Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year 2010!!

May 2010 put a smile on every Akita's face like the one above!!
May 2010 be a wonderful new year for everyone that owns & loves Akitas!!
May every Akita needing a home in 2010 find their way safely to a rescue to be matched up with the right forever home!
May every person that has helped our breed in any way find 2010 to be a properous & healthy new year!
And to all my ARWNY family of friends & volunteers -- May 2010 be the most blessed & happiest of new years for all of you!!

I am already truly blessed to have you all in my life!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2010 is here!

Anyone else remember when that date was considered "science fiction" -- so far in the future that we couldn't even fathom it? Yet here it is -- and its another new year with another chance at doing things even better than before!

So use this year wisely, everyone -- don't squander it. Each passing year makes me realize, we can never have that year again, so each new one has taken on more and more special meaning to me.

Think up --- make 2010 the best year ever!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

The madness never ends...

I can't believe the Eagles, my local football team, voted Michael Vick as the 2009 winner of the Ed Block Courage Award

Now, even if you take my feelings about anyone who fights dogs out of this discussion, you have to still wonder WHY Vick was given this award especially given his cowardice in handling his whole life up to NOW?

Can anyone tell me what courage it took for him to don a uniform, take a million dollars and go back to playing the sport he wants to play without ever really apologizing or taking measures to make amends for what he did? Yes he went to jail -- on racketeering charges. He went to jail -- and was treated like a hero while in there because he was a STAR and people in jail didn't take what he did to be anything that horrible. He should be made to spend the next 50 yrs of his life having to give 2 days a week at a shelter picking up poop and washing dogs as an addition to his punishment.

I mean really -- how courageous was it to go back to playing football? In fact, he should have had to pay the Eagles to take him on as a player, considering the harm he did to his former team and the slap in the face he gave to the NFL Commissioner when he bold-faced lied to him about not having anything to do with dog-fighting -- its obvious that TEAMWORK and LOYALTY mean nothing to this man. And shouldn't an award about courage in the face of adversity be adversity you didn't cause YOURSELF by being selfish, greedy and vicious?

Take away my outrage over the dogs he killed, maimed and tortured. How about how he lied to his teammates, tried to pass the blame on to other people; how about the shame he bought to his fellow players, his family, to the sport of football itself? And how about his acceptance speech for this award -- still all about ME ME ME and I, I, I -- the other teams' award winners gave wonderful speeches about what team spirit and helping others meant to them -- Vick instead said "I've had to overcome a lot, more than probably one single individual can bear." All of your making Vick, no one's fault but your own!

And more about ME ME ME: "Take a look at what I've been through. You ask certain people to walk in my shoes, they probably couldn't do it -- probably 95 percent of the people in this world. Because nobody had to endure what I've been through.."
The arrogence, the selfishness of his comments show he hasn't changed at all, has no remorse for what he did and the same smugness is still part of his personality. No humility at all.

I know football players aren't known as the smartest group of people -- but come on, surely a whole team should have had more sense than to vote for this loser to win this award. There had to be so many better options!

Once again, I am ashamed of the Eagles. First for bringing him to my hometown; second for making a hero of him by giving him an award for courage -- a word that should not be used in the same sentence as the name Michael Vick.

One small victory that does make me happy however -- the passing of tougher dog fighting laws here in NJ:

Even LESS tolerance for animal-abusers/dog-fighters like Vick in MY state now!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

May the blessings of the season extend to every one of you and my fervent hope is that 2010 is a wonderful year for all of us -- especially for our wonderful Akitas!!

Hope you enjoy the picture -- I love it when our adopters and other Akita owners send us fun photos of their Akitas!! So enjoy!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Fleas Navidad Nibblers

Here is a fun recipe to make for all your doggie family members for the Holiday -- hey, you bake for your human family, so go ahead and bake for your doggie family too!

My dear high school friend Judi Giangiulio sent it to me -- she has 3 rescued dogs of her own, her daughter is a vet tech (and owns her own bakery! HOW COOL!) and also has three rescued dogs of her own so its a very rescue-oriented family down there in Austin Texas -- no Akitas yet but I'll work on her....HA!!
Here you go -- and her directions at the bottom are for making them into mini-muffins:

Fleas Navidad Nibblers

2 Tablespoons honey
2 3/4 c. water
1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/8 teas. vanilla
1 egg

dry ingredients:
1/2 c. chopped peanuts
4 c. whole wheat flour
1 Tbl. baking powder
1 Tbl. nutmeg
1 Tbl. cinnamon

350 deg. oven
In a bowl, mix honey, water, applesauce, vanilla and egg.
In another bowl mix peanuts, flour, baking powder, and spices.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir, mixing well. Spoon into greased muffin tin, filling each cup 2/3 full.

Bake 35 minutes
Store in sealed container. Makes 16 muffins

Kathy; the recipe is for regular sized muffins, but I make mini ones. Cut the baking time to around 15 to 20 minutes for mini. Do not forget to grease your pans; these will stick if you don't. Hope they enjoy them as much as my babies do.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

HACHI the movie

Well it appears after all has been written, agonized and panicked over, the movie HACHI with Richard Gere as its star, has been relegated as going straight to video instead of having its opening nationwide on 12/18/09 as previously reported.

We may all wonder why it went right to video -- I heard it was over legal dispute over distribution/viewing rights -- but it definately does avert what could have been a potential issue for our breed. While the movie did not target kids the way BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA did or 101 DALMATIANS also did, it still would be viewed by a large population who may have gotten the wrong idea about owning an Akita.

The biggest worry I had with people seeing the movie was that people may think allowing an Akita to run loose ANYWHERE is a safe bet. Allowing an Akita to run around a town off leash should surely make any viewer realize "Oh this is just a movie" but sadly it would make many idiots out there in viewer land feel they could get an Akita and let it do what Hachi did -- run loose in the streets without a leash. What a bad idea! But of course, if that didn't happen, there would be no movie -- as Hachiko the original Akita in Japan that the story is based on, would not have gone to the train station every day to wait for his master if he was leashed up and behind a fenced in yard! So leashed Hachiko equals no story about Hachiko!

But Akitas don't do well with being unleashed -- too many distractions, too strong a prey drive, to heightened a sense of dominance which most often leads to not coming when called. Too much of a potential for disaster -- so no Akita should ever be off leash unless in a secured area.

While I am looking forward to seeing the movie for many reasons (the biggest reason now being that I know Forrest, one of the adult Akitas used in the filming; that's him in the picture at the top of this page!) I am also rather secretly happy it will not be out for general viewing in movie theaters. Anything we can do to stem the tide of unwanted Akitas washing up on our doorsteps all over this country is a good thing.

But when it does come out on video, I will most certainly buy a copy. I own the Japanese version of this movie and it makes me cry just thinking of the beauty of the story, the Akitas in the movie, and the message it sends. The American version I am told is also beautifully done and has the same strong message about love, loyalty and devotion between man and dog. Definately a story worth telling and seeing.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Its Thanksgiving...

and I'm thankful for everything this Thanksgiving. For my related family who stand by me no matter what I put them thru; for my rescue family who work tirelessly to help me save all these Akitas; for our adopters who make our work possible and take on our rescued Akitas to give them a forever life like they so richly deserve. I am thankful for everyone who supports us and works hard for us; and I'm so thankful for this wonderful breed of ours, the Akitas that make all our work worthwhile (like Katsu pictured here!)!! And most of all, I'm just thankful I am still here, able to be helping with rescue and starting to enjoy life once again.

What are you thankful for this year?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Holiday Safety Tips -- PLEASE READ!!!

I found this great list on the internet, so rather than re-write it, I'm just going to post it here -- its FABULOUS ADVICE for the upcoming holidays to keep your pet safe -- read it in its entirety, its well worth the read:

* Many holiday plants can lead to health problems in dogs and cats. Among the plants to keep out of reach are holly, mistletoe, poinsettias and lilies.

* Snow globes often contain antifreeze, which is poisonous to pets.

* Pine needles, when ingested, can puncture holes in a pet’s intestine. So keep pet areas clear of pine needles.

* The extra cords and plugs of holiday lights and other fixtures can look like chew toys to pets. Tape down or cover cords to help avoid shocks, burns or other serious injuries. Unplug lights when you are not home.

* Anchor Christmas trees to the ceiling with a string to keep it from falling on pets.

* Do not let pets drink the holiday tree water. Some may contain fertilizers, and stagnant tree water can harbor bacteria. Check labels for tree water preservatives and artificial snow, and buy only those that are nontoxic. Some folks use screens around trees to block access to electrical cords and gifts.Very important: do not put aspirin in the water (some folks do this thinking it will keep the tree or plant more vigorous). If a pet ingests the aspirin-laced water, his health or even life can be at risk.

* Pets, particularly cats, can be tempted to eat tinsel, which can block the intestines. Hang tinsel high and securely to keep it out of reach of pets.

* Keep other ornaments out of reach of pets. Ingestion of any ornament, which might look like toys to pets, can result in life-threatening emergencies. Even ornaments made from dried food can lead to ailments. And remember, shards from broken glass ornaments can injure paws, mouths and other parts of the body.

* Put away toys after children open their gifts. Small plastic pieces and rubber balls are common causes of choking and intestinal blockage in dogs. Ingested plastic or cloth toys must often be removed surgically.

* Avoid toxic decorations. Bubbling lights contain fluid that can be inhaled or ingested, snow sprays and snow flock can cause reactions when inhaled, styrofoam poses a choking hazard, tinsel can cause choking and intestinal obstruction, and water in snow scenes may contain toxic organisms such as Salmonella.

