Of all the animal stories that have touched our hearts, I think it is fair to say that there is no other like the story of Hachiko, a Japanese Akita. In Japanese, he is also known as chuken Hachiko, meaning “faithful dog Hachiko.” I think this name is the perfect one for a dog that has truly embodied the spirit and essence of being man’s best friend.

Hachiko is famous for showing extraordinary, undying loyalty towards his owner, one Professor Ueno. He accompanied his master to the Shibuya train station to send him to work each day. What was more extraordinary was that Hachiko seemingly knew when his master would come home and would go to the station to welcome him!

However, there came a day when his master went to work and will never come home again. Suffering from brain haemorrhage, Professor Ueno passed away. So what of Hachiko? This did not stop him from his daily routine of waiting for the return of Professor Ueno. This went on for 9 years! For Hachiko, these years must have been long years of confusion and pain. Where was his master? Where was his best friend?

People who heard of this extraordinary tale flocked to the Shibuya station and it was they who fed Hachiko that enabled him to keep waiting. Finally in 1935, Hachiko was found dead on the streets of Shibuya.

I think it is safe to say that the bond between Hachiko and Professor Ueno has extended to that beyond of a normal owner-pet relationship.

Did he know that his owner was not going to come back on the day he died?

What did he feel when his owner did not appear at the station?

What was it that kept him going to the station day after day for 9 years?

This remarkable bond between man and dog is also seen in other places.

In Russia, a German Shepherd named Constantine was the sole survivor of a car crash. He braved extreme temperatures to revisit the same spot for 7 years!  

In Scotland, Bobby, a Skye Terrier, also showed undying loyalty and faith when he visited his master’s grave every night for 14 years!

Let these stories be a gentle reminder to inspire us to appreciate the value of love and life.

JV.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6U7mAnPtw4

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