For past year devoted Masha has been waiting in a hospital for the beloved owner who will never return.
'One day, and we very much want this day to come soon, our Masha will trust somebody.' Picture: Svyatoslav Odarenko
A little dog that waits in vain at a Siberian hospital for the owner who has already died has been dubbed Russia’s own Hachiko. Heartbroken Masha has been turning up looking for her beloved master every day since he passed away at the facility in Novosibirsk last year.
It is a tale mirroring that of the famously loyal Akita dog Hachiko in Japan, who arrived at a train station every evening for 10 years to greet its owner even though he had died.
Masha has become a well-known, and much loved, figure at the Novosibirsk District Hospital Number One, where patients and workers ensure she has a warm bed and food to eat.
But, aware of her obvious sadness at being unable to find her owner, staff are hoping an animal lover will come forward to adopt her and give her a new home.
Chief doctor Vladimir Bespalov told Novosibirsk Vesti TV: 'You see her eyes, how sad they are - it’s not the usual shiny eyes for when a dog is happy. You can see this in animals in the same way as with people.
'There is nothing medicine can do for her here, but we are still hoping that Masha will be able to find another owner. One day, and we very much want this day to come soon, our Masha will trust somebody.'
Masha, who looks like a dachshund with short legs, has been coming into the reception at the hospital in Koltsovo every day for the past two years since her owner was admitted. The man, a pensioner from the village of Dvurechie several kilometres away, had fallen ill and had turned up with his pet.
'You see her eyes, how sad they are -- it’s not the usual shiny eyes for when a dog is happy.' Pictures: Vesti. Novosibirsk
Whilst he was staying on the ward, Masha was his only visitor and she even trotted off home to guard the house before returning to the hospital in the morning.
Sadly he died a year ago but the loyal dog has continued to turn up every day, perhaps because she has nowhere to live, or because she believes her master is still there.
Nurse Alla Vorontsova said: 'She is waiting for him, for her owner. Just recently a family tried to adopt her, but Masha ran away and returned to the hospital. She was taken on Friday evening, and at 3am on Saturday she was back here.'
Masha’s story is similar to that of the famous Japanese dog Hachiko, who used to greet his master on his return from work at the Shibuya train station in Tokyo.
When his owner, agricultural science professor Hidesaburo Ueno, died in 1925 he continued to visit the station every night for 10 years still expecting to meet him off his 4pm train.
In 1935 the dog’s body was found in a Tokyo street and his remains were stuffed, mounted and put on display in Japan’s National Science Museum, while a bronze statue was erected outside Shibuya. A Hollywood movie of the sad story, starring Richard Gere, was released in cinemas in 2010.
There are also similarities to Greyfriars Bobby, a little Scottish terrier who was unwilling to leave his dead master’s grave in Edinburgh, Scotland, for 14 years in the 19th century.
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