From the obituary notice, it was obvious that something atypical was about to happen. Posted in many places around Ikeja, Lagos, it left many with mouths agape in utter bewilderment. 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.” Well, nothing really strange in the obituary. Except that the deceased was – wait for it – a dog! . . Last Saturday,

November 29, Oshifila Street, Computer Village, Ikeja, Lagos State, was agog, as a dead dog, a male Alsatian, popularly known as Dr. Papilo in its lifetime, was given a befitting burial by its owner. A day before the burial, a service of songs was held for the dog at Cannan Hotel, Ikeja. . . At the burial, there was plenty to eat and drink, just as guests were thoroughly entertained by the Nigerian Army Band. A detachment of mobile policemen at the event also gave the deceased dog a 7-gun salute. Dog-owners, military personnel, police officers, veterinary doctors and many others thronged the venue of the ceremony. . . Immediately after its death, a condolence register was opened for the dog in front of Cannan Hotel, where Papilo has served, as a security guard for 10 years. Present at the funeral were, the Coordinator, Nigerian Dog Association, Ndubisi Faisal Amuka and Dr Dotun Ransome-Kuti, son of late health minister. . . The owner of the dog, Prince Keneth Edet Ani, who serves with the Nigerian Army in Ikeja and owns the hotel said his affection for his late dog was unconditional. Papilo’s remains were interred in a four-feet grave inside the hotel and decorated with roses. . . Ani said: “The dog was trained in Maiduguri 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.”

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