hachiko and ueno

By My Side, Always; Famous Pets

All help & advice

Loyal and unusual pets have been documented for thousands of years. Tigers, monkies, eagles are just some of the wild animals tamed by humans. Some have gone on to claim fame in their own right one way or another. You might be familiar with the ones we document below.



Television personality and builder Scott Cam has had a dog by his side since the day he was born and can’t imagine life without them. During his time on Backyard Blitz, Lizzie (a cattle/Kelpie cross) was his constant companion and had the title of ‘site manager. She passed away in 2004. Rather than cremate her, Cam had her stuffed. She now sits at the top of the stairs at his home, standing guard.



Christian the lion was, unbelievably, bought from a Harrods department store in London by two Australians. A zoo had gone defunct, passing over the lion cub to the store, where John Rendall and Anthony Burke bought him for today’s equivalent of 3500 pounds.

Christian grew rapidly and while playful, he could accidentally cause harm to others. John and Anthony wanted to re-introduce him to Africa, and they were assisted by British conservationist George Adamson.

In the end, Christian was successfully reintroduced into the wild in Kenya. When his former owners came to visit, he recognised them and there was a joyful reunion that was recorded and gained a second wind on YouTube in 2009. Though Christian wasn’t suited for life as an exotic pet, he thrived in Africa and started his own pride. There is no further record of him after 1973.



One of the most joyful and heartbreaking stories of man’s best friend is of Hachiko, the Akita inu. Akita’s by nature are loyal to their masters and Hachiko was no exception. He was born on a farm in Akita prefecture in 1923 and adopted not long after by Hidesaburo Ueno. Ueno was a lecturer on agriculture at Tokyo University and would take the train to work daily, accompanied by his dog. Hachiko would wait at the station for his master to return and they would go home together.

In 1932, Professor Ueno suffered a sudden brain hemorrhage at the university and was pronounced dead. Not knowing of his passing, Hachiko remained around the station, patiently waiting and cared for by station workers and vendors. He died in 1935 from cancer and was interred next to his master in Tokyo. His fur though, was stuffed and mounted and is on permanent display at the Tokyo National University of Science.

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