An Akita named Maya has become an Internet sensation after spending six days waiting at the door of a hospital in Spain for her owner to recover from surgery.
Maya was traveling home from a vacation with her owner Sandra Iniesta, 22, and Iniesta’s father, Andres Iniesta, when Sandra had to be hospitalized to have her appendix removed.
The 2-year-old Akita Inu stationed herself in front of Elda Hospital, near Alicante, and remained there until, six days later, Sandra was released.
Maya refused to budge.
Hospital staff and others brought her food during her wait.
“I think she knows what is happening and she is showing that she can be patient,” Andres Iniesta told the newspaper, Información.
The hospital put a post about Maya and her vigil on its Facebook page, and word spread from there. People started dropping by to visit her, take her photo and bring her gifts.
“She is just doing what she does in Barcelona,” Sandra later wrote on Twitter, after her release. “Whenever I go inside some place or another, she waits for me at the door.”
The loyalty of the Akita is the stuff of legends, the most famous being the Japanese dog Hachiko, who, after his owner died of a stroke at his office, continued to go to the train station to wait for him for 10 years.
Hachiko, the dog, waited every day at Shibuya Station in Tokyo for his master to come home on the train — for more than nine years after his master’s death.
Hachiko, in statue form, has sat outside the train station for 82 years — a longstanding memorial to the dog’s loyalty
Now the northern Japanese city in which Hachiko was born, Odate, plans to ask that Hachiko come “back home,” Japan Times reports.
Hachiko didn’t live in Odate long — less than a year before he was purchased by a Tokyo professor. And Odate already has at least two other statues of Hachiko.
Still, the city of 75,000 hopes Tokyo might consider relocating the statue to Odate when redevelopment efforts begin in the Shibuya Ward.
“We are earnestly hoping for the return of Hachiko to his home,” said Tsuyoshi Kudo, an Odate city official in charge of tourism policy. “But we acknowledge the statue is an important property of Shibuya Ward. We need to ask officials carefully.”
An Odate official said the city’s mayor may propose the idea to Shibuya Ward when he attends a meeting in Tokyo on Friday.
The sculpture was originally erected in front of the station in April 1934. It was recycled for the war effort during World War II and in 1948 a new one — made by the original sculptor’s son — replaced it. It remains one of the area’s main tourist attractions.
Another statue, depicting Hachiko greeting his master, Hidesaburo Ueno, was installed last year at the University of Tokyo, on the 80th anniversary of Hachiko’s death. Ueno was an agriculture professor at the university.
Shibuya Ward plans to start rebuilding the area west of Shibuya Station after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
It has not decided yet what will happen to the statue when the work takes place, a ward official said.
Officials in Odate say they hope the Shibuya statue could be displayed with the Hachiko statue at the train station.
Odate is fiercely proud of being the home of Hachiko and home of the Akita.
The Akita Dog Museum is located there, and it features a statue of Hachiko, too.
Other Akita statues can be found across the city, and even the city’s manhole covers are decorated with Hachiko-related cartoon characters.
As for what remains of the real Hachiko, it’s back in Tokyo. His organs are at the archive museum of the University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Agriculture, and a taxidermy version — featuring his original fur — is at the National Museum of Nature and Science.
Posted by John Woestendiek January 22nd, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akita, animals, dog, dogs, hachi, hachiko, hidesaburo ueno, legacy, odate, pets, remains, shibuya, stations, statues, tokyo, train, university of tokyo
Hachiko has been memorialized in everything from movies to statues, but a fuzzy, 81-year-old, black and white photograph of the famed Japanese dog is being greeted with excitement on the Internet since it surfaced on the Internet last month.
The old school photo of the Akita who became a symbol for loyalty after his owner’s death was found among the belongings of a Tokyo bank employee who died in 1947, The Japan News reported.
In the rare photo, by Isamu Yamamoto, Hachiko is pictured around 1934 laying on the pavement near the Shibuya railway station ticket counter in Tokyo, where he was known to wait every day for his master, Hidesaburo Ueno, to return home from work.
Ueno, who died in 1925, was an agriculture professor at the University of Tokyo. Hachiko would follow Ueno to and from the train station every day in the early 1920s.
While numerous pictures were taken of Hachiko, most were with other people, or taken as close-ups. Yamamoto’s photograph is reportedly one of the few that shows the train station in the background.
“Hachiko was a familiar sight to those living near Shibuya Station. I hope the photo my father took will be preserved carefully,” Yamamoto’s daughter, Yoko Imamura said.
Imamura said the photograph of Hachiko was found in one of her father’s photo albums.
Yamamoto’s family gave the photograph of Hachiko to Takeshi Ando, who created the second statue memorializing Hachiko. In 1934, Ando’s father, Teru Ando, erected the first bronze statue of Hachiko in front of Shibuya station.
