Two dogs appear to have been hit hard by the loss of their owner, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who died in a shooting in Ottawa on Wednesday.

The large dogs were seen at Cirillo's family home in Hamilton, Ont. on Thursday, poking their heads under the gate of the wooden fence, resting their heads in their paws and waiting for the soldier to come back.

The dogs calmly watched as strangers approached the fence around Cirillo's red brick home, where a makeshift memorial of flags, flowers and cards continues to grow.

Cirillo was killed in a shooting at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, where he was serving as an honorary guard.

When he was identified later in the day, social media photos of Cirillo and his dogs appeared on newspapers, websites and television news coverage. A portrait emerged of a young father who loved to laugh. He was rarely seen without the dogs he'd rescued from a shelter.

The burly soldier posted photos of his dogs all over his social media accounts, showing the dogs cuddling with him, sleeping in his bed and draped in towels after a bath. One photo he posted to Instagram combines three shots of the dogs with the caption "Family."

Dogs waiting for Cirillo to come home

Dogs peek out from under a gate at the Cirillo family home in Hamilton, Ont. near flowers and flags that have been left on Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014. (Peter Power / THE CANADIAN PRESS)