* Keep candles on high shelves. Use fireplace screens to avoid burns.

* Hi-tech shooing: A timely product I’m not sure I’d recommend, but if you have any experience with it, let me know. The StayAway canister from Contech Electronics uses a motion-detection device to sense when a pet approaches some off-limits area (countertop, table-top, candles, fireplace mantel, holiday tree), then activates a burst of compressed air and a one-second warning screech.

Other low-tech methods: place sticky mats, crunchy aluminum foil or bubblewrap on or around the area … tie balloons around the area … put some pennies in empty plastic drink bottles and balance the bottles on the bottom branches of the holiday tree or plant so that they’ll noisily tip over if a cat or other pet jumps at or on the tree.

* Holiday guests and other activity can be very stressful and even frightening to pets. It can also trigger illness and intestinal upset. Make sure pets have a safe place to retreat in your house. And make sure they are wearing current I.D. in case they escape out a door when guests come and go.

* Reduce stress by keeping feeding and exercise on a regular schedule.

* Always make time to care for your pets. Some folks get lax about walking their dogs, and a few resort to letting pets out on their own. This puts the animal in danger, while also leading to nuisance complaints and dog bite incidents. Remind pet owners not to take a holiday from responsibly caring for their pets.

* When pets are stressed by holiday activity or during travel, they may require more water. Dogs typically pant more when they feel stressed. Keep fresh water available for them to drink.

* Rescue Remedy, a Bach flower essence available in most health food stores, is a natural stress reliever that many folks keep on hand at home and in travel kits. It can often help both people and animals recover from injury, fright, illness, travel fatigue, chocolate ingestion and irritation. Put a few drops in the dog’s water bowl or portable water container. For stressed or injured animals, rub a drop on their ear or put a drop on the towel in their crate or carrier. Flower essences are free of harmful effects and can be used along with conventional medicines.Another safe, nontoxic Rescue Remedy-like product is Animal Emergency Trauma Solution, available from, where you can also get Flee Free to combat fleas nontoxically.Other flower essence sources include and

* Do not let guests feed your pets human food. There are many holiday foods, including fatty meats, gravies, poultry skin, bones, chocolate and alcohol, that can cause illnesses from vomiting and diarrhea to highly serious pancreatitis and other toxic reactions. In addition, candy wrappers, aluminum foil pieces and ribbons can choke pets.

* Keep pets away from gift packages as well as your gift wrapping area. Ingested string, plastic, cloth and even wrapping paper can lead to intestinal blockage and require surgical removal. And pets have been severely injured by scissors and other items left on floors and tables.

* Keep pets away from the garbage. Use pet-proof containers.

* If you suspect that your pet has eaten something toxic, call your veterinarian and/or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour emergency hotline at 1-888-4-ANI-HELP.

* If your pet ingests glass, broken plastic, staples orother small, sharp objects, call your veterinarian.In the meantime, you can give your dog supplemental fiber in the form of whole wheat or other high-fiber bread, canned pumpkin or Metamucil, any of which can help bulk up the stools the help the foreigh material pass through the dog’s digestive system. Dosages depend on the size of the dog. For Metamusil, try a teaspoon for a small dog, a tablespoon for a big dog. For pumpkin, feed one-quarter to two-thirds of a cup. Some folks recommend feeding the dog cotton balls to help pass the foreign objects, but others in the veterinary field caution against this since cotton balls can compound the problem.

* By the way, now is a good time to double-check smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and other safety devices and replace batteries. Safety, of course, is the key reason — but here’s another good reason. When batteries run low, the devices often emit alert or alarm sounds at frequencies that can be painful and frightening to many pets. If you’re not home when the alert/alarm sounds, your animals will have to endure that sound until you return, which can be traumatic. So always keep fresh batteries in those devices.

■Holiday sweets with chocolate are not for pets. Depending on the dose ingested, chocolate (bakers, semi sweet, milk and dark) can be poisonous to many animals. In general, the less sweet the chocolate, the more toxic it could be. In fact, unsweetened baking chocolate contains almost seven times more theobromine as milk chocolate. Vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, hyperactivity and increased thirst, urination and heart rate can be seen with the ingestion of as little as 1/4 ounce of baking chocolate by a 10-pound dog.
■Keep your pet on its normal diet. Any change of diet, even for one meal, may give your dog or cat severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals that have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements. Boiled or grilled meats and fresh vegetables can be offered as a healthy alternative.
■Don’t give pets holiday leftovers and keep pets out of the garbage. Poultry bones can splinter and cause blockages. Greasy, spicy and fatty for spoiled foods can cause stomach upset and moldy foods could cause tremors or seizures.
■Alcohol and pets do NOT mix. Place unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot reach them. If ingested, the animal could become very sick and weak and may go into a coma.
■Keep aluminum foil and cellophane candy wrappers away from pets. They can cause vomiting and intestinal blockage.
■Be careful with holiday floral arrangements. Lilies are commonly used and many varieties including Tiger, Asian, Japanese Show, Stargazer and Casa Blanca can cause kidney failure in cats. Safe alternatives can include artificial flowers made from silk or plastic.
■Common Yuletide plants such as mistletoe and holly berries can be toxic to pets. Should a cat or dog eat mistletoe, they could suffer gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. Holly can cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and lethargy if ingested.
■Poinsettias are over rated in toxicity. They are considered to be very low in toxicity, however, they could cause mild vomiting or nausea if ingested by your pet.
■Christmas tree water may contain dangerous fertilizers, which if ingested, can cause stomach upset. Stagnant tree water can also act as a breeding ground for bacteria and if ingested a pet could end up with nausea and diarrhea.
■Decorate your tree with animal safe ornaments such as dried non-toxic flowers, wood, fabric or pinecones. If ingested, ribbons or tinsel can become lodged in the intestines and cause intestinal obstruction. This is a very common problem with kittens.

■Alcoholic Beverages: Alcoholic beverages can cause alcohol poisoning. If ingested, the animal could become very drunk and weak, may become severely depressed or may go into a coma.
■Yeast Dough: Uncooked yeast dough, if ingested (most cases are with dogs) can rise in the stomach and cause severe pain. Pets who have eaten bread dough may experience abdominal pain, bloat, vomiting, disorientation and depression. Since the breakdown product of rising dough is alcohol, it can cause an alcohol poisoning. Many cases like this require surgical removal of the dough. Even small amounts can be dangerous.
■Chocolate (bakers, semi sweet, milk and dark): If ingested, chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, hyperactivity and increased thirst, urination and heart rate. This can be seen with the ingestion of as little as 1/4 ounce of baking chocolate by a 10-pound dog. Chocolate poisoning does not seem to be a problem in cats, although it is possible if enough would be ingested.
■Nicotine: Tobacco products can be fatal to dogs and cats if ingested. Signs of nicotine poisonings often develop within 15 45 minutes. Symptoms include excitation, salivation, panting, vomiting and diarrhea. Muscle weakness, twitching, depression, coma, increased heart rate and cardiac arrest can follow.
■Coffee (ground, beans, chocolate covered espresso beans): Contain caffeine which is a stimulant and depending on the dose ingested, stimulation, restlessness, increased heart rate, tremors, or seizures could be seen.
■Macadamia Nuts: Macadamia nuts can cause muscular weakness, depression, vomiting, disorientation, tremors, abdominal pain and muscle stiffness in dogs. The effects can last 1-3 days. This has not been reported in any other species.
■Grapes and Raisins: The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is aware of recent reports of dogs alleged to have developed kidney failure following ingestion of large amounts of grapes or raisins. There has also been one case of renal failure occurring in a cat who ate raisins. Veterinary toxicologists at the APCC are currently investigating these cases in an attempt to determine the causative agents or disease processes. At this time the exact role of grapes or raisins in these cases is unclear.
ALWAYS Be Prepared !!!!Your cat may become poisoned in spite of your best efforts to prevent it. You should keep telephone numbers for your veterinarian, a local emergency veterinary service, and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435) in a convenient location. If you suspect that your cat has ingested something poisonous, seek medical attention immediately.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

eBay Auction!!

It’s Holiday Auction time on Ebay for ARWNY! Shop now and save the rush of Black Friday! Purchase your Holiday Cards and save the headache and gas of making a trip to the store!

Some of the items we have listed up for auction are:

-5 different design holiday cards – all professionally printed and gorgeous. You won’t believe the quality on these cards. They come in a pack of 15 cards – 1 design per pack.

-The ever-popular Italian charm bracelet featuring laser etched akita images. Available in silver, gold, or a silver/gold combo. These are an ARWNY exclusive!

-Corian cutting board in the shape of an akita head. This is another ARWNY exclusive!

-7 different akita mug designs. All mugs have 2 fabulous full color akita pictures per mug and are a large 15 oz. These are heavy duty mugs and are even dishwasher safe! Yet another item exclusive to ARWNY!

All the items up for auction can be found at:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Its all about the money....

when you do rescue because without MONEY rescue can't function. In this time of economic trouble, donations have dwindled for all of us in rescue -- we are all hurting yet we are having more and more Akitas in need of homes than ever before.

So, since I am well-known to NOT be of much help when it comes to fund raising (I spend it, Ms. Nancy tears her hair out wondering how to get more, then I just spend it again because food, vets and boarding all cost money, eh?) I decided to try my hand at something with Ms. Nancy's blessing. This past weekend, I sat at my computer and taught myself how to use CAFEPRESS and ZAZZLE. Don't laugh -- for a computer-challenged dolt like me, it was HARD WORK!!

