Devoted Dog Spends 6 Days Outside Hospital Waiting For Her Sick Owner To Return

Written by: Dina Fantegrossi
Dina Fantegrossi is the Assistant Editor and Head Writer for HomeLife Media. Before her career in writing, Dina was a veterinary technician for more than 15 years.Read more
| Published on September 7, 2016

Akitas are thought to be among the most faithful and loyal of dog breeds. Maya, a 2-year-old Japanese Akita Inu demonstrated the accuracy of that label when she steadfastly set up camp outside a Spanish hospital where her owner was recovering from an emergency appendectomy.

Barcelona resident, Sandra Iniesta – along with her father Andres and Maya the dog – was returning home from vacation on August 27 when she was struck with severe abdominal pains. She was admitted to Elda Hospital near Alicante where she underwent surgery to remove her ruptured appendix.

Despite Andres’ efforts to lure Maya away while Sandra recovered, the stubborn pup refused to budge – even for treats! She planted herself just outside the doors of the hospital and remained there for nearly a week, patiently waiting for her best friend to return.

Elda Hospital’s Facebook post of Maya’s vigil quickly earned thousands of shares and hundreds of comments, making her an instant local celebrity. Admirers stopped by to visit with Maya and shower her with gifts. The staff at Elda Hospital also grew fond of Maya and made sure she received plenty of water, food and head pats to help pass the time.



While the rest of the world is deeply moved by Maya’s touching display of loyalty, her owner Sandra – who was discharged from the hospital on September 3 – told The Telegraph that her actions do not surprise her at all:

“She is just doing what she does in Barcelona. Whenever I go inside some place or another, she waits for me at the door.”

The day after arriving home from the ordeal, Sandra surprised Maya with a lovely cake to commemorate her 2nd birthday – a celebration she certainly deserves!

Maya’s sweet story has raised comparisons to the famous Japanese Akita, Hachiko who would diligently accompany his master to a Tokyo train station each morning to see him off to work. One day the man passed away suddenly and failed to return to the station where Hachi was waiting.

Like Maya, Hachi never gave up hope, spending an extraordinary 10 years visiting the station until he too passed away. The heartbreaking story of devotion was adapted into the 2009 movie, Hachi: A Dog’s Tale starring Richard Gere, and a statue of Hachiko now stands on the campus of the University of Tokyo.


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