Romerito began his solitary watch after neighbors found Guilherme had just returned from the hospital and was soon after found laying dead in his apartment.
“While Guilherme was in the hospital, Romerito kept howling and barking constantly. It is remarkable that he stopped only when we were informed of the death of his owner,” Nilza Maria told online publication G1 in an interview.
Since then, the dog has been under the care of neighbors, as the nieces of Guilherme did not want to shelter Romerito. “Sometimes he goes to the bar, where his master used to work. When he comes back and the door is closed he starts barking so that we open it for him,” she added.
In light of Romerito’s loyal vigil, residents have dubbed him “Hachiko-Carioca,” after Hachikō, an Akita dog born on a farm near the city of Ōdate, Akita Prefecture, Japan.
Legend goes that after his owner’s death, Hachikō sat waiting for him to return for several years, up until his own death.
Local residents are taking care of the dog, bringing him food and buying medicine. “We are now accepting donations for Romerito who likes to stay in the corridor. But there is no roof there and we are afraid of what will happen during the rainy season,” one of the residents of the area, Nilza Maria said.