But I finally did it and I put all the designs my son did for us recently along with some older designs we love, up on both sites so you can order away, get something for the money and we get a portion for our rescue work!!

Of course, we still have our ARWNY store which has the biggest selection of our items -- but do check out the two other sites and let me know what you think!!

And be kind -- I'm still learning so if you have any suggestions, I'm willing to hear them and learn but if you just want to tell me I'm a boob & have no clue what I'm doing, don't hurt my feelings -- my physical therapist does that on a weekly basis & I have to PAY her to hear that! *SMILE*

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Rescue work.....and common sense....can they mix?

There has been a lot of discussion on the internet about a very sad situation with a little pitbull named OREO who was at the ASPCA in NY. I won't go too much into specifics but you can read the story here:

http://www.aspca. org/pressroom/ press-releases/ 111309.html

I will say this -- after 5 months of daily working with this little pit, who was so horribly abused by her 19 yr old owner (may he never have another moment's sleep or peace!) it was decided her human fear aggression issues were too severe to allow her to be safely rehomed. It had NOTHING to do with her breed, as the ASPCA saves thousands of pitbulls & rehomes them. It had NOTHING to do with BSL. It had EVERYTHING to do with her having "triggers" that incited aggression, with having no bite inhibition when it came to humans due to her fear, her abuse. I don't blame her, the story broke my heart, & I felt nothing but sadness & pity for Oreo. But I also would NOT have placed her with another rescue, in a sanctuary or in a new home. I know a dangerous situation when I see one.

The big hue & cry is that she should have been sent to "sanctuary", or to a no-kill facility or to another rescue, because many rescues were just SO SURE they could do what this facility failed to do after 5 months of the best possible behavior help available. Herein lies the problem for me -- I guess because I have too much common sense to just think that would have been a nice easy solution.

First, the term NO-KILL is a misnomer (wow I'm full of big words today!)because no shelter is truly NO-KILL despite what they say. Use your common sense -- if they truly did NOT kill ANY animal surrendered, how long do you think it would take for them to be TOO FULL to take in any more dogs until all these unplaceable dogs died a natural death? So, what they mean is, THEY don't kill the dogs themselves -- they just send them elsewhere to have it done for them. Hence, no such thing as a true no-kill shelter.

As for sanctuaries -- there are a few in this country with huge amounts of land, with big money behind them, that are well-run and can hold out hope for a VERY select few dogs that are social with other dogs but possibly not with humans. These dogs can be given big areas to run & play in together as a pack situation, with shelter, where no human has to come into direct touching contact with them; just goes in to feed, water & clean the big area, big enough so the dogs can move around & not be handled. Now, use your common sense again here. If every human-aggressive-but-social-with-other-dogs dog was sent to these places, how quickly would they fill up -- my educated guess is -- OVERNITE. Then once again, they would be full, have no room, so would be unable to take any MORE dogs to help since they are truly no-kill. So, in reality, they take very few new pets, they are very selective in who they take, and they don't get in over their heads. Those are the well-run places, of which there maybe only 4 or 5 in the whole country.

Then there are the poorly run but wonderfully advertised places with big-names & big advertising campaigns who make themselves out to be the wonderful saviors of THE SPECIFIC DOGS THEY PUBLICIZE no matter what its issues, that are called no-kill facilities also. What happens there is this -- pets that are human aggressive end up in a cage for the rest of their lives there while the other unknown/unadvertised pets that never got publicity go to a kill facility so they have room here. Unable to be held, petted, loved, touched, the ones they keep live in daily fear of the humans that must open their cage, rabies-pole them to get them to move so they can clean the run, feed them, water them. The poor dog is a prisoner, no contact with other pets & unable to be handled by humans. My common sense tells me, this is INHUMANE. I've been to some of these places -- some are BIG NAME, big money-makers and people donate to them without ever visiting them to actually SEE what goes on behind closed doors. Easier to donate than to actually SEE what happens, that's what our society is all about -- help from a distance & don't get your hands dirty. These places are inhumane and I will not ever allow any Akita in my care to be condemned to hell at places like this. Yet daily, weekly, monthly, I see people saying "Why wasn't such & such a place contacted to help this dog?" It drives me crazy.

Dogs sit in local shelters, dying for a home, yet posters all over the internet are working their butts off to save a dog 2,000 miles away -- then rescues from 2,000 miles away offer to take THAT one dog to save it, when dogs just like it are dying less than 2 miles away from their back door. Where is the common sense in that? Why has it gone down the drain? Common sense says -- if there are 100 dogs sitting in your local shelter & you have room, you help one of them. You don't go 2,000 miles away & spend time, HUGE money and effort to bring in one from across the country. When you do that -- it means a dog next door is condemned to death.

Can common sense work in rescue? When I started in rescue, it was what everyone I was associated with, who did good rescue, had in huge quantities. Lately I'm starting to think its gone the way of the Dodo bird -- its becoming extinct!! Common sense tells you to help those dogs close by that take less money, less time & can be helped safely & humanely, to get them into homes so less dogs die for lack of space in that same facility. Or common sense says, if you have room, take a dog in from one county over if there are NONE in your local shelters that you can help. But now -- now we have dogs from the south being brought to the north to fill our shelters, even from Mexico & Puerto Rico to become "unwanted" in the north, to force dogs FROM the north to be euthanized for lack of space (I know b/c I had to RESCUE an Akita brought as a puppy up from Puerto Rico who was adopted out then RETURNED unwanted to a northern NJ shelter b/c the rescue group that brings up these puppies doesn't take back "adults"!).

We have well-meaning but definately ill-conceived notions that a rescue from one part of the country should expend thousands of dollars in transport money, time & space to bring in a dog from another part of the country when exactly the same breed of dog is sitting in the HUNDREDS in their own state. I would never let an adoptable Akita near me die so I could bring in one from the south or any other part of the country. I have taken in Akitas from other areas but in doing so, NO local Akita to me died for that lack of space.

Sadly I do have to decide which Akita we can help sometimes when faced with two we need to consider -- the one with 6 bites on its record who has become so used to biting humans that it has become second nature & will NEVER be safely rehomed or at the very least, will sit for a year or two in our rescue waiting for just that ONE home up on a mountain with no company, no visitors & no other family who could possibly live with his issues -- or the sweet one further away that has bite inhibition & will be safely rehomed without biting someone just for the heck of it. Thats when common sense intervenes saying "you know exactly which Akita you need to save!" But if faced with saving two Akitas with the same issues from different areas -- I will always opt for saving the one in OUR region that I can help locally. I will not risk someone being bitten transporting a bite case, scaring the dog by sending it from driver to driver to get it to us here. Common sense prevails.

And worse, we have people who figure that EVERY DOG can find a home despite common sense saying "a dog that bites humans is NOT a safe dog to rehome when thousands of NICE dogs are dying all around you." Some dogs are just not safe to ever rehome -- period. Like it or not, there are psycho dogs out there - dogs so badly damaged that they cannot be safely rehomed. Just like with humans, dogs can also be mentally damaged beyond repair.

I was taught to do rescue using common sense factors. I had great mentors with great common sense. Yes my heart used to tell me to do one thing but my common sense intervened & helped me do the right thing. Of course I cry like a baby when I know I have to make a decision that means an Akita will have to be humanely euthanize. But I would cry even more & probably loose my mind if I let an Akita I KNEW had human aggression issues go to a home & it ended up hurting someone.

So in this case listed above, after carefully reading the whole story, I feel the ASPCA did the responsible thing, and humanely let Oreo go "Over the Rainbow Bridge" never to fear humans again, never to suffer or go crazy or feel terrified of something a human might do to set her aggression issues off again. I feel that is our responsiblity as rescuers. I feel that is common sense. In this case, I feel the ASPCA used commone sense. They gave her 5 months of rehab & behavior work. Most dogs in shelters get 5 days.

Lets all start using a bit of common sense & realize there are many more who are the same breed as OREO who perhaps CAN be quickly rehabbed b/c they aren't so badly abused to hate ALL humans, and lets concentrate on them. Lets look to our local shelters to see just who we can help locally. Lets pull that ole' common sense back out of the moth balls where its been hidden lately & start to use it in the rescue world. Lets spend what limited funds we all have in rescue wisely, on dogs that CAN be saved, on dogs that CAN be rehabbed and not waste it for months on end on dogs that are too badly abused to be salvaged or to transport dogs across the USA when we have dogs JUST THE SAME AS THIS ONE sitting locally begging for the chance to be saved. There needs to be more common sense in rescue work -- doing rescue work with your heart only does NOT work in today's world. Put your heart in 2nd place and let your brain be in first.

Oreo, run & play "Over the Rainbow Bridge" and hopefully you have found the humans there with you are kind, gentle & sweet so that you can start to love human beings. I am glad you are no longer scared, sad nor aggressive any longer.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Nationals!!

We are back from a week in St. Louis MO to attend the ACA Nationals. What a fun week even if we froze, got rained out, had to stand in floods and lost out on a lot of shoppers due to the weather! It was still a great week!!

First, huge thanks to Ms. Nancy, her wonderful friend Ms. Jackie who doesn't even have Akitas but comes to Nationals to help us out, to my wonderful daughter Jenn who knocked herself out, to Deb & Chris Karfs for driving out & helping us all week. They did all the work - decorated the booth, redecorated every day after when the rain and wind caused issues. They schlepped the stuff from the hotel back & forth (and up and down stairs as our hotel had NO ELEVATOR!)and they packed the van up at the end as well as helped load up the ARSF booth to help Kathy Stoudt!! The gals were troopers -- laughing the whole week, making jokes and being upbeat despite the weather and other issues we ran into. I love these people -- they are the reason I love doing the Nationals every year!

