Faithful dog Masha.

Another wonderful dog story, courtesy of Chris Snuggs.

Over four years ago, I published a post under the title of Faithful dog Hachikō. It was the heart-wrenching story of a Japanese Akita dog called Hachi, Hachikō in Japanese, that continued to wait for his master’s return, Hidesaburō Ueno, for years after the professor’s death.  Here’s an extract from that post:

In 1924, Hidesaburō Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo took in Hachikō as a pet. During his owner’s life Hachikō saw him out from the front door and 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 did not return on the usual train one evening. The professor had suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage at the university that day. He died and never returned to the train station where his friend was waiting. Hachikō was loyal and every day for the next nine years he waited sitting there amongst the town’s folk.

Hachikō was given away after his master’s death, but he routinely escaped, showing up again and again at his old home. Eventually, Hachikō apparently realized that Professor Ueno no longer lived at the house. So he went to look for his master at the train station where he had accompanied him so many times before. Each day, Hachikō waited for Professor Ueno to return. And each day he did not see his friend among the commuters at the station.

The permanent fixture at the train station that was Hachikō attracted the attention of other commuters. Many of the people who frequented the Shibuya train station had seen Hachikō and Professor Ueno together each day. They brought Hachikō treats and food to nourish him during his wait.

This continued for nine years with Hachikō appearing precisely when the train was due at the station

A few days ago, Chris sent me details of a faithful dog story that appeared in the English Daily Telegraph newspaper on the 26th November. The story was headed: Loyal dog waits for owner who will never return at hospital for two years. It opened, thus:

A loyal dog has shown up every day for two years at a hospital where her master passed away.

Masha appears at the Siberian hospital’s reception area every morning, the Siberian Times reports.

Her owner was admitted to the hospital in Novosibirsk region, south western Siberia, two years ago after falling ill.

Masha is well cared for by staff who make sure she has a warm bed and food every night. The faithful canine was the elderly man’s only visitor, staff say, and used to run home every night to stand guard before returning the next morning.

If we then go across to that Siberian Times story, we see that the wonderful Masha is linked to Hachikō.

Heartbroken little dog becomes Siberia’s own ‘Hachiko’

By Kate Baklitskaya and Derek Lambie – 24 November 2014

For past year devoted Masha has been waiting in a hospital for the beloved owner who will never return.

'One day, and we very much want this day to come soon, our Masha will trust somebody.' Picture: Svyatoslav Odarenko
‘One day, and we very much want this day to come soon, our Masha will trust somebody.’ Picture: Svyatoslav Odarenko

A little dog that waits in vain at a Siberian hospital for the owner who has already died has been dubbed Russia’s own Hachiko. Heartbroken Masha has been turning up looking for her beloved master every day since he passed away at the facility in Novosibirsk last year.

It is a tale mirroring that of the famously loyal Akita dog Hachiko in Japan, who arrived at a train station every evening for 10 years to greet its owner even though he had died.

Masha has become a well-known, and much loved, figure at the Novosibirsk District Hospital Number One, where patients and workers ensure she has a warm bed and food to eat.

But, aware of her obvious sadness at being unable to find her owner, staff are hoping an animal lover will come forward to adopt her and give her a new home.

Chief doctor Vladimir Bespalov told Novosibirsk Vesti TV: ‘You see her eyes, how sad they are – it’s not the usual shiny eyes for when a dog is happy. You can see this in animals in the same way as with people.

‘There is nothing medicine can do for her here, but we are still hoping that Masha will be able to find another owner. One day, and we very much want this day to come soon, our Masha will trust somebody.’

Masha, who looks like a dachshund with short legs, has been coming into the reception at the hospital in Koltsovo every day for the past two years since her owner was admitted. The man, a pensioner from the village of Dvurechie several kilometres away, had fallen ill and had turned up with his pet.

There are three heart-rending photographs of Masha that you really must look at. The article then concludes:

Whilst he was staying on the ward, Masha was his only visitor and she even trotted off home to guard the house before returning to the hospital in the morning.

Sadly he died a year ago but the loyal dog has continued to turn up every day, perhaps because she has nowhere to live, or because she believes her master is still there.

Nurse Alla Vorontsova said: ‘She is waiting for him, for her owner. Just recently a family tried to adopt her, but Masha ran away and returned to the hospital. She was taken on Friday evening, and at 3am on Saturday she was back here.’

Masha’s story is similar to that of the famous Japanese dog Hachiko, who used to greet his master on his return from work at the Shibuya train station in Tokyo.

When his owner, agricultural science professor Hidesaburo Ueno, died in 1925 he continued to visit the station every night for 10 years still expecting to meet him off his 4pm train.

In 1935 the dog’s body was found in a Tokyo street and his remains were stuffed, mounted and put on display in Japan’s National Science Museum, while a bronze statue was erected outside Shibuya. A Hollywood movie of the sad story, starring Richard Gere, was released in cinemas in 2010.

There are also similarities to Greyfriars Bobby, a little Scottish terrier who was unwilling to leave his dead master’s grave in Edinburgh, Scotland, for 14 years in the 19th century.

What wonderful, loyal, loving friends dogs are to us humans.

8 thoughts on “Faithful dog Masha.

    1. Reading the comments left to the Siberian Times story, there are several people hoping to adopt Masha. We would take her in a heart beat but Siberia to Oregon is a tad excessive!

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  1. What a heart rendering story Paul.. I had heard of Hachi before.. or at least I think it was the same story as it sounded so familiar to me from one I had read about previously . Masha looks an adorable dog and I can almost feel her sadness as she sits there… Tearfully Sue

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