Love your Pets Day – great stories why our furry friends hold a special place in our hearts
Did you know it’s Love your Pet Day today? Vectorbomb have put together a special collection celebrating all the magnificent moggies, doted-on doggies, beloved bunnies or whatever other little critter rocks your world. Whether it’s a Tshirt or a hoodie, we’re sure you’ll look the cat’s pyjamas, not to mention the dogs bollox and all our range looks even better covered with fur, muddy paw prints and slobber.
Humans have welcomed animals into their homes and hearts throughout history. The first animal to pad its way into our affections was probably a domesticated wolf, the common ancestor of all modern-day dogs (yes even chihuahuas). This occurred at least 12,000–14,000 years ago when people discovered that young wolf cubs that remained subordinate to humans as adults could be trained. Our affection for cats started a little later as humans evolved from nomadic hunters to settled farmers approximately 8,000 years ago. Wild felines followed the rodent population into human houses, barns and grain stores becoming loved, valued and even venerated.
Pets have continued to play a key role in our lives and here are some inspirational examples of that special relationship (Mascara Warning! these might just bring a tear to your eye)
Hachiko – the dog that never gave up
Just outside the very busy Shibuya Station of Tokyo, Japan, sits a bronze statue of Hachiko (Hachi for short) the Akita, a dog that became a national symbol of loyalty.
Back in the 1920s, Hachi was the beloved pet of Professor Ueno. Every morning the professor used to take a train from the Shibuya Station to go to the university, always accompanied by Hachiko who would return in the afternoon to greet his master returning from work. This continued for over a year until one fateful day the professor never disembarked from his usual train having died unexpectedly from a fatal cerebral haemorrhage in the middle of a lecture at the university.
For the next nine years, nine months and 15 days, Hachiko used to go and sit at the station every day, at the same time, at the same place, waiting for his dear master. One of Ueno’s old students spotted Hachi and wrote an article that made Hachiko an instant sensation. People from all over Japan came to the station to witness the celebrated faithful Akita dog who never stopped waiting until the day he died on March 8 1935.
Trim – the cat who helped put Australia on the map
Now it has been said cats have staff not owners but our feline friends are capable of much love and loyalty. Take Trim – a cat who was actually a bit of an old sea dog. Trim belonged to Matthew Flinders, the English navigator who led the first circumnavigation of Australia and identified it as a continent.
Flinders first noticed Trim when he fell overboard and had to swim to the boat, climbing up a rope to safety. The pair bonded and, when Flinders undertook a mission to circumnavigate the southern continent in the ship Investigator, Trim was by his side.
After many adventures together, Flinders set out to return to England but was captured on the French colony of Mauritius and detained for six-and-a-half years. Trim stayed with Flinders the whole time until one day the cat failed to return, much to the distress of Flinders who believed poor Trim had been eaten by a hungry slave. Flinders wrote about the demise of his friend:
"Thus perished my faithful intelligent Trim! The sporting, affectionate and useful companion of my voyages during four years.
"Never, my Trim, 'to take thee all in all, shall I see thy like again', but never wilt thou cease to be regretted by all who had the pleasure of knowing thee.”
These are exceptional animals but we all know a special pet doesn’t need a bronze statue or even a Wikipedia page to be a number one, so give them an extra special cuddle on Love Your Pet Day.