Add to that, we get to see a lot of great friends -- people we only see at the Nationals because of distance. We got to have dinners with good friends, spend the evenings at either meetings or with other good friends and nothing is better than getting to be with friends!!

This year's Parade of Titleholders (that includes the Rescue dogs) was fabulous!! They brought back the music and as a surprise, had the agility dogs show off their skills -- what a fun thing to watch!! I didn't get to see much of the show due to my health and other times being at the booth but this I did get to watch -- hats off to the ACA for making this so much fun to watch! And hats off to the new ACA President Mike Bennett (those who attended the AKITA PICNIC got to meet him!) for speaking up and making a very impassioned speech about rescue -- you rock Mikey!

All in all, while the 15 hr drive out each way was a bummer, it was great to be able to be there this year -- we missed last year's National and I hate to miss any National!! Its a good way to keep Rescue in everyone's mind, a good way to connect to those that donate to us all year long and a great way to meet up with friends!!

Next year's National will be in Gettysburg PA -- I will be writing a lot about that in upcoming months, as we want to have a LOT of ARWNY rescue dogs marching in that Parade of Titleholders so be prepared -- the date for the parade should be Sept 24, 2010 but I will check to be sure.

Here is the info for the 2010 National:

September 21-25 2010

Eisenhower Hotel
2634 Emmitsburg Road
Gettysburg, PA 17325

1-800-776-8349 Or 1-717-334-8121

Contact : Mary Lou or Amber 8:30 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. EST

More on the 2010 National later!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Last chance for iWON tickets!!!!

Unless you are coming to the Nationals, you better act quickly if you want to be part of our big iWON RAFFLE!!! We have a few tickets left so buy early to avoid missing out! Ms. Nancy must have payment by Saturday 24th at noon.

So hurry up -- go to

and buy your ticket before 10/24/09 at 12 noon!!!!

And if you are coming to the Nationals, be SURE to stop by the ARWNY booth -- we have some really amazing surprises planned and some new exciting Akita designs on t-shirts, sweats, mugs, etc. So plan on spending some time at our HALLOWEEN BOOTH this year -- we are really "scaring up" a good time this year!!!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

RIP Babe...

The world is a bit dimmer now due to the loss of Babe. A fabulous 5 yr male Akita when placed, he has lived for many years with his beloved family in upstate NY. Babe lost his fight with cancer last Thursday & passed over the Rainbow Bridge, leaving us all very saddened. This outstanding stray boy was placed by ARWNY with this loving family in NY and has lived happily with them all these years, accepting their special-needs son as if he were Babe's purpose in life, making them all feel safe and loved. He accompanied them everywhere and was beloved by everyone that met him. I am so sad that the family has to do without Babe now -- he was a very unique Akita and he lived with a very unique family. It was a very wonderful adoption and ARWNY is proud to have been able to match them up. We miss you BABE and while we are glad you are painfree now "Over the Bridge", the world is a bit less bright without you in it!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Akitas off-leash....and at dog parks...

Every so often this subject pops up -- and when it does, I cring. I remember so many horror stories of Akitas who were killed due to being allowed to run off leash -- hit by cars, by trucks, one drowned when he fell thru the ice of a lake....the horror stories sadly are endless. But the subject crops up over and over because, as humans, we like to think we can overcome centuries of inbred genetics in our animals. So recently when this subject cropped up on an Akita group I am part of, I had to respond. Here is part of my response:

After 22 yrs of handling at least 1,500 (probably more!!) Akitas of EVERY kind, from breeders, to pet stores, to puppymills, to some of the best trained Akitas by professional trainers to Delta Therapy Akitas to multi-titled Akitas in obedience, in agility, in the show ring, I have never met a single Akita I would trust off leash 100% ALWAYS. At some point, either in a year, or 5 yrs or 10 yrs, you will have a problem with recall. You can train til your heart's content -- but you have a breed that THINKS for itself and at some point, something will be more important than listening to YOU say "come back". Trust me on this -- it will happen -- in 22 yrs, not one person I have said that to was able to come back to me 10 or 15 yrs later once their Akita passed on to say "Ha ha, you were wrong." Every person I have ever told this has come back to me at some point (some 10 even 15 yrs later!) to say "God, were you right and it was HORRID!!".

As long as you KNOW this will happen at some point, you will be on top of it and prepared, I hope. But if you put your head in the sand and convince yourself all your training will make your Akita totally trustworthy on recall, you will be shocked and in trouble. So heads up -- just be prepared. I don't need to know you, or your wife or your training methods -- because see, I know AKITAS. I know them inside and out, completely and totally -- I have devoted my life to them for 22 yrs and I have handled more Akitas in a month than most people ever see in a lifetime -- I am NOT bragging, trust me -- I am just trying to help you prevent a problem down the road. You can let your dog off leash all you want -- its your dog. Just realize that some day -- you will hang your head and say "damnit, I was warned." You never even have to admit to anyone that people were right & you were wrong -- but it will happen. We are just trying to help you prevent a problem. Its NO indication of you as an owner in ANY way -- its that we know Akitas.

Now -- my problem with dog parks is -- they are DIRTY places, they allow diseases to be passed among dogs and they cause issues because other people do NOT train or socialize their dogs correctly. So that is why my adoption contract states that NO adopted Akita of mine may ever be allowed in a dog park -- period. I personally want to keep my dogs safe from other people who do NOT take as good care of their dogs as I do of mine!! I don't spend my life rescuing and caring for all these adopted Akitas to end up having them loose their lives due to a disease they caught in the dog park or from a problem that happened in the dog park. I end that problem before it starts -- my contract is strict and people do understand once I discuss it with them!!! Many of the serious diseases we are dealing with like the canine influenze are prevelent in dog parks right now here in the northeast -- its just not worth playing Russian roulette, hoping YOUR dogs won't catch something today at the dog park -- if I had a nickel for every person who came back to me to say "boy were you right, my dog caught this or this at the damn dog park" I'd be driving a BMW instead of a beat up Kia van!! As a former kennel owner I got to talk to hundreds of dog owners -- and the dog park stories I heard over the years are NOT pretty!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

ARWNY Drawing

Every year ARWNY goes to the Akita Nationals if we can. We missed it last year but have attended most years recently. Its a great way for us to reconnect with the breeders, talk about our rescue efforts and to raise funds for our rescue work by having a booth where we hold great drawings!!

Nancy knocks herself out thinking of ways to make each National drawing new and exciting. This year, she began a whole year ago, by figuring out some great new ideas for a drawing.

SO, you have to go to

and see what this year holds -- its very special, very limited and you better buy your tickets NOW before they are sold out!!

Also, we have some new exciting designs coming on T-shirts & sweatshirts too -- we will debut them at the Nationals then will put them on our online store to sell. So be watching for that!!

Its vital for us to make money to fund our rescue work and drawings, raffles, items to sell are a big help to us -- so please, support us by buying tickets and buying shirts when they are available, ok?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Good rescue vs bad rescue???

Sadly just as there are good breeders and bad breeders, we have good rescues and bad rescues. Its a very sad thing that we have to admit that -- anyone saying they are helping Akitas should be doing it right and be a good rescue.

BUT -- just as human charities have bad people involved in them, so too does rescue. People with ego issues, who can't and don't work well with others, whose agenda is about themselves and NOT about the dogs are doing bad rescue; doing it for profit, for ego, to make "heros" of themselves.

But also, there are those who are deluded enough to think that ALL dogs can be saved. That's a very dangerous way to feel with a breed that has the strength and possible aggression our Akitas can have. Sadly -- much as we wish we could -- we cannot save them all. And anyone who thinks they can "save them all" need only realize they will quickly be overloaded with unadoptable Akitas with human aggression issues that cannnot be overcome. All Akitas must be properly evaluated before being taken into rescue and rehomed. They must be safely euthanized if they cannot live in society as a trusted family member. It breaks my heart with each Akita I must euthanize but I cannot risk a child, a person, being mauled due to my "bleeding heart".

How much space and resources do we have to save all the Akitas in need -- the ones untouchable due to mental issues, the aggressive ones due to bad breeding & bad training, the fearful/aggressive ones who will bite anyone out of fear of humans, the unstable ones that are nice one minute and attack the next minute?? We don't have enough space for all the GOOD, adoptable Akitas out there -- sadly as the economy gets worse and worse, we find ourselves begging more & more for donations to cover our monthly expenses for food, boarding, vetting. How could we take up spaces for unadoptable dogs, that will never get homes due to being unsafe to place, due to aggression issues we cannot overcome???

So another form of bad rescue is the rescue that insists that all Akitas can be saved -- when in fact, after 22 yrs in rescue, I have sadly learned that is not true. Today's society does not tolerate nips, growls, bites even when the dog has been provoked/prodded/pushed into it, so they will never tolerate an Akita that simply bites due to mental issues, bad training, unsocialization issues. We all know when a dog bite is reported, that legal action follows.

So its imperative that we do rescue in a responsible, safe manner so NO human is hurt, no other dog is hurt. Those who are so sure they "know better" than those of us who have been in the trenches so long, will sadly find out we DO know what we are doing -- but sadly, they won't learn it until someone is badly mauled, a dog is killed, a child is maimed, and they get sued, due to a bad placement.

