A PUPPY IS
One of the most appealing creatures on earth. It is the essence of
exuberance, humor, and affection. But there are many things a puppy
is not, and these important aspects deserve some thought before you
bring a puppy home.
A PUPPY IS
NOT A TOY to be enjoyed while it's a novelty then set aside in favor
of a new diversion. It is a living thing whose physical demands must
be met constantly for as long as it lives. A young puppy needs more
sleep than a human infant--regardless if your child is in the mood
to play with it. It needs to be fed regularly and often even though
its meals may conflict with family plans. A YOUNG PUPPY IS
BREAKABLE. Very young children can inflict unintended tortures on a
puppy, and his broken leg is much harder to fix than the broken
wheel of a toy truck.
NOT A TEACHING AID guaranteed to instill a sense of
children. A child that loves his dog may enjoy brushing him, filling
his water dish, or other tasks depending on the age of the child. A
sense of responsibility may develop from the relationship, but it's
wrong to put the well being of an Akita into the hands of a child.
Even the most dog-loving youngsters tire of daily chores.
Unfortunately, the puppy becomes a chore instead of a companion.
Responsibility lessons are better left to household tasks not
involving a pet.
NOT CHEAP. Whether you pay a nominal fee to a public
shelter, an adoption fee to a rescue, or a king's ransom for a
really special pup, you have only just begun to pay! In addition to
an ultra premium dog food and the paraphernalia involved with dog
ownership, there will be veterinary bills for routine vaccinations,
checkups and emergency care. Add on the annual cost of a municipal
license, and don t forget obedience classes for a well-behaved pet.
NOT A SPUR Of THE MOMENT PURCHASE, or at least it should not
be. The wrong breed can be an unending problem to a family--it's
much easier to acquire the right dog to begin with. If your family
has decided to buy an Akita, take time to learn about the breed.
Every breed has characteristics of temperament, and behavioral
traits that may not fit in with your life style. Some breeds are
prone to physical problems such as hip dysplasia, ear problems and
eye anomalies. If you are aware of these problems, you can do a more
intelligent job of selecting your puppy. Do not pick a breed simply
because of appearance without knowing more about its temperament.
NOT A GIFT
Even when you're convinced the recipient wants a
puppy now, a year from now and even ten years from now, a puppy is a
bad choice as a gift. Its family should select the puppy. A pup that
appeals to one person may not appeal to another. It's a matter of
chemistry, like love at first sight.
NOT SELF-CLEANING. There will be puddles on rugs, occasional
vomiting, dog hair on clothing and furniture. Water bowls must be
changed daily and food bowls need scouring. Did you know rawhide
sticks to carpets and dog cookies leave crumbs for someone to
clean? Longhaired Akitas need more grooming and all dogs need
toenails and ears tended to regularly.
NOT AN ADULT DOG. He has neither the physical capacity nor
the mental ability to perform as an adult dog. He cannot go for long
periods of time without relieving himself. He cannot tolerate harsh
training methods nor can he differentiate between what is chewable
and what is not. He needs you to protect him from food and objects
that should not be swallowed. At times, he will try the patience of
the most devout dog lover in the household. He will require patience
and understanding from everyone in the family.
NOT FOREVER. Before you succumb to the charms of a big,
clumsy Akita puppy, be sure you want not only the puppy he is but
also the adolescent he will become, and the adult dog that may fall
short of what you hoped he would be. If you have thought seriously
about the different stages of dog ownership and still want that
puppy, your new Akita will be one of the lucky ones to find a
permanent happy home. You will enjoy the rewards of
planned-parenthood dog ownership, rewards that shall far overshadow