Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Road to Kodiak (Our New Akita!)

You may remember we had to put our German Shepherd to sleep back in November. Thank goodness, we still had our female Akita! But one dog, even one weighing close to 90 pounds, is not really enough for our household. One dog just seemed a bit lonely.

So I began hunting on Facebook for a male Akita to keep us all company.

There was a time, and not all that long ago, when I would have been lured by a puppy. I mean, seriously, is there anything on earth as adorable as a puppy? Not even a human baby compares. But puppies are ridiculously needy. Puppies are a full-time job. And despite how adorable they start out, every puppy grows (extremely quickly!) into an adult dog. You might get lucky with the dog's final temperament. But there are no guarantees.

So adopting an adult dog was definitely the way to go for us. We had had SUCH a wonderful experience adopting our female through Rakki-Inu Akita Rescue in Virginia Beach. Everything they told us about her was absolutely true. When they described her as "the Akita jackpot" they were not kidding. She is beautiful, sweet, friendly, soft to the touch, and has completely bonded with us. We knew we wanted a male version of our perfect female.

And what we found was a very large (MASSIVE!) male, around the same age as our female (6-7 years) at Big East Akita Rescue in New Jersey. We picked him up last weekend.

After touring the entire rescue, and meeting all 15 of the dogs, our boy was the only adult who didn't bark at us. He came out of his kennel desperate to jump on us and give us kisses. I knew immediately I had made the right choice.

Our new boy (Kody=short for Kodiak) took some time to settle in, though. The first walk around the park on the leash was quite a nightmare for my poor husband, who almost got pulled through a large patch of wild rose bushes as Kody suddenly chased a groundhog! But this dog has never been on a leash, never lived inside a home, never been trained, never received consistent discipline. We have caught him peeing on a houseplant, climbing on the couches, and walking on the coffee table. (He must think he is a large cat!) So his manners are lacking, but his spirit is strong. He is quickly learning and now knows what it means to be attached to a human being via a leash!



He is another lovebug, just like our female. He gives tons of kisses, will roll over on his back for tummy scratches, and likes to be in the same room as his humans whenever possible. We will never be able to let him off the leash, unless he's in an enclosed area, as his prey drive is off the charts. But he is encouraging us to walk even more than we had been, in order to give him plenty of exercise and drain his energy, and this is a win-win for everybody. He has demonstrated zero aggression and hasn't even barked once since he arrived. (I'm guessing he will become more vocal as he get more comfortable around us.) He was unfazed by the thunderstorms this week, which is a nice change from our other dogs who have mostly freaked out at any loud (or sometimes soft!) noise.

So we welcome Kody into our home, and into our hearts. It is impossible not to fall head-over-heels for this huge ball of fur. He is still a work-in-progress, but I feel very blessed that I get to work (and play!) with him.

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