Anyone that promises you they will save ALL Akitas and will be able to work with ANY Akita is doing the breed a disservice and misleading the public. There sadly are not enough days in the week, not enough space, not enough money, to save ALL Akitas. Our breed is being given up in record numbers today -- even groups as large as ARWNY are being pinched by the drop in adoptions, drop in donations, drop in space for these big dogs. Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) is aimed at our breed now and doing bad placements only adds fuel to that fire.

Please take the time, when working with a rescue, to determine what the difference is between a good and bad rescue. The Akita Club of America's Rescue Committee, which I co-chair, has just instituted a Rescue Code of Ethics -- which these types of bad rescues could not possibly sign -- a first sign they are not good rescue. Check on a rescue person's website for the Code of Ethics -- that will help you determine you are dealing with an ethical rescue, who does good safe placements.

Unless someone is doing rescue RIGHT, its not fair to our breed!! I'd rather there be NO rescue rather than BAD rescue -- bad rescue hurts all of us. Please think long and hard about this subject -- its a very serious one.


My favorite thing we do with our wonderful group ARWNY -- our AKITA PICNIC!!!


September 19, 2009, at the Salem County Fairgrounds in Salem County NJ on Rt. 40 in Woodestown NJ. You can see more info at our ARWNY website

This event is so fun -- lots of great food (yummy Deb Karfs cake yeah!) and great demos -- the DANCIN'Dogs are back, we are also hoping for a fun sled demo as well as an obedience demo - but you can count on our great fun contests for sure!! So dress up that Akita of yours and enter our contest!! Or show us your Akita's new trick to enter a contest!!!

Lots of good food, good people, lots of fun -- we have CGC Testing also that day so come on - don't miss this day, we would LOVE to see you!! Our great drawing will also be held that day and you won't want to miss that either!!

Remember, only well-behaved Akitas should be brought that day -- no flexi leads or flat collars, all dogs must be wearing martingale/choke/prong collars on regular leashes, please!! Bring crates, chairs, etc to enjoy the day!!

Any questions, feel free to email me at

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Been away for a bit...

due to the knee replacement. Had a lot of time to think while laying around in pain.

So many of our Akitas have hip and knee injuries. It hit me when going thru this, how much pain our dogs must be suffering with and how little we can do to help them to understand when having these types of operations -- we did it for their own good but how do we tell them that? We can explain to a human that we are trying to help, that this pain will go away, that the reason for their suffering is to ultimately help them in the long run. But how do we tell our dogs that -- how do we make them understand their pain is temporary, will go away, is for their own good? And how do they let us know how much pain they are really in -- our breed is so stoic!!!

I realized after going thru this, just how difficult this must be for our dogs who have no voice, no words to tell us what they need or must have. I was able to ask for more pain meds when needed, to say this wasn't working or that wasn't working -- but our dogs can't do that!! SO if your pets have to go thru something like this, please be vigilent and caring, please keep logs of their meds, how they appear to be handling the pain, and be on top of things such as knowing about different pain meds to offer, different methods of helping our pets to handle the pain involved. Learn all you can before putting your pets thru an operation of this magnitude. Take it from me -- its more painful than you can imagine and our pets need us to be sure to help them thru it all!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Off line...

I have my upcoming knee replacement surgery on 7/22/09. Thanks to everyone who has wished me well!! I look forward to getting back on line soon. But until then, send positive thoughts my way -- I want to be able to get back to physically handling the Akitas again so I'm more of a help to our rescue work!!! In the meantime, hug your Akitas for me!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Public education...

while you like it or not is being done by everyone that owns an Akita every time you step out the door, take a photo, write an email, post a video -- so its up to you to be sure its positive public education! In today's world, with cell phone videos, picture sites, YOUTUBE, Facebook, websites, blogs, etc -- everything we all do is some form of public education even if you don't realize it is. So its really vital that as Akita owners of any type (show, breeders, trainers, pet owners), we do the right things with our Akitas at all times. Because others are watching, possibly taking cues from us, or even worse possibly using it against our beloved breed. Animal Rights groups like PETA & HSUS are always watching, wanting to have something to use against us as pet owners since their hidden agenda is all about completely ending pet ownership. Our breed has it hard enough without adding anything as fuel to their fire. And then there are new Akita owners who see something being done and think its ok to do it with their Akita -- even if its NOT ok to do. Everything we say, we do, we post, we photograph, we send to anyone anywhere, instantly becomes some form of public education!!

So please remember -- if you are going to send pictures, post videos, or even just be out in the public's eye with your Akita on a walk, at a dog show, visiting a friend -- please always remember to conduct yourself in a way that presents our breed as positively as possible. Don't put your Akita in a situation that could result in someone photographing or sending video of your Akita in a negative way. I love this breed so much and want all the public education out there about our breed to be as positive as possible for the breed so I need all your help in doing this!!

Just a heads up for today!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Good people...

Recently on the AKITA FORUM, an Akita owner that I helped with some information and direction for his Akita Ridley, wanted to do something nice for our rescue ARWNY, as a way of thanking me. So Sean issued a challenge to the whole group. He said he would match donations made to ARWNY up to $500 in the name of Ben, the blind Akita we have that is need of an operation to have his eyes removed.

It was a superbly generous offer, considering all Sean has spent on trying to get his own Akita, Ridley, healthy. Yet he made the offer, in this day and age of financial instability. And the group came through!! We had $520 donated by others in the group. Sean then matched that with his $500. That's an amazing amount of money raised by someone making a challenge.

Its because of people like Sean, and members of the Akita Forum, that ARWNY can continue to do the work we do. Helping a worthy Akita like Ben is what our rescue is all about. Its not about saving only the young, healthy and easy-to-place Akitas. Its about helping the worthy Akitas no matter what the age, as long as we can make them healthy again for rehoming. The Akitas like Ben, who are mistreated yet still remain loyal to humans. Who are denied vet care and suffer, yet still reach out to humans with a happy tail wag and a kiss. Who are locked away in cages without ever knowing what its like to sleep on a soft bed, yet still follow a human happily on the end of the leash once they come to rescue. This is who we do rescue for.

And its because of Sean and the members of the Akita Forum, that we can continue to do it.

If you want to read about Ben's story, go to our website at and you'll find it on our homepage.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Learning the right dance moves...

Moving to a "neighborhood" has proven to be a chance to learn to dance in our house. We never realized how easy we had it where we used to live -- no other dogs, no foot traffic, no neighbors. You never know what you have until its gone, eh?

Now we live in a neighborhood with dogs, kids, people walking back and forth all the time. People working in their front yards, dogs running loose (yes I know there are leash laws but no one seems to know that here!) and kids riding big wheels, bikes and skateboards up and down the sidewalks and streets. Moms push babies in carriages on walks, people from blocks away all walk their dogs up our streets for exercise. And of course, are next door neighbors, with whom we share a front porch, have two little doxies who have been the "only pets" here their whole lives.

Suddenly, the BIG DOG lives here. Baebae adores every human he has ever met. Kids especially. But kids see him lumbering off the front porch and run screaming, dropping everything and taking flight. Moms see him and can't get the baby carriage off the sidewalk to the other side quick enough. Poor BaeBae, he has a very unearned reputation as "That Big Scarey Dog" and he has no clue why people run from him in this neighborhood. And of course, the doxies lay in wait now for the Big Dog -- he has become "the nemesis dog". Baebae does NOT adore other dogs. So this poses a big issue also.

All of this combined made us realize -- we had to take precautions we never had to take before. So we have new dance steps that had to be learned at our house. Its the "Take BaeBae Outside" Tango and here is how it goes:

First -- look out the side windows in living & dining rooms to make sure no loose dogs or kids are in the driveway or coming down the sidewalk to the left.
Second -- look out front living room window, to be sure no moms, kids or dogs are in the front of the house.
Third -- Cautiously open front door, peer onto porch next to us to be sure neighbors are not outside with their dogs off-leash.
Fourth -- Put leash on BaeBae and lead him cautiously to front porch while looking to the right to be sure neighbors are not in side yard with their two dogs off leash.
Fifth -- slowly descend steps all the while craning neck to be sure no dogs/kids/adults have shown up in the last 2 mins that you may have missed.
Sixth -- get BaeBae to the fenced in yard so he is safe. Dancer does stay with BaeBae, we do not let him in the yard alone yet.

To bring him back in requires the dancer on the end of the leash to scan the area constantly while coming slowly back up the driveway, then peering onto the porch before approaching the front steps to come in.

Once, without realizing it, BaeBae went out after all steps were taken, and there, sitting on the bottom step of his front porch out of view of door or window, was our neighbor -- with his doxies off leash!! It was instant frenzy, as they realized BaeBae was coming long before he knew they were there. They rushed him -- all 15 lbs each of them, rushing the big ole' 100 lbs slow-moving-but-dog-hating Akita coming down the steps, like little flamenco dancers with quick movements and snapping jaws dancing around to BaeBae's slower Tango. Poor Justin was the leash dancer that day -- who had to lift his partner up under his front legs in a quick movement so BaeBae couldn't reach down and nail the little ankle-biters who were snapping furiously and barking up a storm.

Justin does the daily Tango with BaeBae. Jenn does the weekend Tango with BaeBae and she has learned the steps really well too. She does however carry "direct stop" with her as added protection. Since its not harmful but will make another dog run away, it helps her feel more protected.

Once my son finds the right house, and moves out with his two Akitas, no one will have to do this dance anymore. His two Akitas have the back room for now, and since Kuma is blind & KoTenshi is deaf, we try not to upset them by making them move out of the room so we can use the back door for BaeBae.

