Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Tsunami Dog - An Unwavering Loyalty

This video went viral (like most astounding things on the Internet) a few days after the terrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan. It totally broke my heart as I watched it and like many others, whether they are animal-lovers or not, find myself moved beyond words.

A screen capture of the two canine survivors and a story which touched the whole world.

Two dogs miraculously survived the onslaught of the devastating tsunami that swept their town (like so many others along the northeastern coast of Japan). Two Japanese reporters combing through the wreckage in Arahama town came across a scruffy and weary white and brown spaniel, which had obviously survived unimaginable horrors and lived to tell its tale. When the dog spotted the reporters it came up to them and barked at them, like it was warning them away, and returned to the side of a comatose white dog lying on the ground. By this time, everyone feared the worst, but the spaniel sat stoically by its side, unbending, in the most protective manner. This was despite the fact that the spaniel had been severely traumatised - it was shivering badly throughout. To the relief of the reporters and viewers, the white dog later stirred and lifted its head, but it was visibly injured. His loyal friend greeted him by giving him a pat on his head with a tender paw, bringing a sudden collective lump to all our throats. At one point in the video, the reporter commented "This is so difficult to watch." I totally agree.

In the face of the massive human toll, we tend to forget our "other best friends" - the pets which were mostly left to fend for themselves. Those which manage to survive were likely to have lost their families and homes in the disaster, or got separated from their surviving owners. How does a dog (or a cat for that matter) comprehend what had just happened? That their safe world turned upside down in a moment and everything they know was literally swept away. How do they deal with the trauma, how do they survive the aftermath? This video amply shows how the animals deal with it, and come through with such unbelievable fortitude. How is it possible that against a backdrop of absolute ruin, and survival is an uncertainty, that the spaniel continues to stand firm to protect his injured and defenseless friend? Hachiko was a legend for his loyalty to his human master. These dogs are the latest canine legends for their loyalty to one another. 

The story has a happy ending. According to various sources on the Internet and newswires, both dogs have been rescued but are placed in separate shelters.

The Japanese have been AMAZING in the face of such enormous adversity, and even their CANINES are total troopers! Here's praying that the two doggies are safe and will either be reunited with their families or find good homes later.
You can watch the video here (and English translation provided below):

English Translation from Yahoo! News
We are in Arahama area. Looks like there is a dog. There is a dog. He looks tired and dirty. He must have been caught in the tsunami. He looks very dirty.
He has a collar. He must be someone's pet. He has a silver collar. He is shaking. He seems very afraid.
Oh, there is another dog. I wonder if he is dead.
Right there. There is another dog right next to the one sitting down. He is not moving. I wonder. I wonder if he is alright.
The dog is protecting him.
Yes. He is protecting the dog. That is why he did not want us to approach them. He was trying to keep us at bay.
I can't watch this. This is very difficult to watch.
Oh. Look. He is moving. He is alive. I am so happy to see that he is alive.
Yes! Yes! He is alive.
He looks to be weakened. We need to them to be rescued soon. We really want them rescued soon.
Oh good. He's getting up.
It is amazing how they survived the tremendous earthquake and tsunami. It's just amazing that they survived through this all.

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