The akitachow

September 10, 2014 – 06:59 am

This is the real Akitachow, Berry, who was adopted from the Berkeley Animal Shelter in 2001. What we have here is an untrifling and more or less unfriendly individual. His given nickname, non barkus mentis, sounds funny but isn’t correct. Non latratus canis might be correct but isn’t funny. It means he doesn’t bark — much, anyway. He basically hangs out at home in his futon chair or in the office on his half of a queen-size futon. His night bed is next to ours and he spends time there when we all go to bed but tends to wander around like a security guard at regular intervals. He prefers to be close at hand when we’re home, but you can’t pester or hang all over him since he hates that. A little affection goes a long way with an Akita — in both directions — so this is not a dog for people who need to fawn or be fawned over.

Berry doesn’t like it when strangers come over, and it takes a long time for him to warm up to others, though there are a couple of people he took to right away, like my friend Paul. Anyone who has a dog knows dogs have great built-in character meters. If someone comes over and your dog really despises them, beware! You’ll be able to detect this even with an Akita, who, out of instinct, will not want anyone else around — even if he has nothing specific against them. When an Akita truly doesn’t trust someone he’ll give a look that will freeze the blood in their veins. In my experience, this happens most with a person who comes across as having something to hide. In that case Berry won’t let him or her out of his sight, as opposed to how he treats other guests — simply ignoring them and being casually rude in an attempt to get them to leave as soon as possible. Then you have the poor soul who is afraid of dogs. Berry, like most canines, is able to smell this a mile away and, out of suspicion, will stick like flypaper to that person.

How did we come to bring him home? In June of 2001 Berry was abandoned and then lived at the animal shelter in Berkeley for over three months. Matthew, my son, was working there at the time and had his eye on him. We all agreed to take this 105 pound two-year-old when it was clear he would never be adopted. Akitas are not great adoption risks as they have long memories and are powerful and dominant. This character also appeared to have a bit of Chow in him, what with that purple tongue, and Chows are also a challenging breed. This type of dog is not very good at “playing the game” when potential adopters come to call. Unfortunately, many people won’t select a dog who doesn’t jump up and wag his tail — which many shelter dogs do, despite their individual histories. Akitas living in the lap of luxury won’t do this, let alone those at an animal shelter, since they consider any form of obsequious behavior beneath them. They’ll never fetch, that’s for sure. Playing fetch with an Akita means that you wind up running to get the stick after they watch you throw it and then sit down, looking the other way.


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I now i have "mixed breed" lol

I am sure that some will neg for this, but i asked a few weeks ago about suggestions on what to do. i have a lab/pit that the vet paperwork says is a "lab mix" and a lab/shep/akita/chow/whatever else mix that the vet has listed as a "shep mix".
we are starting the process to adopt a child and were told that they only look at what the vet says. "shep mix" was a deal breaker but the lady said that "mixed breed" was okay.
i went to the vet yesterday and they changed everything to "mix". sooooo one more thing checked off - the thing that was my biggest concern!

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