Loyal to the End

Pup “Hawkeye” paid his last respects to fallen Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson, killed August 6. So very, very sad.

Via Dogster.



  1. Fird Birfle says:

    *Full Attention*
    *quiet salute*

  2. So sad. I teared up a bit.

  3. oh lordy… I just sent my man off to join the Navy…
    *barroooo* indeed…

  4. and thank you, Petty Officer Tumilson – you and your family.

  5. I am crying at my desk at work.
    Thank you, Jon.

  6. poor baby.

  7. Very sad…. Thanks to the men and women of US military for their service.

  8. Marshwiggle says:


  9. Thank you very much for your service. Your dog’s loyalty speaks volumes…I hope he has a loving home to go to.
    *Solemn Salute to man and dog*
    Sometimes I wonder if humans are always worthy of the unconditional love our animals give us…for a bit of food and water, they would follow us to our graves.

  10. TrixandSam says:

    Hawkeye is going to live now with one of Jon’s closest friends, Scott Nichols. It’s really sweet and heart-wrenching at the same time.
    *sneef, sneef*

  11. This just breaks me up. I saw this on the news earlier and it is so profoundly moving. Bless this heartbroken pup, and Godspeed Jon Tumilson.

  12. Jenna, I’m right there with you.

  13. My heart goes out to the family and dog but this video kinda bothers me in the non-tearjerker way because if you watch carefully it’s on a repeat loop about every 5 or so secs…

  14. My husband is currently serving in Afghanistan. I know if anything would happen to him, I would be lying on the floor too. My heart goes out to his family, four-legged or otherwise.

  15. pamela l. kelly says:

    Thank you to all the men and women who volunteer to serve our country.
    Jon Tumilson, you are a true hero.
    My heart aches.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you, CO, for posting this story.

  16. I watched this video earlier. It’s heart rending, that’s for sure; but the loyalty of this sweet pooch is so tenderly adorable. God bless Navy Seal Jon Tumilson, a brave man and a national hero. God bless little Hawkeye, a 4-legged hero for sure.

  17. Tracylee, please let us know WHEN your man gets back safely. God bless and protect him.

  18. Heartbreaking. A wonderful reminder to hug our loved ones, both two- and four-footed, a little extra today. And a huge thanks to our men and women in the armed forces and their families.

  19. Sweet boy! I’m glad he has a new friend and a new home to go to. ❤

  20. I saw this and was sitting at my desk sobbing…. What an amazing friendship. Anyone who doesnt have a pet really cant comprehed the connection you have with your pets.
    Rip Jon
    Hawkeye, your a true companion.

  21. Yes indeed Becky – may I join you – please escuse typos if any I cannot harbly se eto type – that poor dog – I am thinking of America’s and the UK’s guys who are so brave and prayin g for all of them

  22. Angus's Mom says:

    Thank you so much for posting this story. It’s so amazing the bond between humans and animals. Thank you to all our service men and women – for everything you do.

  23. 260Oakley says:

    My heartfelt thanks to those who serve and my warmest thoughts for those like you, Mina, who wait for them to return. This video is a very poignant reminder of just how precious the men and women of our armed forces are to all those who love them.

  24. ditto

  25. i thought the same thing. i was ready to bawl my eyes out. the still frame could still do it.

  26. What a story! It drove me to tears and laughter as I saw Hawkeye, who did not need to be reminded or cajoled as to what his duty was; awake or asleep!

    My son is an enlisted Marine and every day I pray for those serving and the people who love, respect and look forward to there return to them.

  27. Not cute. Zero cute. Anti-cute. Sad. Very sad. Confused emotions. Malfunction. Abort.

    I feel like I just took a bite of a peach to find it filled with cough syrup.

  28. NOOOOOOOOO. OMG. Stopped my heart the second I saw it. I haven’t even watched the video yet.
    omg I am so very sorry!!

  29. Oh my god. That was hard to watch.. *wipes tears out of eye*

  30. This is one of the most heartbreaking yet beautiful stories posted on this site. I don’t have the words to convey my respect and gratitude to Mr. Tomlinson – and everyone else in service – for their heroism. I cried not only for the loss of a true hero, but at the sight of Hawkeye – loyal, literally till the end. And I am incredibly touched that the family showed respect for this special relationship, and did nothing to keep Hawkeye from standing watch over his friend. What a beautiful tribute – and this is why I call our animal friends furry angels.

