My Dog Hachi 1987-2003

hachi and me photo

A few months after I saw Hachi’s statue at Shibuya Station, a puppy came into my life with a big red bow around his neck.  It was Christmas, and he was so tiny and didn’t make a sound.  The puppy was red with black tipped fur, cute as a button, and just stared quietly at his new surroundings.  He slept a lot.  Of course, he was named Hachi right away.  Once, a very young boy pointed to Hachi and said, “That’s a toy!  But, where are his batteries?”  Hachi looked just like a stuffed animal!  

One thing was for certain: Hachi didn’t think he was a dog.  At parks, there would be a group of barking, playing dogs, and Hachi would not look, play or engage in any interaction at all!  If one friendly dog came up to make an introduction- Hachi would stand very still as if to indulge the rude intruder for a moment.

We went everywhere together, and he loved car rides.  I had a sport car back then, and his dog bed was in the front passenger’s seat for the best view.  During his last few years, Hachi had trouble walking and didn’t show much interest in anything.  To stimulate him, I’d take him into the pet store to see the rats.  He became instantly animated around them, and didn’t want to leave.  Daily, we’d drive to the ocean and walk along the promenade.  It was getting tougher for him to move, so we’d go very slowly and just for maybe 15 minutes.

During Hachi’s last year, he began dragging his rear legs.  Within a month of acupuncture and massage therapy, he started walking again!  His appetite was good to the end, however, and his favorite treats were prime rib bones.  After 16 years, Hachi passed away peacefully.  “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale” is a reminder of the special bond we enjoyed throughout our years together…

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