This week I’m talking about the incredible loyalty of dogs and some of the historical examples of their unyielding faith. I was researching some material for Anzac day and came across the story of Hawkeye, and it prompted me to search for some of the other examples of man’s best friend being just that.

1. “Greyfriars Bobby”

This was a Skye Terrier in Edinburgh who spent 14 years guarding the grave of his owner until he died in 1872. The story is obscured by the mists of time, but “Greyfriars Kirkyard” is the graveyard of the Greyfriars church. Bobby was the dog of the local policeman John Gray, and when John died he was buried in the graveyard and Bobby spent the next 14 years sitting on his master’s grave. When Bobby died he too was buried in the same graveyard.

There is a beautiful bronze statue of Bobby in Edinburgh. Of course, to ruin the lovely story a historian at Cardiff University investigated the story in 2011 and believes it was a publicity stunt by local businessmen to attract custom to Edinburgh.

2. Hachiko

Was an Akita in Japan who died in 1935.
Hachiko’s owner was a professor at the University of Tokyo. During his life, the dog would greet him at the end of each day at the local railway station. One day the professor suffered a brain haemorrhage and died, but Hachiko would head to the station every day at the same time for the next nine years.

At the time this happened and when his story was investigated, it turned out there were only around 30 purebred Akitas remaining in Japan. His story was published and Hachiko became a national sensation. He died of cancer in 1935 and his body remains in the National Science Museum of Japan.

3. Canelo

In Cadiz, Spain. His owner died at a hospital of kidney failure and Canelo waited 12 years. The town has put his name to a street in his honour.

4. Capitan

There is reportedly a german shepherd dog in Argentina currently standing over his masters grave since 2006.

5. Hawkeye

This is a labrador whose owner was a US Navy Seal killed in Afghanistan. Hawkeye remained by the funeral casket throughout the entire ceremony and there is some very moving footage on Youtube. His story is what prompted me to search for some of these loyal dogs.