Rummaging through the internet in an attempt to find the latest on pets in Japan, I was reminded of the story of Hachiko. This is the true story of a loyal dog that, for years after its owner had died, continued to turn up at the same time each day to Shibuya station in Tokyo where Hachiko had regularly met the owner on his return from work. The story of this faithful dog (Akita breed) spread and eventually became a well known story that came to symbolise loyalty and faithfulness.
A reminder of this story continues to wait patiently outside Shibuya station, in the form of Hachiko's bronze statue, and is a popular meeting point. Further testiment to the importance of this story to the Japanese is that the stuffed remains of Hachiko are preserved in the National Science museum of Japan (Ueno in Tokyo). Every year on April 8th a rememberance ceremony is held at Shibuya station in honour of Hachiko and "man's best friend".
In 1987 Hachiko's story was told in the successful Japanese movie "Hachiko Monogatari".
とうとう(meaning finally - with some negative connotation) the American version of the film was released in Japan on August 8th - the Japanese number 8 is pronouced 'hachi'. Here is the Japanese trailer for that movie, starring Richard Gere as Hachiko's owner.