Kaijin The Second

Baby picture at least a month before we got him.

On the 9th of November in the year 2020 of the Modern Era, ominous dark skies split, the earth rumbled, virgins wept, and, of all things good and beautiful that may (or may not) of occurred that day, the puppy to be known as “Kaijin” was born. To be fair, we were at the beginning of the plague panic so you bear no real fault if you missed this otherwise momentous occasion.

We had been looking for a male Akita to be the house buddy for Skoshi (our female mini Akita) and had stalked all the usual places one finds Akitas for months. (I have been wrongly accused of saying “We already have one, how hard can it be?” but I deny uttering those words.) As December rolled on, the hysterical panic over the plague began to settle in and the AKC and reputable breeder sites started to dry up for Akitas. (Probably for other breeds as well but who cares about them?) No one wanted potential owners to bring deadly COVID germs to their house and most of the breed forums I followed discussed the horrors of potential air travel with disease infested passengers like a scene from a horror film; zombies in the skies! However, in the disgusting underbelly of “puppy mills” near Springfield, Ohio, puppy exploitation was in full swing.

His favorite position.
Slightly enhanced portrait

On one of the more notorious websites, the Princess had found a woefully sad looking puppy that quickened her heart of gold and obviously, just had to be hers. As we dug deeper into the breeder’s story, it just got worse. The registered breeder claimed the puppy was the last of a litter that had been sold almost a month previously, “some one” had made a mistake on the litter application with AKC so he didn’t have papers, and he wasn’t part of the breeder’s line; he belonged to a “friend” she was helping. (If you think I’m exaggerating, look up “puppy mills + Ohio” and when you recover from your shock, you can apologize.) Regardless, we forked over a king’s ransom for the precious cargo and door-to-door courier service (I’d never heard of this) to be accomplished forthwith via PayPal. I fully expected to kiss that money goodbye but three days later at around 8AM, a van pulled in to our drive with a thoroughly disheveled (and smelly) puppy and a clipboard. “Sign here” and the stinky mess was transferred straight away to the bathroom for a thorough scrubbing with Chanel bubble bath, scented exotic oils from the East Indies, and warm Turkish bath-towels made from 100% organic cotton. I’m only guessing at this since I wasn’t allowed to touch “The Precious” until Princess Lori was satisfied he was spotless and bug free from head to tail and smelled like a prostitute. Or at least how I imagine a prostitute smells.

All cleaned up and ready for polite society.

Once deemed ready for public inspection, it was obvious that we had once again rescued a poor rejected soul of dubious genetics and gained a heart of gold. The Boss-ette had already decreed we would name him after the late “Kaijin The First” that had turned out to be an extraordinary companion. Her hopes were that our newly acquired lump of hair and lips would grow into his moniker and become the new prince of the palace.

On close examination, we discovered that the newest member of our clan had the jowls of a dog twice his size (and he was a big puppy) and great big huge, flat feet to go along with his very knobby knees and an undersized head. Should you think I’m being overly critical, I’m not. Much evidence of the evils of puppy mills were present in our little guy from day one. Regardless of his DNA, he was easily a lovable oaf but definitely not used to being in a house or being with people. During his first few days, it was obvious that he had been left to fend for himself as soon as his litter-mates were sold off and his preferred environment was outside, on the gravel side yard, by himself.

As with all puppies, it took a few weeks for him to get oriented, adapt to training, and discover his place in the world. His new “step sister” was of no help as she wanted to play, for here was a “squeeky” that talked back, jumped, ran, and made rude noises. What could be better? As for Kaijin, once he was done with play and food, he wanted to be left alone. Eventually this morphed into an uneasy relationship where the two would romp until Kaijin got tired and then he would would find a place to hide and plop down for an extended nap. It was all fun and games as Kaijin began to grow in to his feet (he never did grow into his jowls) and learned to throw his weight around. This was a tactic Skoshi would never resolve; whenever Kaijin has had enough, he simply sits on her.

Even today, Kaijin prefers the gravel to grass, likes sleeping in the shower over the memory foam bed, drools everywhere (like buckets), and thinks he hiding behind the backdoor curtain in a fortress of solitude while he watches the world through the glass door. At two years old he was already twice the weight of Skoshi, though still covered with the yards of loose skin he’ll never grow into. I’m pretty sure he was the last dog built on the Friday evening shift before everyone went home; he got all the extra parts that didn’t exactly fit. He is; however, all the the good things his namesake was. He is a soft hearted, gentle beast who will likely always be a puppy. Like “Kaijin the First,” he suffers from separation anxiety, though not destructively, but when either Skoshi or his Mistress are out of the house, the incessant, high decibel, wookiee whining is enough to disturb the neighbors. Likewise, he is the terror of the UPS drivers but has never even met one; he just barks at them because he thinks they like it. It was slightly cute when he was smaller and his barker not fully developed. Now his barks can make your ears ring and cause your chest to tingle from compression waves.

Kaijin in his element.

Now at a little over three years old, he’s 130 pounds of kindness fueled by huge amounts of groceries. He had some disastrous surgeries done just before Christmas last year that led to months of daily (and more) wound care, which he accepts with stoic grace. His daily bandage change is accomplished with some soulfully sad eyes and the puddle of drool he generates whenever he thinks he may get a treat at the end.

While I despise everything a puppy-mill represents, Kaijin can’t be blamed for any of that. He is probably the most soft-hearted dog you’d ever hope to meet and we’re lucky to share our lives with him. Although…if he gets any bigger I’ll be starting a “Go Fund Me” account for his dog food bill.