Many fans ask about how the Hachi dogs are doing today – Here is an update from Layla, one of the dogs who played Hachi in Hachi: A Dog’s Tale.
With the warm response from our first Hachi: A Dog’s Tale screening at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles, the Japan America Society generously sponsored a second event for members and their guests. On this evening, the film was screened under the stars at the dazzling InterContinental Los Angeles on the Avenue of the Stars. Not only is the hotel centrally located just blocks from Beverly Hills, world-class shopping and dining, but the fairy-tale garden is a popular venue for weddings and special occasions. We couldn’t have found a more enchanting location for our special evening. After the film, Layla posed for photos accompanied by owner/trainer David Allsberry. The perky Akita was the big hit of the evening. Ever the trooper, Layla patiently greeted the guests while kissing her way into everyone’s hearts. David was so charmed that after the filming he adopted the sweet Akita. Known for her exuberance, Layla was used in scenes that required a warm and fuzzy reaction. There’s a reason I call her the “kissing bandit.” That’s our gal! Guests always have questions about the film — especially about the dogs. Following the screening, we held a Q & A period to share some favorite stories. While shy by nature in front of a crowd, the words flow out when chatting about the loyal dog. People are surprised to learn we used three Akitas to play the adult Hachi. They want to know how I could tell them apart? In person, there was no problem. But if shown a photo, other than the more delicate Layla…forget it! A special thank you to Mari Miyoshi, President of the Sumitomo Realty and Development U.S.A., the owner of the luxury InterContinental Hotel Los Angeles in Century City for her generous donation of the idyllic setting. As a bonus, Mari surprised us with a surprise guest — a furry friend who instantly charmed everybody with those big soulful eyes! As always, appreciation goes out to Doug Urber, president, and Nancy Hiromoto, past chairman, of the Japan America Society for their endless support of Hachi: A Dog’s Tale. With all the enthusiastic guests in a beautiful setting, it couldn’t have been a more perfect event. There’s something extra special about watching Hachi: A Dog’s Tale under the stars. Surrounded by lush greenery and twinkling lights, feelings seem heightened in that gorgeous ambiance— making it truly a night to remember! Everyone seems to take-away strong emotions from the film. What is the most powerful moment, to you, in Hachi: A Dog’s Tale?