This is a real tear jerker, a real heart breaker, so get your Kleenex box ready, because you’re sure gonna need it.
In 1924, Hachikō was brought to Tokyo by his owner, Hidesaburō Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo. During his owner’s life Hachikō saw him out from the front door and greeted him at the end of the day at the nearby Shibuya Station. The pair continued their daily routine until May 1925, when Professor Ueno did not return on the usual train one evening. The professor had suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage at the university that day. He died and never returned to the train station where his friend was waiting. Hachikō was loyal and every day for the next nine years he waited sitting there amongst the town’s folk.
Hachikō was given away after his master’s death, but he routinely escaped, showing up again and again at his old home. Eventually, Hachikō apparently realized that Professor Ueno no longer lived at the house. So he went to look for his master at the train station where he had accompanied him so many times before. Each day, Hachikō waited for Professor Ueno to return. And each day he did not see his friend among the commuters at the station.
The permanent fixture at the train station that was Hachikō attracted the attention of other commuters. Many of the people who frequented the Shibuya train station had seen Hachikō and Professor Ueno together each day. They brought Hachikō treats and food to nourish him during his wait.
This continued for nine years with Hachikō appearing precisely when the train was due at the station.
That same year, another of Ueno’s faithful students (who had become something of an expert on the Akita breed) saw the dog at the station and followed him to the Kobayashi home (the home of the former gardener of Professor Ueno — Kikuzaboro Kobayashi where he learned the history of Hachikō‘s life. Shortly after this meeting, the former student published a documented census of Akitas in Japan. His research found only 30 purebred Akitas remaining, including Hachikō from Shibuya Station.
Professor Ueno’s former student returned frequently to visit the dog and over the years published several articles about Hachikō‘s remarkable loyalty. In 1932 one of these articles, published in Tokyo’s largest newspaper, threw the dog into the national spotlight. Hachikō became a national sensation. His faithfulness to his master’s memory impressed the people of Japan as a spirit of family loyalty all should strive to achieve. Teachers and parents used Hachikō‘s vigil as an example for children to follow. A well-known Japanese artist rendered a sculpture of the dog, and throughout the country a new awareness of the Akita breed grew.
Eventually, Hachiko’s legendary faithfulness became a national symbol of loyalty.
Hachikō died on March 8, 1935. He was found on a street in Shibuya. His heart was infected with filarial worms and 3-4 yakitori sticks were found in his stomach. His stuffed and mounted remains are kept at the National Science Museum of Japan in Ueno, Tokyo.
I’ve known very well & had that connection with pets in past years/decades, it is for real, they really do love us every bit a much as we love them, they need us, as we need them, and I’ve experienced that love & dependency.
I have some memories of sad loss back in the 70’s 80’s 90’s & again quite recently, and I’m not kidding when I tell you the feelings of bereavement are still within me now today even after so many, many years, I cannot & will not ever forget the love that we had between us, I miss those guys so, so much, and never a day goes by during which my thoughts are not of them and how much I want to see them again, and cuddle them, because for us, in my family, they were part of us, our family, our flesh & blood, when we lost them we lost part of ourselves, I’ll never forget them, they’ll always be with me in my heart, wherever I am whatever I am doing in the world, I was as loyal to them as they were to me and my family, I took good care of them, I did all I could for them, and it breaks my heart that some people in this world don’t make provisions for their pets to be taken care of and looked after properly if something (God forbid) something should happen to them and they don’t return home, that is something that everybody should be doing, so that this kind of painfully sad scenario does not happen, it’s just too heartbreaking that hits poor boy waited diligently 7 days a week for nine whole years, before dying, the feeling of being without his loving master must have been terrible, they try to tell us in various ways, some of us understand, but sadly many do not understand the feelings of our pets!
We can only be grateful to God that he did not suffer too badly physically, but emotionally, well, you can imagine!
Well, anyway, here is the Link to a video with Richard Gere and another Akita playing the part of Hachi.
Richard Gere Interview http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v29ZsLoZPd8&feature=related