At around 7:45 p.m., as closing time approached, Mrs. Takahashi Nobue began to count the day’s turnover and compiling the bills. On the other hand, Umeko suddenly became restless and kept pacing back and forth behind the counter, with a small ball clenched in her mouth.
Once the clock turned 8:00 p.m., Mr. Takahashi Seiki pulled down the shutters to close the store. After the shop is closed, it is time for the daily routine of playing with Umeko. She would play with Mr. Takahashi in the store for a while before going home. It seems like Umeko had been expecting the playtime and therefore started acting restlessly.
When Umeko first came to the Takahashi family, we were told that she would run around the store excitedly every day after closing. Once she even stuck her head between bottles of Shochu on the shelves and knocked them off like a bowling pins. Fortunately, Umeko was not injured and avoided getting tipsy.
Now, Umeko has grown to be more sensible and will not damage things in the store when playing. She looks delighted running around freely in the shop without any customers.
Mr. Takahashi shared his thoughts with us about playtime after the store closes. “In the beginning, it was enjoyable to play games with Umeko. But there wasn’t much I could do to play with her except making her catch the ball or pick it up.” He continued, “To be honest, I got bored with these games after about two weeks.” However, because Umeko looks forward to this time so much, he continues to do it, never missing a day.
After playing with the ball for a while, they started to review the training of hand signals.
Mr. Takahashi stood in front of Umeko and said to her, “Turn!” together with the hand gesture of circling. Hearing the command, Umeko circled him three times. Then, when he called out her name, “Takahashi Umeko!” Umeko barked in response.
Recently, they started teaching Umeko the command of “shake hands.” While Umeko put her paw on Mr. Takahashi’s palm following the command, she would also lick his palm at the same time. Mrs. Takahashi, who was watching from the side, laughed, and said, “This ‘handshake’ looks a little strange.” It seems that all she was thinking about was the treats she gets when she behaves well.
When all the snacks prepared were gone, the playtime with Mr. Takahashi was over for the day. “She is probably not going to eat all of her food again tomorrow after eating this many snacks,” Mrs. Takahashi said with concern.
After playtime, Mrs. Takahashi took Umeko out for a night walk. Some days she would leave the store with Mr. Takahashi and head out early around 6:30 p.m., but on this day, it was after nightfall.
This was how Umeko’s long day came to an end. Although there were no noteworthy incidents or events, we didn’t feel bored at all just watching Umeko’s various expressions. We’re sure she will continue to bring smiles to many customers as the signboard dog of the Liquor Store Takahashi.
Cashier Video of Akita Dog Went Viral! Explore the Daily Life of Umeko, the Signboard Dog of a Liquor Store
(1)Umeko’s Morning Walk
(2)Going to Work
(3)Becoming a Cashier Assistant
(4)Interacting with Regular Customers