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In 2007, a memorial was erected at the Mendeleyevskaya station on the Moscow Metro in honour of Malchik, a stray mutt who lived there for about three years, becoming popular with commuters and Metro workers.
Malchik claimed the station as his territory, protecting travellers from drunks, the homeless and other stray dogs.
Hachikō has been the subject of two children’s books and two movies.
In 1994, millions of listeners tuned in to the radio in Japan to hear a restored recording of Hachikō’s bark, and in 2012, enthusiasts queued for hours to see an exhibition of rare photographs from the dog’s life.
In 1935, Hachikō’s body was found in a Tokyo street.
His remains were stuffed, mounted and put on display in Japan’s National Science Museum.
Bobby, explains Bondeson, was simply the latest in a series of now-forgotten cemetery dogs, including Médor, Dog of the Louvre; the Dog of Montparnasse; and the Dog of the Innocents.
Nevertheless, the primary instinct of a healthy dog – like that of all healthy creatures, including humans – is self-preservation, and on further investigation these miraculous hounds often prove rather less marvellous than they first appear.
A bronze statue of the famous dog stands outside Shibuya station to this day, and he also has his own memorial by the side of his master’s grave in Aoyama cemetery.
Hachikō isn’t the only dog whose statue oversees a railway station.
The 19th-century counterpart of Hachikō was Greyfriars Bobby, a humble little Scottish terrier who lived in the Greyfriars burial ground in Edinburgh, allegedly unwilling to leave his master’s grave.
In his book Greyfriars Bobby: The Most Faithful Dog in the World, author Jan Bondeson proves there were actually two different dogs going under Bobby’s name, both ordinary mongrels who made their home in the burial ground, eating leftovers provided by a local restaurateur.
To his fans, Hachikō was unique, perhaps even miraculous in his devotion.