Stories of dogs remaining loyal during times of distress never seem to get old.
There were three stories just this year that tugged at our heartstrings: One dog stayed by his owner’s side after she was killed in a hit-and-run accident. Another dog waited with his canine companion who became stuck in a trench, and in a third report, a service dog crawled under an army veteran’s casket after he succumbed to PTSD.
But as touching as these moments are, the most universally known example of a dog’s undying dedication is the story of Hachiko, often called the “world’s most loyal dog.”
Each day, Hachiko, an Akita, saw his owner, Hidesaburō Ueno, a professor at University of Toyko, off to work and waited at the train station for his return. In 1925, Ueno collapsed during a lecture and died before making it home. For the next 10 years, Hachiko returned to the train station around the time Ueno’s train would normally arrive each afternoon and waited. The image of the dog patiently sitting at the station became a symbol of devotion and dedication in Japan.
Just this month, a previously unpublished photo of Hachiko, taken around 1934, was found and went viral on social media around the world.
The photo shows Hachiko resting at Shibuya Station, still holding onto hope that his master will return.
Shibuya Station now features a statue of Hachiko, and in February, the University of Toyko unveiled a statue that depicted Hachiko and Ueno being reunited again.