  31. I teared up a lot. This is so sweet, and sad and touching.

  32. This is so gut wrenching and close to unbearable for animal lovers. How animals process death I’ll never know.

    Reminds me of when JFK Jr. died and his beloved companion Friday was left behind without anyone. One day they’re here and the next gone. It must be so confusing. Humans can talk about it and seek comfort, but what can the animals do? Lie down and sigh heavily from the heart, I guess. 😦

    God Bless Jon and his precious companion, Haweye. I hope Jon is sending kisses from heaven. I know he is.

  33. Oh God I just cried like a babu

  34. Now I have the flu and I’m crying. So sweet and sad.

  35. Amen.

  36. I haven’t even put on the video and I’m tearing up.

  37. JLAmusings says:

    I can’t bring myself to watch the video either! The pic alone made me tear up enough & say a quick prayer for those in the armed forces!

  38. I believe this is the first time I have ever cried at CO 😦 Very bittersweet. I’m glad to hear Hawkeye will have a loving home to go to, what a sweet pup.

  39. Yeah, I noticed that, too. The still photo was good enough for emotional impact.

  40. What 260Oakley said. ❤

  41. Heartbreaking. Brought tears to my eyes

  42. Well, CO, you’ve made a grown man cry. And I haven’t even seen the video yet.

    Much love to all the people (and animals) who serve, and their families.

  43. I’d like to start this out by saying thank you to all who serve this country, you are amazing and deserve to be honored. My heart broke watching this and it truly says something about the type of person the world has lost. May he rest in peace.

    I’d like to mention, however, that this is not really the type of thing I want to see on Cute Overload. This isn’t “cute”, it’s heart breaking. I come here to smile, not to be reminded of the horrors or our reality.

  44. This one broke me down today, not least because I’m military and have an almost-11-month-old Shiba. When I searched it on YouTube — the vid wouldn’t open through CNN at the time — there was another one about a British Soldier. He was killed in a firefight, but his working dog/partner survived. However, the pup died of a massive seizure within a day. The pup’s ashes, and Soldier’s remains, were returned at the same time to Great Britain; the Soldier’s family also received the ashes. Either story was heartbreaking alone; together, they were devastating, on behalf of the dogs.

    The two stories combined made me have to go snuggle Ziva for a while.

    God bless Tumilson’s family, Hawkeye, and the rest of you — human or otherwise — with friends and family deployed.

  45. but it’s real life.
    we mourn when they die, they grieve for us when we die.
    it makes the short living part that much more precious

  46. Thankfully he’s in training for awhile before going in to any dangerous areas, but that doesn’t mean I’m not already aching a bit. A big heartfelt thank you to the families whose men and women are deployed – it’s never easy on anyone…. But websites like cuteoverload help 🙂

  47. Hang in there Tracylee. It’s tough, very tough. There’s not enough written about the sacrifice wives and family have to make too.

  48. I’m glad Ziva’s there for you Hannah!

  49. I was so out of it I didn’t even get this hero’s name right. Shame on me.

  50. And me, too. So sad and yet so beautiful…

  51. DanBenZvi says:

    Godspeed Jon Tumilson. May flights of angels guide thee to thy rest.
    You were obviously a good man that Hawkeye should love you so.
    My deepest thanks to all service men and women.
    What you do for the country does not go unnoticed or unappreciated.

  52. where can i get one of those?

  53. However, this is not necessarily the place for it. I think it’s right to respect Felic’s opinion… there are blogs for this, and Cute Overload isn’t one of them. Saying something is “cute” is a way of demeaning it (hate to be real, but it’s true), and this is nothing to demean.

    A more appropriate post would have linked it with a warning, sans picture. The picture is on the cover of enough newspapers and newspapers’ websites. It doesn’t need to be on Cute Overload.

  54. My mom died of cancer a few years ago. For about 6 months after, my parents dog wouldn’t sleep on the bed with my dad. Dad would go to bed, call the dog…who would go in, give dad a very reproachful look, and go lay where my mom’s hospital bed had been for the 6 months prior to her death. Our poor furry family members know not what to do without us, much as we don’t know what to do without them!

