Tag Archives: Akita

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





Dog-friendly Las Vegas

The Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas is pet-friendly.  Through discount site Coupaw, it is currently offering a 3-day/2-night stay for 2 adults at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for $30.  The voucher for this deal includes a Las Vegas BITE card which provides the cardholder with other excellent deals on a wide array of food and entertainment throughout Las Vegas.

Riviera Hotel

As with many pet-friendly hotels, there are restrictions including breed specific ones 😦

The fine print says:

2 Dog maximum – $25 additional fee – per dog/per night. Pet fees are paid directly to the Riviera Hotel. All pet arrangements must be made directly with the Riviera Hotel. Pet friendly rooms are located in classic room types – San Remo tower. Dogs cannot exceed 50 lbs. Dog Owner must provide proof of current vaccinations including exhibiting current rabies tag on check in. Dogs that are excluded to stay in pet friendly rooms include but are not limited to: Akitas, Alaskan Malamutes, Chows, Doberman Pinschers, English Bull, Terriers, German Shepherds, Mastiffs, Pit Bulls, Presa, Canaries, Rottweiler, or any dog with a bite history. Coupaw is not responsible for the Riviera hotel refusing to accommodate specific dogs for any reason.

A university where your dog can come too

It’s autumn in the northern hemisphere and the time of year when students are going to colleges and universities for the first time.   If they are enrolled at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri – there’s a high chance that their dog can come too!

Searcy Hall at the college is better known as Pet Central and houses 40 students and their pets.  Pets have been accepted at the college since 2004.  The college also has a pet fostering program.  They’ve partnered with a local no-kill shelter and students can foster a dog during their time at college and train and socialise them in preparation for adoption.

A scholarship, room discount, paid food and medications, and pet deposit waiver are just a few of the benefits available to freshmen and transfer students who apply to participate in the pet fostering program.

Sadly,  the college’s insurance policy excludes these breeds from staying at Pet Central:  Pit Bull, Rottweiler, Chow, Akita and German Shepherd.  I’m not a supporter of breed-specific legislation and so it’s hard to accept these types of restrictions but that’s the influence of the underwriters, unfortunately.