Wilder than people?

Sometimes I ask myself if the only thing that makes a difference between us (people) and them (animals) is the ability to think and feel, but I keep thinking that that isn’t exactly the case. My personal opinion and years of practice when it comes to life  show me that sometimes animals can become people and people can become more savage than wolves even when they have no apparent reason to feel threatened. I’m a true animal lover and I usually read the parts of the newspapers where you can find interesting facts about animals and the things they do in everyday life. Just recently, I read a story about a dog named Hachikō, and I couldn’t help but weep with every word I read. The more I read, the more I felt sorry for some people who could never hope to have a soul as pure and untainted as the dog in the story.

The name Hachikō comes from the Japanese word for number eight (hachi) which refers to the dog’s birth order in the litter, and a word kō (duke or prince), but Hachikō was better known as chūken Hachikō which means “faithful dog Hachikō”. Hachiko was an Akita dog, remembered for his remarkable loyalty to his owner, even years after his owner’s death.

The owner of the dog was an agriculture department professor Hidesaburo Ueno. What made Hachikō so special was that he greeted his owner at the end of each day near the Shibuya Station. Every day, without exception, the dog showed his loyalty and love towards his owner. This everyday routine lasted until May 1925, when professor Ueno did not return to the station. The reason for not returning was the illness of the professor (cerebral hemorrhage) and his death. Yet, despite that Hachikō would still come to the Shibuya station every single day at the exact same time his master’s train was due to arrive, anxiously waiting for his owner to step outside the train and greet him with a gentle pat on the head. But he never did…Sooner or later people started noticing him, at first the reaction of people, especially those working at the station wasn’t exactly friendly. They would try to chase him away, shouting and even going as far as kicking the poor dog, never knowing about his pure faithfulness and an undying bond to his master unsevered even by death itself. As soon as his story spread through several articles, they started treating him differently, even bringing him food and treats to nourish the dog during his seemingly endless wait. It was at that time when more and more articles emerged telling the sad story of his persistence and faithfulness that Hachikō slowly started ascending to the point of becoming the national symbol of loyalty. Unfortunately, Hachikō died on March 8, 1935 after having spent nearly 10 years waiting for his master, but despite that his legacy still lives on. To this day Hachikō’s bronze statue decorates the Shibuya station reminding people that animals aren’t some unemotional instinct driven creatures, that they have the actual ability to love and respect you even after death.

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