CubaPLUS Magazine

Man's best friend receives a well-deserved tribute every July 21

By: Mercy Ramos Photos: Jorge Luis Sanchez
Jul 21, 2023
Man's best friend receives a well-deserved tribute every July 21
Without a doubt, man's best friend is a dog. A 4-legged animal that whoever decides to keep it at home becomes another member of the family, because if there is joy at home he is happy, but if there is sadness due to some unpleasant event, the dog also feels it and shows it.
Tell me, I have a little sausage and always be by my side or by my son. If we sit down to watch television, Chicha, as she is called, quick and fast, lies down next to us. If we go to the bathroom, she waits for us at the door and at bedtime no one steals her number one to enter the room. Truly faithful always.
Precisely because of this condition of fidelity, even much higher than in some humans, it was decided in 2004, motivated by the immense importance of these animals in the daily life of human beings, to honor them for their dedication and unwavering love. There are numerous stories of faithful dogs until the death of their masters. The most transcendental was that of Hachiko, an Akita breed, who accompanied his caretaker, Professor Eisaburo Ueno, every day to his classes at the University of Tokyo, and waited for him at Shibuya station to return home together.
Unfortunately, the professor died suddenly in 1925 and Hachiko remained at the station, waiting for its owner, for 9 years. This earned her a statue to be erected in her honor where she always awaited him. In Cuba, there are also stories of faithful dogs. In the capital's Colon cemetery there is a tombstone with a sculpture of a woman lying down and her dog at her feet, made with stone and a phrase that reads: faithful until after death, Rinti.
The work honors Rinti's loyalty to its owner, American Jeannette Ryder, who lived in Cuba at the beginning of the 20th century, where she founded the humanitarian organization called the Society for the Protection of Children, Animals and Plants, also known as the Bando de Piedad.
According to her account, her dog lay down at the foot of the grave and she did not eat or drink the water that the cemetery workers gave her until she died. Today the sculpture is known as "The Tomb of Loyalty." With this celebration, every July 21 is intended to raise awareness among people about the large number of puppies that are abandoned to their fate, or those that hope to be adopted by a family or a shelter. It is estimated that 70% of dogs in the world are homeless.
Dogs, in addition to being man's best friends, help with multiple tasks: there are guide dogs, police officers, firefighters and, of course, companions. Then don't forget the saying that goes: “the more I know people, the more I love my dog”.
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