It is a wonderful thing to adopt an older dog, but there is a risk that comes with it. Because these dogs have already been owned and have gone through various experiences, these dogs come with their own baggage, habits, and behaviors.
This challenge was what faced one man when he took a dog home that had a rather disturbing habit... a habit that would scare him and keep him up at night.
Knowing the value of adopting an animal instead of buying one, Ali took in a dog named Cesur, who had belonged to his father. The little crossbreed was the seemingly perfect dog.
He was affectionate and friendly, but once he got him home, Cesur's true colors came out.
Cesur seemed to fit into his new home with Ali. It seemed that as soon as his past was behind him, he made himself right at home.
However, Cesur soon developed a habit that left Ali feeling sick to his stomach and worrying for his safety.
Every morning, while Ali was busy getting ready for work, Cesur would walk out the front door and simply escape.
The little dog would dart out the front door and disappear down the road before Ali could catch him. Ali, who couldn't afford to be late for work, had no choice but to leave him.
Every minute that Ali was at work, he was worried sick for Cesur. Even though the little dog was always waiting for him when he got back, the streets are no place for a dog.
Ali also wondered why Cesur would run away each morning. When he finally found out where Cesur was going, the reason for this behavior broke his heart.
Ali and Cesur did everything together so it was hard for Ali not to feel a little betrayed when Cesur kept on running off. Did he not like being with him?
He didn't remember his father ever saying that roaming was a problem with him. Did he need to bring him on more walks? He worried that he was the cause of this but infact, Cesur's disappearance act had nothing to do with him at all.
A Better Owner
Ali was determined to be a better owner. He brought Cesur on more walks, played fetch with him and bought him his favorite foods. When he hurt his paw at the park, Ali made sure it was okay before letting him continue to play.
He speculated that maybe it could be a trust issue and that he'd stop venturing off if he just loved him more. But he was totally clueless about what little Cesur was going through.
Several weeks passed and nothing had changed. At first, Ali eventually thought that it was simply because Cesur was in a new environment and that it would pass, but now he realized that he needed to treat the problem.
But, to do that, he first needed to find out where Cesur was going every day.
Ali lived in a busy part of Bursa, which is a city in northwestern Turkey. He lived there all his life so he knew many people around the area. And they knew him.
When Ali experienced hard times in recent months and the community rallied together to help him. That's the kind of place he lived in, but it seemed not everyone had his back.
Claims Of Neglect
Animal control had been contacted twice with claims of neglect. They told Ali that someone had complained about his dog wandering aimlessly and uncared for on the street. Identifying it as a danger hazard for both the dog and oncoming traffic.
Ali apologized and agreed but then explained his situation. But what animal control said next surprised him.
Animal control cautioned him that dogs usually run away due to frustration and fear. They were suspecting him of mistreating poor Cesur. But he absolutely wasn't and he never would!
He knew that there was another explanation for this. Frustrated, he hung up and called work to let them know he wouldn't be working tomorrow. Instead he was going to find out exactly what Cesur got up to.
Ali woke up determined and managed to get some extra time in the morning. He followed Cesur as the dog ran down a path that he was clearly very familiar with.
It took a while for Ali to realize where Cesur was going, but when he did it broke his heart.
Ali followed him, making sure to keep his distance and avoid being seen. He didn't want to distract Cesur from his mysterious daily venture.
He followed him past five blocks, turning left, then right, then left again until he understood exactly where Cesur was heading towards. His lip quivered at the solemn realization.
Cesur had led Ali to a cemetery. And then he purposefully stopped at one particular grave.
You see, the little dog had been a faithful companion to his previous owner, 79-year-old Mehmet Ilhan. Mehmet had adopted him from a shelter, and the pair had formed a bond so extraordinary that it left Ali floored.
Mehmet and Cesur were together for two years, but then tragedy struck.
Mehmet was hospitalized, and Cesur was overcome with grief. “Because of my father’s paralysis, they had a different kind of connection,” Ali told The Dodo. "When my father was in the hospital during his last days, Cesur stopped eating."
Wouldn't Leave His Side
Mehmet sadly passed away a few weeks later. And when his coffin was brought home to prepare for the funeral, Cesur wouldn't leave his owner's side.
When a procession formed to carry the coffin to a local mosque, the dog refused to move away. Cesur insisted on leading the procession, and the other guests followed. But they were yet to learn the extent of his grief.
During the funeral, Cesur sat at the foot of the coffin. He had his head hanging sadly as if he was mourning.
This is how Cesur remained the entire time. "Nobody could touch him until my father was taken to the grave and was buried,” said Ali. Cesur watched his owner being laid to rest. But sadly, it gave him no closure and his behavior continued to change.
Although dogs don't cry as humans do, they do show real grief. When dogs are sad, instead of shedding tears, they'll show their sadness by whining, folding their ears back, crouching, or refusing to make eye contact.
