The wife and I decided to take a stroll down by the beach in Redondo. The waves were pretty cold but the hot dogs were hot n ready. We took some time to chit chat about our new home and what we were going to decorate and improve upon. I am super stoked that we figured out a way to unglue our eyes from the television. Praise the lord for California!
My wife and I have a wonderfully lazy puppy named captain and when he’s not destroying shoes or eating grass, he makes for a great companion. Here are some great facts-
In Japan, the highest reverence is given to all white Akitas.
In 1931, the Akita was officially declared one of Japan’s national treasures.
In 2004, it was reported that the number one cause of mortality among Akitas was cancer.
Akitas are not prone to barking without reason. They were originally bred to hunt low on the ground, with similar stalking techniques as feral cats.
Akitas can talk, or at least, some Akita enthusiasts claim so. Their “talk” may comprise of grunts, groans and mumbles to which a person can almost make out something coherent.
Before the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Akitas lived for as long as 14 to 15 years. After World War II, the average life span of Akitas was shortened to only 10 to 12 years.
During ancient times, mothers in Japan relied heavily on their pet Akitas to take care of their very young children. While mothers worked the fields, their pets played nanny to the children at home.
Japanese Akitas retained their purebred bloodline because it was jealously guarded by the Japanese people up until World War II.
Male Akitas cannot tolerate each other. Female Akitas cannot tolerate each other. Inexplicably, when you place one male and one female Akita together, they can live peaceably.
Recent DNA testing proves that the Akita bloodline is one of the most primitive bloodlines among all the canine species.
The very first Akita to reach the United States was given by the Japanese government to writer, scholar and activist Helen Keller in 1937. The Akita was named Kamikaze – meaning divine wind.
Akitas consider making eye contact as a form of challenge for dominance. Only a fool-hardy person will get down to the dog’s level and stare down a 120 pound dog whose teeth can rip open human flesh in one bite.
During its earliest existence, when the breeding rights of the Akitas belonged only to Shoguns of noble houses, it was forbidden to talk about or communicate with the dogs. A special language called dog words was used to issue instructions to the Akitas.
Because this breed of dog was originally bred with a very healthy diet of fresh fish, vegetables and rice, the modern Akita has evolved with a gastric system that cannot cope with a diet that is filled with preservatives, salt and sugar. In fact, this intolerance to artificial compounds has even led the Akita to become hypersensitive to modern medicine and drugs.
The most famous Akita dog in all of Japan was named HachikÅ. When HachikÅ’s owner died, the dog returned to the train station time and again to wait for its master. The Akita continued waiting until the day it died. The Japanese people erected a life-size statue of HachikÅ at the Shibuya train station to commemorate the dog’s loyalty, devotion and its long, long wait for a master who never returned.
Scientific Name: Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi
From LA Zoo Website
Did you know the giraffe’s tongue is black? The Masai giraffe relies on its long, muscular tongue for reaching between long thorns to feed on tender tree leaves and twigs.
STATUS: The Masai giraffe is common and not currently at risk, but the herds are dependent on good conservation programs throughout their range.
HABITAT: Masai giraffes live on the African savannahs of Kenya and Tanzania in East Africa.
DIET: Giraffes can spend 16 to 20 hours a day browsing on leaves, twigs, bark, flowers, and fruit from more than 60 different kinds of plants. They can go without water for several months if they have enough fresh browse. The whistling-thorn acacia is one of their favorites!
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Giraffes are the tallest land mammal, and Masai giraffes can grow up to 17 feet tall and weigh 2,700 pounds. Because of its long legs and long neck, the giraffe doesn’t have to compete with other animals for its food. The Masai giraffe is identified by its lacy-edged or irregular spot pattern. Both males and females may have two to five horns covered with skin growing out of the top of the skull.
A baby weighs in at about 150 pounds and is already six feet tall. The calf needs to stand shortly after birth because only 25% of the young survive attacks the first year from lions, cheetahs, leopards, and hyenas. An adult giraffe is rarely attacked and may live up to 25 years.
Taken at the Los Angeles Zoo, CA, 2012.
From Out of africa website
Swahili Name: Punda Milia
Scientific Name: Burchell’s zebra (Equus burchellii); Grevy’s zebra (Equus grevyi)
Size: 45 to 55 inches at the shoulder (Burchell’s); 50 to 60 inches (Grevy’s)
Weight: Burchell’s: 485 to 550 pounds (Burchell’s); 770 to 990 pounds (Grevy’s)
Lifespan: 40 years in captivity
Habitat: Woodlands to open plains
Gestation: 12 months (Burchell’s); 13 months (Grevy’s)
Predators: Lions, hyenas, hunting dogs, leopards, cheetahs
Scientific Name: Phoenicopterus ruber
The American flamingo is the most brightly colored of all flamingo species.
From the Los Angeles Zoo Website
These birds’ most noticeable features are probably their long, skinny legs—which are longer in relation to body size than any other bird. They often stand on just one leg, even while sleeping, with the other tucked up close to their body. Besides being comfortable for the animal, this posture helps reduce heat loss through the legs and feet.
STATUS: American flamingos are listed as Least Concern by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
HABITAT: Flamingos are found in a wide variety of both salt and fresh water habitats, most notably in the shallows of salt lakes, estuaries, and lagoons. American flamingos are from the Caribbean Islands and the nearby mainland coasts.
DIET: These birds eat small shrimp, worms, insect larvae, and aquatic plants. They derive their pink coloration from the natural carotenoid pigment found in the foods they eat. In captivity they are fed a manufactured diet that contains a natural pigment to maintain their color.
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: The American flamingo has bright pink plumage. Its bill is salmon-colored with a black tip. The flamingo’s long neck and bill, fashioned at a 45-degree angle, are adaptations for the filter feeding system employed by the bird. When the bird puts its head down to feed, the bill is parallel to the bottom and submerged in water. By a tongue pumping action, tiny plants and animals are sifted from the bottom mud and forced through comb-like plates on the edge of the bill.
Flamingos are highly social animals and breed only in colonies that may range in size from a few dozen to tens of thousands of birds. The courtship rituals involve complex synchronized dancing, head flagging, neck stretching, and honking, which can be quite amusing to witness. Nests are built about 5 feet apart and the entire colony will lay eggs at about the same time. Chicks are hatched gray after an incubation period of 27 to 31 days. The characteristic pink color occurs at about two years and they are sexually mature at three.