Dog lovers cross country to visit Hachi sites in Woonsocket

Dog lovers cross country to visit Hachi sites in Woonsocket

Members of the "Love My Coton de Tulear" join local guides for a tour of the Hachi monument and trail in Woonsocket on June 14. In rear from left are Donna Houle of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, Oscar Hancock of Woonsocket, Larry Jones, Sira Sudhindranath, Malavika Tigadi, Sherri Verrier Condon and Estelle Gross Bogdonoff; and seated from left are Deborah MacDonald, Lily Mah, Antoinette Holloway and her nephew, Kathleen Bennett Hutchinson, Marcia Benes, Patricia Jones, Jovita Speranzon, Sira's daughter, Malavika Molochko, and Jovita's daughter.

PAWTUCKET - The Blackstone Valley Tourism Council hosted a group of 12 families and 17 dogs on June 14, who came to town to visit the Hachi statue at the train depot in Woonsocket. Members of the group came from California, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. The group, which calls itself "The I Luv my Coton de Tulear," walked the Hachi Trail in Woonsocket, which is map of locations of movie sites from the Hachi movie starring Richard Gere. The movie was filmed here in 2008-2009. The trail (www.facebook.com/thehachitrail) was designed by Sira Sudhindranath of California and the group members walked their dogs, learned about the history of Woonsocket, enjoyed lunch at Palace Pizza, followed by hot weiners and coffee milk from New York Lunch at Market Square. The tour was led by Sudhindranath and the group was welcomed by Oscar Hancock of American Beauty Signworks of Woonsocket and Donna Houle of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council.

After seeing "Hachi: A Dog's Tale" in late 2013, Sira Sudhindranath said he was curious to see which real-world town was chosen to portray the town of "Bedridge" in the movie. Using Google and Bing Maps, he located the train depot at Woonsocket, found other sites from the movie, and with the help of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, gathered up a group of dog-lovers and their pets for the trip to Woonsocket.

"The weather was good and we all had a very enjoyable tour of the movie locations, plus some excellent food," said Sudhindranath.