Faithfulness and fraudulence

Charles 3 Comments

Dogs who remain faithful to their masters and mistresses after their deaths have plenty of aah factor, always have done.

Take Hachiko the Akita (pictured above), for example. Every day he would meet his owner, Professor Ueno, off the Tokyo train. One day, Prof Ueno died at work. Unable to take it in, Hachiko padded down to the railway station every day at the precise time of the arrival of what should have been his master’s train for the next nine years until, to much sadness, as you can see below, he expired in his own right. Read all about him here.

When Navy Seal Jon Tumlinson died in Afghanistan on 6 August 2012, his inconsolable Labrador, Hawkeye, kept vigil at his funeral

Below, you can see Leão purportedly lying by the grave of his master, a victim of floods in Brazil in 2011. Actually, it is more likely that Leão was the gravedigger’s dog and was simply chillaxing. He doesn’t look overly grief-stricken, does he?

Britain’s most famous graveside vigilist is, of course, Greyfriars Bobby. He was almost certainly a fraud, too. Both of him. According to Wikipedia, “he was originally a stray that hung around nearby Heriot’s hospital, but became such a nuisance the hospital gardener threw him into the graveyard. James Brown, the curator of the graveyard, was fond of Bobby’s company and began to feed him to keep him around. Visitors saw Bobby and liked to believe he was loyally staying by his masters grave, and provided Brown with tips to hear Bobby’s “story” …  in May or June 1867 the original Bobby died and was replaced with a younger dog.

Lots more faithful dogs here. All the dirt on the Scotch fraud pictured above here.


  1. Charles

    Rescued elephant herds inexplicably gather to mourn South Africa ’s “Elephant Whisperer”
    posted by Rob Kerby, Senior Editor

    For 12 hours, two herds of wild South African elephants slowly made their way through the Zululand bush until they reached the house of late author Lawrence Anthony, the conservationist who had saved their lives.
    The formerly violent, rogue elephants, destined to be shot a few years ago as pests, had been rescued and rehabilitated by Anthony, who had grown up in the bush and was known as the “Elephant Whisperer.”
    For two days the herds loitered at Anthony’s rural compound on the vast Thula Thula game reserve – to say good-bye to the man they loved. But how did they know he had died March 7?

    So, how after Anthony’s death, did the reserve’s elephants — grazing miles away in distant parts of the park — know? “A good man died suddenly,” says Rabbi Leila Gal Berner, Ph.D.,
    “and from miles and miles away, two herds of elephants, sensing that they had lost a beloved human friend, moved in a solemn, almost ‘funereal’ procession to make a call on the bereaved
    family at the deceased man’s home. If there ever were a time, when we can truly sense the wondrous ‘interconnectedness of all beings,’ it is when we reflect on the elephants of Thula Thula.
    A man’s heart’s stops, and hundreds of elephants’ hearts are grieving. This man’s oh-so-abundantly loving heart offered healing to these elephants, and now, they came to pay loving homage to their friend.”

  2. Charles

    What a touching story – to just go and visit someone when we feel the urge – to get in tune with that deep underlying rhythm of life and death…

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