Dog Bucket List: 10 Fun Things to be Like Hachi!

In Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, the professor and his pooch always had so much fun! This bonded them for life and cemented Hachi’s loyalty — what we all want.

You’ve heard of a bucket list. There’s even a Jack Nickolson film by that same name.

Once upon a time, I dreamed of living all over the world. I imagined a Montana ranch with lots of animals, followed by life in a Manhattan penthouse with a Central Park view. I could see myself in an ancient stone home in Tuscany. And, ever since I saw “South Pacific” on the stage…I was hooked.

I’m not talking forever, but for brief periods of time. The idea was to explore contrasting lifestyles — in one lifetime.

Some of these wishes came true. Some didn’t.

Our pup’s time on earth (especially in dog years) is brief.  The worst thing is to have regrets. And, you don’t want to have any with your beloved canine friend. That’s would be too painful. For that reason, we must cherish each and every moment we have left with them.

Making a dog bucket list is the best way to do that.

Think about all the things you can do with your canine friend. Their loyalty and undying friendship deserves to be repaid in any way you can. And, taking your dog out for adventures is just one way to do it.

They’ll be rolling over for belly rubs! And, you’ll be right there to give them.

1. Shop til you Drop…Together!

If you’re not taking your dog to a pet store and letting them pick out a toy or two for themselves, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to see your dog full of happiness! Your loyal companion will be overjoyed just walking into a store sniffing all their favorite treats and toys.

My Hachi loved going to the local pet store. Even though his senior body was weakened, the sight of animals perked him up instantly. He was wild about hamsters. I’d hold him up to the cage and he’d get all perky. It became a weekly “field trip” for us.

Let your pup choose a few toys that call out to them. They’re still feel the love after you’ve returned home. Besides, each time they play with that toy, you’ll feel good too!

Don’t you want your furry friend to be happy all hours of the day?

2. Hit the Road

Have you ever seen a dog more thrilled than with their head hanging out the car window with their tongues flapping in the breeze? And what’s better is that they’re with you the whole time. Their favorite human!

Our dogs crave quality time so they can bond deeper with us — just like Hachi! The more you get to spend time together, the deeper your bond grows. And, you have more memories to treasure in the future. Remember, no regrets!

3. Dogs Love Food (after You, of course)!

You can gift your pup a Bark Box — a totally customized box of themed toys and treats delivered to your door — each month. I once gave a dog pal named Cassie a Bark Box subscription. Her human said the boxer would go crazy the moment she spotted the box! I’d get photos. When Cassie passed away, I was not only by her side but ever thankful that she enjoyed her monthly treats from me.

No dog will refuse a gourmet doggy meal. Head to the store and put together a feast made for the best loyal dog around, because that’s what you have! Every now and then or even just on special occasions, why not indulge your furry friend with a juicy bit of steak or chicken? Just be certain that you don’t give your pet human food that’s harmful to them. Such as chocolate or grapes. Otherwise, let the feast begin!

4. Dress your Pup to Impress

What better way to show off your pup than by playing dress up and going out together? Have fun! There are so many different options when it comes to dressing up as a pair. For smaller dogs, you can go to Fitwarm Pet Apparel. They aim “to treat our fur baby the way we treat our human baby” and produce their own lines for high quality and trendy clothes.

Head out to your favorite pet store like Petco, or shop online at With the surge of pups as family members, Chewy launched their online storefront in 2011 to offer the service of a neighborhood pet store alongside the speed of e-commerce.

There’s lot of choices to discover the ideal put outfit for every mood. 

So, the next time you head out for the evening, let your dog tag along. Their little tails will be going full speed, all night, with all the compliments and attention they’ll receive. Pups adore that!

5. Relax your Pup’s Back

Your pup runs around and plays all the time. Surely their poor little muscles can get tired and sore. Taking your best bud for a dog massage is the perfect way to show them you care. They’ll have the opportunity to relax and even feel more love. I know, because my Hachi would get massages at his vet’s office for arthritis. The therapist would put on soothing music, dim the lights…and before long, Hachi would fall asleep!