They'll also look like they lack confidence. And if a dog is whining, he's telling you that he feels unsafe and is looking to you for assurance. Cesur was displaying most of the above behaviors. It was obvious he was in mourning.
Even though the little dog now lived at home with Ali, Mehemet's son, he was still pining for Mehmet.
Every day since the funeral, Cesur escaped and ran through town to the burial site to sit with his old friend. But it wasn’t until Ali followed him that he realized what the loyal little dog was doing every day.
“The people who work in the cemetery say the first thing he does in the morning is visit the grave of my father,” said Ali.
On this day, Ali and Cesur sat side by side and paid their respects together. But Ali had no idea that he was just touching the surface of the grief Cesur felt. His heart broke once more when he saw what lay on the ground.
Ali even saw the pawprints that Cesur had left on the grave on previous occasions, which only confirmed the pup's loyalty.
Ali is not sure how long Cesur’s daily visits to the cemetery will continue, or if he will ever really recover from the loss of his beloved master. One thing is certain, however. Ali had to do something.
Ali knew that Cesur was a noble, loyal dog, and had also been a loving companion for his father.
In return, Ali promised that the little dog won’t have to face the future on his own. “Cesur has always been a noble animal,” said Ali. “He will live with me from now on”. But how would Ali ease his pain?
Ali was fulfilling his promise of staying with Cesur and giving him all the attention and love that he needed but it still wasn't enough.
Cesur continued to display signs of sadness and visit the grave every day. When Ali noticed his appetite was fading, he got worried and rushed to the vet to seek help.
When Ali brought Cesur to the vet, word of his heartbreaking tale had already swept their local newspapers. The vets recognized them and rushed over to Ali and Cesur, giving them both their condolences.
Ali told the vet that he hadn't been eating well and was worried he might starve himself into oblivion. The vet assured him that although he's experiencing emotional trauma, dogs' survival instincts are far too strong to willingly starve themselves to death. But they did have a suggestion.
They told Ali that Cesur might need more than a human friend to get him through this. They asked Ali to consider getting a companion for Cesur. The idea never popped into Ali's mind.
But now, it made sense. He wanted Cesur to be the playful pup he once was and how better to do that than to get another dog that he could play around with. But things didn't work out exactly as planned...
Ali went back home with Cesur and was met by his friends already making themselves at home in his backyard. He had arranged a BBQ the week before and told them he'd be running late.
He told his friends that he needed to get Cesur a companion but that he realized his house didn't have enough space for two dogs. That's when one of his friends offered him a strange solution.
The Start Of Something New
His friend had rescued a stray cat a couple of weeks ago and was planning to hand it into the shelter. He suddenly wondered if Ali should just take her instead.
She was a grey and black striped beautiful cat who was calm and lively at the same time. He had grown fond of the cat and wanted to give it to someone who he knew would take good care of it.
Ali didn't need much convincing. A cat was the perfect addition to his little fury family. The cat, Tobi, was slowly introduced to Cesur, who took an immediate shinning to her!
Tobi on the other hand was a bit more cautious. However, it didn't take long before she began to feel more comfortable and her playful side took over.
Coming Back To Life
She'd pounce on Cesur and had an obsession with catching his tail and nibbling at his ear. An action that would always leave Cesur swinging his head, trying to playfully get her to stop.
Slowly but surely, Cesur began to light up again. He stopping crouching and whining and slowly began to get his appetite back. Meanwhile, something much, much bigger was happening.
Cesur's heartbreaking tale of loss and hardship was going viral across the world! Cesur became widely known as the latest heartbroken dog, who also reminded the world of Greyfriars Bobby.
Greyfriars Bobby was a Skye Terrier from Scotland who was well known for gaurding the grave of his owner for an insane 14 years. They even created a statue after him...
A Lasting Tale
The statue of the 19th century pup who passed away in 1872 is located in Edinburgh in Scotland.
He is still adored by the locals today and his story continues to be well known by the community. His story of heartbreak and loyalty has even inspired a number of films and books. And it looks like Cesur is set to follow his lead.
Whenever Ali and Cesur are out together, they get stopped by people all the time, asking after Cesur and wondering how he's doing now.
At first, Ali found the situation bizarre, as he was also suffering the same loss but as time continue, he loved the care and attention Cesur got and felt his father was still somehow living through him.
When Ali and Cesur appeared on a number of talk shows to tell their story, people couldn't help but pay attention. Often, people would bring their dogs over to play with Cesur and lighten his mood, but they all had one burning question to ask Ali.
They asked him if he still visited the grave. Ali would reply, "Although he's visibly much more cheerful, after all this time, he's never forgot one thing".
Feeling The Support!
"He never forgot his old master, Mehmet". Cesur continued to walk down to the graveyard and sit with his old friend. Only now, he is often accompanied by Ali and Tobi, the cat, in tow.
Looking back, Cesur's grievance also helped Ali get through his own feelings of loss and sadness. Thanks to Cesur, Ali didn't feel alone in his grief either and they got through it together. One dogs day at a time!