KOTA KINABALU: Two years ago, the story of a man walking three days just to get home during the movement control order period with a stray by his side had touched the hearts of many.
The Star reported in April 2020 that the dog, which he later named Hachiko, walked over a 100km with him, from Kota Kinabalu to Kota Marudu district in late March that year.
Unfortunately, recently, the man, Alixson Mangundok, 36, shared a tragic update about Hachiko - it died after being hit by a car on Sept 8.
"Two years and five months you were with us. On Sept 8, 9pm, that was your last day," he wrote in a Facebook post.
"Goodbye Cico, your story with me, your loyalty with me, and the millions of memories with you. Rest in peace over there," he added.
Alixon hopes that the person who hit his dog would come forward just to meet up, to exchange a few words and not to argue or to ask for any sort of compensation.
"I am not mad or feeling vengeful because I know this was unintentional. Just that, please be more careful no matter where you are after this," he said.
He said he just wanted to know how the accident happened and that he would also like to apologise if the mishap caused any damage to the person’s car.
"The location is at Kg Mangaris 2, Kota Marudu. If you are reading this, please contact me," Alixon said.
He had adopted Hachiko after the male dog accompanied him those three days of walking and they have been inseparable since.
He often brings Hachiko on car rides, to the river for baths and when he goes rubber tapping.
In March 2020, Sabah was under the MCO as the Covid-19 pandemic had just hit the nation and no one was allowed to cross districts without valid reasons.
Alixon, who had just returned from Japan at that time, did not wish to be stuck in Kota Kinabalu alone, nor did he want to risk spreading and contracting Covid-19 by taking public transport.
That was why he decided to walk all the way home.
He had named the dog Hachiko after the famed Japanese Akita dog which was known for its loyalty.