But once they have moved out, we will only have the ChaChaCha going on at our house. ChaChaCha right to the back door, open it, let BaeBae outside to do his business in the fenced in yard. Then ChaChaCha back to the door to let him back in. Simple, easy dance to learn. So easy, so simple. A much better beat for our household!!

And once my knee is replaced & I am all healed, I can do the ChaChaCha too. Then we'll be a dancing family, all in step, all dancing to the same beat -- at least as far as BaeBae is concerned!!

Common sense is dead...

it must be -- or why else would this video have been posted to YOUTUBE:

WHY would any sane adult human being post a video showing their toddler climbing & standing on their Akita's ribcage? Why would you even ENCOURAGE that? Why would you say to eh world that its OK for their child to do this?

And then we wonder why any dog BITES in this country--when children are taught NO respect for another living creature? Not only taught NO RESPECT but actually (so they can film it) encourage your child to climb all over your sleeping dog, to allow your child to possibly hurt your dog by standing on its ribcage. These are the same type of parents that will dump their Akita in a few months, or a year or a few years, when the Akita finally has had enough of the abuse & growls at the child who will be bigger, hurt it more and show even less respect. They will then tell the world Akitas are aggressive, they have problems with children -- and will never blame themselves as being the cause.

It never ceases to amaze me how people can have so little sense. To actually encourage a toddler to stand on a dog (of any size!!), to insist an Akita tolerate this behavior -- to FILM IT no less. I just don't get it.

I guess I have too much respect for animals in general to think this is ok. I have too much respect for Akitas in particular to be able to even view this more than once without having tears pour down my cheeks.

I am outraged, at a time in our breed's history when BSL leaders & Animal Rights groups are labeling our breed VICIOUS & naming them to BANNED LISTS, that an owner would teach his child its OK to disrespect and be cruel to an Akita. Dogs have a right to protect themselves from harm, from cruelty by any human of any age -- but when they do try to protect themselves , its ALWAYS the dog's fault never the human's fault in our society.

When a child sticks a pencil thru a dog's eardrum, I feel the dog has a right to bite the hand that is hurting him. When a child jumps off the sofa repeatedly on the sleeping dog, I feel the dog has a right to growl at that child. When a human decides to punish a dog, for eating a scrap of food that fell on the floor, by kicking it in the side, I feel the dog has every right to growl or even snap at the offending foot that has just kicked him. Yet over and over, dogs are killed daily for doing just that. Its sickening and if YOUTUBE is any indication, its only getting worse!!

I'm so angry I can't even sleep --

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Boy did this hit home!

This is very long -- but please read it -- you will see what we in rescue get as phone messages and they also come like this in emails too. This wasn't written by me but it was sent to me from a friend who does Mal Rescue. The sad thing is, ARWNY has had almost exactly every call listed here -- even the one about the change of decor!! How sad is this world today????

A Rescuer's Answering Machine- Any town- USA

Hello: You have reached 123-4567, Tender Hearts Rescue. Due to the high volume of calls we have been receiving, please listen closely to the following options and choose the one that best describes you or your situation:

Press 1 if you have a 10-year-old dog and your 15-year-old son has suddenly become allergic and you need to find the dog a new home right away.
Press 2 if you are moving today and need to immediately place your dog & human aggressive 150 pound, 8-year-old dog.
Press 3 if you have a dog, had a baby and want to get rid of your dog because you are the only person in the world to have a baby and a dog at the same time.
Press 4 if you just got a brand new puppy and your old dog is having problems adjusting so you want to get rid of the old one right away.
Press 5 if your little puppy has grown up and is no longer small and cute so you want to trade it in for a new model.
Press 6 if you want an unpaid volunteer to come to your home TODAYand pick up the dog you no longer want.
Press 7 if you have been feeding and caring for a "stray" for the last three years, are moving and suddenly determine it's not your dog.
Press 8 if your dog is sick and needs a vet but you need the money for your vacation.
Press 9 if you are elderly & want to adopt a cute puppy who is active & is going to outlive you.
Press 10 if your relative has died and you don't want to care of their elderly dog because it doesn't fit your lifestyle.
Press 11 if you are calling at 6 a.m. to make sure you wake me up before I have to go to work so you can dump your dog off on your way to work.
Press 12 to leave us an anonymous garbled message, letting us know you have left a dog in our yard in the middle of January, which is in fact better than just leaving the dog with no message.
Press 13 if you are going to get angry because we are not going to take your dog that you have had for fifteen years & euthanize it for you, because it is not our responsibility.
Press 14 if you are going to threaten to take your 12 year old dog to be euthanized because I can't take it to find it a home.
Press 15 if you're going to get angry because a volunteer had the audacity to go on vacation & you can't reach someone who is authorized to take your pet off your hands.
Press 16 if you want one of our PERFECTLY trained, housebroken, kid and cat friendly purebred dogs that we have an abundance of.
Press 17 if you want us to take your dog that has a slight aggression problem, i.e. has only bitten a few people & family members, and killed your neighbor's cats.
Press 18 if you have already called once and been told we don't take personal surrenders but thought you would get a different person this time with a different answer.
Press 19 if you want us to use space that would go to a stray to board your personal dog while you are on vacation, free of charge, of course.
Press 20 if it is Christmas Eve or Easter morning and you want me to deliver an eight week old puppy to your house by 6:30 am before your kids wake up.
Press 21 if you have bought your children a duckling, chick or baby bunny for Easter and your dog is trying to kill it so you want to dump the dog on rescue.
Press 22 if you want us to take your female dog who has already had ten litters, but we can't spay her because she is pregnant again and it is against your beliefs to spay her.
Press 23 if you're lying to make one of our newer volunteers feel bad and take your personal pet off your hands.
Press 24 if your dog has severe health issues that mean you have to give him pills or shots & it makes you "squeamish" to do so, and want to dump him in rescue for someone else to handle.
Press 25 if your two year old male dog is marking all over your house but you just haven't gotten around to having him neutered.
Press 26 if you have an outdoor only unspayed dog and are calling because she is suddenly pregnant.
Press 27 if you have done "everything" to housebreak your dog and have had no success but you don't want to crate the dog because it is cruel so you want to dump it on us instead.
Press 28 if you didn't listen to the message asking for an evening phone number and you left your work number when all volunteers are also working and you are angry because no one called you back.
Press 29 if you need a puppy immediately and cannot wait because today is your daughter's birthday and you want the puppy NOW this minute.
Press 30 if your dog's coat doesn't match your new furniture and you need a different color or breed.
Press 31 if your new love doesn't like your dog and you are too stupid to get rid of the new friend (who will dump you in the next month anyway) instead of the dog.
Press 32 if you went through all these 'options' and didn't hear enough. This press will connect you to the sounds of tears being shed by one of our volunteers who is holding a discarded old dog while the vet mercifully frees him from the grief of missing his family.

Author Unknown

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


after Jenn went to talk with our next-door neighbor (we'll call her S.) we found out we were right -- it is the neighbor (we'll call her B) across the street. Per the talk, seems that B. was asking others if they 'saw' our dogs out & she was going to complain about mess, etc. But S. told her that since she sees Jenn, Jim and Justin out with the pooperscooopers in our own yard, that she knows the mess is not ours, its not even the right size for our dogs for heaven sakes!! And seems that b4 we moved in, this B. harrassed the other dog owners on the street all the time too. Guess since we are new, we are getting the heat now.

SO -- after Jenn discussed this, she feels the best thing to do is just give them nothing to complain about, to keep the neighbors we KNOW are not complaining on our side and just act like nothing happened. If this B. dares to complain to the township & try to pin something on our Akitas, we will be ready for it -- they will have to prove it is our Akitas -- so they better have some pictures to show as proof along with DNA tests done on the poop!! And then we will retaliate -- harrassment letters from our lawyer might work!! But all in all, Jenn felt much better after her talk with our next-door neighbor S. today so its all smooth again for now.

Its funny -- I've spent years advising people on these issues but never had to deal with it myself -- now here I am, at this point in my life, and I'm NOT as mellow as I once might have been -- and definately will NOT "slip silently into the night" as they may hope I will!!!

Thanks for the comment left here on my earlier post, CJ -- it was well-taken, thanks so much for your thoughts!!


We've been so spoiled, living at the kennel, never having to worry about "neighbors". But oh, are we dealing with them now!

Its obvious our "big dogs" are not welcome in this neighborhood. We have a fenced in yard, the dogs are only out to do their business in that yard, they are not left in the yard for more than 5 minutes at a time. Yet its just constant complaints now -- how have you all dealt with this stupidity all these years? I've been so spoiled!

There are people in my neighborhood that walk dogs or allow dogs to run off leash. These dogs run along, doing their business on everyone's lawn -- who did they blame before we moved here? Suddenly, its "notes" left in our mailbox "Please clean up the yard next door to your yard so no one calls the Township to complain." What? Clean up the yard NEXT to mine when my dogs aren't even out of my own yard? My dogs don't make the mess in that yard -- yet you want us to clean up someone else's yard??

So now what -- we are to live in fear that someone who has lived here for years & is well "known" to the neighborhood, will call the township to blame OUR dogs for making a mess in someone's yard?? Suddenly our dogs are responsible for all the dog poop up and down the street -- even though my dogs never leave our back yard? We don't even walk our dogs in this neighborhood -- my son takes his dogs down to his in-law's property at the shore to walk his dogs. Our own Baebae doesn't want to be walked because his arthritis is too bad so up and down the steps & out in the back yard is enough for him. Yet now, the tiny poop from the doxies, the cocker, the pitbull that all run off leash is OUR worry everywhere? Not to mention the old golden from 2 blocks over who poops as he walks because he is so old -- his poop is now our worry?

