Buddy, who uses the pedestrian lane to cross the street, is said to be the local version of Hachiko.
He is a street dog who has found a home at a mall in Barangay Mandalagan, Bacolod City.
There had been attempts to rescue him for adoption, but he always escapes and returns to City Mall Mandalagan.
For frequent mallgoers, the 6-year-old dog is always seen at the entrance of the mall.
Malou Perez, founder of Bacolod-based PAWSSion Project, an animal welfare group, said that Buddy has been among the dogs they have fed on the streets every night since the COVID-19 lockdown started last year.
She said that there was a female guard who looked after Buddy before, “that’s why you can always find him during the day by the entrance at City Mall.”
But even if the female guard is not working there anymore, the other mall guards and the mallgoers look after Buddy.
Perez said that Buddy had been in the area before the mall was built four or five years ago. “He was basically abandoned as a puppy,” she said.
“I’ve always thought of Buddy as our local Hachiko and I feel like he’s just there waiting for his owner to come back… it’s a little heartbreaking when you think of this story…or it could be that he’s just really comfortable there at City Mall,” she said.
Hachiko was a Japanese Akita dog who waited for his dead master to return from work at a local train station for nearly a decade.
CROSSING THE PEDESTRIAN LANE
Unlike other dogs and people, Buddy is accustomed to using the pedestrian lane when he crosses the street.
Perez, who posted a video of Buddy crossing the street using the pedestrian lane on Facebook, said that it’s always “automatic” for the dog to use the lane and find a grass area where he “does his business.”
She said that “Buddy is such an intelligent dog. And he’s healthy.”
She also said that when they feed Buddy at night, the dog always barks at people he’s not familiar with.
“He’s such a good addition to the team,” she said, adding that the mall should hire him.*