If you are a dog owner, you probably can share at least one example of a time that your pet offered you comfort after a tragic event or maybe simply at the end of a hard day at work. Dogs are intimately in touch with the emotions that their human companions experience, and they often respond in a way that surprises people who have not experienced that special relationship between dog and man for themselves.
Many of you likely have seen that moving photo taken at the funeral for Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson, one of the occupants of the Chinook helicopter that was shot down by Afghan insurgents recently, in which his loyal dog Hawkeye laid down on the floor by his owner’s coffin. Hawkeye led Tumilson’s family into the gymnasium in which the memorial service was being held, and then promptly walked over to spend one last moment with his beloved friend.
These stories always leave me with a wide range of emotions. On one hand, I ache for Tumilson’s entire family, as I know that the grief that Hawkeye demonstrates in this photograph represents what so many others are feeling for this fallen hero. But, I also love the important and touching reminder of the amazing bond that exists between dogs and humans. These relationships are real and I have no doubt that Hawkeye was considered nothing less than a child to his owner.
In my latest novel, Silent Partner, I share the special relationship that exists between Deputy Jack Davis and his dog Keno as they work to capture some of the most dangerous criminals in their city and look out for one another in the process. While my writing does not offer the succinct emotions of a single moment captured in the photo above, I hope that my passion for animals is clear.