As the year-end "best of" lists begin to make the rounds, the photo of a Labrador laying near the casket of his fallen owner, a Navy SEAL from Iowa, will certainly receive many accolades.

It's a powerful shot, taken in August at the funeral of Jon Tumilson in Rockford, Iowa, and shows the loss of a friend through the eyes of his pet Lab, Hawkeye.

The image came rushing back this week after watching a video at what amounts to the other end of the spectrum, a moment capturing the return of a soldier to his beloved pet, a Great Dane named Emmitt Thunderpaws. As Senior Airman Trevor Crowder greets Emmitt at the family's Salina, Kan., home, the dog's joy is apparent, and there is no holding back.

In both cases: Man's best friend, indeed.

 

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