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VOX POPULI: Being kind to a dog today could well save your life tomorrow

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Taiyo-kun, who sports impressive burnished black hair, is 4 years old. He lives in Itami, Hyogo Prefecture.

He was named Taiyo (sun) by people in areas devastated by the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake. They wanted him to become a light that shines bright even in the darkest hour after a disaster when people feel depressed.

I saw him for the first time in news footage about a landslide that struck Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture, in July. Covered with mud, he appeared to be desperately helping locate people who had gone missing.

A male Labrador retriever, Taiyo-kun is a........

© The Asahi Shimbun

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