It's been a little over a year since Javi picked Hachi and Hachi picked Javi. Readers may remember that Hachi, formerly named Encore, a survivor of a horrible hoarding case in Ohio, lived at the Washington Animal Rescue League for several months before finding his forever home. He became totally depressed and shut down. It didn't seem to matter what enrichment activitity he was offered, who took him out, or what treats he was given -- he looked sad. And, then one day Javier and his mom came to the League to adopt a best friend. The connection between boy and dog was immediate. The two quickly became inseparable. Javier even teamed with Hachi to report on Old Yeller for a creative book report presentation (see right side of the page).
In July I received an email from Dana, Hachi's other best friend, and Javier's mom. "I just wanted to let you and the staff at WARL know that I've accepted a job in Beijing, China. Therefore, Hachi (aka Encore) is off on a new adventure. Although I'm worried about the stress of the trip, I've gotten us a direct flight from Washington to Beijing, and Hachi will fly on the same flight. After a 7-day mandatory quarantine, he'll be ready to come to his new home."
A recent email confirmed that the family has adjusted to life nearly 7,000 miles from Washington. "Hachi is well. He lost 10 lbs in quarantine, but I was prepared for that. He has adapted to high-rise apartment living and no longer has his "eating disorder" where he freaks out at his food and barks at it. Our apartment complex is very large and dog friendly, so Javi and Hachi frequently socialize with other dogs in the small parks in our development. It's common to hear a little girl saying, "Da gou," meaning big dog. I find it curious because there are many larger dogs in our community, such as huskies, chows, and retrievers. Nonetheless, I guess they still think he's big compared to a typical Chinese pug or Pekingese. At this moment, Hachi is asleep and snoring on my bed with me. He is taking up a third of my queen-sized bed."
Dana promises another update as soon as she has a working battery for her camera.