Hachi, the beloved companion of Javier and Dana died right before Christmas. I've been thinking a lot about what I could write to honor the mild-mannered dog who barely survived life in a horribly overcrowded hoarding situation in Ohio. I could recount how, after his rescue, he was shut down and depressed while WARL staff and volunteers tried to lure him out of his deep funk. But why dwell on the horror. His last two years were spent in total bliss. He was doted on, loved unconditionally, and freed from his past the minute Javi saw the pretty blond Akita mix, formerly known as Encore. "That's Hachi," Javi told his mom. And, so he was. I've written about Hachi before -- when Javi made Hachi the star of his Old Yeller video book report and when Hachi moved with Dana and Javi to China in August 2012. While some people use moving as an excuse to get rid of an animal, Dana wrote, "Hachi is off on a new adventure. 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."
My heart aches for Javi and Dana. Dana wrote, Despite a successful
fight against the lymphoma, yesterday we discovered a malignant tumor in his
mouth that seemed to have affected his bones. As of this morning, he couldn't
walk or stand on his own. We had no choice. We spent the day by his side. We
were fortunate to find a wonderful doctor who came to our home. He was in his
bed and our arms until the end. Only a couple of hours before, he found some
energy to play with his toy and smile for us (see attached). Even during his
own suffering, he was more worried about us and making us happy. We are
grieving and heartbroken, but thankful for the love we shared. Thank you so
much WARL for rescuing him. We thought we would have more than two years with
him, but are so grateful for what we had.
I am grateful to Dana and Javi for giving a very deserving dog a wonderful life, albeit much too short. I am at a loss for words.