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Aki - the dog’s tale 

by Erik Štenpien

Hi, my name is Aki and I'm an Akita. Be it a Japanese or American one, I can't really tell, because I don't own a pedigree to prove it. There is nothing I can do about it and my master does not care, we love each other anyway.

People that know things say that I display both features of an American Akita, as well as a Japanese Akita. But that is OK as it used to be like that back in the time after WWII, when people started to more aggressively and frequently cross the original Japanese dogs with imported foreign breeds e.g. Mastiffs, German Shepherd Dog, St. Bernard, etc. And you see, in the end they split us into 2 separate breeds - American Akita and Japanese Akita.

One thing is for sure - I'm an Akita. Stubborn, strong and dominant dog that loves its family and is ready to give up its life for it. I don't remember my parents, nor the yard where I was born. I know it was on 24th September 2015. We talked a bit about this topic with my master. He says, that maybe I could have the pedigree, it is just that my parents did not go through the proper approval procedure they need to undergo before allowed mating. I have no idea what that means, but I trust him, I love him above all.


Now, back to my story, because this is supposed to be all about me. When I was just a little pup, they gave me to a man who had seen a movie called Hachiko - dog's tale. By the way, we think that our great great great great … grandfather Hachiko is a role model for all of us, we all know him and know what he went through. They even built a statue for him in Japan. He was that type of a dog who is loyal to its master beyond their life, and that is how we all want to be. But let me bark you, the bad thing about that is, that people know this story, too. And they often want to own a dog from the movie. They don't learn how to deal with it, how to raise it and they buy a puppy anyway. And after some time, after the puppy is grown, they find out that they actually have no time for it. Better ones try to find a new home for them so that it can get a proper care. But there are also people, who don't care and throw the doggies on the street. My first master belonged to the first group, the better ones. He looked for a new home and managed to find me a home that he believed would be the best for me. Lord, how wrong he was… My second master was not bad until a baby came to our family. I loved the baby boy, as we, Akitas, usually do. And I don't know why anybody would have thought I wanted to harm him, he was my master's son, right? From the day he was born, my master fought with his wife a lot. She did not want a dog. I know it today. Back then I thought, that things would clear up and if I played with the kid, everything would be fine. But then I got to my puberty age. I was quite big already and did not really realise how strong I was. Once I poked the baby boy during our play and he fell on his butt. Nothing happened, I swear, but he started crying like somebody had hurt him a lot. His mommy came really fast and ordered my master to give the dog away from their home, as she was scared that the dog will once kill their son! Me, can you imagine that…

I felt guilt, but I know now, that it was not my fault. If at least one of the parents had been with us, nothing would have happened. Maybe they would have stopped the baby from being mad and I would not have reacted so swiftly. And if they would've spent more time with me, maybe they would have taught me "Enough!". The order that I know now. My humans fought for a couple of days. Eventually, my master took me into the car and drove me away. I was happy as I thought we were going on a trip and when we come back, my human mom would be happy to see me again, but that was not the case eventually. We stopped and my master let me out of the car. While I did not even manage to realize what had happened, my master sat back to the car and drove off. Me left alone in the fields. His car was gone and so was he. Thing you never do to any dog, not even as a punishment, just happened to me. I was left alone. I was 9 months old and I was just by myself. I don't remember how long I was a stray and looking for my family. I cried. I hid from storms and rains. I starved. Eventually, some really nice people spotted me and gave a call to a shelter in Dolný Kubín. I let them catch me and put me to a kennel, but I did not feel well there. Girls took a good care of me, they fed me and walked me every day, they gave me love. Although it was much better then streets, it was not a home.


One day a car came and HE stepped out of it. My current master, the best in the world. He came directly towards me and he gave me a kiss on my head. The first in my life! I gave him my ball immediately, the ball that was the only thing that helped me feel a bit better when being alone. And I went with him. They needed to have helped me to get into the car because I was afraid they would abandon me again somewhere in the middle of nowhere, but - HE DID NOT. He drove me to his home and gave a ton of his love to me. I have a full bowl every day, I have even my own couch, lots of toys and friends - human and doggy friends. But most importantly - for over 3 years now I have my own family that I proudly belong to! Sometimes I have nightmares about what I have been through since I was 9 months old, but then I wake up and I'm HOME.

