A recent viral photo depicting a female German Shepherd digging a hole at her deceased owner's grave, presumably so she could be closer to her owner, has now been given an entirely new twist.
According to Little Things, the photo went viral and tugged at the heartstrings of many on the internet.
However, animal rescuer Vesna Mihajloski did some investigating and discovered that the dog was digging the hole for a different reason entirely. The German Shepherd is a mother who was digging the hole to create a warm and safe space for her four puppies.
When Mihajloski discovered the pups, she immediately began caring for them. She took them home and helped raise them.
They are now energetic, playful puppies, as shown in the photos below.
According to Slate, dogs do experience loss in the same way humans do. There have been examples of dogs wailing at funerals, refusing to leave a cemetery, and even tracking down a deceased owner's grave.
The ASPCA conducted a study showing that two-thirds of dogs experience lethargy and loss of appetite after another dog in the household dies, suggesting that dogs are capable of mourning.
So it is possible the German Shepherd was also grieving the loss of her owner. We'll simply never know for sure.