For Tricycle, a three-legged rescue golden retriever who calls the Horse Creek Stable Rescue Sanctuary in Mineral Bluff, Georgia home, mourning his animal friends after they die is just something he does, as any human would too.
“Like many of us, there is a sense of loss that we all need to work through,” sanctuary owner Lester Aradi tells PEOPLE. “Animals also have that sense of loss.”
Tricycle has been known to mourn the loss of his friends at the Georgia animal sanctuary, beginning four years ago when Lester and his wife Diane buried a rescued St. Bernard/mastiff mix named Major on their property.
Noting that Tricycle was present as they buried Major, Lester details that they “spotted him laying on Major’s grave” the following day. “It touched us so much that we posted pictures on Facebook,” he shares.
Now, with another animal friend no longer with him, Tricycle once again was spotted mourning, this time over the loss of his 21-year-old alpaca pal, Trixie.
Diane and Lester posted another shot to their sanctuary’s Facebook page, and noted that Tricycle will mourn his lost friend for “typically three days.”
“He normally spends his day laying on the gravesite until he comes in at night,” Lester adds.
Tricycle, who also happens to be the star of his very own book, lives with an array of other animals on the sanctuary — including horses, goats, llamas, alpacas, and other dogs.
“We are a foster home for many larger animal rescue groups who place animals with special needs in our care,” says Lester.
And given the wide variety and amount of animals that he has come in contact with over the years, Tricycle stays connected with them, even after they move on. His owners make the same effort as well.
“Every animal that has passed over the Rainbow Bridge has been buried on our farm so their spirits can live on where they spent the latter years of their lives,” Lester shares.
“For the smaller animals, such as our cat and dogs, we marked their grave with a circle of stones.”
He also notes that for the larger animals, they bury them and plant fruit trees on the graves to “continue the circle of life” and to allow visiting children the opportunity to pick fruit such as apples, cherries, and pears from those trees.