Akita Rescue "Tails"

I love Akita Stories, and always sit with tears in my eyes when I read one that concerns an Akita finding a forever home and how he/she was rescued.  This page will be devoted to just that.  Stories of your own furry friend's arrival into your home, a story about your Keeter that explains their amazing traits, or a story from rescue itself, or just a "tail" about one Akita you truly loved and cherished.  These stories show the love, devotion, and caring of our Akita Rescue organizations and of all those who adopt and give an Akita a special home.   I applaud them all!


Send me your story and a small picture and I'll include it here!

  • 11 August 2006  And here is our first entry, written by Dorie Sparkman, who is the wonderful lady in charge of ARSF. 

Kinsei, the Florida Dangerous Dog

   By age three, Kinsei was truly the terror of Brevard County. With two cats and a Golden Retriever under her belt, she was becoming a good candidate for America’s Most Wanted. When she jumped through a window and attacked a Schnauzer on his leash, and then bit the dog’s owner as he struggled to extract his little friend from her lethal jaws, the good citizens of Titusville decided they had had enough of her antics. Kinsei was promptly arrested and consigned to Doggie Death Row.

   Now, Kinsei’s owners did love her, even though, like many parents of human children, they let her behavior get out of control and then seemed incapable of reining her in. So, they did what parents of any juvenile delinquent would do – they got her a lawyer.

   Sadly, the judge in the case ruled that Kinsei’s owners were unfit, and she would never be allowed to return home. Enter the sucker for a sad tale – me – who agreed (by signing many legal papers) to take this terror from the county, never to return, and to reform her into a model canine citizen.

   So Kinsei began her new life at Akita Boot Camp, where she learned many new rules and regulations. She was such an able student, that she soon mastered all of the basic obedience skills and actually started winning at obedience trials (a much more acceptable way to beat Golden Retrievers). At the height of her career, she was ranked the #2 Obedience Akita in the United States.

   At the Akita National Specialty in Chicago, Kinsei  and I found out how many good friends we both had. She bloated and had to be rushed from the show to the emergency clinic where veterinarians performed life-saving surgery.  Meanwhile, our Akita friends at the show collected over $1000 to cover her medical costs. She had come a long way from Death Row Dog..

   Thanks to the skills of the veterinarians and all our good friends, Kinsei went on to live a long, peaceful life, and passed away quietly a month before her 15th birthday.  She must have had a guardian angel, because I’ve never known a dog to beat the odds like my Kinsei.

Dorie Sparkman 

From "Akita Adopters Group", October, 2001  Written by Lori Lorber  This was Lori's first post to the group and story of how her Greta changed her life.


Last October while driving in the early evening (at low light) we saw a frightened dog
-no collar- crossing a perilously busy stretch of the 710 freeway in front of our car. I'll try to keep the story short (but it's a good

We pulled over into the fast lane (what were we thinking!!), along with a couple of other cars. When the driver of the car ahead of us volunteered to take the dog "into a neighborhood to release it", my friends and I agreed to try to do something to get it to real safety

My very brave friend lifted this large dog into the back seat and just kept saying "keep her face away from my face" because the dog was so menacing looking.

The poor thing threw up a couple of times when we got to a safe spot to pull over off the freeway, and I told myself that I would definitely get her good veterinary care before taking her to a shelter for adoption. She spent the night in my backyard on a tether (no      dogs in my life ever, just two house cats, so my yard wasn't fenced!); she slept like a baby. The next morning the vet saw her and told us she was a very underweight PREGNANT girl, probably no more than a year old, likely her first heat...five little skeletons revealed in the
xray...due to have her babies in "10 days to 2 weeks". The vet also told me that it was highly unlikely that this pregnant FULL AKITA would survive the L.A. County shelter system without being put down. That was all I needed to hear. And the vet counseled me not to even
bother looking for an old owner whose neglect left her starving and pregnant on the freeway.

You don't know me, but I'm the kind of woman my friends always thought would have a "purse dog" and here I found myself committing to care for a menacing looking 80 pound pregnant dog, having never lived with a dog before IN MY LIFE. AND she terrified me with those loud
"woo-woos" when she came near me. I just didn't know what they meant at the time!

