Posted to Subscribers on 10 February 2013


Dear Friends,

This is a personal post, sort of nostalgic. My mother had a German shepherd before she married my father. His name was Peter, and from baby photos, it would appear that he was my first baby sitter, maybe the only one. I was seven when he died and I still remember my mother and grandfather trying to console me.

When I was a teenager, there was a notice in the Los Angeles Times that a blind dog needed a seeing eye master. Along with 3000 others, I applied and was accepted. We were awarded the dog on local television. Skipper was also a German shepherd and I adored him.

The first Akita came into our lives in 1970 and I have rarely been without one since. The breed is Japanese. Akita Prefecture is on the western coast of Honshu and gets heavy snows when the Siberian winds push the clouds over the Japan Alps. It holds the world record for the heaviest snow fall in any 24-hour period.

The dogs have very strong front legs, massive chests, and huge tracheas, all necessary for climbing the steep slopes of the Alps when they are covered with deep snow. Originally, the breed might have exhibited characteristics typical of northern dogs: spitz hunds, chow chows, mastiffs, etc., but now there are features regarded as specific to the breed, but the Japan Kennel Club and American Kennel Club have slightly different standards.

This is a statue of the famous Hachiko who waited at the Shibuya train station in Tokyo for nine years. His caregiver, Prof. Ueno, died at the university but the dog never gave up hope that he would return . . . or, this is what people imagined.

In any event, asking someone to meet you at the statue of Hachiko is the equivalent of a declaration of undying love!

The first Akita to be brought to the Mainland U.S. was a gift to Helen Keller. She visited Japan in the 1930s and asked about the famous Hachiko. A month later, she was given a very fine Akita, one of 30 remaining pure breds believed to exist in Japan. He died of canine distemper and she was given a second dog, the older brother of the first. The picture is of the second Akita.

In 1970, my mother was given a white Akita named Keokeohina, a truly amazing being. On my way to Hawaii in 1972, I dreamed of a white puppy. I phoned my mother to talk to her about the dream and asked if Keo had had a litter. She said, "Not a litter, just one puppy." I said, "He's mine" but she said, "No, darling, he is mine."

Guess who got to keep Keoki Coeur de Roi? He was the first dog I ever had for whom the full responsibility was mine. All the other dogs were family dogs. Keoki was pure white and absolutely beautiful, but he was epileptic and jealous and willful and sometimes fearful of things like firecrackers, moving water, even a drinking fountain, not to mention an ocean wave. He was a Piscean, born March 10th, and was very psychic.

When I left Hawaii for Santa Fe in 1979, I took Keoki and Tilok with me. She was born September 10th and was probably the most beautiful dog in the whole world. She also had an incredibly sweet disposition.

One day, I had a dream of a puppy sitting on a wooden throne. She said she would be the first born and wanted to be named Runeka. Keoki and Tilok had two daughters, Runeka was more like her father and the other other puppy was more like her mother.

Later, they had another litter, eight puppies, seven white ones and a pinto. All of these were adopted. One named Sherpa had a litter with an elderly white male Akita named Haiku. I dreamed of the puppies, jumped in the car around six in the morning and got there just in time to deliver the first puppy. My choice of the litter was Kaehi, the prettiest dog in the whole world. She had a lovely personality, too, very friendly and intelligent.

Kaehi was the last of my dynasty of white Akitas.

Since the lineage that began with Keo ended, I have been adopting dogs, first Tundra, then Bhakti, and most recently Savika.



Niko is being fostered by me, pending finding his forever home. He is a wonderful dog, very well mannered, playful, friendly, and obedient. He is 110 pounds of pure devotion.

He loves TLC (don't we all?)

He is a very well adjusted house dog with excellent manners.

Niko is also handsome, like a prince!


For information on adoption, click here to send an email. I adopted Niko, but there are lots more critters waiting for good homes.



Many blessings,


Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2013







Seventh Ray Press
Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2013

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