Most of us know the most famous Akita dog to be Hachiko, a loyal canine who faithfully waited for his owner over nine years to return home from work, not knowing that he had passed away. The story is well known not only for its heartbreaking nature, but also in part to its representation in popular entertainment, including the film "Hachi: A Dog’s Tale" starring Richard Gere and the "Jurassic Bark" episode of Futurama. A statue of Hachiko is now used as a popular meeting point outside Shibuya station.

While Mame, an Akita dog from Senboku, Akita prefecture (which provides the breed's name), may not be getting a statue, he's set to be officially recognized by local authorities as a hero. Mame spotted and led to the rescue of an elderly women slumped over on the side of the road, the Kyodo News reports.

While walking with his owner at around 1:00 a.m. on March 23rd, the 12-year-old dog noticed an elderly woman slumped over on the side of the road and called his owner over to her. The woman was not very responsive and was unable to provide her name or address. In her 90's, and dressed only in pajamas in 1.1 C temperature, Mame's role in finding her and leading to his owner arranging for emergency help after contacting a local convenience store was critical.

According to Kyodo News, it's unusual for a dog to earn public recognition, but Mame will be honored on April 1st and receive a certificate for his heroic efforts.

Mame's owner says "He has a very strong sense of curiosity...he's very kind and I think once he sensed something wrong he just moved on his own."

By - grape Japan editorial staff.