Love knows no borders. Neither does love know shape nor does it know size. And as some of these animals prove, love is not even restricted by death.
You all know the very popular and heartbreaking story of Hachiko who used to meet his owner, Professor Hidesaburō Ueno at the Shibuya Station in Japan. After the professor's death, Hachiko continued to visit the station for nine years, nine months and fifteen days awaiting his return. There can hardly be any such form of love - undiluted, uninfluenced, simple and plain. Here are a few animals, in no particular order, all of them mankind's truest friends, showing one and all that love is the only guiding force in the world.
1. Dindim, the traveller penguin
Travels 8,000 km every year to meet his human soulmate, Joao Pereira de Souza
Four years ago, Joao Pereira de Souza rescued a South American Magellanic penguin on an island off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, all covered in oil and starving. Since then they have been the best of friends. Joao named the penguin Dindim.
Joao also encouraged Dindim to swim but he would not leave. Dindim did eventually go back to his home. Now travels every year to meet Joao and spend quality time with him.
2. Tommy, the grieving dog in Chennai
Sat near his teenage master's grave for a fortnight waiting for his return
Eighteen-year-old Bhaskar had adopted a brown mongrel a few years ago. After Bhaskar's untimely death in a road accident, his loyal dog just sat next to his grave for a fortnight, waiting for him to come back. Tommy even braved the rain, sun and starved himself while waiting.
The dog eventually got up after Bhaskar's mother persuaded it.
3. Toldo, the cat who gets gifts
Took precious little gifts to his master's grave for almost a year
Toldo's love for his master is what legends are made of. After his master, Renzo Iozzelli, passed away, Toldo continued to carry gifts to his grave. Iozzelli’s wife, Ada says “He brings little twigs, leaves, toothpicks, plastic cups. A bit of everything really.”
Ada also said that the trip to and from the cemetery has tired Toldo out and the cold outside gave him bronchitis. He doesn't go outside as frequently now and continues to love the rest of Iozzelli’s wife.
4. Capitan, the loyal German Shepherd
Kept watch on its master's grave for at least six years
Miguel Guzman adopted the German Shepherd, Capitan in 2005 for his son Damian. Guzman passed away in 2006 and Capitan went missing. The family looked but couldn't find him. They found him the next day near Guzman's grave barking and crying.
He kept watch diligently for at least six years, rarely leaving the spot. And at 6 o'clock every day he would go and sleep on Guzman's grave and not leave till morning. "I think he's going to be there until he dies, too. He's looking after my dad," said Damian.
5. Tommy, the heartbroken German Shepherd
Attends Mass everyday at the church where owner's funeral was held
Maria Margherita Lochi had a lot of pets, but Tommy and she shared a special bond. She would take him to church everyday and the priest would allow Tommy to sit patiently by her feet. After Lochi's death, heartbroken made a habit to turning up for Mass everyday.
"He's still coming to Mass even after Maria's funeral, he waits patiently by the side of the altar and just sits there quietly. I didn't have the heart to throw him out - I've just recently lost my own dog so I leave him there until Mass finishes and then I let him out" said the priest.
6. Hercules, the gentle grizzly bear
The death of Hollywood star Hercules bore a huge hole in the life of his human parents
Andy and Maggie adopted a bear cub in the year 1974 and named him Hercules. Hercules lived with the couple and was raised by them. He grew up to become a 8 ft-500 kg giant, albeit a gentle one. He loved everyone and everyone loved him. He was quite popular too, having toured the world, starring in a James Bond movie and having met Margaret Thatcher. Those were 26 precious years.
Hercules died in the year 2000 due to natural causes and things were not the same again. The heartbroken couple did not think their marriage would survive this tragedy. But they got by and have now adopted Robbie, a Jack Russell much, much unlike Hercules.
7. Zander, the worried Husky who could wait no more to meet his master
Sneaked out from home at 3 am to meet his owner at a hospital 2 miles away
John Dolan rescued Zander, a white Husky from a shelter a few years ago. Naturally, Zander was in love with his human. When Dolan had to be hospitalised one day due to a skin condition, Zander got very depressed and moped around the house. Not able to take it anymore, Zander sneaked out from his house at 3 am and landed up at the hospital 2 miles away where Dolan was admitted.
A nurse found him wandering outside and called the number on his collar. Zander was later taken back home by Dolan's wife.
8. Hawkeye, the inconsolable Labrador
Refused to leave dead owner's casket during funeral
Petty Officer Jon Tumilson was killed in a major U.S. helicopter crash in Afghanistan. He was one of the 38 officers who died during that incident. An emotionally-charged Navy SEAL funeral was held in his hometown. But perhaps Hawkeye, Tumilson's Labrador was the most heartbroken. He refused to let the casket go and simply lied next to it. The viral photograph broke everyone's heart.
Scott Nichols, Tumilson's close friend has now adopted Hawkeye.
9. Yoriko, the coolest fish on Earth
A local diver and Yoriko have been meeting each other for 25 years
Local diver Hiroyuki Arakawa has been entrusted with the duty of being an underwater guide to a shrine beneath Japan's Tateyama Bay. Arakawa has come to know well about the local marine animals and one in particular - Yoriko, an Asian sheepshead wrasse. They have been friends for 25 years now.
The best part about this unusual relationship is that Arakawa greets Yoriko every time with a kiss upon meeting him.
10. Mirabooka, the grateful wallaby
The new parent, Mirabooka brought her son to meet the person who saved her life
Reddit user Retaboop, saves wallabies in Australia. She put up a post that won the Internet's heart. One of the wallabies that she had saved as a baby after the mother was killed came back to visit her - with her son in tow.
Not only does Mirabooka come and visit frequently, she even knocks on the door. The baby wallaby is called Rookie.