Bird on a wire

Sometimes if I take the time to slow down enough to think I realize that nothing is really ever more important to my well being than the happiness of the people I care about. Although, I automatically seem to internally make hypothetical choices that would benefit me. Nothing…I mean nothing matters more than family and for those who do not have the traditional “family” setting, I offer friendship and gracious prayers for you to pass the obstacles before you with pure confidence.

Akita Facts : Why we love our Akita Pup “Captain”

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 Hachikō. When Hachikō’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 Hachikō at the Shibuya train station to commemorate the dog’s loyalty, devotion and its long, long wait for a master who never returned.

Long Neck

Masai Giraffe
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.

Zebra Stripes

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
Diet: Herbivores
Gestation: 12 months (Burchell’s); 13 months (Grevy’s)
Predators: Lions, hyenas, hunting dogs, leopards, cheetahs