    To those in the military, thank you for serving our countries. I’m glad that you’re there to protect us (and our furballs), and that you have furballs of your own (sometimes) to help you!

  55. God bless our Navy Seals. And, thank God for dogs.

  56. I know who you’re talking about– Liam and Theo, or rather, Lance Corporal Liam Tasker and his canine companion/sniffer dog Theo. I can’t find the video of the funeral cortege (the clip I had bookmarked has since become private), but the story was widely covered in the British press and the photos are absolutely heartrending. Not only of Liam and Theo when they were alive and together, but the sight of service dogs and their handlers lined up to pay tribute:

    The Canine Honour Guard

  57. Nor can I. I’ve seen the teasers for it on several news websites, and the still shot alone is enough to knock me flat. The purity of a dog’s love and devotion is one of our greatest gifts. My heart breaks for this dog and for this soldier’s family. WIshing many blessings upon all those who serve and upon all those–both two-legged and four-legged–who love them.

  58. heart:broken

  59. When my mother died, I raced to Utah to be with my dad, who was falling apart. My main concern was with him, but after awhile I noticed that her miniature poodle was methodically going through the house, room by room, looking for her. I still cry like a baby when I think about it.

  60. Cute Overload, I am actually glad you posted this photo and video of Jon Tumilson and his dog. This photo reminds me that my dogs are not just cute…they are loyal and loving to the end, and they deserve my love and loyalty too. So thanks, CO, for reminding us that our pets really do give us their whole heart, and then some.

  61. That’s so sweet, thank you both.

  62. My girl graduated from Navy OCS in April and after some specialized training deployed in July. If you need anything Tracylee, I can direct you to some online support groups or answer some questions. I don’t think I could do it without my “Navy Family” on FB (the wives, GFs, Moms, and Sis’s).

  63. Thank you, Kris. That was a blessing I will carry with me for a long time.

  64. Let them say of me[f
    I was one who believed
    In sharing the blessings
    I received
    Let me know in my heart
    When my days are through
    America, America
    I gave my best to you

    [from ‘American Anthem’ Music and lyrics by Gene Scheer

  65. I can barely even look at the picture of his dog laying there….it tears me all up in side….this is one of the most poignant sad things I have ever seen…God Bless this soldier and his service and his family and his pooch!

  66. I’ve seen that photo many times over the last couple days, and I get teary-eyed every time. We humans could learn a thing or two from Hawkeye about love and commitment.

  67. this is why dogs are the closest thing to pure love! God bless.

  68. Sad Overload. 😦

  69. This is so sad, I almost cried when I heard and saw this on the news.

  70. This picture will stay with me a long long time.

  71. Way to make me cry!

    Was pooch crying, or was it just the video jumping a bit?

  72. Francesca says:

    Everytime I see that pic of Hawkeye I tear up feeling crushed. Dogs are just amazing and wonderful creatures. So much heart in those bodies.

  73. Exactly what I thought, Casey. When one of my closest friends died last year (cancer, not war), his dog just lied under his bed for three weeks, waiting for him. Four-legged persons do mourn their deceased friends just as we, the two-legged persons do.

  74. me too

  75. This made me bawl my eyes out

  76. Lucy's Mommeh says:

    This made me think of this little doggie…http://www.greyfriarsbobby.co.uk/home.html

  77. Angels with paws are always near,what a comfort for his fallen friend and family

  78. @ Randi I wonder too.

    I am at work at the moment so the video won’t play – which I think is just as well – I would be sobbing.

    God bless the animals.

  79. @kris

    I thank God for every day I have with my little sweethearts.

  80. me three

  81. Cuteness is only one small reason to love dogs. They are loyal beyond belief and they love with an ferocity that neither time nor death can ever erase. I’m so glad Hawkeye will have a great new family for him to watch over.

    God bless our military men and women and the families who sacrifice so much. I am filled with gratitude, respect and love for all of you. Thank you for keeping us safe. ♥♥♥

  82. SOO SAD!

  83. I can’t even watch the *happy* homecoming videos of dogs greeting their masters home from war without going to pieces. This one just wrecks me, especially with my own soldier incommunicado on a training exercise for weeks.

