“Dogs, I think, might be more important than principles,” author Kevin Hearne writes in his 2018 book, Scourged. “They provide love and loyalty when you need them the most.”
It’s a quote we couldn’t agree with more. And love and loyalty are exactly what a Doberman puppy named Rico recently showed for his owner.
A Man Goes Missing
70-year-old John Stewart of Nevada County, California, went missing in early July. Known to have medical issues and experiencing bouts of memory loss, Stewart was quickly reported as missing to local authorities and a search began.
Sadly, the search would not end well.
About 14 hours after receiving the missing person report, the Nevada County sheriff’s office found Stewart’s body in a pond not far from his home.
They also found his loving, loyal dog, Rico, waiting for him at the edge of the water.
“Located not far from Stewart’s body, waiting at the edge of the pond, was his loyal dog Rico,” the Nevada County Sheriff’s Department wrote in a Facebook post.
That’s right: even though Stewart had been lifeless in the water for some time, his dog never abandoned him, staying close right up until his last moments and beyond.
Rico Stays True
When the search and rescue teams finally found Stewart, they had a hard time initially getting to his body. That’s because Rico, his longtime canine companion, refused to let the team near his body—loyal and loving to the very end.
It’s a moving, meaningful response from an animal that obviously loved his human very, very much. Of course, we haven’t come to expect any less from the pups and pooches we’ve written about on this site.
A cause of death has not yet been determined, but Stewart’s health and mental awareness may have been contributing factors.
“At this time, there are no outward signs of foul play, however, a full Coroner’s investigation and an autopsy will be completed to determine the exact cause of Stewart’s death,” the sheriff’s department wrote in the Facebook post. “Our condolences go out to Stewart’s family and friends during this difficult time.”
Regardless of the cause, we have to salute Rico and send a big, warm hug to both he and Stewart’s surviving family.
Loyalty That Never Ends
Rico and Stewart’s story is heartwarmingly reminiscent of a few others we’ve covered over the years.
Boncuk followed his human’s ambulance all the way to the hospital and waited 6 days outside until they were finally released and reunited.
In Los Angeles, a pup was traumatized after keeping a vigil over their dead owner for over a week but was eventually rehabilitated and found a new home.
And we’ll leave you on a brighter note, reminding you of Shasta—a feisty doggo with a ferocious appetite for defending her family against their Roomba.