A photo demonstrating the bond between a man and his dog is breaking hearts across the Internet.
The picture shows Figo, a K-9 officer, paying his last respects at the funeral of his fallen human partner, Kentucky police officer Jason Ellis. In the photo, Figo lays a paw on Ellis’s casket. The 33-year-old Ellis was killed in a suspected ambush.
The picture generated hundreds of comments after being posted on Reddit.
"Dogs can actually smell when someone or something is dead and it gives them closure. Not sure if he can tell it's him through the coffin, but he should," wrote one Reddit user.
Figo was retired after his partner’s death and is now living with Ellis’ family. Bardstown, Ky., police chief Rick McCubbin told the Associated Press said that the dog and Ellis were “true partners."
Before Palmer captured loyal Figo (pronounced Fee-go), the photographer waited six hours at the High View cemetery in Chaplin, KY, where he says the funeral procession of some 800 cars was unlike anything he’d seen before. Palmer agreed not to photograph Ellis’s mourning family out of respect, but crept through a tobacco field adjacent to the burial site to get in a good position to catch other aspects of the service.
Palmer saw 50 dogs lining a path as a horse drawn carriage brought Ellis’s casket to its final resting place, but one dog stood apart. Ellis’s name then blared over a loudspeaker multiple times before an officer said, "He’s been called home.”
“I was teary-eyed. I couldn't see through a clear lens at that point,” Palmer says.
He captured compelling images of officers approaching their slain colleague, sending one of an officer kissing the top of the casket to his editor. But it was the photo of Figo the dog that would speak to the world.
“It seemed like the dog was aware of what was going on,” Palmer remembers. “His mannerisms, his posture. He went to the casket and put his paw on it. It was like he was inspecting it.”more & video