The Suitcase Lady

Honored (Part One)

February 16, 2021, 3:16 pm

Dogs are back in the White House, and that’s a good thing. My blog readers expect to see many references to the feline family. But I love dogs as well, and this seems like the perfect moment to honor them.

Most dogs possess numerous traits that cats eschew. They are loyal, hard-working, eager to please and in need of a master. Because of these qualities, people erect many monuments to dogs all over the globe.

One of the newest statues is a 19-foot tall golden dog in the capital city of Ashgabat in Turkmenistan. The country’s President, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, is an ardent lover of the Central Asian shepherd, known locally as an Alabai. The breed is used for protection and to guard livestock and is described as “proud and self-confident”.

Here are a few of the other canines honored in statuary:

Greyfriar’s Bobby – This faithful Skye Terrier guarded his master’s grave in Edinburgh for 14 years. His statue tops a fountain with a water dish for dogs at the bottom.

 

Kostya – Kostya, a German Shepherd, was riding in a car outside the Russian city of Tolyatti when the car crashed and his master was rushed to the hospital and died. Kostya paced the side of the road for seven years, searching for the return of his master and his car. Townspeople brought him food, but he refused their offers of a home. Newlyweds visit the monument to “the most loyal dog” and rub his nose to ensure their fidelity to each other.

 

Old Shep – A sheepherder fell ill and went to Fort Benton, Montana, for treatment. He died a few days after his arrival, and his casket was shipped East to relatives. His dog, Old Shep stayed at the train station many years, greeting every train in hopes of his master’s return.

 

Hachiko – This dog, a Japanese Akita, would meet his owner, a professor of agriculture, each night when he arrived home from work at the Shibuya train station in Tokyo. One day, his master died at work and never returned. Hachiko went to the station every afternoon for nine years, nine months and fifteen days exactly when his train was due. A statue erected to faithful Hachiko at the station is now a popular meeting place.

 

Fala – A Scottish Terrier, Fala was Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s beloved dog who lived in the White House during World War II. He was rarely apart from his master’s side and even accompanied him on ships and planes to meetings around the world. Fala was also immensely popular with the citizenry, receiving thousands of letters from the American public. A secretary was assigned to him to answer his fan mail.

 


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