With their naturally affectionate nature, it's no wonder dogs develop a strong bond with their owners. Countless stories attest to a dog's unconditional love, like when Hachiko, an Akita, waited for his owner at Shibuya station; or when Saicy, a mongrel, followed his owner to the hospital; or when a mongrel named “Kulot” stayed beside his owner’s lifeless body after being shot dead by armed rebels.
[related: In Focus: Dogs Know What You're Saying, Study Suggests]
The latest of these heartwarming stories involving man and dog? The tandem of Eddie Aquino and Blackjack, a mongrel, who are usually spotted by the sidewalks of Manila. Found under a tricycle back in 2013, Eddie took time to train Blackjack as the dog grew up. All those months of training did pay off: Today, Blackjack is more than your average mongrel—this dog has a few tricks up his paws, from obeying Eddie’s commands to doing over-the-top moves like dancing, card tricks, and even solving math problems.
Eddie and Blackjack
People who spot the duo by the streets of Manila (specifically near Manila City Hall) are in awe of Blackjack's performance, and how the bond between Eddie and Blackjack is simply unbreakable.
Aside from Blackjack’s talent, what makes his story more heartwarming is how the dog helps send his master to school, through the earnings they make from street performances. "I'm still happy with what we [him and Blackjack] do because it is purposeful and helps the family," Eddie said in an interview with ABS-CBN News. A dog helping his owner, and not the other way around? Truly heartwarming!
While the odds of teaching your trusty dog be uber skilled is slim to none (one could just fathom how persistent Eddie was in training Blackjack), Blackjack’s story is another reminder of how dogs are more than willing to go beyond their comfort zones in order to help their owners in life.
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Banner photograph from Unsplash.com.