The other day, Jolie Mejía and her family decided to visit Punta Negra, a small seaside community near their home in Peru.
It was there, along a rocky shore overlooking the sea, that they came to learn a story of love in its purest form.
After Mejía and her family settled down along the shore, they were approached by a random dog who appeared to be all by himself.
“He didn’t seem abandoned. He wore a ribbon around his neck and his fur was clean,” Mejía told The Dodo. “I pet him, waiting for his owner, but minutes passed and no one came.”
The dog enjoyed Mejía’s pets, but all the while his gaze remained fixed upon the ocean.
And Mejía soon came to learn the touching reason why.
Mejía and her family considered adopting the dog themselves, assuming he had indeed been abandoned. So, when a man local to the area walked by, Mejía asked him if he knew the dog’s status.
“He explained that practically everyone in the area knows the dog and is very fond of him,” Mejía said. “He told us that the dog’s owner was a fisherman who passed away some time ago, and that the dog comes to the beach every day and stares out to sea.”
The dog, it seems, has been holding vigil — awaiting the return of his friend who will never come home.
“We were very moved,” said Mejía.
Mejía believes the dog’s owner died at sea about a year ago, and that the dog has been watching out for him daily ever since.
But though the dog’s owner may never return, the dog isn’t without friends who care for him.
The dog’s sad story is evidently well-known by people in the community, who feed him, shelter him and provide him with health care when he needs it.
A local veterinarian in Punta Negra confirmed to The Dodo that the dog’s name is Vaguito, and that he’s currently in the care of a woman who lives nearby.
By day’s end, Mejía and her family eventually parted ways with Vaguito, his eyes still cast out to sea. But his bittersweet story — one of loyalty to a love he lost, and the loyalty and love he found in the community — is one she won’t soon forget.
“I have a dog at home,” Mejía said. “I love dogs in general. His story really touched my heart.”