Hachiko: A Dog's Tale

March 1, 2016


Last Friday found me caught in the cruel grip of withdrawal pains following the season ending of a favorite show on Netflix. The season finale of 'Blue Bloods' left me hanging on the edge of my seat and I must now endure the long drought until next season (oh the horror!!) Scrolling through other show choices it occurred to me to find something my lovely lady would choose to watch if she were left to her own devices and sitting alone sipping hot chocolate.


Working that remote over like a true master the perfect choice soon popped into view! The movie is called “Hachi.” The star of this movie is a beautiful Akita dog named Hachiko or 'Hachi' for short. There's also some guy in it named Richard Gere or something. Anyhow, this isn't a movie review, it's my twisted way of getting to the reason why Hachi's story is of value to the two legged humanoids among us.



The makers of this film were very faithful to the true story on which it is based, changing only insignificant bits here and there. Hachi is the bittersweet story of a faithful dog who would wait everyday at the train station for his master to return from work as a college professor. One day the professor did not get off the train. Something inside his head had gone flooey and he died. For the rest of the dog's life- nearly 10 years – he appeared at the train station on time to meet the train and greet the professor. As the years passed people began feeding and taking care of this most loyal of dogs. There were even newspaper articles written about him. Eventually, Hachi passed on and to this day there are statues of him and his master standing as silent monuments to love and loyalty.



There are many lessons to be gleaned from this true life story but one will suffice for now. Can anyone conceive of a force more powerful or sublime than love? Love is something that can span the gap between species and even make the unbearable somehow bearable. What a world this would be if people allowed love to span across things that divide us like race, religion, culture and sexuality. What a world it would be if more of us humans could smarten up and learn to love as dogs and other creatures do?

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