I reorganized my entire life for this dear girl we named "Greta" in preparation for her motherhood. I read EVERYTHING I could get my hands on about Akitas, hired a trainer (then educated the trainer!) and set about to prepare for whelping. My husband and friends built a
whelping box in the garage, we bought supplies like you can't imagine and even installed a "puppy cam" in the large garage where Greta's puppies would be born. Fenced the yard, traded the car for an SUV. I interrogated the vet about what to look for and what to expect, lined up a mobile vet in the event things went south and we got to know Greta and tried to give her the TLC she so desperately needed. I read The Monks of New Skete's book about whelping and hoped I'd be ready. I even found someone to sit with her during the day just to ease her anxiety - she was so underweight and still pregnant that it was heartbreaking.

In the middle of a warm beautiful Southern California night, just 13 days after we met Greta, she let me help her bring eight wiggly puppies into the world. (Yes, only five were expected and I cleaned up the gooey whelping box after what I thought was the "bonus" sixth
puppy!). I went from no dogs to eight dogs in under two weeks! We raised them in our backyard with tons of love and care by the book...handling, socialization, puppy parties, etc. One of them even had an intestinal abnormality and had major surgery at 4 weeks of
age...ALL the puppies are thriving and we adopted seven of them out to GREAT homes (mostly good friends of ours) at between 7 and 10 weeks...and we've kept in touch with every single new family!!! We kept the second born, a BIG boy named "Hoss". He was my sentimental
choice because Greta was having trouble breaking the placenta when he was born and he was a goner until I got the courage up to come close enough to help her with him. I broke the sac and rubbed his little body until he responded and aspirated his little mouth and nose and
then helped with the rest of the litter, so I always felt a special connection to him. Greta was a great Mom and the litter was unbelievably cute and cuddly and playful and happy. Raising that litter was one of the most joyous (and difficult) experiences I've
ever had.

Seven months later, we are the happiest Akita adopters on the planet. Greta is challenging to be sure - aloof at times and very independent, but she's a beautiful, dear, dignified companion and she has changed my life in ways that just sound corny. Giving her leadership and structure and love has given us a new reason to enjoy every day. She's gorgeous and healthy. Her puppy Hoss is 85 pounds and counting...we don't know who Greta's date was that fateful
night...half the litter looks Akita, the other half just look GIANT and lovable. Because we've loved him since Day One, he's a giant charmer.

Thanks for listening to our story. I hope I'm appropriate for your
list. I've found that breeders don't really want to answer any
questions about rescues and BOY do I have questions (like HOW LONG
DOES THIS COAT BLOWING GO ON FOR!!!!). I wonder about how to control
dog aggression (only an issue for Greta alone and when my dogs are
walked together - the puppy is Mr. Congeniality when his Mom's not
around). Lots of other questions. I'm captivated by the breed and
also just want to share my love of this experience with like minds.

Tiko, the Akita                     


Our story is just a normal every day story, nothing exceptional, just a story about a dog who was given a chance.

Three years ago we were mourning the loss of our lab-husky, and started a search on the Internet for local shelters and societies.  That is how I found Akita Rescue Society of Florida.  I had never heard of an Akita before, but saw some gorgeous dogs needing homes on that page.  I inquired about one who reminded me so much of our Kody, same coloring, same curled tail.  I found that he really wasn’t good with children, and I needed a dog that would be.

I forgot all about it, and we went on a short vacation.  When we returned there was a message saying that there was an Akita available if we were still interested, that liked children and was used to seniors.  Tiko was in the pound, and was due to be euthanized, so sight unseen, we drove to a rest stop along the Florida Turnpike to arrange transfer. 

I will never forget our first meeting!  I spied a woman across the parking lot with a large black and white dog that was practically dragging her over to us.  Tiko was the handsomest dog I’d ever seen, and so friendly!  It was as though he just KNEW that we were going to take him to his forever home.  In a sense he picked us, though I know differently, I let him think that!

He has been the joy in a very quiet life of two seniors.  He has given us love and loyalty and I have no doubt he’d lay down his life for us. He is the most intelligent, and also the most stubborn dog we’ve ever had, and we’ve had dogs for 40 years.   I have learned so much about Akitas, and learned so much from Tiko,  I don’t think I would ever have anything but an Akita

Bobbi, Brendan and Tiko in Miami, Florida

October, 2006

Akita Tails Page Two