Yesterday I posted about Owney the postal train dog –– and now Forever stamp poster dog — who met his end in a somewhat ignominious fashion, having been shot and then stuffed.
My pal Lori over at The Dog Park commented that the real train dog symbol should have been Hachiko, a Japanese Akita who is legendary for having waited for his master, a professor, at the train station for years after the professor died.
I somewhat pedantically pointed out that that Hachiko never actually boarded a train and that his story had been made into a godawful movie starring Richard Gere.
Then this morning I found an email from Emma of TripBaseInc who wrote, “As you frequently run great animal-related content on Will My Dog Hate Me?, we wanted to share our pick of the greatest animal stories of all time with you and your readers.”
I don’t always click on random links that are sent me, but there was something about the note that stood out: “The Adorable Animal Awards not only feature a touch of alliteration, but are full to the brim of wonderful and heart-warming stories.”
You know how I feel about alliteration.
And so I clicked on The Adorable Animal Awards and sure enough — not only were the animals adorable, but they had great stories.
The first one, under the title “Most Loyal” told the story of Hachiko. I quote it here verbatim:
In the early 20th Century a Japanese professor adopted an Akita puppy and named him Hachiko. Every day, Hachiko would meet the professor at Shibuya train station when he came home from work. One day, the professor sadly suffered a brain hemorrhage and didn’t return, but for the next 9 years, every day until he died, Hachiko showed up at the train station when the professor’s train was due.
For its ability to make grown men bawl like babies, the story of ‘faithful dog Hachiko’ takes the grand prize for most loyal.
Did you Know?
A statue of Hachiko stands at Shibuya train station while his remains were (rather morbidly) stuffed and mounted for display in the National Science Museum of Japan.
In deference to those people who don’t want to be confronted with a picture of the stuffed Hachiko that accompanies the article, I didn’t post it here, but I suggest you go look at it. I’ve got to admit that he and Owney are as darling in death as they must have been in life.
And I have to admit to that many people feel differently about taxidermy than I and most of my friends do. I thought its popularity was restricted to hunters and fish-trophy seekers, and that it was otherwise a craft of the past. Not so. I discovered there is a group of artists called the Rogue Taxidermists, who create mythical creatures such as dragons and griffins and … Well, I’ve probably already told you more about this topic than you want to know. If you’re interested — and it really is pretty fascinating — see the Wikipedia article.
So that was this morning’s ride on the serendipity train. The good news: This is the last day for voting for The Petties which seem to have brought out a strain of dark humor in me. I’ll go back to being sunny, sweet and perky tomorrow.