In a world of complex and sometimes rocky relationships amongst us humans, is there anything more pure than the love between a dog and his master? This story brought me to tears.
Two weeks ago, a 68 year old Chinese man, Lao Pan, passed away. He lived alone with his little yellow dog in a small house in the village of Panjiatun, China. Upon his death, the villagers noticed his dog had mysteriously vanished. Well he hadn’t vanished…he’d just spent the past seven days by his master’s grave. Without food. The villagers noticed the dog’s loyalty and tried to coax him away from his master’s side so he could eat. But he wouldn’t budge. The villagers, so moved by the dog’s loyalty, are bringing him food at his vigil, and a permanent kennel is in the works, so he can remain with his master.
This isn’t the first dog to display such loyalty. Hachiko, an Akita owned by a Japanese professor, would faithfully greet his master at Shibuya train station in Tokyo in the 1930s. Then, when his master died at work, the dog showed up to meet his master, and returned every day for the next 14 years at the same time, faithfully waiting for his owner. His statue now stands just outside the spot where he waited each day, and Hachiko became an inspiration to the entire nation.
And Greyfriar’s Bobby was a little Skye Terrier in Edinburgh who valiantly stayed by John Gray, his master, also for 14 years after his master’s death. Gray was buried in an unmarked grave. Yet little Bobby found the spot where his master lay and left only for food. Gray’s friends and the kindly graveyard curator looked out for the pooch, feeding him and housing him on cold nights. But he’d always return to his master’s grave. And on his death, was buried close to his master.
If you’re a dog lover like me you’ll want a hanky when you watch this video. In closing, I leave you with the inscription on Bobby’s headstone:
“Let his loyalty and devotion be a lesson to us all.”