This is the kind of story that urban legends are made of -- and yet having been picked up by major media outlets -- it appears to be true. One very loyal German Shepherd by the name of Capitán won't allow even death to separate him from his master. Seven years ago, when Miguel Guzmán died in 2007, his dog was not only able to seek out his cemetery, but he also sleeps on top his grave stone nightly.
Shortly after the death, the Guzmán family, who live in Cordoba, Argentina found the heartbroken dog grieving at the grave-site. "We had never taken him to the cemetery so it is a mystery how he managed to find the place," Veronica Guzman, Manuel's widow, told the Sun.
So for all of the years since Miguel's passing, the Guzmáns have gone to the cemetery to visit both their beloved family member in addition to Capitán. The amazing connection between man and his best friend was initially uncovered, when it was learned that even though the dog often spends time with his family, he faithfully returns to the grave-site before dark each evening to sleep on top of his master's grave stone.
In the beginning, Capitán would cry and scratch frantically at the Guzmáns' home door to be released to make his nightly sojourn. The walk to the grave-site is 3 miles away from the house. It wasn't long before the groundskeepers at the cemetery came to understand why it was important for this dog to enter the grounds each evening. So now they do not close the gates until he arrives each evening, promptly at 6 PM.
From there he goes directly to the site where he sleeps all night guarding the grave until the gates are reopened in the morning.
What is surprising to all those who hear the story is that Miguel died in a hospital and his body was moved from there to a funeral home to the cemetery unbeknownst to Capitán. So for the dog to have a sixth sense and intuit where his master was laid to rest remains one of the mysteries of life we may never know the answer.
Divided loyalties are also at play in this story. Capitán was a surprise gift from Miguel to his son Damián in 2005, two years prior to his death. So in actuality, the now 13-year old son was the master, not the father. However when asked about how he feels about his dog sleeping at his father's grave, he responds with affection for both parties: “If he wants to stay there, it’s fine that he remains - he’s taking care of my dad - and I think he's going to be there until he dies too.”
This story is similar to that of Hachiko, an Akita who is said to have waited at a Tokyo train station for his master to return each day for nine years, following the owner Hidesaburo Ueno's death at work. That tale has tugged at the heartstrings of so many worldwide, it eventually found it's way to the big screen in a film starring Richard Gere - underscoring again the innate abilities dogs are born with -- giving us yet another reason to understand why the world refers to them as our "best friends."