Lao Pan, an unmarried man without much family, found close companionship with his loyal dog. And even through tragedy, their steadfast bond lives on.
Pan lived in the Chinese village of Panjiatun, but died earlier this month at the age of 68. His furry friend was found by villagers at Pan's grave safeguarding the site according to BBC News. The loyal pup refused to leave even after going seven days without food.
Sky News reports that since noticing the dog, villagers have been bringing food and water to the gravesite, and are even planning to build a kennel there for the dog to sleep in.
This dog's loyalty draws parallels to other famously loyal dogs, Digital Journal points out, such as Hachiko, Japan's most faithful dog.
Hachiko would greet his master at the train station each evening in Japan, until one day his owner had a stroke and died at work. Although Hachiko was adopted, his loyalty remained. Legend has it that Hachiko went to the train station each night to wait for his master.
Many pets were abandoned when their owners fled high radiation levels in an area located less than three miles from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. But many who left missed their canine companions. When they learned that some men—as well as photographer David Guttenfelder—planned to enter the radioactive zone to look for animals, evacuees gave the rescuers their old addresses to help find pets they'd left behind. Please see this month's issue of the National Geographic on the rescue efforts underway for the left behind animals of the Japanese tsunami.
Vicki Shigekuni Wong
I first spotted Hachiko's statue many years ago at Shibuya Station. Upon returning home, I adopted a dog and named him Hachi. When he passed away, I missed his reflective, welcoming and calm ways. We can all learn from the innate emotional grace of our animal friends and the Way of Hachi. I love sharing the story of the loyal dog of Japan, and hope he inspires more people to "Be Hachi"!