We love you Chico… May you enjoy everlasting joy with your dear friends Layla and Forrest. 

Chico, the last of the three Akitas who together played the part of Hachi, passed away on Saturday morning, August 4, 2018. Co-stars Layla (his real sister) and Forrest are now reunited over the Rainbow Bridge.

The first time I saw Chico was at Boone’s Animals for Hollywood training ranch. He had just arrived and I couldn’t wait to meet him! It was so exciting back then. I had no background in filmmaking — I was just this huge dog lover. Meeting this magnificent Akita was overwhelming to me. He was simply perfect!

Hachi: A Dog’s Tale was Chico’s first acting role, yet this novice Akita illuminated the screen with his compelling and incandescent presence. He enjoyed a  healthy, happy, and active life — sharing his sweetness with friends, family, and the numerous strangers who crossed his path. To most, he was benevolently aloof. To a special few, he was outgoing and affectionate. Either way, his attention felt like a gift.

Special thanks to animal trainer Mark Harden who guided Chico to his stellar performance. Their connection was deep, and Mark adopted Chico after the shoot. To summarize their deep love, I’ll share Mark’s own words:

Hi Vicki,

I wanted to let you know before you found out elsewhere, Chico has passed on. Your movie brought me together with this wonderful beast who became my best friend. I will always be in your debt. He had an extraordinary life and thankfully only a very brief infirmity.

Mark

Chico “Clapton” Harden
July 31, 2005 – August 4, 2018

The three Akitas will be remembered for their moving portrayal of the true-life story of Hachiko, the loyal dog of 1930’s Japan. Through “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale”, their spirits will live on and continue to capture the hearts of viewers everywhere.

To commemorate Chico’s life, you can leave your love note below. After, visit our Facebook page for more tributes to Chico.

Subscribe (Get notified of new replies)
Notify of
guest
9 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Chris
Chris
2 years ago

My condolences to Mark for the loss of Chico.

I’d also like to recommend the book Animal Stars Behind the Scenes with Your Favorite Animal Actors by Robin Ganzert which features Mark’s story with Chico for the filming of Hachi.

Chris
Chris
2 years ago

Here’s Chico with Mark for an animal training show. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMF8K2i5VzY

Michael
Michael
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris

Thank you for the video.

Angel Lawson
Angel Lawson
2 years ago

I watched Hachi for the first time only last week. It’s taken me until now to actually stop feeling so sad, and now I find out that all 3 dogs that played Hachi have died in the last year? Now I’m literally back to square 1 again and it’s so much worse… :’(

Bill
Bill
2 years ago

I am sorry to hear of Chico dying. I have only just discovered this movie and story of Hachis love, and to know now that all three dog stars have passed on fills me with sadness. Hachi’s Story has touched my heart and will remain with me always.

Vicki
Vicki
2 years ago
Reply to  Bill

Thank you Bill for your warm thoughts! The three Hachi dog stars live forever in our hearts…🐶 Vicki

maykers
maykers
2 years ago

what did he die of?

JOIN OURHACHI-HEARTED
community

Embark on a transformational journey that will expand your capacity to enjoy life and all its little gifts. Plus, get our free "Be Hachi. Be Happy" guide:  ​7 Ways You Can (And Should) Be More Like Your Dog.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.