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Stray dogs stood together to block traffic and protect the body of their friend killed by a car

A white dog is seen lying motionless in the middle of a road while four other dogs sit next to it even as cars pass by them.

Stray dogs stood together to block traffic and protect the body of their friend killed by a car
Cover Image Source: YouTube/Ewan Hayward

Stray dogs roaming pretty much everywhere is a common sight in most places across the world. While some of them might prefer to take the lone route without any cure or supervision since they are pack animals, canines usually tend to form strong bonds with those that live in the same street or neighborhood. This gives them a strong support system, enabling them to depend on each other for food, companionship, and protection if and when a rival stray gang encroaches upon their territory. While some humans might consider such packs a nuisance, a viral YouTube video shows how we can learn a lot about loyalty and friendship from them.

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According to People's Daily Online, the heartbreaking visuals featured in the video were filmed near Anning district of Lanzhou, Gansu Province in China on January 19, 2018. The video shows four dogs guarding their dead companion who had been hit and killed by a car. A white dog is seen lying motionless in the middle of the road while four other dogs sit next to it even as cars pass by them. The heartbreaking moment was reportedly captured by onlookers and later posted on social media sites.

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"A stray dog was accidentally hit and killed by a car in Lanzhou, northwest China's Gansu province, on January 19. Four dogs ran out onto the road and stood by its body, creating a protective barrier around it so that it wouldn’t be hit by other vehicles," states the description of the video posted by People's Daily Online on YouTube. As the footage went viral across social media platforms, netizens slammed the hit-and-run driver who left a dog dying on the road. "Some people are truly shameless. Hitting that dog with a car then just run afterward?" commented Erika Song.

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"We're all connected. All living beings. These sweet animals deserve compassion, but some cultures have none and have different perspectives towards animals, unfortunately," wrote Sharon DeCaro. "I always say, dogs should have been the dominant species on this planet instead of humans!! They are smarter, more passionate and treat each other with dignity, and aren't racists towards each other," commented Denver Marshall. "It is so sad and touching. Poor little dog. However, it is very honorable for the other dogs to be there for him," commented another YouTube user.

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As per an article published by Scientific American in May 2017, dogs tend to exhibit behavioral changes when they experience the death of a fellow pup or dog. The author, Barbara J. King — who is professor emerita of anthropology at the College of William and Mary, told American Kennel Club: "We can't understand how an animal understands or thinks about death. We can only evaluate what we can see, and when someone in a dog’s life dies, dogs will react with behavioral changes. After a dog dies, another dog in the household may show social withdrawal. He may fail to eat or drink, he may search for his lost companion or exhibit vocalizations that show he is stressed."

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Rory Cowlam, the resident vet for BBC's Blue Peter, confirmed the same while speaking to Belfast Live. "Grief is not just a human affliction, it is very much something that I have witnessed in dogs too. Our animal companions suffer grief and handle it in their own way and just like humans, they need time, comfort, and understanding," he explained. "It is said that dogs live in the moment, but they also love routine and familiarity and when they change, when the company they've known for years is suddenly gone, well it is natural that they will suffer emotional distress."

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