Navy Seal’s Black Lab Refuses To Leave Casket


Navy Seal Jon Tumilson's lab stayed by his side

As we tally your votes and learn that one third of CatholicMatch members own dogs, I felt compelled to share the story of a faithful black lab who couldn’t part with his beloved owner, a Navy Seal who was one of the 30 killed in Afghanistan in the Aug. 6 helicopter crash.

Pets are an important source of companionship for singles, and the late Navy Seal Officer Jon Tumilson, an unmarried 35-year-old from Iowa, surely knew this. His dog, Hawkeye, “was his loyal son,” his cousin Lisa Pembleton said in a statement. 

Check out this video of his funeral, captured by KIMT-TV of Mason City, Iowa:




  1. Debbie I. August 30, 2011 Reply

    unconditional love and devtion. Just so heartbreaking.

  2. Michelle-740298 August 30, 2011 Reply

    What a beautiful story! How very touching and a wonderful testament to the love and loyalty of animal friends. I had some tears over this story… What will become of this dear dog and will he ever get over the loss of his best buddy? I am sure that the brave Navy seal who gave his life is smiling down from the warm Heaven where he must surely be!! God love them both!!

  3. John-759808 August 30, 2011 Reply


  4. Awoliyi-761670 August 29, 2011 Reply

    WOW!!! Dogs are so loyal. Even in death 🙂 🙂

  5. Bob-741947 August 29, 2011 Reply

    I hope Jon felt Hawkeye’s presence and caused him to smile.

  6. Shella-604470 August 28, 2011 Reply

    We had a simular situation my dad was home that morning and then he passed away the resturant and when we came home from the hospital, and we were crying, our dog noticed that dad wasn’t there and I went to her and told her dad went to heven, I noticed that she had a tear running down her face and i consoled her too…

  7. Marissa-235217 August 28, 2011 Reply

    As the owner of a wonderful black lab, I can attest to the loyal and unconditional love that this breed of dog gives to their family. Hawkeye is a great example of what makes not only the lab a fantastic dog to add to your household but that dogs in general are truly “man’s best friend”. Hawkeye had not seen Jon in fair amount of time but still he “knew” that his best friend was gone. When we become cynical, it is this picture that we need to remember of unconditional love to the end

  8. Christine-750910 August 27, 2011 Reply

    So here I am, the CEO of a nonprofit that helps veterans obtain medical care through the civilian sector (if underserved by the VA) and just the headline and photo of the dog at the casket put me in a tail spin of tears….I couldn’t open the article. It got me to thinking about the buttons we all have and no matter how strong we are to carry out other missions of humanity – there is something out there that reaches deep inside to trigger something you never realized was there. PS, this had nothing to do with hormones 😉

  9. Laura-735322 August 27, 2011 Reply

    This story brought tears t my eyes!

  10. Stacey-101742 August 27, 2011 Reply

    I saw this on the evening news, and my heart hurt for the dog , how he must miss his master . What love and devotion , it makes one want to cry

  11. Jim-397948 August 26, 2011 Reply

    All Good Labs should go to heaven!!!

  12. Mary-732729 August 26, 2011 Reply

    This goes to show us how special pets really are and how much they love us.

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