Hawkeye, the Chocolate Labrador Retriever wrenched the hearts of people on a global level earlier this week as pictures of him mourning at the casket of his fallen owner, Navy SEAL Petty Officer 1st Class Jon T. Tumilson, went viral. Tumilson was among the 30 American troops killed August 6 when Taliban insurgents downed their Chinook helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade.
The Daily Mail reported that Hawkeye will go to a home he knows well, now that his best friend is gone. Tumilson’s good buddy, Scott Nichols, is going to give Hawkeye a permanent home. It will be the easiest transition for Hawkeye since it is where he’d spent months at a time while Tumilson was deployed.
I hope the comfort of familiarity will help Hawkeye find peace. Too many times, I’ve heard of pets grieving themselves to death when they’ve lost their master. Obviously Hawkeye felt this loss in a very big way. Perhaps the two of them can help each other get past the grief one day at a time.
Earlier this week we ran the photos and a short video of Hawkeye lying listlessly at the side of the casket on a shiny high school gym floor where 1500 gathered to say goodbye to Tumilson.
I happened to catch the video last night on Inside Edition. As I watched the video of this loving, loyal companion, I felt a sense of shame and regret because as humans, I am not sure we can even fathom the kind of unconditional love and sense of loyalty our beloved pets know.
Every time I think about the photos or video I find myself sobbing all over again. What a precious dog that is! Makes me miss my own Lab Jake so very much.