My breed of choice is often called ‘stubborn,’ too often called ‘stupid,’ and definitely have the cliche ‘minds of their own.’
My experience with Akitas is that they are whip smart and far more observant than many non-Akita owners think. All of the dogs that I’ve had have had fabulous senses of humor. To be funny, one has to have a fair amount of intelligence. Some of my dogs have been clever, others have been goofballs, and some have been subtle. Most demonstrated humor that encompasses all of those elements.
I’ve been thinking about my first male, the gorgeous, loyal, smart, stoic Kuro. He was a rescue from Akita Rescue of Western New York (ARWNY – which has morphed into Akita S.O.S. He’s the dog on their masthead. Handsome, isn’t he?)
During the last autumn of his life, Kuro was outside in the yard. He was so old he wasn’t a flight risk. I could stroll and keep up with his ‘run.’ Plus as an Akita he was a hang-around-the-house dog anyway.
It was late in the season, and windy and cold, though sunny. The old guy was quite lame by then. I didn’t like leaving him outside because he paid for it, and would be very stiff for hours afterwards.
I’d come home from running errands, and my station wagon was parked in front of the house with the tailgate open. (The car was also known as ‘the dog mobile’ – the back was outfitted with comforters and sleeping bags as a dog bed) I let Kuro and his boon companion Nikka out for a potty break while I unloaded.
When I was done, I asked him to come inside.
“Kuro, please come in the house. It’s just too cold for you and you’ll be crippled.”
“I want to stay out here.”
“You can’t. The cold will make you lame and you’ll be miserable.”
Our ‘conversation’ was deteriorating into an argument, which I would win. All I had to do was walk out and bring him in on a leash.
Kuro then did something extraordinary. He looked at me, and strolled over to the back of the Volvo. He looked back at me, then looked in the rear of the car, and then glanced at me, then once again peered into the car. He waited patiently for me to figure his message out.
As sure as I am typing this, he offered me a compromise. He’d be happy to sleep in the back of the car with the tailgate up, snoozing on the dog bed, and remain outside. The sun provided enough warmth so he’d be comfortable. I’d get what I wanted: his protection from the elements, which would prevent him from becoming lame.
Brilliant! I hustled over and helped him in. He spent a happy afternoon getting exactly what he wanted and giving me what I needed.
What a grand dog you were and are, Kuro. I miss you, my Big K; you are always and forever in my heart. I’ll see you when I get there.