Dogs are known for being loyal pets, and there have been numerous recorded incidents during which a faithful four-legged companion has waited beside a fallen loved one, pined beside the grave of their pet parent, or stood guard and protected a family. Such stories melt our hearts, and so we couldn't pass up an opportunity to tell you about another dedicated pup named Maya.
The story starts when Sandra Iniesta, Maya's 22-year-old pet parent, began experiencing intense stomach cramps while travelling home to Barcelona from vacation with her father. After an emergency stop was made at Elda Hospital near Alicante, Sandra was diagnosed with a ruptured appendix and rushed straight into surgery, leaving Maya distraught.
Despite his best efforts, Sandra's father failed to tempt Maya back into his car. For six days, the devoted dog waited outside Elda Hospital, becoming a firm favorite among hospital staff. Having posted her photograph on its Facebook page, the hospital received numerous visitors with gifts for Maya – she'd gone viral.
Out of surgery and well enough to head home, Sandra was shocked to discover that her faithful pup had become a social media star.
"She just did what she does at home in Barcelona, which is wait at the door of a place until I return," Sandra explained to local media. "After days of not seeing my girl Maya, the kiss and happiness at seeing me and her is priceless."
Maya is not the first Akita Inu to become famous for her loyalty. During the 1920s, an Akita named Hachiko found fame after spending nine years waiting at Shibuya Station for his pet parent to return. The two used to meet each day once the gentleman finished work, but one day he suffered a fatal brain hemorrhage. Undeterred, Hachiko carried on waiting in vain for his pet parent who sadly never came back.
We're glad Maya and her pet parent had a much happier ending, and wish Sandra a speedy recovery.