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Shiba Inu dog waiting outside for owner becomes darling of Japan dept. store shoppers

Shiba Inu dog "Rin" and her owner Saburo Kawamura are seen in front of the Yamaguchi Izutsuya department store in the city of Yamaguchi on Feb. 13, 2020. (Mainichi/Nanako Hori)

YAMAGUCHI -- A Shiba Inu dog that patiently waits in front of a department store here while her owner is inside has become the darling of local shoppers.

Rin, a 4-year-old Japanese hunting dog, and her owner Saburo Kawamura, 70, a resident of the western Japanese city of Yamaguchi, go for a walk every day together. Kawamura fell in love with Rin at a local pet shop four years ago, because the puppy looked exactly like a pet dog he had once owned. Kawamura says Rin is a soothing presence, and he enjoys going for walks and drives with her.

When Kawamura asks Rin to wait for him in front of the Yamaguchi Izutsuya department store before he goes in to shop, the pup dutifully sits tight, looking relaxed even when she is surrounded by people giving her prods and pets. Soka Akashi, 16, a first-year high school student who happened to pass by, said, "The dog is cute as it didn't pull back when three or four people gathered to take a photo with it." Tsutae Horiyama, 86, a local housewife who often sees Rin, smiled and said, "She's gentle and smart."

Kawamura said of Rin, "She is cherished by people because she is kind and mild."

(Japanese original by Nanako Hori, Yamaguchi Bureau)

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