Golden Retriever Ken – (you’re gonna need hankies for this tale)

This is an awfully sad story, one of many that show so clearly how human how beloved furry companions are.

‘Orphaned’ dog finds new master
The Yomiuri Shimbun, December 8, 2007

The golden retriever shivered as he approached the intersection where his previous owner was killed by a car in April. Now, he is being helped to recover from the loss of his owner thanks to loving care of new owners.

Setsuko Endo was hit by a car as she was walking her dog, Ken, on April 16. Ken, covered in a red rain poncho, kept circling around his collapsed owner, who was soon rushed to a hospital.

The next day, Koichi Kanno, a barber who lived next door to Endo, tried to take the 12-year-old Ken for a walk.

However, the dog refused to move. And so, Kanno fed Ken his favorite foods, including bread and broccoli.

“Endo took care of my grandchild and my dog so well, and I wanted to do something for her,” Kanno, 58, recalled. Endo, who is childless and lost her husband 21 years ago, took great care of Ken. She used to take him for daily walks even in rain or snow.

Endo was pronounced dead on April 30. When Kanno saw Ken lying silently near Endo’s body at her house during the wake, he decided to care for Ken.

To earn the dog’s trust, Kanno slept with Ken in his kennel between 7 p.m. and midnight, using a sleeping bag. After three days, Ken started licking his new master’s face.

Ken still lives at Endo’s house, but wags his tail and rushes toward Kanno whenever Kanno calls to him. Every day, Kanno offers a few silent words to Endo: “May you rest in peace. Ken is having fun with me every day.”

Kanno said he was determined to take care of Ken, who is loved by many people in the neighborhood, for the rest of Ken’s life, and to take the dog for walks every morning and evening.