I hate living in a neighborhood like this. I am so sick of busybody neighbors who are big-dog haters, who want to blame my yard-only Akitas for all the mess on the whole block. We just moved here and we are already thinking we should move out!! ARGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Training methods are like opinions....

everyone has one!! No matter who you talk to in Akitas, they will have a method that they use for training -- and you may never hear the same one twice. Seems to me that its gottten a bit crowded out there in the world of training -- so many different ways to skin a cat these days!! But if you take the time to read and learn, you might find many of them have a LOT more in common than you may think!!

I like a lot of different trainers for different reasons. I like people like Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson for their well-thought out methods of working with the dogs & their willingness to learn & change as they grow. I like Cesar Millan for his common sense in how to handle dogs and how to make humans realize their dogs aren't HUMANS!! I like Carol Lea Benjamin because she understands Akitas and writes very common sense books designed to make you understand how to work with your dog. I appreciate the teachings of Suzanne Clothier because she understands Akitas and has never shied away from helping an aggressive Akita. I am thankful for the website that Leerburg Dog Training, by Ed Frawley, has set up, because some of the articles there are indispensible to me when helping people with problem Akitas.

There are also tons of people I turn to for help with training who've never written a book but should have! Each and every person I work with, have met and read, all have VERY different methods yet there is something to be learned from each and every person -- even the ones whose methods I totally disagree with. After all, you have to know what you don't agree with in order to understand what you DO agree with, eh?

If you have a computer, you have a great tool to help you learn about training. But don't take everything on one site to heart. Read everything you can -- learn something from everyone -- take methods that make sense to you, that will work for you and then apply them. ONLY you can be honest to yourself about what you are willing to do, how much time you are willing to invest in your Akita or your future Akita. No use promising yourself the stars when you know you won't even get on a stepladder to change a lightbulb, right?

Its the people who are most honest with themselves, who know their own limitations, who are willing to read, learn and work with what they believe in, that make the best Akita owners. And you know who you are -- yes, you do!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Rescue Code of Ethics

As part of the Akita Club of America, I am happy to report that we have decided on a Code of Ethics for all Akita Rescues to follow.

However, on the down side, I'm sad we even needed to set up a Code of Ethics. You'd think anyone wanting to do rescue would do it right -- would do it for the good of the Akitas and not for any personal agenda. After all the very word rescue means: to free or deliver from confinement, violence, danger, or evil. But if I've learned one thing over the years, its that some people in rescue can be just as rotten, just as selfish, just as evil, as people in puppymills, petstores, or bad breeders can be also.

Way back when I started in rescue, I was so idealistic. After all, I was helping in rescue, and rescue was about saving Akitas' lives so everyone in rescue with me must be in this for the same reasons I was, right? I couldn't sleep at nite thinking about the Akitas in my care -- I worried constantly about finding the right homes, about making sure I wasn't allowing an Akita to die in a shelter, about how to find a way to get more qualified adopters, about how to find more good volunteers to help us spread the word. I went bankrupt over rescue at one point, I lost a marriage to rescue at another point, and ultimately I lost much of my health to rescue -- but it didn't matter, because I was saving Akitas' lives and MY GOD that was what kept me going. I was sure everyone in rescue felt the same way, right? I was sure if someone called themselves a 'rescue' it meant they had the good of their breed at heart.

So imagine my heartbreak the first time someone I thought I could trust ended up showing the only reason they were in rescue was for the ego, the power of it, not really caring at all about good placements or caring for the dogs. Or how sad I was when I found that another treasured friend I thought I could trust was actually breeding the rescue dogs, then selling the puppies to make money for personal profit. These & other things just devastated me -- that I could trust people for so long & find out down the road about their real motives for being 'rescue' . The more I learned about people like this, who I trusted & called friends for years, the more I considered getting out of rescue because I felt I could no longer trust my OWN judgement.

Instead of quitting rescue completely, I simply let it harden me, made me wary of just accepting anyone calling themselves a rescue. I started to watch for signs of 'bad rescue' in people -- and sadly I found it, more times than I care to admit and each time, it broke my heart over and over. HOW can someone call themselves a rescue only to use the dogs in their care for profit, to use the word 'rescue' to get them what they want; how could they harm the very dogs they promised to help and save?? Boy was I naive over and over again.

There are those calling themselves Rescue who will only take puppies under 15 months old so they can make a quick profit -- they make the person giving up the dog pay for all vetting and also charge a big give up fee, then charge the adopter another big fee while paying for nothing but a few days worth of food for the rescued dog themselves -- thus making a huge profit that goes right in their own pocket.

Or the Rescues who start out like they are already experts without ever volunteering with any other group first. They won't work with anyone else, thinking they know it all; they end up doing bad placements, getting sued and giving the name of rescue bad publicity. People like that cause so much harm to rescue because bad publicity hurts us all -- good rescues get lumped in with bad rescues simply by the name association of the word RESCUE; lawsuits cost everyone money, time, bad press. People get hurt by poorly evaluated dogs, children can be maimed by bad placements. Why do rescue like this? Why not do it right?

Then the worst is the hoarder/collector rescue people -- who start out with good intentions, who slowly or in some cases quickly get in over their heads but instead of asking for help, allow the pets to suffer, in some cases die. This is happening more and more. We had it a few years ago with the Palmdale situation involving over 50 Akitas
Recently the Chow Rescues had to deal with it in PA with over 90 Chows
And all breed rescues sadly have it happen all the time .
In all cases, it points fingers at those of us doing rescue ethically because it makes the general public wonder -- "Are you really doing right by the dogs in YOUR care, how do we know YOU aren't like these people, how do we know YOU are using the money/donations we give correctly, how do we know YOU won't be a headline next week, next month, next year?"

Everyone knows we need as much help as we can get in rescue. But too often, we are quick to embrace someone calling themselves a rescue without really knowing who they are or what they are doing; and its only after we have embraced them that we start to see cracks in their facade. How do you "out" someone you suspect may not be doing right by the dogs in their care, or doing rescue for the wrong reasons (ego, money), or is already in over their heads? Many are afraid to speak up, afraid to point fingers, afraid to be the one to say "Something's wrong with this person" for fear no one will ever trust them now that they have pointed fingers. We all know what happens to 'whistle-blowers' -- we see movies & TV shows about it, and we know how they get ostracized by their co-workers, their peers, for speaking out. But when its lives (dogs) at stake, how can we not speak out? How can we not question, worry, wonder?

One tool to help us is that we now have a CODE OF ETHICS. Its a good one too -- much input given from some really great rescue people who helped hone it to bring it to this final stage. It covers all the basic groundwork of good rescue -- vetting, altering, nutrition, temperament, evaluations, proper placements & use of paperwork. No one wants to be the "rescue police" but it will help in some ways I hope prevent bad things from happening.

Its a good strong COE and while I hate that we even need to have one in rescue, I'm glad its there now. I salute those who helped put this together and I am proud we could agree on what ethical rescue is and how to implement it. Akita Rescues are some of the best breed rescues in the country -- and some of the longest working breed rescues also. There are a lot of good, ethical, knowledgeable people doing recognized Akita Rescue, people I am proud to say I volunteer with as a whole. For a list of them, go here:
Those of us who will be signing this COE will be publishing it on our websites. If you are seeking a good ethical Akita Rescue in the future & they are NOT listed as a signing group with this COE, ask why not. Ask why they don't feel they agree with the terms of this COE, ask why they feel they don't need to follow this COE. It certainly should warn you to seek another Akita Rescue!!

I wish ALL breed rescues had a COE. Some do, many don't. I hope they all implement one in the future. Perhaps then we can prevent future situations like the one with the Chows or the Palmdale situation from happening. Perhaps we can save the name of "rescue" from future bad press with this COE. Perhaps it will help me to not be heartbroken again when someone I trusted & believed in turns out to NOT be doing rescue for the right reasons. Perhaps it will make those people stop and think before continuing in rescue at all. I can hope, can't I?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Dogs & Heat

What's with all the police officers (who should know better!) leaving their service dogs in their locked cars to boil to death in the heat? I am shocked -- surely they know better or should know better? Its bad enough when a pet owner does it, but I can't believe the K-9 police officers aren't drilled on that stuff in school? For any dog to suffer and die that way is just horrid -- I've called the police several times over the years to release a pet that was locked in a hot car during the summer months. But who do you call ABOUT the police when their service dog is locked in a police car? Another police officer? The firemen? I mean really....that saying "Common sense is no longer common" is definately applying to today's world...

Friday, July 10, 2009

How to know when its...time...

This sad subject has been on my mind a lot lately, because of dear friends who have had to put their beloved Akitas to sleep due to illness & old age. When your dog is old, sickly, showing signs of fading, or suffering from a horrid disease, how do you "know" when its time to let them go "OVER THE RAINBOW BRIDGE"? If only the decision was always made for us -- like my Brae, who just kissed us good nite like always with a happy tail wag; then the next morning there she was, curled up in death looking just like she always did when sleeping. Her heart just stopped beating during the night -- she was 15 but acted and looked like she was no more than 5. We were stunned, she showed no signs of being sickly or slowing down. But it was a decision we didn't have to make for her. We should all have that decision made for us, so we don't have to decide it on our own.

