Everyone’s heard of Hachiko, the Japanese Akita forever immortalized with a bronze statue erected outside Shibuya Station. This was the train station it had waited faithfully for over 9 years after its owner, a professor at Tokyo Imperial University died from a cerebral haemorrahge while at work. The dog had accompanied the professor to the train station every morning, coming back in the evenings to await his return every day.
When the professor did not show up that fateful day, the forever faithful Hachiko continued to visit the train station – for nine years, nine months and 15 days, appearing precisely at the time when the train was due to arrive. During that time, the dog resisted all efforts to be rehomed, running away from its new owners to visit the train station at the appointed time – until its death in 1935. It was 12 years old at the time.
Now, this story may be famous because of the Hollywood remake of the original Hachiko film starring Richard Gere, but did you know that the original Hachiko lived in the 1920s?
Yet, in the years since Hachiko’s loyalty was made famous by the publication of an article in Japan’s national newspaper, the Asahi Shimbun, there have been several accounts of many similarly loyal dogs. Here are some recent ones.
This loyal dog refused to leave his owner’s side for 12 hours after he died, helping police identify the homeless man.
Nick, 53, who slept on the streets, was found in South London on 23 February, Metro reports.
A day before his body was found, Nick reportedly went for a stroll in central London without his belongings, which meant he had no identification on him when he died.
Michelle Clark, who runs the charity Dogs on the Streets (Dots), was contacted by authorities and able to identify Nick and Scarper, who was registered on their database.
Jack the terrier was photographed by police in Portalington, Ireland, waiting outside the rear of the emergency vehicle after his owner Paddy fell into a ditch.
Police said they were able to find the elderly man as Jack refused to leave his owner’s side.
Local police later shared the heartwarming image to Facebook.
“Even when ambulance arrived Jack wouldn’t rest unless he could see him!” they explained.
A dog whose owner was killed in a car crash has remained at the scene for over a year. Other people have tried to adopt it in this time, but the dog always goes back to the roadside. Instead of trying to coax it away, locals instead decided to make the spot more comfortable for him. They built him a little kennel for shelter, and give him food and water.
Owner Haris was 40 when he was hit with a cement mixer on November 9, 2017, reports Nafpaktia News. The dog is so devoted that he has stayed there through the seasons, only moving slightly into the shade when it became very hot.
Victor Reyna Vazquez was knocked down and killed on train tracks in the early hours of April 7 2019. According to locals, the victim and his dog had been companions for several years. The animal refused to leave after the 57-year-old man’s side after he was pronounced dead.
Mr Vazquez was an alcoholic and had been drinking near the scene in Montemorelos, a city in Northern Mexico, of the tragedy, according to reports.
When police officers and paramedics tried to remove the dog, it tried to bite them. Authorities had to forcibly remove it and it was taken to the civil protection facilities in Montemorelos.
In the small community of Bethel Acres, police were called to a house where a man had suffered from a fatal heart attack.
What they found was a heartbreaking scene. An elderly Labrador Retriever, presumed to be about 20 years old, was lying next to her deceased owner, refusing to leave his side. The dog, named Sam, was all alone after losing Arthur, her best friend.
As friend Phillip Gordon told Oklahoma City news station KWTV, Arthur and Sam had always been inseparable, up until the very end: “they were the best of friends.” Sam never took her eyes of Arthur, even when he was gone. His friend Phillip said she “would wait in the house on him, look[ing] out the window.”
When Arthur’s health took a turn for the worse and he needed medical attention for his heart troubles, Sam was increasingly desperate to be with her owner. When he was transferred to the hospital, she jumped through a window to try and find him.
Though doctors wanted to keep Arthur at the hospital because they felt he wasn’t well enough, he made the decision to be at home with Sam rather than stay on. Ultimately, Arthur’s heart gave out, and Sam’s broke when he went.
The founder and director Maehghan Olsen of a charity, 1 Day Ranch, “dedicated to the care and rehabilitation of horses, small livestock, and dogs that have been the victims of abuse and neglect.” told People magazine that when she came to Arthur’s house, Sam was extremely disturbed, “panting, shaking, and showing other signs of stress.”
Olsen sat with the dog and tried her best to comfort her and eventually put a leash on her and led her away: “I let her say goodbye.” On the way to her new home, Sam was crying and grieving for her owner.
Once at the ranch, Sam had a hard time adjusting to life without Arthur, who had been her human companion for such a long time. Fortunately, Olsen was able to pick up some blankets and pillows from Arthur’s house so Sam had something familiar around her.
Sam has been permanently adopted by the family that lives on the ranch. She’s given the medical attention she needs, lots of love, and play with other dogs, as well as goats and pigs. As Olsen wrote: “Her life is full of love, snacks, and naps. She’s definitely living her best life!”