There’s a reason why we call dogs “man’s best friend.” The stories below prove that there’s nothing better than a brave, loyal dog who loves you. In fact, a loyal dog just might save your life one day!
Hachiko, the Most Famous Loyal Dog That Ever Lived
Hachiko’s story is so famous that he’s now the official symbol for loyalty in Japan. Each weekday afternoon, Hachiko waited to greet his owner, Tokyo Imperial University professor Hidesaburo Ueno, at nearby Shibuya Station. Unfortunately, Ueno never stepped off that train on May 21, 1925. That’s because Ueno suffered a cerebral hemorrhage during that day’s lecture at school. Undeterred, the golden-brown Akita returned faithfully each day exactly when his master’s train arrived.
This daily ritual went on for nine years, nine months and 15 days. Dog lovers across the city started bringing Hachiko treats. Sadly, Hachiko died on March 8, 1935, standing in that same spot. Today, a bronze Hachiko statue outside Tokyo’s Shibuya Station greets locals and tourists alike. In the years since loyal dog Hachiko passed, his statue became a popular meet-up spot for friends and lovers. Several books and films chronicle this heartwarming story, including Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009).
Greyfriars Bobby, Scotland’s Most Loyal Dog… or a Victorian Publicity Stunt?
Greyfriars Bobby is second only to Hachiko because there’s some debate over his story’s accuracy. The tale (tail?) goes like this: Bobby belonged to John Gray, a night watchman working for the Edinburgh City Police. When Gray died, Bobby spent 14 years guarding his owner’s grave from 1858-1872. Artist William Brodie created a life-sized statue of loyal dog Bobby in 1873 for the entrance to Greyfriars Courtyard.
While the story itself is quite charming, historian Dr. Jan Bondeson at Cardiff University asserts it isn’t true. Instead, Dr. Bondeson asserts that two Edinburgh locals faked the story to help attract tourists to their nearby businesses. So, was loyal dog Greyfriars Bobby real – or a Victorian-era publicity stunt? Learn more about the questionable story’s origins in UK paper, The Telegraph.
Guide Dog Roselle, Who Led Her Blind Owner Down to Safety on 9/11
Minutes after the first hijacked plane crashed 18 floors above his head, sales director Michael Hingson sprang to action. First, Hingson sure his own staff evacuated the WTC’s Tower One safely before heading down the spiral emergency staircase himself. Loyal dog Roselle guided Hingson, blind since birth, safely down all 78 flights of stairs to the ground. When the pair emerged onto the sidewalk, Tower Two began to collapse. Luckily, both Hingson and loyal dog Roselle managed to run into a nearby subway entrance and take shelter. From there, Roselle led Hingson 40 blocks across the city to rest safely at a friend’s apartment. Shortly after that, Hingson moved with his wife, Karen, and Roselle back to California. There, he went to work with Guide Dogs for the Blind and wrote several books. One year later, Roselle received an Award for Canine Excellence (ACE) in the service-dog category.
Rescue Dog Returns the Favor: True, the Blind, Deaf, Three-Legged Dachsund
Despite his many disabilities, True managed to save his family from an early morning electrical fire in November 2012. True’s frantic barking and wailing woke up his owner, Katie Crosley, and her baby son, Jace. Mother and son managed to escape before the flames engulfed their Grady County, Oklahoma cabin. That’s because True sensed the electrical short in the wall that started the fire almost immediately. Unfortunately, mother and son lost everything in the fire except their lives and loyal rescue dog, True.