domingo, 23 de octubre de 2011

Hachiko and Roko

     A few days ago, I watched "Hachiko: A dog's story", a Richard Gere's drama film, which tells the story of a japanish akita dog. The film begins with a kid who talks about his personal hero: Hachiko, his grandfather's dog. His hero because of the love and loyalty showed to his grandfather's figure. After his owner's death, Hachi was waiting for his come-back for almost ten years at the railway station, as he did every day during his owner's life, until his own death.

     This story is based in a real one. The real Hachiko was born in Odate(Japan) in 1923 and he was the loyal pet of Professor Hidesaburo Ueno. During his owner's life, Hachiko greeted him at the end of the day at the nearby Shibuya Station. The pair continued their daily routine until May 1925, when Professor Ueno passed away. Every day for the next 9 years, Hachiko waited at the Shibuya Station for his owner's return. Finally, he died the 8th of May 1935. A bronze statue in his likeness was erected at Shibuya Station and Hachiko itself was present at its unveiling.  The statue still stands and the station entrance near this statue is named "The Hachiko Entrance/Exit"(Hachiko-guchi)
Initially he was buried under a stone dog house near to his owner's grave but, nowadays, Hachiko's stuffed and mounted remains are kept at the National Science Museum of Japan in Ueno, Tokio.
Hachiko at the National Science Museum

     But this is not an uncommon case, there are many documented cases of canine loyalty: Canelo, in Spain; Gaucho, in Uruguay; Alicio, in Argentine; Leao, in Brazil; Greyfriars Bobby, in Scotland...

     I have the enormous luck of having Roko, a french bulldog, in my life. Long time ago he decided to move to my parents' home with his garden, his pine forest and his river, leaving behind the noisy and polluted Madrid, where I am still living.
Despite the time which he has been living there, Roko becomes my shadow every time I go there and he follows me with his snorings around the house. The same way Hachiko transformed the life of Professor Ueno, Roko has changed mine. And I have to thank him that since he appeared in my life, it has been getting better.
My problem was that I couldn't give him all the time and dedication that he needed. That's the reason why Roko packed his things and moved to Valladolid, where he receives all the love and attention from my parents and his games' partner: Shiva, one lovely boxer dog.

     After his departure, it was very sad arrivig home and not having him waiting for me at the door; but in the other hand, I have to recognize that this situation was also a relief. I didn't  feel the urge to return home to go out for a walk with him. And it wasn't just me the only one who takes care of him. Eduardo, the estate's keeper where I lived before, took him out for a walk everytime I couldn´t do it. Nor waking me up in the morning and dressing me quickly to take him for a walk; neither, doing it on my return in the morning to sleep quietly until noon...

Shiva and Roko
     And what do I want to tell you  with these stories? I'd like to make you think... Dogs are living beings and if they haven't got feelings, they are very near to it. They need care and attention. And once we decide to be their journey partner through life, we incur obligations towards them.
They aren't a simple present. The person who receives them must be ready to sign a life contract; in the same way, dogs are willing to accompany us until the end of our life. If people thought more often about this, fewer and fewer dogs would be left after Christmas and summer time.

     Dogs aren't stuff animals that can be stored in a closet or thrown into the trash once we're tired of them. They are living beings with a bigger loyalty that many humans as evidenced by stories like these or the fact that more than 100.000 dogs are left every year in Spain.

0 comentarios:

Publicar un comentario