    Godspeed, Jon Tumilson.

  84. bookmonstercats says:

    I’m not American, but I feel great pride in PO Tumilson and his family for their sacrifice, so like those of our own forces and their families worldwide. God bless Hawkeye and I hope he has a long and happy life in his new home.

    How touching that PO Tumilson’s family allowed Hawkeye to carry out his last loyal duty to his friend. God bless them also, and ease their pain.

    The still should be treated as an iconic picture, showing just how far and deep the suffering caused by conflict can reach.

    Now I am crying.

  85. I can’t help but be reminded of this quote.

    “He is your friend, your partner,
    your defender, your dog.
    You are his life, his love, his leader. He will
    be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat
    of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of
    such devotion.”

    I believe Mr. Tumilson was certainly worthy. R.I.P.

  86. Sammy2121 says:

    me four

  87. This 53 year old doesn’t visit this site to shed tears but THANK YOU for allowing this very moving picture here. I followed this story and many others like it. It’s just another example of how we need to reevaluate our relationships with animals whom we train to help us. I don’t think I could ever go as far as granting sentient human status to dogs but it’s clear to see that they have their own form of sentience because I count love and devotion and grief as clear markers. I think that if this were looked into and documented in a way that will strike at the very heart of the general public, perhaps our horrible treatment of dogs might begin to change.

  88. So sad… I’m gonna cry.

  89. He was obviously very worthy.

  90. me five :(………..

  91. This is amazing. When my husband died, his kitty never did really recover. She would walk around and around his favorite chair crying. They absolutely feel grief and pain when we leave this earth. I’m glad this pupper has a place to go, and I know that his new owner will not only help the pup but the pup will help him get through this horrible time. Angels with paws, indeed.

  92. This picture is so sad, it’s almost overwhelming. A dog’s love is pure, and so is their grief. God bless PO Tumilson.

  93. My eyes filled with tears as I watched this, and I was reminded not only of the sacrifices made by our men and women in the service (thank you all!) but by the void that their absence, whether permanent or temporary, leaves in so many lives.

    Condolences to the family of Jon Tumilson, and a huge hug to Hawkeye.

  94. Heather S. says:

    I cried so hard when I saw this. I feel for that pup. And the guys family. I know it must be a hard time for all.
    My father worked for a funeral home a while back and he told me a story about a woman who had cancer. She had this mix breed dog whom she loved dearly and all throughout her sickness this dog stayed by her side, in her bed with her. When she passed away the dog went to stay with one of her sons. They were planning on taking the dog to see her at the wake. The nights before the wake the dog would walk around the house looking for something/one… he was visibly heartbroken. The night before the wake he was laying in his bed, the son said he sat up, looked around, baroooed, laid back down and went to sleep. Hours later the son was next to the dogs bed and the dog was dead. Just gone. They showed up at the funeral home with the dog and asked to put him in the coffin with her. Right then while everyone was standing around her, they laid the dog under her arm and basically they both looked like they were sleeping. There was not a dry eye in the house. True loyalty.

  95. Good dog, good human. Now I need to go hug something/one.

  96. jaye, we are all happy when theo comes home to you and to CO. You are making a great sacrifice for the rest of us; no wonder it wrecks you. Theo is cared for near and far and we you don’t shoulder your sadness and worry too much alone. give mr. bounce a squeeze, if cats like that sort of thing. 🙂

  97. laurielou2 says:

    This is positively heartbreaking. For the dog, and the soldier. I just can’t take it….

  98. bookmonstercats says:

    The emotions are so much more important than the semantics, Shari.

  99. God Bless You and keep you Navy Seal Jon Tumilson. Thank you for protecting our freedom. Your friend Hawkeye will miss you. He will be well taken care of.
    Condoences to your family.

  100. Me six …..

  101. bookmonstercats says:

    Cute Overload is also where we pay our tribute to the bond that exists between humans and our furred, feathered and finned friends and express our feelings about the circumstances that give rise to, or are a function of, that wonderful bond. Sometimes they are wonderful circumstances, like the man who annually resues ducklings in his hat and sometimes they are noble and sad, the latter of which Hawkeye and Jon are most surely the epitome.

