Hachiko, Japan’s most loyal dog, finally reunited with owner in heartwarming new statue in Tokyo

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RocketNews 24:

Even in a country that adores its pets, none have captured the hearts of Japanese animal-lovers like Hachiko. The Akita dog touched the hearts of people across the nation by devotedly waiting every day for more than nine years in front of Tokyo’s Shibuya Station for his master to return from work, not knowing that he had died from a cerebral hemorrhage and wouldn’t be coming back.

Today, a statue of Hachiko stands in Shibuya, showing the dog patiently waiting. But while the bittersweet quality of the story made Hachiko famous, it overlooks the fact that before his master’s passing, the two would happily reunite every evening and walk home together. Now, it’s that moment’s turn to be immortalized, with a new statue showing Hachiko as he’s rarely been depicted before, bursting with joy upon seeing his owner.

While Hachiko is arguably the more famous of the two, his owner, Hidesaburo Ueno, also contributed greatly to Japanese society. Ueno was a professor at the University of Tokyo (then called Tokyo Imperial University) for over 20 years, and a celebrated scholar in the field of agricultural engineering. As a matter of fact, it was during one of his lectures in 1925 that Ueno collapsed and passed away.

▼ A bust of Ueno at the University of Tokyo

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This year marks the 90th anniversary of Ueno’s death, and also the 80th of Hackiho’s passing. In memoriam, the University of Tokyo’s agriculture department has erected a bronze statue of man and dog on its campus, together at last.

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The heartwarming scene has had a powerful effect on online commenters in Japan.

“I’m so happy for you, Hachiko.”
“I already cried when I saw the 1987 Hachiko movie. I didn’t think this would make me cry again, but it sure does…”
“So moving.”
“What’s the big idea, making me cry like this?”

We have to agree. After waiting almost 100 years, it’s hard not to get a little choked up at Ueno and Hachiko’s reunion.

Pet treats from China pulled from shelves, suspected in the illness/death of thousands of dogs

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RocketNews 24/CBS News:

Any pet owner will tell you that pets are undeniably a part of the family. Everyone wants the best for their furry four-legged friend, and it is emotionally painful to watch them when they get sick or when their lives end. Even worse is when their already too-short lives are cut even shorter due to illness caused by something that was believed to be good for them. So, in response to consumer concerns that jerky treats manufactured in China have been the cause of thousands of pet illnesses and deaths, pet-supply chain Petco has decided to stop all sales of Chinese-produced dog and cat treats.

On January 7, Petco announced that it has discontinued sales of pet treats from China at its 1,300 stores nationwide because of speculations that the treats may be linked to over 1,000 dog deaths in the U.S. since 2007.

Despite testing, the FDA has not yet been able to determine the cause of illnesses, and still no definitive link has been found between the illnesses/deaths and the treats. Still, the treats were targeted after more than 4,800 complaints of illnesses and death after pets were fed the jerky treats from China. Investigations are still ongoing.

Even though there have been no definitive links yet made, with consumers growing more wary about what they give their four-legged family members, Petco made the decision for the pull and has been replacing them with treats manufactured in the U.S. or other countries such as Australia and New Zealand.

With multiple pet food recalls each year due to salmonella, mold, and more, there has recently been a growing movement of pet parents who have ditched canned and bagged pet food all together, and have either started cooking for their fur babies (a growing number of pet food cookbooks are available online and in bookstores), or have even started their pets on raw food diets.

Pet supply chain PetSmart is also following in Petco’s paw prints, saying it has plans to remove the treats from its stores by March 2015.