“I have never looked at such a photo that caught the atmosphere of Hachiko’s everyday life at that time so well,” Takeshi Ando, 92, said.
The photo was first shared publicly by The Yomiuri Shimbun, which carried an article in its Oct. 22 edition. It was later translated into English and appeared in The Japan News and on its website on Nov. 5.
Since then the photo has drawn tens of thousands of “likes” on Facebook.
(Photo: Isamu Yamamoto)
Posted by John Woestendiek November 16th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akita, animals, dog, dogs, hachiko, hidesaburo ueno, japan, loyal, movie, pets, photo, photograph, station, statues, train, wait, waiting
From time to time, about once every couple of years, I hear from a reader who thinks their dog looks just like mine.
That’s my dog Ace above — one of a kind, I like to think, but a mix of four breeds according to repeated DNA testing conducted after I adopted him from a Baltimore animal shelter nearly 10 years ago.
And, no, one of them isn’t German shepherd, though that is the most common guess.
The guessing is one of the joys of mutt ownership, along with the fact that — unlike with, say, Golden retrievers — running into an exact replica of your dog is something you tend to get excited about.
Tayar, who lives in Florida, had assumed his dog Bobby (left), adopted from an animal shelter in Miami, was a German shepherd mix. After reading about Ace’s heritage, now he’s not so sure.
“Bobby looks exactly like Ace,” Max wrote me earlier this month in an email, with three Bobby photos attached.
“We always wondered what mix of breeds he is,” Tayar said of Bobby. “He sometimes looks like a German shepherd, but when he’s standing next to a real one he looks nothing like him. Also Bobby’s tail is clipped so we don’t know what his tail would have looked like.”
Whether Bobby’s tail would have curled up into a question mark, like Ace’s does when he’s in a good mood (we thank the Akita for that), will never be known.
While Bobby doesn’t have Ace’s tail, he has something Ace doesn’t have — pointy ears, or at least sometimes pointy ears. Not until I got to the third photo were they shown in the full upright position, suggesting to me that Bobby, unlike Ace, may have some shepherd in him.
After reading about Ace’s origins on ohmidog!, Max is now convinced Bobby, like Ace, is a Rottweiler, Akita, chow and pit bull mix. (Despite the bad reputation those breeds have, I generally share that information with everyone — except maybe landlords and insurers — because he shows how undeserved those reputations are.)
“We’ve been thinking about Ace a lot,” wrote Max, who owns Assara, a laser hair removal business in Manhattan. “… Every time Bobby’s ears go down and he gets a certain look on his face we call him Ace to see if he reacts.”
I was checking out the blog Puppy Leaks (I think you’d like it) when I saw a photo of Laika. That’s her to the left.
I went to the Puppy Leaks Facebook page, and sent a message to the blog’s author, Jen Gabbard, asking her if she knew what breeds were in Laika, and if it would be OK if I included Laika in this post as well, promising to poke only the gentlest fun at her highly impressive ears.
Laika, according to DNA tests Gabbard had conducted, is a mix of German shepherd, Rottweiler and pit bull.
Of course, what breeds are in a dog doesn’t define a dog — nor does the size of its ears.
It’s all relative. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and maybe even more so in the eye of the owner. Though some have pointed out they think Ace’s floppy ears are disproportionately small for his body, I’ve always seen them as just perfect.
I’m sure Max sees Bobby, and Jen sees Laika, the same way.
And the funny thing is, we’re all right.
(Photos: At top, Ace, by John Woestendiek / ohmidog!; second and third photos, Bobby, courtesy of Max Tayar; at bottom, Laika, courtesy of Jen Gabbard / Puppy Leaks)
Posted by John Woestendiek March 16th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, adopted, akita, animals. max tayar, appearance, bobby, breed testing, breeds, chow, dna, dogs, doppelgangers, florida, german shepherd, laika, lookalike, lookalikes, looks, miami, mixes, mutts, pets, pit bull, puppy leaks, rottweiler, shelter
That was back in the fall of 2009 when the dog was pulled from a Gardena auto shop that had been set ablaze in an apparent suicide.
Over the weeks he received treatment for his burns at the Affordable Animal Hospital in Torrance, dozens of people expressed interest in adopting him — but no one followed through. About a year ago, Hachi — after surviving the fire, after prolonged and costly medical treatment — appeared headed for a sadly ironic end.
When Faith Summerson, founder of Pal Rescue, heard Hachi was about to be euthanized by the county shelter due to lack of space, she stepped forward, and Hachi was rescued again.
She picked him up and sought to find him a forever home — keeping him in one of her kennels and later at her own home.
