Dogs mourning humans

Hachikō

Once upon a time, there lived an Akita named Hachikō, who waited for his owner, Professor Ueno, each day at the Shibuya Station in Tokyo, Japan. After the professor suffered a brain heamorrhage and died on the way home on May 21, 1925, Hachikō continued to go to the station each day at their usual time, seemingly awaiting his return — for almost ten years.

The dog’s loyalty earned him a place in Japanese culture, his image since memorialised in art, literature, the 2009 film “Hachi: A dog's tale” and via an annual ceremony held at Shibuya Railroad Station.

One could say Hachikō’s behaviour was merely ritual; others might recognise it as grief.

Many of us have witnessed animals at a loss when their human companions die, and sometimes it’s not pretty.

Ellie in mourning

Trudi Young Taylor shares that on the night her husband Rod died, his dog Ellie chew