ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Loyalty, affection, intelligence, and a lion's heart: Koro, the courageous canine hero

Updated on March 22, 2022
A japanese Akita
A japanese Akita | Source


Ichigawa bolted out of bed and rushed to the door. The sound of beams falling when mini earthquakes struck was all too familiar. He looked about his home in a small district of Tokyo. Cracks had started to form in the wooden beams. He looked outside the window at the road, and huge chasms had formed on the gravel. He found his mother rushing about in the kitchen collecting whatever provisions that were available. Bags of garlic, miso, seaweed, rice and other essentials were in bags and lying on the kitchen table. Koro, the little family Akita "inu" or dog, padded softly after his thirteen year old master.

"Pack your things," said his mother, Mikka, with anxiety and threads of woe in her strained voice. "We're leaving Tokyo. There was a tsunami in Sendai just today," Tears welled in her eyes, for she appreciated the gravity of the situation more than Ichigawa would. "The whole town was wiped out. Your father is ini Sendai on business. You know what to do," she continued quietly, looking for understanding on Ichigawa's face. The boy nodded and returned to his room to grab whatever things he could. He started packing without emotion, knowing that his feelings of panic would only come later.


His mother looked at Koro and sighed heavily. In the circumstances, it was hard to leave with Koro, for the little dog would only be a burden. Still, Koro had been with the family for the past five years. The dog was Ichigawa’s best friend. She felt a tug of affection for the little canine and patted its head. "I'm really sorry, little fellow. We can't take you with us." The little dog tilted its head to one side and looked at her, its little mind trying to understand her words. Slowly, with the seriousness of Mikka's words striking him, it padded up to her and touched her cheeks with soft licks.

A sudden movement jolted them back to reality, and cracks began to appear on the walls behind them. Without hesitation, Mikka grabbed Ichigawa's hand and dived under a table. The normally resilient walls shook uncontrollably but there was nothing that they could do; their screams were silenced by the noise of falling cement.


In the midst of the chaos,Ichigawa still focused indignantly at his mother, his brows coming together furiously. Even in this critical moment, his mother was becoming his worst enemy. "How could we just leave Koro like that? You know he's a part of the family. How could you be so......" He turned to find his mother, an asthmatic, giving hot gasps of breath. The son in him reacted out to her immediately. "Mother.." he wailed. But there was nothing he could do as debris continued to fall around him,blocking the table and overing everything in its path. Mother and son were trapped and immobile; both soon fell unconscious.


Hours later, Ichigawa and his mother were covered in a shroud of darkness. Ichigawa could feel the panic rising within him. His mother lay in blissful unconsciousness, not aware of the rubble, debris and dirt around her. He worried as the oxygen began to deplete. There was but a tiny hole which he could use to see through the pile of concrete around him. He heard footsteps of rescue workers treading softly on the rocks near them, but they could not hear him calling out. Assistance seemed so close, yet so far.


Abruptly, there were sniffing noises near him. He gazed through the available little hole and a wet nose slotted itself through. Encouraged by and grateful for the presence of a sniffer dog, Ichigawa began to call for help again. After a long stretch of time, the rubble around himself and his mother was cleared; they could finally see the light and were brought to safety.

The rescue workers lay him and his mother on stretchers near the rubble. Ichigawa thanked the heavens that he was alive, but he kept thinking of the little wet nose that poked through the hole. Where was the little sniffer dog that had saved his life?


The same wet little nose suddenly nudged his hand. Ichigawa turned painfully to his side to see which sniffer dog the nose belonged to. He came face to face with a smiling rescue worker. "Here's your savior," she said. "He helped us and our dogs by telling us where you were," Ichigawa stared but could not believe; the nose was Koro's. With thanks in his heart, he hugged the little family "inu" which had helped to pull them out of the rubble. Koro painfully stretched his hand outwards and patted his head. There was no doubt that leaving him behind would have been the real disaster.

Copyright (C) by Michelle Liew Tsui-Lin

No part of this work is to be reproduced without permission of the author.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)