  102. with all due respect, this is meg’s blog and she has the right to post what she sees fit. for future reference you know that there is the occasional foray into serious topics here, but you can trust that, like this one, it will be relevant and worth it.

  103. it’s nice to see that everyone has written about this picture.
    it got us all in the heart.

  104. Tracy, My SO is deployed for the second time currently. I understand how you feel.

  105. He’s more to sobbing that sighing… ;(

  106. Thank you for letting us know. This was breaking my heart.

  107. It’s on a 5-6 second loop.

  108. I was not expecting this at all.
    How horribly, terribly heartbreaking.
    My thoughts are with his family, friends, and his dear dog.

    I can’t stop crying!

  109. Im not American either but no matter who you are or what country you come from, who could fail to be broken hearted by this. A true hero and his dog.

  110. Folks, maybe this isn’t a typically “cute” story, but CO is about the wonderful things that our beloved animals are. They do cute, touching, irritating, funny and life-fulfilling things all the time, and we come here to have our hearts touched.

    As for pets, well, we humans love our pets and they love back with everything they have. What better place than CO to share a story of a doggie that still loves his human? How can we not smile a little over the love these two obviously had? And still do?

    If Meg goes “off topic” once in a while, it’s okay because 1) it’s her site, 2) a little change in subject matter never hurt anyone, and 3) Hawkeye is awesome.

  111. Ok, now that I’ve stopped crying again at work…

    I’ve seen this picture several times over the last few days and it has moved me every time. The bond between humans and our loving companion animals is something to be cherished. I feel sorry for those that don’t appreciate that.
    Like others have said, we’re often not worthy of our furry friends’ love.

    RIP Navy Seal Tumlinson and condolences to your family and loved ones. A huge hug for Hawkeye – happy he’s going to be taken care of.

  112. archiesmom says:

    Hawkeye will be living with his Jon’s best friend.

  113. My husband and I are both in the Army, and we certainly
    Understand the ultimate sacrifice that we may be asked to
    Pay. Sadly nobody can explain to this little guy how brave
    His owner was. I hope he will be given lots of loves and hugs
    And I am sure his soldier misses him too.

  114. Denise A. says:

    I have always felt that C.O. is, above all, a tribute site to the animals we love and who love us. It’s not just a site for a daily cute fix, although because animals are indeed so darned cute, that’s how it works out most days. I appreciate the tribute to Hawkeye’s loyalty, and also the very deserved and appropriate tribute our fellow C.O. commenters have paid Hawkeye’s master and other heroes like him. –Proud Overload!–

  115. This story makes me cry every time I see it. Everyone keeps posting it and I tear up accordingly. Just the loyalty of the dog to his master is heart wrenching. This also hits close to home for me because my boyfriend is in the Navy 2200 miles away from me and is going to be deployed soon. Its a double whammy for me.

  116. Thank you for this posting. It’s a heartbeaking reminder that If only the human race was endowed with the capacity for selfless love and devotion found in certain other species, we would live in a much better world…

  117. just heart breaking!

  118. Me six

  119. Rather, me eight.

  120. 20 or so years ago, my family inherited a Weimaraner named Annie. She wasn’t a young dog; she was about 11 or 12 when we got her. She had belonged to a young man who had been killed in a car crash. She’d actually been with him in the car and was somehow uninjured, but was guarding the body when the paramedics came. Please forgive me if I’ve told this story on here before; I can remember everything except for when I’ve told a story before.

    Anyway, someone who was taking care of the young man’s affairs knew that my family loved animals (it’s a generational thing; my grandfather never went anywhere without at least one or two dogs in the truck with him) and that my dad had a special spot in his heart for Weimies, so he asked Dad to take Annie.

    She definitely was grieving when we got her, and very carefully checked out the house and would sit quietly in the corners. I’m happy to report that she eventually recovered to the point that she was happy and playful, and she lived out her old age with my parents.

    This picture is sad and beautiful on so many levels. God bless and keep our military and all who love and miss them.

  121. U.S should bring the troops home, so everybody could be with their pets. *Insert political speach why war is wrong and cute animals are right*

    And the story is tearing me up. The video annoys me since it’s a snippet of 3 seconds thats loops over and over again. What happend before those 3 seconds? What happens afterwards?

