It’s often quoted that a dog is man’s best friend, this is due to the loyalty and companionship between dogs and humans for over a milennia.
It would take a hard heart not to be moved by the images of Sully, George H.W.Bush’s service dog standing by his master casket.
This image of loyalty invoked memories of Greyfriars Bobby the Skye Terrier who guarded his masters grave for 14 years untill he died himself.
Now the reality of the relationship between George H.W.Bush and Sully is no Greyfriars Bobby but by all accounts they brought each other comfort in their time together and the imagery was striking.
There are many accounts of faithful dogs after their master has passed including:
Canelo in Spain who used to walk with his owner to hospital while they had dialysis, when his owner sadly died Canelo still made the trip and died outside the hospital after waiting 12 years.
And Hachiko an Akita who is seen as a symbol of loyalty in Japan, he used to meet his master at the train station after work each day and when his master passed away Hachiko still made the trip waiting for him for nine years.
One which really gets me is a fictional account but an excellent piece of story telling from a cartoon series.
Futurama was an animated show from Simpson’s creator Matt Groening, it centerted around Philip J Fry who by accident finds himself frozen and re-awoke in the 31st century
When Fry takes Bender to a museum exhibit, he is shocked to find a fossilized dog on display, which he recognizes as his pet from the 20th century, Seymour. For three days he protests in front of the museum by dancing to “The Hustle” by Van McCoy, demanding they give him Seymour’s body, which proves successful. Professor Farnsworth then examines Seymour’s body, and concludes that, due to his unusually rapid fossilization, a DNA sample can be made to produce a clone, and it would even be possible to recreate Seymour’s personality and memory.
Fry begins to prepare for the dog and Bender becomes jealous. Just when the Professor is ready to clone Seymour, Bender arrives. Angry that Fry will not spend time with him, he grabs the fossil and throws it in a pit of lava, believing that destroying it will restore his friendship with Fry. Fry is furious at Bender and extremely upset at having lost Seymour. Bender realizes how Fry could love an inferior creature and apologizes for what he did. The professor explains that the fossil may not have instantly melted, as it was made of dolomite. With this in mind, Bender, claiming to be partly made from dolomite, dives into the lava and recovers the fossil.
The Professor begins the cloning process and his computer informs him that Seymour died at the age of 15, meaning he lived for twelve years after Fry was frozen. Fry has a change of heart, and aborts the cloning process, believing that Seymour must have moved on with his life, found a new owner, and forgotten about him. A flashback then shows that in the years that passed after Fry left, Seymour had faithfully obeyed Fry’s last command, which was to wait in front of Panucci’s Pizza until he returned. Seymour stays there as the years pass and in the final shot, he lies down and closes his eye
Although this was fictional show it still makes me feel emotional when recalling the episode and as a dog fan it just touched something inside of me.
So be it fiction or fact you can’t dispute the bond between man and hound