I have had a strange connection with dogs since I was a child, and I have been saved by dogs at various points in my life. When I started working in society, my company dormitory and my grandfather’s house were close to each other, so I often visited my grandfather’s house.
The workplace I worked at then was very harsh, and long hours and unreasonable demands were normal. I was exhausted both physically and mentally (;´Д｀)
Whenever I visited my grandfather’s house, there was always someone who greeted me with a tremendous wagging of his tail. It was “Gonta”, the Satsuma-dog that my grandfather kept at that time.
He was a mysterious dog. He would quietly cuddle up to me when I was feeling down, and run around with all his might when I was in a good mood. He seemed to see through my heart, even though we couldn’t understand each other’s words (‘ω’)
He was the best friend and the best listener for me, who was so bad at communicating that I had trouble talking to my parents and siblings.
Every time I finished work, I would go to see “Gonta”.
“Gonta” was a dog that my grandfather, who loved dogs, adopted from the Satsuma-dog preservation society through his dog friends.
I learned later that the Satsuma-dog is a breed of dog that the hero who contributed to Japan’s modernization, Saigo Takamori, cherished and kept (‘ω’)
He was a hunting dog with a temperament that was quite aggressive and fierce. He was not just a pet dog that was pampered, but he also made great use of his sharp senses to patrol the fields and chicken coop around my grandparents’ house. He protected the security of the area around my grandparents’ house as a member of the family♪ He was a loyal dog who tried to protect his owner by reacting sensitively to distant signs, and he hardly trusted anyone other than my grandparents and me, as he was a breed close to wolves.
He was brave and aggressive against enemies, but when I visited him after work, he was so happy that he hugged me☆ I love this gap so much (´▽｀)
I was looking forward to seeing “Gonta” and I went to see him whenever I had time, but when I started working at a place far from my grandfather’s house, I couldn’t see him very often.
When I went to see him by motorcycle for the first time in half a year, I was worried that he might have forgotten me, but he seemed to sense my motorcycle from the exhaust sound long before he saw it, and I heard his howling cry and almost cried with joy (;´Д｀)
Then time passed, and I moved to an island in the south and started my second life with the motto of “the best single slow life”, and in the midst of various big changes, I continued to live without seeing “Gonta”.
When I returned home after settling down in the island life for a few years, I learned that “Gonta” had passed away (;´Д｀)
He had a tumor in his throat that worsened around 2010 and he couldn’t eat anymore.
He loved mealtime more than anything and his plump belly was his charm point…
To be honest, it was the hardest news of my life… I think the reason why I spend more money on my dog’s health (mainly food) than on my own food is partly because of this experience.
The record of the extinction of the Satsuma-dog is 2010, so he might have been the last generation (´Д⊂ヽ
It is really sad that such a loyal, kind, grateful and brave breed of dog has become extinct, but it was a priceless memory for me to interact with him for a few years before the breed became extinct.
He was the best listener and the best loyal dog for me.