Loyal dog holds six-day vigil outside sick owner's hospital ward

Akita Inus are known for being extremely faithful

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The Independent Online

A patient pet dog has finally been reunited with her owner after waiting outside a hospital door in Spain for six days.

Maya, a two-year-old Akita Inu, waited patiently for her owner Sandra Iniesta, 22, to be discharged from Elda hospital near Alicante for almost a week, after Ms Iniesta's appendix ruptured. 

Ms Iniesta began feeling intense pain in her abdomen as she and Maya were travelling with her father to their Barcelona home by car after a holiday.

They made an emergency stop at Elda hospital, where Ms Iniesta had emergency surgery.

The dog refused to leave the grounds while her owner was recovering, even when Ms Iniesta’s father attempted to lure her into his car with treats.

“She’s a fully paid-up member of the family,” Mr Iniesta told a local newspaper.

“I think she knows what is happening and she is showing that she can be patient," he said.

Maya became popular with hospital staff who posted her photograph on their Facebook page. The story quickly went viral on social media and fans began to visit with gifts.

Emerging from hospital on Saturday, Ms Iniesta was shocked to find her dog had become famous.

“She just did what she does at home in Barcelona, which is wait at the door of a place until I return,” Ms Iniesta said.

“After days of not seeing my girl Maya, the kiss and happiness at seeing me and her is priceless,” she added, in a post on Twitter.

Akita Inus, which originate in a mountainous region of northern Japan, are well-known for their loyalty.

An Akita named Hachiko owned by a professor at the University of Tokyo became famous in the 1920s for spending years waiting in vain for his dead master to return to Shibuya Station.

Every day Hachiko met his master after work until, in 1925, the professor suffered a fatal brain hemorrhage. Hachiko waited so long at the station that he became famous worldwide and a Hollywood film starring Richard Gere was made about his story.

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