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Monday, April 18, 2022

The Hachi Chronicle

Hachi's brain seems to have opened up to learning. Here's what we did this week.

We went to the vet hospital for a Happy Visit. Hachi was relaxed despite a big German Shepherd barking at him as we walked into the clinic. Hachi barely reacted to that dog's barking. Inside the exam room, we played games with him including asking him to do all his tricks, tossing treats all over the floor for him to clean up, playing "go say hi" where one of us sends him to touch the hand of the other one, and, of course, the bucket game. He had one vocalization at a loud voice outside the room but he was not reactive besides that. I am blown away by his progress.

Then, later in the week, our trainer worked with us. We moved our easier games to a smaller space in our house - a hallway with open areas at both ends of it. Hachi was happy despite the new location. We also had the trainer leave and return via the front door several times. She talked to Hachi, looked at Hachi, and switched between sitting and standing (when we started these games months ago, she never looked at Hachi, moved or spoke). None of these things bothered Hachi.

Then, we did the bucket game in our biggest room. We did it there because we knew that we wanted the trainer to move closer to him than ever before. It went superbly. The trainer was within 2' of him, sitting on the floor next to him. She'd say "hand" and then reach into the air near Hachi but didn't actually touch him. He didn't even give her side eye! Woo hoo!


I know that reading these reports is a little like reading about paint drying - slow progress. To be honest, I've stopped projecting into the future for Hachi. I don't think about goals on a regular basis. Rather, I look at what he can do *today*, and we work from that place. This non-goal-setting attitude is new for me, and I adopted it as a form of self-protection to avoid disappointment. Surprisingly, the change in attitude coincided with things going much better with Hachi. Perhaps it is a lesson in the power of focusing on Now.

We love our Hachi.


  1. you work super great with your hachi pup... and even when the progress comes in small steps, it is a success... like mr. armstrong said: a small step for a human and a giant leap for a pup...

  2. Yay, Hachi! What a wonderful post to read!

  3. Hari OM
    ...also a signal that how you are feeling may well be reflected in how Hachi feels? If you have relaxed he knows it's okay too... but this is great news and I hope to be reading many more such reports. Yes, I can watch grass grow... YAM xx

  4. One day at a time. Great progress. Today matters. Tomorrow is another day. You're so wonderful with him. He's a lucky and handsome pup.

    Have a fabulous day and week. Scritches to the pups. ♥

  5. We don't find your Hachi reports boring but quite the opposite! It's so nice to hear he is making progress and doing so well. You all sure are putting in lots of hard work to get him to where he is, and we know he will continue to make great progress in the future.

  6. I read these reports with interest and amazement. I don't consider myself a dog person, but I'm certainly rooting for Hachi. One vocal outburst doesn't sound like an issue at all. There are dogs in the houses behind me and both initially go bananas when I go out to feed the birds or work in the yard. I assume that's quite natural.

  7. this makes me wildly happy for Hachi.. each time he is better and better and today i am truly amazed at what all of you have accomplished

  8. As always, I love reading about Hachi's steady, incremental progress. I admire your dedication to your dogs and their training SO. MUCH. Your stories make me want to be better with my own dogs in our lives together.

    Continued mojo, support, and love to all of you.

  9. KB I try to focus more on 'today' than the future. The 2 years of Covid threw a monkey wrench in my planning.
    YOU GO Hachi!!
    Hugs Cecilia

  10. Today, that is such a good way to be, and I think I will take it for myself too.If I look too far ahead, I just get frazzled at what might need to be done.Hachi is showing huge progress, and I so enjoy reading about how he is doing. Never boring, we share and care, and rejoice at even the slightest sign that he is doing better each visit.Even going for the drive might be different for him at the beginning, things we all take for granted for ourselves.

  11. You couldn't be further from the truth, I love reading these reports! It makes me wonder how far Brut could've gone with the right trainer. But since it wasn't meant to be, I live vicariously through Hachi and you, learning as you learn. I can not begin to tell you how much it means to me all the effort you have given Hachi, because I know it isn't easy. I am so happy for you and Hachi! I am also very proud of you, KB! Living in the now isn't easy, but like you, I found it works best. Oh, the things our dogs teach us. ♥

  12. It is truly amazing how far he has come!

  13. We love reading the Hachi reports, it's like we're right there with you. We love hearing about the Hachi progress.

  14. I think Hachi is finally found peace in his life thanks to you.

  15. Learning of Hachi's success is truly uplifting and inspiring. Keep up the good work.


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