Because OH! its such a hard decision to make, one we agonize over & stress over for what seems forever before we can feel we are making the right decision. My vet Dr. Phyllis addressed it in one of our ARWNY Newsletters & as a vet she has had to deal with it daily with clients, and also with her own beloved Akitas. Numerous articles have been written about this subject on the internet and there are "pet grief counselors" who hold group sessions to help people cope with the loss of their pets. Its such a profoundly personal decision that its hard to be able to help another person decide when its "time" to let their pet go. I just know that I've been there & had to make this type of decision too often with the rescues in my care -- decisions I'm glad I didn't have to make alone, since all of us in our group confer when its a rescue about decisions like these. As hard as it is, helping a rescue "Over the Bridge" I can do for the good of the Akita, the good of the group, the good of the breed.

But making this decision for my own pet was far harder. I had to learn to make the right decision with the help of someone else. I've learned that now for me, it boils down to not being selfish in wanting to keep the dog with you; to be humane enough to be able to say "I love you, you shouldn't suffer anymore" and letting them go.

At one time, I was too blind-sided to be able to make the right decision. I was selfish, and convinced myself my Akita was ok when it was my own selfishness that kept her with me longer than I should have. I'm talking about my beloved KumaChan, my first female Akita that joined us as a puppy in 1986. My daughter Jenn had to practically force me to finally admit it was time for my Kuma to be let go from the pain in her knees and hips. I cared for Kuma daily, feeling she was still "holding her own" and having a good quality of life. I realize now, Kuma was hanging on because I couldn't face reality with her. Then my daughter Jenn went away to college in CT; when she came home at Christmas time, it was her being away from the situation that allowed her to see Kuma's pain far better than I could see it. I still had convinced myself that Kuma was fine, still able to handle her pain, still enjoying life. It took Jenn's fresh eyes to finally make me realize I was wrong, that Kuma had no quality to her life by then & was suffering more than I could admit.

When I held Kuma in my arms to let her go, I just kept telling her I was so sorry, so so sorry for letting her suffer. Kuma was the brave one, who let me know she was ok with my decision -- I was the mess, she was the calm one that sad day.

So I know, when people tell me they don't know if its time to let their pet go, I do truly know how they feel. But sometimes, it does take a fresh set of eyes to see things for what they really are. When people ask me how they will know, I tell them "You won't always know, because often we are blinded to it by our own need to keep our beloved pet with us." And that's so true. I am mindful of that now when dealing with my own pets. I think back to my Kuma and try hard now to make sure I never allow any Akita in my care to suffer due to my own selfish need to keep my Akita with me.

Now when people ask me if "its time" for them to let their pet go, I tell them to search in their own hearts to be sure they aren't overlooking their dog's suffering just because they can't bear to lose the dog. If the dog can't be cured, has no hope of going back to a normal life & is suffering, you need to really figure out if you are holding on to the dog because the dog still has any quality of life or if you are holding on to the dog for yourself. Its hard to let your dog pass on. No one realizes that more than me. But at the same time, I have to feel its our humanity that allows us to prevent our pets from suffering more than they should have to suffer.

When its time, its time. Only you can make that decision -- so be sure whatever decision you make, its for the good of your pet, not for yourself. That's all I can ask of anyone, including myself.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Too many emails...

I try so hard not to look at pictures of Akitas in need from areas I can't help, b/c seeing their faces, looking into their eyes just kills me. My inbox is filled with emails from shelters and owners from all across the country asking for help with an Akita or Akitas in need. I try to just pass them on to the group I know is closest to them without looking at the pictures so I don't get more upset over not being able to help.

But yesterday I got an email from a shelter worker in Indiana and made the mistake of looking at the two older Akitas in need -- there are 3 there, but one is a baby around 6 months, the other two are a bit older, not sure the ages listed are right since another rescue evaluated them & feels they might be off on the ages listed, that they may be younger than aged by the shelter (which does happen a lot). Anyway, its always easy to help the baby -- puppies under a year of age are easy to adopt out & easy to find a foster home for. Its the older ones that break my heart.

So now there are 3 Akitas in this one shelter and the shelter wants them all rehomed, not just for someone to rescue the puppy but to give all three a chance. Therein lies the problem -- people are coming forward offering to save the puppy, which is fine; but no one has come forward offering to save the two adults -- and that just kills me. If we can find 3 people wanting the puppy to foster, why oh why can't all three Akitas be saved, spread out to the 3 people already saying they can take on the puppy?

I know, I know -- I realize people "think" its easier to take on the puppy but in reality -- if you can crate the puppy, keep it separate from your own dogs, until someone else has room for it, then you could do the same for one of the adults, eh? I mean really -- think about it. Makes sense, eh? We've been doing that for years in rescue -- rescue should be about all ages, not just puppies. Sure, the public wants only puppies -- but maybe if all we offer to the public IS puppies, we are setting them up to only want the puppies. Maybe if all they saw were adult dogs available for rescue, they would get the "hint" and rethink rescue -- realize that older dogs are the only ones available so that is who they will save. Nice idea, right?

Why oh why do I have such a bleeding heart for these 2 adults? I don't know. I do know we are overloaded, ARWNY cannot take them on when we have dogs sitting in our local shelters -- dogs we are working hard on to find spots for in our rescue already. But these two older dogs haunted me last nite -- I couldn't fall sleep, I kept worrying in my mind how to figure out a way to help these two. And I failed -- I cannot come up with a way to help them.

So I'll have to spend the day saddened & depressed that 2 more fabulous, wonderful Akitas will probably lose their lives -- for being older, for being "not a puppy"....

I have to stop looking at pictures of Akitas in need that I cannot help....its getting to me.....

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Where are the qualified adopters...

Its been raining Akitas lately -- so many wonderful ones in need, but no room because we just aren't getting the right homes to come along!! Usually by this time of year, we have placed at least 40 Akitas but this year, we just placed our 25th Akita. And all the other Akita Rescues are singing this same sad tune. So where are the qualified homes? We have some wonderful Akitas sitting in our care that should be lounging away in someone's living room.

Why is Yogi still with us? He is super handsome, with a great personality -- big deal he doesn't like other dogs, does that mean he can't be a great pet? Its sadly a bit of an Akita trait to not get along well with strange dogs so he's definitely NOT abnormal for an Akita. Yet here sits Yogi still. Or BayBay -- a gorgeous boy with a collie mixed in there somewhere, and he's sweet as can be. He so deserves to be playing ball with someone in their backyard not sitting in a kennel run wondering when he will get to go home!! And what about the 3 breeders' dogs we rescued after they were left to dehydrate and die alone in NY? Zeus, Athena & Romuleus all are gorgeous, wonderful Akitas with a LOT of love and happiness to give someone yet they languish here with us instead of being loved & spoiled in a real home. The list just goes on and on -- like our Oki, Spirit and Gordon, all big handsome boys but all 3 real Akitas, just what the breed was meant to be. Yet not getting any applications asking for them; people passing them by just because they are a bit older too!! And Sammy -- no issues at all, lost his home due to divorce, but at age 9, no one cares and no one wants him. He's super perfect yet everyone passes him by on our website. Go visit our website and see these sweethearts, you too will wonder why they are still there!!

I don't get everyone out there just wanting a puppy. Puppies are SO much work! And in today's hectic, crazy, busy world, who has time for all that work? People don't think things thru -- they hear 'puppy' and they become fixated. These wonderful adult Akitas we have are all housebroken, most are crate trained, they walk great on a leash, are calm, intelligent, healthy and loving. Yet all we get are applications asking for puppies!! People mistakenly think a puppy will "bond" better, I hear that all the time -- and its SO not true! Adult Akitas bond just as strongly to a family as a puppy does. An adult Akita is just as playful and fun as a puppy is. An adult Akita is just as loving as a puppy is. What an adult Akita isn't is tiny but then neither are Akita puppies for very long. Adult Akitas aren't as much work as puppies are either. But for some reason, everyone wants a puppy. I don't get it. I'd never own a puppy -- the last puppy in my life was in 1986 and that was enough for me -- I will always own an adult Akita, and my preference now is middle-aged -- 6 or older!! Such wonderful Akitas in that age bracket -- loving, calm, playful yet not wild or out of control. Yes, there are times when a puppy is needed but not usually and not always. Yes, I will recommend good breeders when someone really should have a puppy in their home because we don't have the right adult or an adult won't work in their specific situation -- but that's not the usual case yet people just convince themselves they must get a puppy to "train it" or to "bond" with it. NOT TRUE!

Then on top of that, the other problem is the people who don't do their homework, don't read our site thoroughly before filling out the application -- it clearly says "we do not do any same sex adoptions" yet we get application after application from people with 3, 4 or 5 other dogs of both sexes in their household already. Or the people who ask for a certain dog that specifically states on its write up "no cats" when they have 1, 2, 3 cats. Or the people with small toddlers that insist on having the dog that is listed as "no kids under 12". We put those things in a write up for a reason -- our placements must be safe, must be permanent and must work for both the Akita and the adopting family!! So sadly those are wasted applications, wasted time in responding to those applications, wasted hope that one of our Akitas might get a home when we see a new application come in.

I don't mean to sound negative and heavens knows, we have some fabulous adopters for whom we are eternally grateful. But we need more of them -- the number of Akitas in need has risen dramatically but the number of good adopters has dropped drastically and its very sad for our Akitas. They shouldn't be sitting in kennels or foster homes -- they should be at home by now, being loved and cherished as someone's pet!!

So spread the word, send good adopters our way, won't you? Its very disheartening to keep turning away wonderful Akitas in need because of lack of space -- and the lack of space is because the Akitas we have in our care just aren't getting adopted!!!