I was so busy wallowing in the sadness of losing Futurama, yet again, that I didn’t realize it was Monday. At least, not until a wonderful reader/blogger from Thoughts of a Lesser Canine reminded me. (Please address all your thank-you notes to her!)
It seems only logical for this Media Monday to pay homage to Futurama. (And serve as an open letter to Adult Swim asking them to pick up the show, maybe?)
Well, it was worth a shot. Anyway, Futurama fans have seen tons of animals depicted on the show, from alien and futuristic animals to those we know today. And pretty much any hardcore fan also knows about the main character, Philip J. Fry’s long lost mutt, Seymour.
There are so many paths I could take with this. I could talk about how great it is that they chose to portray a mixed breed dog instead of a purebred (not to mention a rescue straight off the streets!), I could talk about the horrible idea that is dog cloning (and I probably will, just not today), or I could hit you all right in the feels and talk about loyalty. I think I’ll do that.
Those of you who aren’t fans are probably wondering what’s so special about this scruffy puppy. Well, long story short when his adopted daddy was accidentally frozen for a thousand years during a crank call pizza delivery, Seymour waited outside the pizzeria every single day for him to come home. If I’m not mistaken, he waited for 12 long years.
Does this sound familiar to anyone else?
Hachiko is based on a true story though I can’t say how loosely, as I’ve yet to see the film. The story, the true version, is about an Akita named -wait for it- Hachiko. His owner, Hidesamuro, brought Hachiko with him when he moved to Tokyo, Japan in 1924. Hidesamuro was a university professor who took the train to and from work every day. His dog soon realized his schedule and began to meet him at the station every day at around 4:00, waiting to walk him back home.
After about a year, Hidesamuro suffered from a stroke at work and died. He never made it home. Unfortunately, Hachiko never got the message. Legend has it, every single day, for ten years, he went to the train station at 4:00, waiting for his dad to come home. But he never did.
While he was given food, water, and a bed by kind strangers (and hopefully his owner’s wife), Hachiko eventually died of cancer and worms. Residents of Tokyo were so impressed by his loyalty that they built a statue of him. It was destroyed during World War II, but a replacement was built by the son of the artist, and is still on display to this day at the Shibuya Station, where he waited for so many years.
Hachiko’s story is lovely, heartbreaking, and inspiring. It may have been the inspiration behind Futurama’s “Jurassic Bark”, the episode which introduced Seymour. Even the awesome people at Google showed their appreciation for him on his birthday, November 10th, by dedicating that day’s “google art” to him.
I’m sure anybody in rescue has that one pet peeve that makes them want to strangle someone. Whether it’s owners who say they don’t want to spay/neuter, owners who give back a dog when they realize it’s part Pit, or people who take dogs to the shelter because they’ve gotten old. Truth be told, all of these are annoying. But the one thing that breaks my heart more than anything is people who move and leave their dogs behind.
I’ve seen it happen a handful of times, or I’d have thought nobody could possibly be that mean. But, by now my faith in humanity is shaken. It would have been destroyed, if not for the kind neighbors and rescues who step up to care for the new orphans.
I for one will never leave my dog behind: in a move, in a hurricane, never. I hope that if people realized how loyal dogs are, and how long they will wait for their family to come back, they wouldn’t either.