James William Warner died tragically at the age of 22. Warner’s death crushed the hearts of his family and friends, who remembered him as someone who tried to «put a smile on everyone’s face.»
Everyone adored him, including his devoted dog Ace. The bereaved dog refused to leave his owner’s grave during his funeral.
The dog is shown lying atop his owner’s freshly dug grave in a devastating photo shared on Facebook by Warner’s mother, Christy West Warner.
Christy’s world was destroyed when she learned of her son’s death.
«It’s as if I’m having an out-of-body experience.» I just passed out. «My entire world had been shattered into a million pieces,» she told the Tennessean.
«Every second I spent with Will was a delight.» He was simply larger than life, and he was a good guy. «He was quite approachable,» she added.
The 25-year-old suspect, the son of a judge, was apprehended by police after an alert was issued in the region regarding his presence.
Warner’s body had been highly decomposed by the time it reached Christy and her husband, James Robert, so he needed to be buried right away. The family had little time to even select a casket for their kid.
«Everything has been taken from us. «We didn’t get every ounce of closure or peace that we could have had from saying goodbye,» Warner’s mother continued.
Todd Warner, a Tennessee state representative, characterized his nephew as someone who «liked life and loved people.»
«It’s just a horrible conclusion to something that should never have happened,» he said.
According to his uncle, Warner was a «typical country boy.» His family produces poultry for Tyson Foods, and he grew up working with row crops and cow breeding.
Another member of the family was heartbroken over Warner’s passing—his dog, Ace.
Our pets’ lives revolve around us, so when we’re gone, it’s the equivalent of losing everything for them. Worse, there’s no way to explain the sudden loss of the person they loved.
We don’t know much about how dogs perceive death, but Ace seemed to know where his owner had gone at his funeral. The devoted companion never left his side.
Ace didn’t leave the casket’s side during the funeral. Warren lay down on the grave and refused to get up until he was ultimately laid to rest. The dog appeared to be in mourning, seeking to remain as close to his owner as possible even after he died.
Christy stated that Ace drove Warner to school every day during high school and waited in his truck.
«This dog is very special, and Will was very proud of him,» she explained.
Warner enjoyed riding four-wheelers and playing in the water and dirt as a child, according to her.
According to a family member, Warner brought Ace to church and every family function. She remembers him hanging out in the flatbeds and only getting down when he saw Warner or when he called for him. It’s clear that the pair shared a special bond.
Warner must have loved Ace so much when he was still alive that the dog was truly devastated over his death. Only a good owner would earn that kind of loyalty from an animal.
Experts have weighed in on whether dogs grieve for their deceased human owners.
“When an owner passes away before her pet, it can be a confusing, sad, and difficult period, even if arrangements have been made for the animal to be taken care of by someone else,” said Russell Hartstein, a Los Angeles-based certified behaviorist and dog trainer.
This is indeed a tragic incident for everyone involved. We hope for healing for Warner’s family and friends and, of course, his best friend Ace.