Recent footage from Lanzhou, central China will pull on the heartstrings of dog owners and wishful dog owners alike. The friendly and childlike nature of canines allows them to become a part of any human family they join. Once accepted into a human family, a dog will take care of its human pack and find its place in the pack. Even outside of their human packs, dogs can be seen operating in compassionate manners. Dogs in a pack hunt for food together and operate in a synchronized manner. They can be seen looking out for and protecting other members of their pack in the wild or in urban areas. Thousands of individuals decided to share or sacrifice some of their time to allow the following clip to go viral.

The heartbreaking footage filmed in Lanzhou, central China is around 19 seconds long. 4 dogs of varying colors can be seen surrounding a limp dog body. Upon closer inspection, it is clear that the dogs are protecting their fellow pack member’s bodies. One dog stands closely by the body, taking a second to glance down at the limp body. The other three dogs sit erect and alert, keeping a watchful eye out for the cars passing by. Unfortunately, eyewitnesses reported that the unconscious dog did not make it. The worried dogs waited for their fellow pack members to start walking again, unaware that their companion was already dead. viewing the viral footage can evoke a range of emotions: sadness, frustration, mourning, grieved, and for some, it can even cause feelings of anxiety.

The viral clip evokes many sad emotions and is a reminder found of nature’s compassionate side. Humans are not the only species that can grieve or sacrifice themselves for another pack member. Examples of compassion can be readily found in nature. A pack of elephants will grieve over the loss of a calf. A group of horses was photographed mourning the loss of a group member hit by a car. This fact can explain why some individuals decide to swerve when a squirrel crosses the road, although the practice is extremely dangerous. According to experts, Dogs grieve the loss of a companion in some of the same ways humans do. It is not uncommon for a dog to exhibit traits of depression after the loss of a fellow pack member. Following the loss of a companion, a dog may forgo food, become lethargic, or in some cases become more aggressive. This video is a reminder of the delicacy of life, and at the same time, it is a beacon of hope. The world seems like a cold and meaningless place sometimes, but there is comfort in knowing that pack members will watch over you until the very end.