A meme shared on Facebook in Nigeria shows a yellow Labrador Retriever lying on a tombstone in a graveyard.
“WOW! This is heartbreaking,” the text reads. “It has been 7 years. The cemetery does not close the gates until he arrives every night. His name is Captain. He sleeps by his master's grave every night.”
The photo and its story have been frequently shared online. But what does it really show?
Argentinian dog Capitán not in photo
A Google search shows the story of “Captain” has been linked to at least one other photo, which shows an entirely different dog lying on a completely different grave.
The story seems to come from a September 2012 article in the Argentinian newspaper La Voz.
According to La Voz, a dog called Capitán – Spanish for “Captain” – in the city of Villa Carlos Paz disappeared after his owner, Miguel Guzmán, died in March 2006. The family thought the dog had died until Guzmán’s widow and son went to the cemetery and found Capitán there.
The article says the dog stayed in cemetery until he died over 11 years later, in February 2018.
A video about Capitán’s story is on YouTube. The tale has also been covered by the Toronto Sun, the New York Daily News, Yahoo News and the UK Metro.
The reports all include photos of Capitán, taken by La Voz photographer Santiago Berioli. The dog was a German Shepherd mix – not a Labrador. The video also shows a German Shepherd.
Origin of Labrador photo unclear
It isn’t clear where the meme’s photo, which also appears on Reddit and Imgur, comes from.
While a dog named Capitán did reportedly live in a graveyard after the death of his owner, the photo in the meme is of a different dog. Capitán was not a yellow lab.
Fact-checkers at Snopes and PolitiFact came to the same conclusion: the photo and story are unrelated. – Eileen Jahn
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