Canines Dying of Broken Hearts?

Why Did Rio Pass Away?

Is it possible that dogs can pass away because of a broken heart?  Apparently so.  Well, at least according to reality TV star Tareq Salahi, as he is claiming that was what happened to his pooch, Rio.  The dog was pretty famous in his own right as he was well-known on his owner’s show, “The Real Housewives of D.C.,” (canceled shortly before the pooch made his exit from this world). 

Perhaps it was because Rio was witnessing so many tough times that he got so depressed.  Following his owner’s disappointment at the show’s dismissal – the dog’s alpha female (possibly), Salahi’s wife, Michaele – left him for Neal Schon, guitarist of Journey.  It was then that Rio started getting so depressed, he was unable to get out of bed.  Shortly thereafter, he died.

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Apparently Rio had anyway suffered a heart attack but it is not clear if this happened before Michaele’s abandonment of him.  Still, Tareq remains convinced it was her fault.

Dog Depression

According to Dr. Phil Fico of Brooklyn’s Verg Veterinary Emergency Group, animals can indeed go into some kind of a depression.  While it is true that dogs are unable to verbally express their feelings, they for sure can be seen to show less enthusiasm for life, or a reduced appetite when an owner is no longer by their side for whatever reason.  It remains uncertain however, if this can result in what happened to Rio – causing a heart attack.  More likely what happened was that he anyway was experiencing heart issues and the abandonment exacerbated the situation, leading to his heart attack and ultimate demise.


James Fishman has been involved in the world of online magazines for more than 15 years. He helped launch Sunstone Online and continues to improve the magazine as site editor and administrator. His writing focuses primarily business and technology. To be in touch with James, feel free to contact him at james[at]

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