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Loyal Dog Waits 10 Years for Master's Return

Hachi: A Dog's Tale is a delightful movie based on real story from Japan. When Parker Wilson, a college music professor, steps off his commuter train at the end of the day, he finds a stray Akita puppy. Wilson (played by Richard Gere) soon discovers the puppy escaped a damaged crate after being shipped from Japan to Woonsocket, Rhode Island.

Parker takes the dog home determined to find the owner. While waiting for responses to the posters he's placed around town, the professor and the little dog become fast friends. In spite of his wife's initial resistance, she agrees to let Parker keep the dog. A Japanese colleague at the university notices the collar tag on the Akita is Hachi (the Japanese word for the number 8). And that becomes the name by which Parker calls his new pet.

One day Hachi follows Parker several blocks to the train station as he leaves for work. The dog refuses to return home and so his master has to walk him back to the house. At the end of the day, Hachi hears the train whistle and runs to the train platform where he curls up waiting for Parker to disembark. Parker is stunned by this demonstration of loyalty. The next day the dog is there to greet him again. A pattern has been established. Hachi's uncanny devotion to his master is remarkable.

One day, Parker suffers a fatal heart attack in the classroom. Unaware what has happened, Hachi waits for hours at the station for his master to step off the train. For the next ten years the loyal dog waits at the train platform each evening. After the long wait, as Hachi drifts off to sleep one last time, he sees his master welcoming him fully alive as the dog runs toward him. His faithful waiting has paid off.

Editor's Note: The poignant that shows the final scene with Hachi dreaming of his reunion for his master begins and ends here: 1:24:08 to 1:26:52

Possible Preaching Angles: Waiting; Advent: Waiting on God; Patience—So much of our lives involves waiting for something important to happen. This faithful dog shows the true spirit of faithful, loyal waiting. Of course for Christians, we experience times of waiting (such as the Advent season) longing for a living Savior.

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