A dog in Spain caused a sensation after dutifully waiting for her owner to be released from the hospital, refusing to leave for more than six days.
Barcelona resident Sandra Iniesta was rushed to hospital because of severe pain in her abdomen as she was returning from vacation with her father, Andres, and her 2-year-old dog, Maya.
For the six days Sandra was in Elda Hospital, near Alicante, Maya did not leave the hospital, patiently waiting for Sandra to be released, according to the Daily Mail. Maya is an Akita inu, a breed famous for its loyalty.
Sandra, 22, had surgery for appendicitis, and was in recovery at the hospital for a few days after the surgery. Andres tried to get Maya to leave, even offering treats, but the dog refused to leave her spot next to the hospital doors.
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"She is just doing what she does in Barcelona," Sandra told The Telegraph. "Whenever I go inside some place or another, she waits for me at the door.
"I think she knows what is happening and she is showing that she can be patient," Andres told Alicante's Informacion newspaper of Maya, who he added was a "fully paid-up" member of the family.
On Sept. 3, Sandra was released from the hospital, and finally reunited with her beloved dog, The Local reports.
"After days of not seeing my girl, Maya, her kiss and happiness at seeing me was priceless," she said on Twitter.
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Sandra and Maya's story has resonated with social media users, who have praised the dog's loyalty. The pair have also drawn comparisons to other stories of loyal dogs waiting for their owners, such as the famous Japanese story of Hachiko.
Hachiko, an Akita, is said to have waited loyally for his owner at the train station in Shibuya, Tokyo, every day for nine years, starting in 1925. As the story goes, Hachiko's owner had died of a brain hemorrhage, and never returned, but the dog's loyalty gained national attention, according to Nerd Nomads.
The story of Hachiko has inspired a number of movies, as well as a bronze statue and a mosaic outside the Shibuya train station.