We wouldn’t call her a viral sensation—yet!—but author Anastasia Ormeron is delighted to find fans of her book, Hachi & Friends, posting pics with their pups (mostly Akitas) and the book.
And what better time than the 96th Birthday of their beloved Hachi!
“One day this week*, ninety-six years ago, a litter of puppies was born in the barn of a wealthy landowner in snowy Odate, northern Japan. Two months later, on the 14th of January, 1924, amidst a terrifying blizzard, one of these dogs, by the name of Hachi, would leave his hometown never to return.
“His destiny was to live an extraordinary life in Tokyo—one that would change not only the history of Japanese dogs, but would also lead to the creation of a new breed, the American Akita.
“The story of this one brave and loyal Akita Inu stole the hearts of an entire nation and made him famous in years to follow, the whole world over. Hachi-ko’s timeless message of dignity, hope, and love is as precious today as it was during his lifetime—he will not be forgotten!”
*(Hachi’s estimated birth date is 10th November, 1923.)
Fans the world over are buying Hachi & Friends and sending photos of their dogs with their copy to author Anastasia Ormeron, providing both touching and funny moments. The book can be purchased on any Amazon site just by searching the name or ISBN of 978-1946044471. Below are some popular links. It’s also available in paperback, kindle, and audiobook.
Enjoy Some of the Book’s Fans and their Stories, Below!
This “Hachi & Friends” VIP furry reader certainly needs no introduction for those of you familiar with the “Akita World” Facebook Group! So let’s have some serious love for Brad and his beautiful boy Arrow.
Here’s gorgeous Sasha from Sheffield in the UK, hard at work studying her brand new copy of “Hachi & Friends”.
“Bandit is a rescued Malamute, that came to us from the Northeast. We do not always know their stories, but from what we were told, he was an ‘outside dog’, and did not know much about inside living. Well, all that was about to change!
Being his second foster home, we worked with him on making adjustments, and decided to adopt him. Bandit is a strong boy, who doesn’t realize quite how big he really is…
Nowadays, one of his favorite hobbies is to read an amazingly good book by the fireplace, as you can see.
After learning about Hachiko, I look at Bandit with even more love, compassion—and patience!”—Patricia Davis
Beautiful nine-year-old brindle Ludo lives in a quiet village set in the South Wales Valley, surrounded by mountains, forests, and even has a river of his very own to play in!
Ludo’s human, Charlotte Wall, reveals that hers is a very special boy . . . and that he is also extremely spoilt, but absolutely worth every moment spent together.
Ludo refuses to leave his family’s side—with the sole exception of trips to the supermarket, which he doesn’t appreciate!
“Hi Anastasia! My mum told me that as soon as she finishes work, she’s going to read me our new, special book!”—Charlotte and Ludo
“I had not owned a dog of my own until ten years ago, when I stumbled upon the Akita breed, which quite stole my heart. So regal, loving and loyal, I could never have any other—to me, they are the very best!
We found Kosh through the amazing “Friends of Akitas” website, soon after the loss of our beloved Phoebe. Kosh is a goofball and, at times, something of a hooligan. But he is also definitely a mummy’s boy, and I wouldn’t have him any other way!”—Elaine and Kosh, Merseyside, northern England
Four-year-old Akita Gulia lives in the picturesque countryside near Minsk, Bielorussia, and even has a world-famous Nobel prizewinner as her neighbour and friend!
Lovely owner Elena, who you can see here enjoying an autumn picnic and some fun Akita reading time with Gulia, writes . . .
“My husband has always dreamed of owning an Akita Inu. So when we decided to move away from the city, we had no further doubts.
“Gulia fills our lives with happiness and our hearts with smiles every single day.
“She adores car rides, and sits expectantly, paws stretched out towards the back seat, waiting for that ‘magic push’ from those human minions to help her aboard . . . typically Akita! In these moments, we call her our princess.
“Sadly, in our country there are many abandoned animals, and we do our best to help. We believe that every dog deserves a good home and a family to love.”—Elena and Gulia
(OK, this dog Thomas is just MASSIVE! Any dog who can make an Akita look small has got to be YOOGE!)
Meet beautiful Lilly from Puyallup in Washington. Lilly’s human, Jennifer Hansen writes:
“When we adopted our Alaskan Malamute, a puppy of three months, my son David called him Thomas, after his favorite cartoon, “Thomas the Train”. Thomas quickly grew to a whopping 180 pounds and the two became inseparable.
“Just over two years ago, we decided to enlarge our family, and met some local pups. Four lovely American Akitas came tumbling out—but only one ran over to us.
“I was sitting on the ground, thinking how beautiful this little girl was, when she licked my face and barked. She had already made her mind up that we were to be her new family, and stole our hearts on the spot!
“We named her Lilly, and when we took her home to be introduced to Thomas, it was love at first sight. To this day they are the best of friends—Lilly certainly put a new fire into our old boy’s step!”—Jennifer and Lilly
If our last story featured a decidedly ‘oversize’ furry reader, today we are proud to present the tiniest in our growing collection.
Hulk and Snow live in Fort Worth, Texas with their human, Patricia D’Andrea, who adopted them as puppies from a neighbour two years ago.
Despite their miniature size, Patricia tells me that the two brothers have succeeded in eating their way through four sofas since their arrival—evidently partners in crime!
And how cute are these drawings of Patricia’s delightful little Jack Russel/Chihuahua duo, created by their friend and dogsitter, eleven-year-old Coral Jaramillo!
