Pajama Press

Rob Laidlaw’s Dog Tales: Visiting Hachiko

Posted on August 31st, 2012 by pajamapress

Dog Tales is a series where author and animal advocate Rob Laidlaw shares stories and facts from his travels and work in dog advocacy.

When I was in Tokyo, I went to see the memorial statue of Hachiko the dog just outside the Shibuya train station. While Hachiko is extremely famous in Japan, he’s not quite so famous in other parts of the world—but he should be.

In 1924 Hachiko’s “owner” would take the train to work and return each evening. Hachiko would wait for him to return, but in May 1925 his owner passed away and did not return. Hachiko waited faithfully at the train station every day for nine years. During that time he became famous. In 1932 Hachiko also passed away, but his memory lives on today. In No Shelter Here: Making the World a Kinder Place for Dogs I tell the story of the Greyfriar’s Bobby, a small Skye terrier who also spent years waiting for his “owner” to return. Hachiko, Bobby and other dogs like them can teach us a lot. Perhaps we should all be a bit more like dogs.