Dog Keeps Vigil at Owner's Grave in Brazil

Stunned nation struggles with death, homelessness in water catastrophe
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jan 17, 2011 3:04 AM CST
Loyal Leao lies next to the grave of his owner, Cristina Maria Cesario Santana.   (Getty)
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(Newser) – Amid the horrors of Brazil's flooding and mudslides that have claimed more than 630 lives, a loyal mutt's lonely vigil at his owner's grave stands as mute testimony to the nation's hopeless loss and confusion. Leao has been lying next to his owner's hastily made grave at the Teresopolis cemetery since Cristina Maria Cesario Santana was killed in a mudslide. Some 15,000 have been left homeless in the catastrophic rains. New precipitation is now hampering efforts to rescue hundreds still trapped by high waters and mudslides, reports AP.

Officials are scrambling to arrange some kind of shelter for the newly homeless. The mayor of Teresopolis, where some 3,000 have been left homeless, has brought in 2,000 tents capable of each sheltering 10 people. "We have nowhere else to go, no resources," said a local homeless mom of six. "I am trying to keep the children clean, to feed them, to make sure we're all together. But I can't hold on like this much longer." (Read more Brazil flooding stories.)

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