Pal Rescue was founded in 1995 and has helped find homes for over 3,000 cats and dogs. Hachi, though — despite gaining notoriety on the Internet, because of his unusual appearnace, as the “Terminator” dog — didn’t appear destined to become one of them.
Until last month, when his year and a half wait ended.
After his story appeared on the news, Pal Rescue reports, they heard from a man who had recently lost his own dog. While many had offered him dogs to fill the void of his previous dog’s death, he had turned them all down, opting to wait instead for a dog who truly needed him — one not everybody else would want.
Call it rescue No. 3 for Hachi, a dog named, after his first rescue, for the legendary Akita, Hachiko, who waited every day at a train station in Japan for his master to return from work — and continued to do so for another 10 years after his master’s death.
The rescue organization reports that Hachi’s new dad is “a very dedicated and experienced dog owner that has had many beloved dogs in his lifetime, and always gravitated to the ones most in need.”
“The two hit it off immediately when we home delivered Hachi yesterday … Hachi was at ease the moment he walked in the door.”
You can find Hachi’s full story at petfinder.com
Posted by John Woestendiek April 4th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adopted, adoption, affordable animal hospital, akita, animals, burned, california, chow, dog, dogs, fire, forever home, hachi, hachiko, home, mix, pal, pal rescue, petfinder, petfinder.com, pets, rescue, shelter, the pal rescue, waiting
Seventy-five years after his death, scientists say they have determined what killed Hachiko, the legendary Akita whose story has been immortalized in his native Japan and the rest of the world.
Japan’s most famous dog — though rumors have persisted for decades that worms did him in, or that he swallowed a chicken skewer that ruptured his stomach — had heart and lung cancer, scientists now say.
Hachiko became legendary for the loyalty he showed by waiting for his owner every day at a train station — for 10 years after his master died.
Hachiko died in 1935 at the age of 13. After his death, researchers at what is now the University of Tokyo performed an autopsy on Hachiko’s body and discovered roundworms in his heart and liquid collected in his abdomen.
Using more sophisticated tests like MRI’s, the Mainichi Daily News reports, a team of scientists at the University of Tokyo team analyzed Hachiko’s preserved organs and discovered large cancers in the heart and lungs. They speculated that the cancer may have spread from the lungs to the heart. Hachiko also had filariasis (a worm-caused diseased), and it’s possible that could have caused his death as well, said professor Hiroyuki Nakayama, part of the research team.
Hachiko’s preserved organs are displayed at a University of Tokyo resource center in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, along with a bust of his owner. A “stuffed” Hachiko is also on display at the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo’s Taito Ward. A statue of Hachiko was erected in his honor at Shibuya Station.
Hachiko accompanied his owner, a university professor named Eisaburo Uyeno, to the train station every day and watched him leave for work. Every evening the dog would be waiting for him when he returned. When Uyeno died, Hachiko continued going to the train station every day to wait for his master for about ten years.
The legend has been told in numerous forms in the 75 years since, most recently as a childrens’ book and a 2009 movie remake, re-set in Rhode Island, starring Richard Gere.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 2nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akita, animals, cancer, cause of death, death, dog, dogs, eisaburo, hachiko, heart cancer, japan, japanese, legends, loyalty, lung cancer, medical, news, pets, professor, research, roundworms, science, shibuya, tests, train station, ueno, university of tokyo, uyeno, veterinary
Instead the movie, “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale,” will make its American debut on Sunday on the Hallmark Channel, the New York Times reports.
The movie, which has already sold more than $45 million in tickets during its release in Asian, European and South American markets, is a contemporary retelling of the story of Hachiko, an Akita who, when his human companion, a college professor, died suddenly at work, continued for two years to return to the train station to wait for him.
Gere plays the professor and is also the movie’s producer. It was directed by Lasse Hallstrom, who also directed the Swedish coming-of-age film “My Life as a Dog.”
“Hachi” was shot primarily in Rhode Island, using three Akitas to play the different stages of the dog’s life.
“Hachi,” the Times reports, was not eagerly received by Sony Pictures Entertainment, the studio which controlled its distribution. Sony opted not to release it in American theaters.
“You think of all the people who really love their animals, love their dogs, love their cats, would embrace this specific movie,” Gere said. “But Sony just had no imagination for it. It was really bizarre.”
Hallstrom said the studio’s strategy was “a mistake of being overly worried about the size of the movie as opposed to the emotional impact of it.”
The Hallmark Channel, which broadcasts about 22 original movies a year, stepped in and bought it, and will premiere the film Sunday night.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 24th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: a dog's tale, akita, american, animals, channel, cinema, distribution, dog, dogs, film, hachi, hachiko, hallmark, japan, japanese, lasse hallstrom, marketing, movies, pets, premiere, richard gere, showing, sony, sony pictures entertainment, theaters, u.s.