Grieving dog lies on 22-year-old owner’s grave at funeral and won’t be moved

James William “Will” Warner was shot and killed when he was only 22 years old. The murder broke the hearts of his family, friends, and his loyal dog.

At his funeral, his dog Ace refused to leave his owner’s grave. The suspect is in custody, but the family may never recover.

It’s always heartbreaking when someone loses their life at such a young age, but it’s even worse when that loss of life was caused by someone else. It is needless suffering and tragedy.

 

Will’s mother was left heartbroken.

“It’s like I had an out-of-body experience. I just collapsed,” she told the Tennessean. “My whole world was broken into a million pieces.

“Every second I stayed with Will was a joy,” she added. “He was just larger than life, he was just a good boy. He was so personable.”

The burial needed to be done immediately.

Due to the condition of Will’s body, the burial needed to be done in a timely manner. Will’s mother did not even have time to pick out a casket for her son.

“We’ve been robbed of everything. Every last ounce of closure or peace that we could possibly get from saying goodbye, we didn’t get to do,” Will’s mother continued.

“(He) loved life and loved people,” Will’s uncle, Tennessee state Rep. Todd Warner, told the Tennessean. “It’s just a tragic ending to something that should’ve never happened.”

Will’s dog Ace was heartbroken.

We are our whole world to our pets. When we’re gone, it’s as if they have lost everything. Making it even worse is that we have no way to explain to them why the person they loved is no longer around. We don’t know how much they understand about death, but Ace seemed to understand at Will’s funeral where his owner was.


At the funeral, Ace refused to leave the casket’s side. Then at the burial, he lay down on the grave and refused to move. He wanted to be as close to his owner as possible, even after they had died.

Imagine the love Ace must have had for Will and the heartbreak he must have been experiencing when he was gone. Will must have cared for his dog very much to earn that kind of loyalty.

Ace’s mourning only makes this tragedy that much worse.

Do dogs grieve for their deceased owners?

Many experts have weighed in on whether dogs grieve for their deceased human owners.

“When an owner passes away before her pet, it can be a confusing, sad, and difficult period, even if arrangements have been made for the animal to be taken care of by someone else,” says Russell Hartstein, a certified behaviorist and dog trainer to the American Kennel Club.

Barbara J. King is the author of the book “How Animals Grieve.” She also spoke to the American Kennel Club about how a dog might grieve for its owner.

“My definition of grief is that a surviving animal shows distress through behavior that is markedly divergent from his routine,” says

Learn more in the video below.

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