Here is Drummer’s story as given to me by his guardian, Lowen Zeiner, from Palm Bay, Florida . . .
“I adopted Drummer from a ranch last June. He turned eight in August.
“As a puppy, Drummer competed in ‘conformation shows’, and then took early retirement to spend more time with his siblings!
“He was very standoffish towards me at first, in typical Akita mode, as he had only belonged to one person previously.
“It took me many months for him to fully accept me into his life. But things so valuable have to be earned, and Drummer is worth much more to me than anything else.
“He is a loving, loyal companion – and also my very best friend.”—Lowen and Drummer
Greetings to our two very handsome ‘senior citizen’ furry readers, Sebastian and Copper, from Keeling in Virginia.
Owner Bruce Burnette writes:
“Since I adopted Sebastian (16) and his son Copper (15) in 2011, we have learned so much from each other. They have tought me civility, dignity, and a little taste of Japanese manners too!
“As you know, Hachiko is very close to my heart—and my dear Hachi friends Sebastian and Copper have shown me, throughout the years, friendship, companionship and love, the very same that the loyal dog Hachi would have given.
“I call these two Shibas my ‘Hachi boys’—what better way to show them both how much I love them!”—Bruce, Sebastian, and Copper
Our lovely and very large furry reader Akira comes to us from Berea, Kentucky.
Daniel Mayfield writes:
“My girlfriend drove for six hours to collect Akira, as I had to work that day.
“She was the ‘runt’ of the litter, and the last to find her furever home.
“Jill was extremely skeptical at the outset, as she had never owned a dog of her own before. But she stated that she immediately knew Akira was ‘the one’ and vice versa, as soon as they set eyes on each other!
“Akira was probably the largest of all her littermates, despite being a girl. Today, we find her beautiful, smart and, like most Akitas, very stubborn! Wherever we go, people ask her breed and comment how beautiful she is.”—Daniel and Akira
Nicolle Joy Wilfenger, from Indianapolis writes:
“I first met Charlie, AKA “Boo Bear”, in 2006, when a friend told me there was a one- year-old Shiba in the shelter. Knowing the uniqueness of the breed, she wanted at all costs to avoid an unknowing adopter taking the dog, without realizing the particular care he required.
“We had just lost one of our pups, and were more than happy with the two we had left …. I certainly wasn’t looking to take on another—so I reluctantly agreed to take a look, but made no promises!
“When we arrived, the shelter was closed, which allowed us a moment’s privacy.
“Ruby, our scared, abused German Shepherd ran and hid on a shelf behind some dog food, while Lady, our black and tan Shiba, sat aloof in typical Shiba fashion.
“A man brought the puppy towards me, wrapped in a blanket. He told me that the purebred Shiba belonged to his daughter, who was away at college. As he already owned a cat and another dog, Charlie had become an unwanted extra!
“The puppy was shivering uncontrollably under his little blanket. As I lifted him gently, Ruby seemed instantly drawn to him and slowly crept out from the safety of her shelf to meet him.
“Charlie never made it to the adoption floor—once his hold was up, and the vetting procedures seen to, Mike, my husband, brought him home.
“That was 15 years ago. Charlie is a Libra just like me, and we celebrated his fifteenth birthday this month! He is still my fiesty Boo Bear, with a high-pitched, loud bark, which he uses mercilessly to get his own way, and boundless energy.
“I cherish my days with him, and find myself moved to tears as I watch him snuggling close over a movie, looking up at me lovingly. I have asked Charlie to make sure he lives to be the oldest Shiba on record, because I simply cannot imagine my life without him!”—Nicolle and Charlie
The stories continue to roll in to author Anastasia Ormeron’s inbox. She loves sharing pics of the pups with her book, and their stories, too, with all the Hachi lovers out there. We may share a second installment soon!
Anastasia is also hard at work on the second book in the series, so fans take heart. There is more “Detective Hachi” to come!
About the Book
by Anastasia Ormeron
Illustrated by Chaira Intropido
Narrated by Ellery Truesdell
If you happen to be passing through Shibuya Railway Station, in the chaotic heart of Tokyo, you are certain to come across a small bronze statue of a dog.
This is Hachi-kò, the ‘Loyal Akita Inu of Japan’, who waited faithfully at that exact spot for almost ten years in the hope of his master’s return.
Shibuya Station is a focal point in this delightful tale combining fact and fiction, and every afternoon our hero unfailingly meets the incoming three o’clock train, seeking the one familiar face which means so much to him—that of Master Ueno.
A mysterious kidnapping sets Hachi and friends on a trail that twists and turns through the Tokyo of the 1920s, and Hachi comes face to face with his worst fear. Will he overcome it to win the day?
You’ll meet some of Hachi’s many human and animal friends, including Maro, the vagabond mixed breed who is proud to live as a street dog, Goro, who was abandoned as a puppy outside the police station and now acts as police dog, and Debbie, Hachi’s special fox terrier friend who lives next door.
This illustrated story for ages 9 and up is dedicated to Hachi, on his eighty-fourth Memorial Anniversary.
About the Author
Anastasia Ormeron is a mother, a teacher, and now a writer. A friend to all animals since childhood, she carries many of their beloved stories into the classroom, believing that some of life’s greatest lessons can be learned from them.
Anastasia spent most of her crazier growing up years in London, but shares a quieter life today, in a tiny corner of the Italian Alps, with her husband and grumpy grey cat, Mathilda.