Thursday, November 12, 2015

Hachikō - The True Testament of Loyalty

Hachikō - The True Testament of Loyalty

Hachikō  - The True Testament of Loyalty and Love and Proof That Dogs Are Not 'Just Animals.'

DISCLAIMER: Get some Kleenex's. If reading this doesn't grab you, I've added some videos that will.

There are times when we hear of stories of when animals trek surprising distances to find their owners. Or when they return to their original homes after being adopted out. This is true for dogs or cats.

Case in point: One year my grandmother's cat traveled 224 miles from Providence, RI to their summer home in Leeds, ME. Every summer the family would meet in Leeds and my grandparents would pack up the cats and head north. One year they forgot Shiner. (She had what looked like a black eye) They figured she would stick around the house in RI and neighbors would feed her.  But one summer afternoon, I was sitting on the front porch in ME watching the grass grow and here she came, bloody feet and all, after walking over 200 miles of cities, highways, deep woods, and at least two draw bridges. It was amazing. And she spent the rest of the summer recuperating on my bed and in my lap.

So not only have I read about loyalty but I've experienced it.

Then there's the story of Hachikō.

In 1924 an agricultural professor by the name of Hidesaburō Ueno, adopted a stray Akita dog and they developed a bond like no other over the next year. They even formed a habit where Hachikō would meet the professor at the end of the day at the train station when he got home from work.

Sadly, barely a year passed in their relationship when the professor suffered a cerebral hemorage at work in 1925. He was to never return home on the train to meet the pup at the train station.

But Hachikō kept coming back to the train station at the same time every day, waiting for his 'dad's' train. The pup did this from 1925 until 1935, (nine years), looking for him. Waiting. Having faith he will see his best friend one more time.

His search for his dad stopped sadly when Hachikō died on March 8th, of 1935. Citizens found his body in the street, where he had passed from cancer. If it were not for his terminal cancer and other conditions, who knows how many years he would have gone to the train station, waiting.

Hachikō's body was cremated and his ashes put alongside his dad's grave, where they are now eternally together. Statues have been erected in memory of the dog's loyalty and a stuffed version of the pup resides in the National Science Museum of Japan, Tokyo.

The place that he waited for his beloved master now has a set of bronze paw prints.

Every year on April 8th, the dog's devotion is celebrated with a ceremony at Tokyo's Shibuya railroad station.

'LOYALTY for some is fleeting, for others, it is forever.' - Bruce Simmons, 11/12/15.


The story of Hachikō has created a legacy, a legend that will live forever in two movies, the 1987 movie Hachi-kō or "The Tale of Hachiko," and "Hachi: A Dog's Tale," released in August 2009, starring actor Richard Gere.

A children's book was also inspired by this tale.


For some, this may seem like overkill, the celebration of a dog who would never leave his spot, willing to be there for when his human would show up some day.

For others, we know we'd do the same thing for our own dogs. Without a doubt because for those of us who understand, this is simply how it can be with our dogs. With the family members we love. I'd step in front of train to save my wife of dogs. (Yes, the cats too... maybe.)

The KLEENEX section.

Below are a few videos I collected. The first being the movie trailer for the Richard Gere film. It's been Americanized, but the theme is the same..


A cute scene:


This is a scene from the movie, after 'dad' has passed, and his wife sees the dog waiting for him:


This video is the closing four minutes and IT WILL RIP YOUR HEART OUT. Just warning you.


Below, if you can see through the tears, is a video chronicling the dog's life.


To anyone who thinks dogs are just animals, screw you. You've never taken the time to get to know a dog. You are missing out.


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