A newly released tearjerker video shows a seemingly brokenhearted mother dog burying her dead puppy (video below).
The grieving dog, thought to be a Chihuahua mix, was caught and filmed by her stunned owner who saw her digging a grave for the small puppy in what seems to be the family’s backyard, reports Daily Mail.
The 1.26 minute clip, which was uploaded to LiveLeak on Dec. 1, starts with the depressed dog gently picking her puppy in her mouth from a pile of leaves or mulch.
The white- and caramel-colored mother dog then trots off to an isolated area of the backyard that's surrounded by a white picket fence. Using her two front legs, the dog carefully digs a hole.
While this instance of canine burial is not unique, it's also not done for the same reason people bury their loved ones. The reasoning behind it is more macabre.
In 2013, a video clip that went viral showed a dog somewhere in the Middle East stumbling upon a dead puppy and devoting up to three minutes digging a grave for it — making for a sad moment.
But according to New York Magazine, dogs and many other animals intuitively bury meat and bones to eat later.
"I think that this is a classic case of really interesting behavior," Peter Borchelt, a New York animal-behavior specialist who has consulted for the Museum of Natural History, told New York Magazine. "Sort of unusual that somebody actually caught it on video — and we make a big deal out of it, and it’s really cute and it sort of reminds us of some of the things we do. I suspect it was more likely just caching dead meat, rather than a soulful response to the demise of a puppy that it wanted to bury."
Borchelt added: "We as humans look at that and say, 'Oh my God, this dog is burying this animal like we bury people.' Except they're two entirely different behavior systems."
This does not necessarily mean the two dogs in the videos will eat the puppies they buried. "I wouldn’t want to go so far as to say that the dog is saving the puppy to eat for later, because that might not be the issue — it might not have the need. But it’s still a piece of this instinctive thing," Borchelt said. "Here’s meat, here’s a bone — I’ll bury it."