In the Russian city of Kaliningrad, the local residents are used to a very familiar sight: a husky in a blue sweater, waiting for his owner. Given that this dog’s story has elements that resemble another well-known story, he’s been nicknamed the Russian Hachiko.
The Russian Hachiko is distinguished from other strays by his blue sweater – an indication that he’s just waiting for his owner, a woman named Svetlana. She has also attached a hand-written note to his sweater, explaining that he is just waiting for her to return from work. The tradition started after the husky would not stop howling after she left him at home in her apartment while going to work. Instead, she now takes him with her to the Mega shopping center and there he waits for her to get off work.
Given the uniqueness of it all, the Russian Hachiko was featured by the Kaliningrad publication Klops.ru, where the journalists were curious to know more about this pupper and his story. Svetlana was open about her pet’s ritual, however, she refused to give up his name – worried that if the public knew what he was called, they’d try to lure him away. Smart move. However, she has said that she makes sure to check on her dog while she’s working. Furthermore, she always spends her whole 40-minute lunch break with him during which she gives him his lunch too, and talks him for a long walk. Once she finishes up work, she and her pooch head home together.
As Svetlana opened up, “We live in a rented communal apartment. I can’t leave him alone, the neighbors say that he howls without me from morning to evening. There is a seven-month-old child and a grandmother living next door to us. If he howls, we will be kicked out. We found a way, he feels quite comfortable.”
For those worried about the Russian Hachiko being outside, dog experts don’t see any red flags or cause for concern as huskies actually endure cold temperatures very well – much better than other dogs. Also, being outdoors can actually be of some benefit to him since he gets public interaction with people and dogs.
Svetlana has noted that her dog is both loyal and loving, as well as incredibly intelligent. She has shared that he just wants to be by her side all the time and even gets her up in the mornings when her alarm goes off. His tried and true method? Licking her face.
When this story broke it went viral – no doubt resonating deeply with dog lovers and owners everywhere. There is nothing that can match the love and loyalty of a dog.