Over the last six years in a cemetery in Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina, an extraordinary story has been unfolding.
Capitán is a seemingly ordinary German Shepherd, who lived with a man named Miguel Guzmán, his wife Verónica, and their son Damián. In 2006, Miguel died, leaving his family—human and canine—distraught. In fact, Capitán was so upset that he ran away from home while the others were at Miguel’s funeral. His humans searched for him for a week, but were unable to locate him.
The next Sunday, Verónica and Damián went to visit Miguel’s grave. To their astonishment, Capitán was there, waiting at the grave. He approached them with heartrending barks and howls, as though crying for his lost human. Remarkably, Capitán had never been to the cemetery before, and yet he had managed to track down the exact spot where his human lay buried. When evening came, Verónica and Damián tried to call him home, but Capitán refused to budge. In later weeks, he sometimes spent time with his family at their home, but every night, he would return to Miguel’s grave before dark. Miguel’s widow suggests, “I don’t think he wanted to leave Miguel on his own at night.”
In the Daily Mail, the cemetery director describes Capitán’s ritual of devotion:
“He turned up here one day, all on his own, and started wandering all around the cemetery until he eventually found the tomb of his master.
During the day he sometimes has a walk around the cemetery, but always rushes back to the grave. And every day, at six o’clock sharp, he lies down on top of the grave [and] stays there all night.”
The cemetery staff make sure to feed and take good care of Capitán as long as he remains there, and Verónica and Damián often visit. Their door is always open to him, but they don’t think it’s likely that he will ever return home full-time. Damián says, “I’ve tried to bring Capitan home several times, but he always comes straight back to the cemetery. I think he’s going to be there until he dies too. He’s looking after my dad.”
Check out more photos of Capitán and his family below and on the next pages!
Photo Credit: La Voz