Maruko, A Dog that Was Washed Away By Tsunami – FAMILY MISSING, MEMORIES REMAIN

An article from Kahoku News on July 31, 2011

There is a dog that was found after 2 & a half months the Tsunami struck the area of Otsuka in Higashi Matsushima City. This area is in Miyagi prefecture and suffered tremendous damages . In one of the houses that was washed away, there was a dog together with her owners. The 4-member family is dead/still missing because of the Tsunami and the dog has been now adopted by the relative of the family.

This dog is a mixed-breed and her name is Maruko. Mr. Sasaki who owned a sake store and his family took her in as a puppy 7 years ago that was rescued out of Hokenjo, where abandoned or unwanted dogs are euthanized after some period of time, by Ms. Misako Sasaki (although they have the same last name, they are not related).

“Because the dog was so fat, she was given the name Maruko (literally translated ‘Round kid’). They were taking care of the dog as if she was their own daughter.”

When the mega Tsunami hit the area on March 11, Mr. Sasaki’s mother Taeko (age: 87), his wife Hiroko (64), his son (22), Maruko and himself were taking refuge on the second floor of the house, but the house was washed away.

Around the end of May, Ms. Misako Sasaki received a call from someone who used to live close to where Mr. Sasaki lived. “Maruko is alive’. As surprised Ms. Misako Sasaki hurried to the ground where the house once stood, there was indeed skinny and muddy Maruko. According to Ms. Misako Sasaki, every time a car passed by, Maruko jumped up to look inside the car, ‘as if she was waiting for the whole family to return.’

Mr. Sasaki’s relative who lives in Kanto took in Maruko. There was a time she refused to eat food and the lady(relative) said compassionately ‘she probably can’t forget about her family.’

“She survived in the rubbles for 2 & a half months. I feel terribly sorry for the family of Mr. Sasaki, but I hope Maruko lives for a long time to live up for the loss of their lives.”


Where Mr. Sasaki's house once stood.


3 responses to “Maruko, A Dog that Was Washed Away By Tsunami – FAMILY MISSING, MEMORIES REMAIN

  1. Maruko’s face tells it all. She feels sorrow, she saw horrific tsunami which seperated her from the loving family she was part of. She wants to be with her family and she is lost because she doesn’t see her family coming back. Nevertheless she is hopeful, responding to every car that went by her.
    I see this with dogs all the time. When one dog looses another, it looks to see if that deceased dog of same size and character he sees in the distance is indeed his sister Taffy coming back to him. BoBo was never same after Taffy passed away. He was always looking for her when he was out on walk. The canine’s feeling is so deep rooted, it will bring tears to your eyes.
    Maruko chan, genki de yatte ne.

  2. It pains me deeply to hear about Maruko’s trials in life. Animals are humans in disguise. This is very clear to everybody, yet they are treated with so much indifference. We should all learn from the undying love and devotion that our pets give us. They are worth more than we give them credit for.

  3. Totally! I had a dog since I was 2 y/o, and every time my parents scolded at me, I rushed to the dog crying… I thought there was nobody in the whole universe I could trust or depend on (over a trivial matter though…! lol). I was like, ‘you are the only one who truly loves me! I hate my parents!!’. The dog kept looking at me inquisitively as if to say ‘hey, what’s wrong you! Don’t cry anymore!’ Really, that expression on her face was so warm, trying to comfort me. She was wagging her tail so much and licked my tears away. (oh now I can cry again!) But she died in a car accident when I was 13… 😦

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