(Photo : Youtube)
A video of stirring dog empathy recently went viral and is now making news rounds. The video posted on Youtube appears to be a footage shot from a mobile phone camera showing an adult dog burying a puppy in a ditch.
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According to The Daily Mail UK, there are only speculations on the dog's relationship with the dead puppy, but the video shows that it found the puppy lying dead on the street and after sniffing around it, the dog decided to bury it in the gentlest of manners. After patiently burying the puppy under sand until it was completely underground, the dog then turned around and walked off without ado.
The Daily Mail UK, among other news outlets, analyzes that the video footage might have been taken somewhere in the Middle East. The report notes that it is common to see dogs bury toys or bones and come back for them later, "but it is rare to see a dog burying another dog."
Yahoo! Collected a compilation of evidence depicting dog empathy, a phenomenon that has become widely documented after the rise of the World Wide Web. The article tells the story of faithful canine companions displaying what seems to be unshaking loyalty and even grief, citing now-popular dog names such as Ciccio, the dog from Italy; Hawkeye, the Labrador of a fallen Navy SEAL; and Leao from the flood-ravaged are of Brazil in 2011.
Bodies of scientific inquiry into dog empathy have been published in recent years, including conclusive studies that dogs actually feel their owners' unhappiness.
In a video mini-documentary posted on ABC Television's website, a non-conclusive, pseudo-scientific experiment was performed on a number of dogs to differentiate actual empathic reactions with "emotional contagion." Emotional contagion is an empathic response where a dog will most likely feel the same way their owners feel and mirror the emotion. Sometimes, the documentary reports, what people perceive as empathy is actually just emotional contagion.
In the video, one dog showed actual empathy, as far as the experiment's grounds would allow: it actually attempted to comfort a crying person, though the person was a complete stranger.
You can see the video of the dog burying the dead puppy here: