Been meaning to post a translation of an article my dad sent me a while back which he titled, “Chubby’s brother.” It’s about a temple-going, bell-ringing corgi in Japan:
2013.06.05 - A Pembroke Welsh Corgi in Hiroshima, Japan has developed quite the reputation for himself after being conferred the title of exclusive “bell-striking dog” from a local temple. The six-year-old corgi has been reporting to the temple every evening, rain or shine, for the last five years to ring the bell at sunset. Even the head of the temple has said that he’d never seen such a devout dog.
This Pembroke Welsh Corgi’s name is Mash and his owner is a Shingon Buddhist monk of the An Le Temple. Because they lived nearby, everyday walks were bound to take the monk and the corgi past the temple and a neighboring shrine. As such, the monk had grown accustomed to stopping by and paying his respects (拜拜) at the shrine while en route with the dog. At the shrine’s entrance was a bell and stick with a rope tied to it. Those who came to worship often pulled the rope to make the bell ring. Mash may have seen his owner pull the rope back and forth and thought it was great fun, because one day, one-year-old Mash suddenly grabbed the rope for himself and ferociously struck at the bell.
Pembroke Welsh Corgis are naturally short-legged, but this fact has not affected Mash’s spirit or interest in standing on his tiptoes to ring the bell. Furthermore, as Mash grew bigger, his ambition also grew bigger. Several months later, when the two stopped at the temple on their walk, Mash suddenly broke from his owner and charged toward the temple’s bell to grab the rope and begin ringing it with all his might. The deep dong, dong, dong sound produced by the copper bell did not frighten Mash or detract from his enjoyment of bell-ringing.
The temple’s bell was not like the shrine’s bell, however, and visitors were not allowed to strike it as they pleased. Afraid to cause complications for those in the temple, the owner attempted to stop the corgi’s bell-ringing antics countless times. However, Mash, as usual, was all “I do what I want” (I took slight liberties with this translation but 我行我素 means pretty much that). Every time he arrived at the temple, he’d make a beeline for the bell tower.
Mash’s five years of bell-ringing and his peculiar yet adorable conduct attracted the attentions of the neighborhood and the Buddhist pilgrims who made their way to the temple. The head monk noted that though Mash did not seem to exert too much force, his striking was able to call forth a beautiful and splendid resonance from the bell. It was clear that Mash had a pious heart, so the head monk bestowed onto him the title of An Le Temple’s exclusive “bell-striking dog.” Now the owner brings Mash in every evening to ring the temple bell and Mash himself has become one of the area’s famous attractions.
Translated from this sina.com article in Mandarin, originally on yomiuri.co.jp in Japanese.
**There is also a video of Mash ringing the bell that was deleted from the source site, but luckily the Wayback Machine came to the rescue and you can (and MUST!) view it here. It is seriously the cutest thing ever!