WATCH ABOVE: Friends and community pay their respects to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. Carey Marsden reports.
TORONTO – As more details are released in the shooting death of Corporal Nathan Cirillo, who was gunned down on Wednesday as he stood, unarmed guarding the National War Memorial in Ottawa, it’s clear that the young man was a gentle giant.
Most of the photos on the 24-year-old’s Facebook page and Instagram account show various poses of him with dogs and puppies.
About a month ago, he was clearly upset and frustrated when he found an abandoned puppy.
“So this is where some loser dumped the puppy I found last night, don’t even wanna think how long he’s been living on his own for now. #somepeople #losers #hamilton If I ever see anyone dumping a dog, I will get you,” he said in an Instagram post.
“I didn’t find the owner and if I did Id (sic) give him a piece of my mind,” he later continued.
“This makes me sad This poor dog has clearly never been inside ever with all the mud I found on him, fleas and ticks, rashes to how scared and timid he is about everything,” he posted in the above Instagram photo.
“The one time he’s calm and collective (sic) is when he is looking at himself in the mirror thinking it’s another dog. Clearly he just wants to be loved. Can tell he’s never seen his reflection either.”
For Cirillo, it seems his family was his son and his dogs.
The burly Cirillo, from Hamilton, Ontario, was shameless on social media in his love for his companions. He posted photos of himself in bed with them, cuddling them, playing with them, even in the bath with them.
And he took care of his friends. He was known at the PetSmart in Stoney Creek where he took them for grooming.
And his love of animals didn’t end with dogs.
He posted this photo of a cat in his backpack with the caption, “By far the best picture ever,” and later followed it with, “I’m trying to steal the cat but they might know.”
Four months ago, Cirillo posted the following photo on Instagram with the caption: “I missed my girl so much :) and she missed me :)”
There is no doubt that his family, which included his two dogs, will miss him very much.