One of the most fascinating aspects of humanity is the phenomena of altruism. In particular, what motivations are there to place yourself in harms way.
While there are many theories for why someone would sacrifice themselves for another, I choose to believe these actions are inspired by love. Another one of natures great mysteries: Are animals capable of love and other emotions?
It does not take long in the presence of a dog to know that yes, they are certainly capable of love. Take for example one video of two dogs from Ukraine.
In December 2016, an injured dog, named Lucy, became stuck on the railroad tracks outside of Uzhgorod. All by herself and with the temperatures dropping I cannot imagine how alone she must have felt.
Except, she was not alone. Another canine friend, named Panda, was by her side for the next two days until they were rescued.
A video posted on Facebook by Denis Malafeyev shows how dedicated Panda was to making sure she was taken care of. Laying in the middle of the tracks and unable to move to safety, Lucy was forced to lay motionless as trains passed by overhead.
Panda — although fully capable of remaining a safe distance away — would lay next to her on the track underneath the speeding trains. Furthermore, Panda made sure to stay by her side and cover her body as the temperatures dipped below freezing.
After two days, passersby noticed the two pups and called animal rescue. A member of the rescue group, Malafeyev shared the story which has received worldwide attention.
His translated post read: “When we arrived, it turned out that one of the dogs, the female, was injured and couldn’t move. The male dog heard the sound of the approaching train, came close to the female dog and laid down next to her… Both of them pushed their heads towards the ground, and let the train pass.”
Furthermore, when rescuers attempted to approach Lucy, Panda became defensive and would not let people get close. Eventually, they were able to capture the two lost dogs and get them to a shelter; they have since been returned to their owners.
Continuing on in his post, Malafeyev challenges humanity and wrote, “The male dog was doing this for two days in a row…[a display of] instinct, love, friendship, loyalty. I know one thing; not all people can do that!!!! It is instructive for us.”
Indeed, we can all learn from Panda as to never give up on our friends and to always allow our actions to be motivated by love.