Goldenbird readers may know that Mayann’s little B/W puppy Mochi is an Akita Inu. This dog breed of Japanese origin is very close to my heart. My family loves all Spitz-type breeds for their independence, sensitivity and so-called “primitive” traits, and we had the honour of calling the wonderful Akita lady Himitsu von Nobara-ken a member of our pack for almost 12 years. No surprise, then, that the welfare of dogs in general and Akitas in particular (as a large-sized breed with a strong protective instinct, always in the risk zone for abuse and neglect) is important to me.
Some time ago, I did a charity illustration for the benefit of the Akita Rescue Society of Florida, Inc. Note cards with this motif can be ordered from their website. But why Florida, of all places? The ARSF volunteer Jen Fone discovered my Mochi illustrations and approached me with this idea. Among many things, she has been teaching dog bite prevention with her loveable Akitas. (How many times haven’t I seen people approach cuddly-looking dogs carelessly, not realizing the clear warning signs that the animal communicates to its own protection? And how many times haven’t I made mistakes myself, and been kindly corrected by the dog? Yes, they are predators, but they cut us so much slack…) I’d like to sincerely thank Jen for providing me with this opportunity to give something back to the dogs that I love.