  122. …and think about all the dogs in Afghanistan mourning their lost daddies!

  123. It’s not just food and water (things that are nonetheless very valuable for them, and easier to come by for us) but also love. Our pets do not understand english (or other languages for that matter) so you can’t sway it by just saying “I love you” wether you mean it or not. Our fur babies respond to true love, all those play sessions, scritches, silent time sharing. It’s that love they respond to.

  124. In his will Sgt Tumilson gave Hawkeye to the friend who took care of the pup while he was away.

  125. Maerlyn99 says:

    God bless Jon, and Hawkeye. And bless all the servicemen and women, and everyone else in the service of others.

  126. Guarding the body? *howls* 😦

    And yet, this story uplifts with the happy ending. It truly does. Thank you for sharing, Noelegy. xo

  127. I’m in Afghanistan and was privileged enough to get to go to the ceremony to honor all those who lost their lives in that tragedy. I managed to make it through the whole ceremony without crying and now this one picture has reduced me to tears. I think we can all learn a lesson from dogs about faithfulness, loyalty, and unconditional love.

  128. bookmonstercats says:

    Yet another example of what a fine young man he was, taking such care of those he loved.

  129. :~(

  130. Queen of Dork says:

    This is so heartbreaking. Thank you for posting it, Meg. It makes a person want to jump into the screen, lay down with Hawkeye, hug him and project the most loving, comforting, calming feelings possible to him. Poor loving baby. 😦

    R.I.P. Jon. You are loved and appreciated.

  131. I wondered when this would get around to this site..I sent it to my twitter page when it came out..saw again still very sad!

  132. It’s not just dogs that do this either.

    My grandpa had a very curmudgeonly old cat named Marlboro. When gramps died in 2002 from emphysema (oddly enough he was not a smoker, he was a firefighter), Marlboro wandered all over his little apartment looking for him for days. When my mom and her siblings were figuring out what to do with gramps’ stuff, my aunt Donna volunteered to take Marlboro (as I said, he was a very grumpy cat and every one but her had small children or was allergic). She said the night she took him to her home, he found the one picture she had of grandpa (her dad) in a frame on a side table and curled up around it a refused to move even for his dinner.

    So undying love is not owned solely by our canine fuzz-buddies. Cats just don’t generally get invited to funerals.

  133. Your story reminds me of one I read, Jenniger M. Black 😥 It was about a lady whose husband had died of I believe it was cancer 😥 Every night, he would wind up a clock that he kept by his bed and their cat would curl up beside him 😥 After he had died, the wife said she had picked up his clock and was winding it up to see if it still worked before deciding on what to do with it and the cat came running into the room 😥 The poor cat had thought her husband had come back home 😥 The lady said that the look on its little face was so sad that the lady picked up the cat and they both cried together 😥

  134. 😥 I am not an American either, bookmonstercats (Canadian) 😥 and I second your kind words 😥

  135. 😥 I am glad to hear that too 😥

  136. Indeed….

  137. Cute AND sad. :*(

    Live a long and happy life, Hawkeye. One day, you’ll see your master with open arms calling you across the Rainbow bridge.

  138. This made me cry so much. I can’t stop crying.

  139. Athena's Mom says:

    That’ll do Hawkeye.That’ll do. Good, good dog.

  140. laurielou2 says:


  141. God bless them all. furever.

    *heart smashed to pieces*

  142. Well put.

  143. I knew that I shouldn’t google up Liam and Theo, but I did, and now I’m crying.

    But I’m crying not just because it’s sad, but it’s because I’m also envious of the kind of friendship and loyalty had between that man and his dog. In this world, it’s hard to get that sort of loyalty from anyone; but with a dog, you know that that sort of loyalty will always be raw and true.

    I’m feeling even worse now as I type this.

  144. You guys both made me cry harder 😦

  145. loyal service men and women
    & loyal dogs..
    thank you for your loyalty!

  146. Yitzysmommie says:

    Thank you for telling us. Story made me cry. God bless you, Jon Tumilson, and may all your friends and family, including Hawkeye, find peace. Thank you for your service.