For anyone doubting whether or not dogs have feelings, look no further than this story for your proof. There is a three-legged rescue golden retriever named Tricycle, who has a very human habit – he mourns the loss of his animal friends whenever they pass away. Tricycle lives at the Horse Creek Stable Rescue Sanctuary in Mineral Bluff, Georgia, and he’s been well-known to grieve and hold a vigil for the loss of his friends.
As the sanctuary’s owner, Lester Aradi, said to PEOPLE, “Like many of us, there is a sense of loss that we all need to work through. Animals also have that sense of loss.”
It was four years ago when Lester and his wife, Diane, noticed Tricycle’s mourning habits. They had just buried their dog, Major, a St. Bernard/mastiff mix, in his own makeshift plot on their grounds.
The tricycle was there for the interment of Major, but it wasn’t until the next day that the couple realized just how extensive his grief was when they went out to the yard and “spotted him laying on Major’s grave.”
As Lester shared, “It touched us so much that we posted pictures on Facebook.”
Following the loss of another animal friend of his, Tricycle was once again observed in mourning the loss of Trixie, his 21-year-old alpaca friend.
Going into more detail, both Diane and Lester shared a picture to the sanctuary’s Facebook page explained that Tricycle will grieve for “typically three days.”
Lester added, “He normally spends his day laying on the gravesite until he comes in at night.”
Tricycle, who is also the subject of a children’s book, is used to living life with a plethora of different animal friends – everything from horses, goats, llamas, and alpacas, as well as other dogs.
Lester explained, “We are a foster home for many larger animal rescue groups who place animals with special needs in our care.”
Intriguingly, Tricycle seems to maintain the same level of love and attention for all his animal friends the same in death as in life – given that he stays with them for a grieving period.
His owners also share his grieving habits, as they try to maintain a memory of their beloved animals who have passed on.
As Lester stated, “Every animal that has passed over the Rainbow Bridge has been buried on our farm so their spirits can live on where they spent the latter years of their lives. For the smaller animals, such as our cat and dogs, we marked their grave with a circle of stones.”
Lester also shared that with the larger animals who pass away, they typically bury them along with planting a fruit tree in order to “continue the circle of life,” as well as serve as a marker of remembrance where visitors can enjoy picking fruits like apples, cherries, and pears.
Again, for anyone who doubts that dogs have real feelings, this story certainly puts an end to that argument. Clearly, they share the same emotions as humans.