I just watched a rented movie that every dog lover should see or, perhaps, never see. At least not without a big box of tissues.
No matter how many times I watch this movie, it still makes me cry like an abandoned kid.
You may have heard this story of one’s dog’s intense loyalty to his owner. It is based on the true story of Hachiko that took place in Japan seventy-five years go.
Called Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, the well done movie tells the tale of a college professor, played by Richard Gere, who finds a stray Akita puppy that he names Hachi. They eventually develop such a tight bond that the dog insists on waiting for his master every day at the train station for his return from work. After Gere’s character dies of a heart attack while at the college, Hachi’s family tries to contain him. Come hell or high water, he insists on waiting at the train station for his master’s return even to the point of escaping a new home and making his way back.
Hatchi waits and waits s the seasons change around him. Fed by commuters, a kindly station employee (Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander) and a hot dog vendor, he waits.
Ten years later, Gere’s wife, played by Joan Allen, makes a pilgrimage to the sight of his grave only to discover Hatchi waiting at the train station. He is old and dirty. Stunned, she sits down next to him and leans againts him. She seems to know why he is there and why he must always be there.
You can guess how the movie ends.
Soon after Hachi, who had been living in a dirty barrel nearby, slowly plods back to his usual waiting spot at the station, lays down his head, closes his eyes and never wakes up. Only then is he reunited with his master.
The real Hachiko, who died in 1935, became a hero and a national symbol of loyalty in Japan after his story was published. A statue of him still stands at Shibuya Station where, during its unveiling, he was still waiting.
I’m not a crier but this movie had me blubbering. It also had me thinking.
I want to say here that if something serious should befall me in the future, I want my dog taken to wherever I am, dead or alive, so that he’ll know not to wait for me.
This is one movie that I will never and cannot forget, even if I sleep I could still see this dog. When the movie ended, I cried even more when I realized how loyal dogs are and that they have fidelity that you couldn’t compare to humans. They will love their owners, will never leave them and will be forever by their sides. Long live the dog and animal lovers.