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Heartbroken little dog becomes Siberia's own 'Hachiko'

By Kate Baklitskaya and Derek Lambie
24 November 2014

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.

Dog Masha waits for her owner

Masha's sad eyes

Masha with hospitals visitors

'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.

Comments (39)

After reading your incredible story in reference to Masha. It's sad that she's without her beloved owner. It's apparent that she misses him/her dearly. This story really and truly touched my heart. Although, I live in the United States I would love to care for Masha so that the light can shine in her eyes once again. She would definitely receive an abundance of love and nurturing from me. I feel the cycle needs to cease concerning the hospital visits. The visits only shatter her hopes when her owner is no longer there to care for her, very saddening. It only prepares her each day for failure which is understandably devastating. If this is all possible I would like to be considered as Masha's new adopted mom. This will bring joy to my family and a new loving beginning to Masha. I would love to have her!!! Thank you, Ms. Wynter
A. Wynter, United States
03/12/2014 20:57
I will be more than happy to adopt Marsha.
ornit, Beer-Sheva, Israel
03/12/2014 20:51
Hi, i have three dogs that are part of our family and i,m willing to adopt Marsha too with lots and lots of love.
Ornit Dar, Beer-Sheva, Israel
03/12/2014 20:48
As much as i wish for a happy end to Masha I don't think it will be wise to take here away from the hospital. Wherever she will be taken, she just will run away and try to come back. And the further away from the hospital it is the worse it will be for Masha. Hopefully SHE will find someone, most probably it will be a kid, that she wants to go with.And hopefully THIS will be kind people. If not, let her come to the hospital every day. there are kind people there. It is heartwarming to read about it. Good luck and all the best in Nobosibirsk!
Morak Benedikt, Moscow,Russia
30/11/2014 09:55
Marsha, I m so sad to read about your story, your love is unconditional, pls don't hurt your self baby, pls find somebody else to love and taking care of you. Hopefully you find your trully master, who can give you perfect love as your late master did. I love you marsha.
ira, indonesia
29/11/2014 19:58
I'd love to find out more about Masha, and if I might help her!!! I'm heartbroken at the very recent loss of my own dog, Masha's story and sad eyes have struck a chord with me. I'd love to think I might provide her with a home but wouldn't know where to start in finding her or how she would even respond to another person 'interfering' in her life
Cragganmore, , Scotland UK
28/11/2014 01:12
I couldn't help crying reading the stories about Marsha, and also Buddy in Texas. They and all other dogs deserve our love and protection. Their loyalty and unconditional love is out of question. Hope Marsha, Buddy and all other dogs in the world always get much love and care from their owners and everyone around them.
Lilian Chow, Toronto Canada
28/11/2014 00:58
Masha can live with us in the Netherlands. She can enjoy a beautifull dogparadise here on a privat Island with lots of nature and a warm house. I will pay all the uncosts, but who can help Masha with the transport and vaccins? wolfje_6@hotmail.com
Simone de Pauw, Wieringerwaard/ Netherlands
28/11/2014 00:04
Seems love is more an animal concept than a human one. Best Masha. Your heart is inspring. J'espere aussi pour toi. Message francais de Suisse
Olivier, Zurich
27/11/2014 10:44
I hope little Marsha will soon find another loving home she looks such a lovely little Dog with those big sad eyes .made me cry for her sending a virtual hug and cuddles to Marsha xxxx
Mary Cameron , United Kingdom
27/11/2014 06:59
What a sad, sad story. I almost cried reading it and seeing the pictures of this little dog with those lifeless eyes. These animals are our real friends and loveable fur kids. Do not ever disappoint them. I hope cute little Masha will accept one day that her life has changed forever. May she find the best possible human friends!
Beata, Toronto Canada
27/11/2014 05:49
I would adopt this little girl in a heartbeat. This is so sad. Please take good care of her. She deserves a good home.
Robin Pershing, Tucson, Arizona
27/11/2014 04:13
What a loving dog and how lucky Marsha's owner was to have her with him at the end. Only a dog-owner will understand the bond. I lost my beloved Cobber two years ago. He bought me more joy and happiness than I deserved and will never forget.
Paul Saunders, Saratoga Springs NY USA
27/11/2014 01:18
I Love dogs, Masha is a really smart pet, I think Masha is happy at the Hospital. I´ll ask the hospital workers, let Masha to stay there forever.

God Bless Masha Forever
Rogelio Barrón, Monclova, Mexico
27/11/2014 01:05
I love the loyal dog, Masha which reminds me of my pet "Honey" , a small dog adopted by my mother in 1968. I was asked to abandon her in the hill after the death of my mother who used to feed her and care for her daily life. I miss her every day and I would like to have another dog like her.
Bella Yu, Hong Kong
26/11/2014 19:48

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