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

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

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

To our dear Hachi friends around the world – we have lost our beloved Chico, the remaining of our three magnificent Hachi stars.

I recall the first time I saw Chico at Boone’s Animals for Hollywood training ranch. It was so exciting back then! I had no background in filmmaking – just this huge dog lover. Meeting this magnificent Akita was overwhelming to me. He was simply perfect!

Hachi was Chico’s first acting role, yet this novice Akita illuminated the screen with his compelling performance and incandescent presence. And many thanks to Mark Harden, his trainer/owner, who guided Chico to this stellar performance.

I’ll share Mark’s 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.


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, the 4th day of the 8th month of this year, 2018. He lived 4 days into his 13th year. By and large, he enjoyed a very healthy, happy, and active life. He filled our home with fur and slobber, and love each and every day of the 11 years he was part of our lives.

He shared his kindness with our friends, our 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.

It pains me that this update is the final update, his eulogy. From now on everything is a memory, and though the memories are wonderful I will forever miss his broad smile, his silly bounding circles when I’d get home, his hot breath.

Sleep peacefully, Sweet Cheeks, until we meet again.

Leave a love note below, or click here to view hundreds of comments on our Facebook page in tribute to Chico.

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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.


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

Angel Lawson
Angel Lawson

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… :’(


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.


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


what did he die of?


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