A male Alsatian dog, Dr. Papilo, owned by one Prince Keneth Edet Ani, a business tycoon had recently recently passed on and was on Saturday, November 29, 2014, given a grand burial Canaan Hotel located at the Oshifila Street, Computer Village, Ikeja, Lagos State.
The obituary notice was posted in different areas around Ikeja, which made people wonder in awe.
The obituary read:
Transition: With gratitude to God for a life well spent, we the family of Tracy, Lion. Quincy and Adriano wish to announce the sorrowful departure of our father, Dr. Papilo Cannan that died on November 17, 2014, after a brief illness. Aged 15, may his gentle soul rest in peace.”
The funeral service was marked by a service of songs at Canaan Hotel, Ikeja where Papilo served as a security guard for 10 years.
The owner of the dog, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the hotel and also serves with the Nigerian Army in Ikeja, told newsmen that he had an unconditional affection for the deceased dog.
Many sympatisers trooped in to pay their last respect to the deceased dog by signing the condolence register provided at the event.
The rare event was sealed with seven-gun shots by a detachment of policemen in salutation of the deceased dog and a minute silence.
Sources said that there were lots to eat and drink at the event which attracted highly placed men and women in the society ranging from dog-owners, military personnel, police officers, veterinary doctors to a host of other.
Some of the tributes in the condolence register read, Papilo, you were great, You will remain forever in our memory, We miss you Papilo, Sleep well, What a brave dog!” and so on.
The dog was buried in a four-feet grave and decorated with roses beside the hotel.
The bereaved owner described the dog, as his business partner, first child and a friend that travelled with him across the country adding that the dog was an intelligent soldier and a security expert that fought a good fight before it died.
Ani whose wife is late has four daughters and he disclosed that the dog was their only partner when he newly got married 15 years ago.
He said, “My wife and I stayed together for some time without a child. Suddenly, people started calling us Papa and Mama Papilo. The dog travelled with me to Jos and Maiduguri.
“While in Maiduguri, it was trained and used to hunt bombers. It was a unique dog. In the real sense, it was my first child. When I lost Papilo, I felt sad the same way I felt when I lost my wife. The dog was just too close to me.”
While expressing gratitude to those who graced the event, the chief mourner, a graduate of Accounting from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, said he was happy that his pet died peacefully at the age of 15 after a brief illness.
Further speaking on the dog’s achievements, Ani said, “Papilo confronted armed robbers sometime ago and gave one of them a serious injury. The robber could not run further, and was later caught by the police.
“Everybody knew Papilo in this area. I am missing the dog, and the other six dogs at the hotel are also missing Papilo because it was like their father. Here, we treat dogs like human beings. We give them the best food you could think of.”
A cleric of the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star Parkson Edjeketa who chaired the occasion described the dog’s burial as a celebration of “our brother, Papilo.”
He said the event was in line with God’s will for humans to show love and care to animals that He had placed in our care.
Furthermore, the Coordinator, Nigerian Dog Association, Ndubisi Faisal Amuka also commended the dog owner for organising such an event for his pet.
“Dogs are unique creatures. They are our friends. I am talking of dogs that are specially bred, not just any dog. I am so happy to be part of this occasion because it is not easy for anybody to come up with such an idea.
“If you can show love to a pet, it shows you can do better with humans. This organiser has just lifted the benchmark. You will witness more celebrations of dog’s deaths henceforth,” he said.