Even better, just like the Professor and Hachi in “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale”, you can do it yourself. In fact, that scene was inspired by my massages with Hachi. He just loved having his muscles gently rubbed. And, I loved seeing him so relaxed.

Let your dog know that you’ll take care of them in every way.

6. Try the Dog Paddle

Just like with canoeing, not all dogs are great with water. My Hachi didn’t like baths. I’d have to jump in with him! But if yours is the type who jump into pools, joining you in a lake or dog friendly pool might just make them the happiest dog there is!

Bring some dog toys to play fetch. Pack a few delectable treats your pup loves. You’ll have an exhausted dog that just wants to cuddle afterward. What could be better?

7. Pamper your Pet


Sign them up for a spa day at a dog salon that allows you to accompany them. It’ll be one major day of relaxation and pampering for your companion. Or, do it yourself. After a dog spa day, you can copy the same tender-loving-care for your pup. You can find everything on the internet these days.

Dogs need some extra attention and muscle relaxation — just like people do. The grooming, massaging, and your company will forge a powerful connection of love and devotion, much like in “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale”.  And, we know how bonded Hachi and Professor Parker were. Hachi was eternally loyal.

8. Have Dog, Will Travel

Check to see if there’s a dog-friendly hotel near you. It’s also the perfect excuse to take a road trip. Not that you need a reason to have an adventure with your best canine buddy. Finding a hotel that not only allows pets, but even pampers them is ideal — your baby deserves the best, after all.

If you’re ever in the San Francisco area, Hotel Nikko is perfect for this. One of the original dog-friendly hotels in San Francisco, Hotel Nikko is a haven for travelers and their canine companions. Located in the heart of downtown, it’s steps away from the city’s dog parks, paths, and surrounded by the city’s vibrant attractions.

Hotel Nikko offers luxury pet-friendly rooms on the VIP Floor featuring amenities such as snuggly beds, water and food bowls, and healthy treats at check-in. There’s an outdoor pet terrace with a dog run and room service for you and your canine companion.

After, you can explore the neighborhoods together. There’s lots of places to see and things to do.


Last but not least, be sure to say “hi” to Buster and Beau who welcome guests to their doggy haven. If you have some extra time, book a play date with one of them. They “work” to make your stay welcoming — in the warmest dog way!

9. Teach your Dog New Tricks

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Even if your dog isn’t old, grab a few treats and spend an afternoon teaching them something new. Dogs crave learning. It stimulates their minds in ways almost nothing else can. 

One great idea is playing fun, science-based games with your pup by enrolling in Dognition. It’s based on having lots of play-time together. In fact, the more the better as you’ll discover about how your dog’s mind works.

There’s a bonus to all that play. After you complete the Dognition Assessment, you’ll receive your pup’s personal Profile Report — 10 to 15 pages that describe your dog’s unique genius. With millions of potential outcomes, each report is unique — just like your pup.

It’s the perfect opportunity to solidify your lifelong companionship. Each month, there’s new activities to foster an even closer connection with your best furry friend.

10. Romp on the Beach

There’s so much for a dog to do at the beach. They can roll around in the sand, chase birds, and even swim. The possibilities are truly endless. You can even grab a cooler and pack some homemade dog popsicles. While your dog is getting warmed up chasing the waves, you can help them cool down with a treat afterward. Imagine this: the warmth of the sun on your back, a sparkling sea, a picnic lunch, and… your best friend. Does life get any sweeter?

We all have to face the reality that our dogs will not be around forever. While it’s sad to think about…it also helps us realize that we have to truly cherish our loyal companions every chance we get. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to bond just as deeply as the professor and Hachi in Hachi: A Dog’s Tale?

What are the way you make your pup feel extra-special? Let me know in the comments!


Hands Up if you can relate to:

~ Feeling stuck & frustrated with the daily “sameness” of your life.
~ Struggling to get clear on priorities and your authentic self.
~ Filled with regrets over “the road not taken”.

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