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Saturday, August 26, 2017

HERO DOG | Hachikō Wins Contest

Hachikō Dances Around on One Leg.
August 26, 2017 – The 4th Annual Springs Agricultural Fair took place today at Ashawagh Hall.

At noon the "Dog Tricks" event was featured.


A Springs dog, Hachikō, was entered. He is named after an Akita, Hachi-kõ (ハ-チ公, 1923-1935), born on a farm in Japan. Hachi is the Japanese word for the lucky number eight.

The life story of the original Hachikō was the subject of a movie, transposed to Woonsocket, Rhode Island, starring Richard Gere.

Eight (hachi in Japanese) is a lucky number in Asia, having the same Chinese character as fortune or good luck.  Seven in Asia is unlucky.  

This Hachikō (a Pomeranian-Schnauzer mix) was lucky and won second place.

He was trained by Alice Tepper Marlin with the assistance of her husband John and their daughter Caroline, who has trained her own dog Rondo.
Dog Tricks Contest Winners, First (R)
and Second Prizes. Alice Tepper Marlin
is holding Hachikō.

Hachikō won second prize out of a field of about ten dogs put forward as doing tricks at the Fair. 

Hachikō danced a few circles, sometimes on one leg (see photo above).

The first place winner is in the second photo, but we don't yet know the name of the dog or its owner. (To which the owner could reply, paraphrasing the late Mayor Ed Koch, "if I had known being in second place was so important, I would have gone for that.")

The takeaway from the contest for next year is:
  • It is smart to have a routine. Start by having the dog sit, then roll over, the easy tricks. Then get to the harder ones.
  • Most dogs refused to do their tricks in front of a crowd, which was funny but reduced the competition. Best to practice with people looking on.
  • The winner's trainer had an excuse for why the winning dog didn't do the trick the first time. The second time it went as planned. It's good to have a trainer who can cover for lapses!
  • A good time was had by all, including the dogs, who got treats, win or lose.
The full name of Hachikō in Japanese is Chūken - Hachi - kō (忠犬-ハ-チ公), or Loyal Dog - Eight - Little.  The first two characters are kan-ji (Chinese ideographs) and the other characters are Japanese.