Hachi: a tale of loyalty for the holidays

One of the good things about the Christmas holidays is that there are more family-friendly movies on television.  Last night, I was able to watch Hachi:  A Dog’s Tale for the first time.

This movie, starring Richard Gere, was released in 2009 but didn’t make it to movie theaters in many countries including the USA, as I understand it.


Gere plays a professor who finds Hachi, the Akita pup, on the train platform one night.   The puppy had been in transit to an unknown location and the tag was torn off his cage.

There is an instant attraction, and Gere’s wife comes around to the fact that the dog and her husband are good for one another.  Hachi begins to follow the professor to the train station each day, returning in the late afternoon to meet him for the return trip home.  When the professor dies suddenly at work one day from a heart attack, Hachi continues his daily trips to the train station.

The loyal dog does this every day for over 10 years, and in the process becomes something of a local celebrity.

At the end of the film, we learn that the real Hachikō was born in Ōdate (Japan) in 1923. After the death of his professor/owner in 1925, Hachikō returned to the Shibuya train station the next day and every day after that for the next nine years before passing away in March 1934.   His loyalty has been commemorated with a statue at the station.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film and recommend it for hiring on DVD.

And wherever you are these holidays, I hope that you are enjoying the company and loyalty of your dogs.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand




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