I talk to my master a lot, I spent as much time as possible with him. He says that we spend almost 24/7 together and I confirm. He said that I'm his first dog, although there was Kimi before. Kimi, as I remember, was an Akita lady, that I met the very first day I came to my new home. I wanted to play with her but she didn't want to. She was jealous. I did not understand but I do now. Kimi loved my master. She used to spend a lot of time with him every day and liked her maybe even more than her own humans. Well, and so she was jealous when he brought me and I was taking my master away from her. After a while, we made peace with Kimi. She understood that she has her own humans and I will sometimes lend her mine. But she must yield to me. I'm the alpha, I'm the man here, right?!

But I thank Kimi for a lot. If it wasn't for her, then my master would not even start looking into Akitas. He never had a dog before. Kimi was the first one and he did not want to make mistakes. Thus he learnt how to care for Hachiko. OK, that film again… but OK, thanks to that movie I now have my master who knows how to treat me right. Who understands me.. At least tries.

He taught me a lot. I'm a composed and calm dog now. I'm not saying I never tried to piss over him, but come one, what would you want from a dog that switched between 2 masters, shelter, and life of a stray dog within 9 months of its life? Of course, I tried a few tricks on him, I told to myself, either he lasts or he will be just the next one. He had yummies up in his pocket - I tore it. On three coats.. He left me home alone - I chewed apart his slippers. I expected getting beaten, that I was used to from previous masters. Instead, he brought me outside and had a lot of run and fun in the yard or in the park. I understood - he would never hit me. And he likes me. And I stopped playing tricks on him. I now even have a privilege to sleep in his bed while he is not there. For that I want to be (and I am) the best dog in this world. He trusts me and I will never betray his trust. I'm an Akita.

I love all the people without differences. But as for the rich people… I don't remember my previous masters too well. Well, I know there were some, but…

I have been living in plenty and abundance for 3 years, it's a dog paradise. Why would I keep all the bad memories? But - it is enough to meet fancy looking people in expensive suits, fancy glasses and wearing the intense perfume and I'm all ready to talk to the man. I don't know why. There is something inside me. My master says there is something encoded in my memory. I don't get it, but if he says so, then it must be truth. I love the other dogs. Small ones. So you don't say that I'm some kind of weirdo, I also like the bigger ones, but they cannot be bigger than myself. I'm the boss, this should be clear. If a Great Danish admits that I'm bigger than them, then we can play. But I have never met one like that yet. And I will not surrender. I'm the Akita. I must bark that my best buddy is called Maco. It is also an Akita, a boy, but a white one. Instead of fight, we play. My master is happy about it. And me too.

Some say I'm a dog racist. Imagine that. It is not against blacks or asians. I'm an asian, too. I just don't like black dogs. Big black dogs. If there is a Dobermann, Rottweiler, or any other similar breed, I'm all up and alert. But nevertheless, I already made some big black friends in the meantime. For example a dark (officially blue) american stafford Rusty, black kelpie Mia or a young Dobermann called by a weird name (I think it is Mokka, but I understand, his master has 2 more dogs, Rhodesian Ridgeback called Tea and munsterlander pointer Coffee - If I would have such a name, I would be so embarrassed…) .

But I'm helping them to forget about their shame, so we play. For now. Let's see what will be when Mokka turns adult. When she starts to dare at me, I will need to show her where her place is.

By the way, each year there is an international dog show happening in our town. I already started bargaining with my master to take me there, maybe we would even win something. People say Im glamorous. I only know that I cannot officially compete, because I don't have a pedigree. They say only dogs with pedigree can compete there. But he promised that he will take me there just to see it. And so I'm happy and looking forward to it. Maybe I will have much more friends then I have now already.

So, this is how I live now. If you want to meet and play with me, please, do not bring dry kibble to please me. I don't like them. I eat mostly meat, mainly beef. I'm a bit of a picky eater, but they say many Akitas are. Just for you to know - I adore squeaky and fur toys. I have never enough of them. Shame they don't last for long enough. And balls! They say Akitas don't fetch. I'm the opposite. I love these games with my master. Either I fetch him the sticks or a ball.

Please, do not envy me. Every dog deserves the life I have now. I wish they had it, too. I wish every doggie had its own master to give and receive love from. I wish this mostly for doggies in shelters out there. Doggies that ended up unwanted, not by their mistake. You, people, if you have a heart, go see them and at least have a walk with them. Their purpose in life is to make You happy, please allow them to do so.

Sending my love and high five! 

Yours Akinko.

Photo: Erik Štenpien

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