Hachiko and Fido, two lifelong faithful dogs
Many people know the film Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, directed in 2009 by the Swedish director Lasse Hallström and interpreted, among others, by Richard Gere.
The real story of Hachiko
The film worldwide grossed nearly $ 47 million at the box office. But not everyone knows the true story of Hachi (“eight” in Japanese, a number considered auspicious), an Akita dog that actually was born in Japan in November 1923 and died on March 8, 85 years ago, in 1935.
Akitas are working dogs usually used for both guarding and hunting who live on average 10-12 years, with a docile, receptive and faithful temperament. Hachiko was certainly faithful: adopted only 2 months of life by Hidesaburo Ueno, professor of the agricultural department of Tokyo Imperial University, for two years he accompanied his owner to take the train to the Shibuya neighborhood station, waiting for his return until evening.
But May 21, 1925, Ueno, suddenly died of a stroke during his lecture, never returned. Hachi could not have known and continued to go to the station every morning waiting until 5 p.m., the time of the return of the professor. Over the years, Hachiko became the very symbol of the loyalty that a dog can feel towards his reference human.
A symbol of loyalty for a lifetime
He was given a bronze statue in 1934, positioned in the station where the dog went every morning. Another statue was then installed in Odate, his hometown, during a ceremony attended by Hachiko who died the following year, struck by filariasis, at the age of 15, well above the average for his breed.
News of Hachi's death was reported in the front pages of all newspapers and made a generation of Japanese people cry, so much so that the day of his death the national mourning was declared and a ceremony is still held on March 8 in front of his statue at the station to remember the dog, in homage to his loyalty and devotion.
His bronze statue, cast during the Second World War, was reinstalled in 1948, in addition, one of the five exits of Shibuya station was named “Hachikō-guchi” (“Hachiko entrance”) in his honor. The faithful dog's body was stuffed and exhibited at the Tokyo National Museum of Nature and Science, while some bones were buried in the cemetery of Aoyama, next to the tomb of his owner.
In Italy there was the case of Fido
Finally, five years ago, the University of Tokyo made a second statue of Hachi together, finally, with his owner. But Hachi's isn't the only story of a dog's loyalty to his human. In Italy, for example, there was a dog, Fido, who for 14 years until his death (occurred in 1958) went to wait at the bus stop in Borgo San Lorenzo (FI) the return of his owner, Carlo Soriani.
Unfortunately Carlo had died during a bombing raid in 1943 but also, in this case, his faithful friend could not know it and he continued to wait confidently every day of his life. Struck by his loyalty, in 1957 the then-mayor of the country gave Fido a gold medal, while the following year, after his death, a bronze statue was created in front of the municipality, with the dedication “To Fido, an example of loyalty”.
For Fido as for Hachi, as for all our other faithful animal friends, we can only hope that the legend of the rainbow bridge, which we have already told you, is true, and that they have traveled it to the end, finding their human friend waiting for them.