can never be undone.
Such was the remarkable devotion of this pet to his owner that he was prepared to run at top speed for miles, if necessary, to remain close to his owner.
The incident begs the question: Are we truly worthy of such devotion? The only way to be sure is to do our utmost to return the favour by providing the best, most consistent care possible for our feline and canine companions. We may not be fully worthy, but we can at least aspire to such heights of selfless devotion. It arguably makes us better pet owners. And better people.