In a small town called Rio Grande, in the Argentinean province of Tierra del Fuego Province, a celebrity has lived for the past 9 years, a spectacle known to those who live in the town, and one which drew visitors from far and wide to see.
The celebrity though was borne from a tragic story, which now sees a tragic close to the final chapter of this tale of companionship and loyalty.
For our celebrity is a dog, by the name of “Calafate”, known for many a year as the friend and companion to a Chilean miner, Pedro Vera Cárcamo, accompanying him everywhere he went, always by his side.
But in 2004, or story took its first tragic twist, when Calafate´s owner was killed in an industrial accident. Buried in the local cemetery, even the loss of life could not keep man´s best friend away, as ever since that horrific day, Calafate has remained by his human´s side, living on the concrete slab that entombed his master.
Struggling for food in the early days even caught chewing candles and wandering through the graveyard searching for scraps, the locals soon turned their attentions to the hero dog, providing food and water, many even taking photographs, in exchange for a meal or two, allowing Calafate to survive, forever on guard.
Until we come to that fateful closing chapter, one which is inevitable in any story, but one which nobody ever wants to face.
After nearly a decade at the side of his master, watching over him in death, Calafate got attacked by two other dogs, suffering serious injuries in the fight. Undeterred, Calafate continued his watch, in pain, but determined never to leave his post. Little did Calafete perhaps know that those injuries would prove fatal, or perhaps he knew his fate, as the morning after cemetery workers found his lifeless body, still watching over his companion, now in rest and in peace.
So that final chapter closes, but not without the ultimate testament to his loyalty, as the workers took the decision to lay him to rest in the place he clearly felt he belonged, now buried alongside his master, together forever.