What does the Akita Breed and Helen Keller hav…

What does the Akita Breed and Helen Keller have in common?

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For those that don’t know who Helen Adams Keller was, she’s an American author, political activist, and lecturer who so happened to be blind and deaf due to an illness at a young age. She was also a huge dog lover!

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In 1937 Ms. Keller began an extended speaking tour which took her through much of Japan. The Japanese people were taken by her and her story of overcoming her personal handicaps. Having heard of the story of Hachikō – the Akita who mourned for his owner by visiting the train station everyday for 10 years after his death and her fondness of dogs, she decided to visit the Akita district.

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During her visit, she met several Akita dogs and was impressed by them and mentioned that she might like to have one of these “faithful dogs” for herself. The Japanese government took this request to heart and made sure she went back to the states with an Akita puppy for herself. The dog was named Kamikaze-Go.

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Keller bonded with “Kami” during the 16 day boat trip home as she felt connected with her and the dog. When they reached US shores, newspapers were proclaiming that Keller had introduced the breed to America. Kami’s life would be a short one, as he died of distemper before the age of eight months.

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Hearing of the dogs death, the Japanese government was saddened and wanted to make sure to fulfill her request to own an Akita dog as a companion. They sent her another dog several months later. A full brother (same Sire and Dam) named Kenzan-Go but issues and concerns about the dog actually making it to US soil began and held up the dog because of deteriorating relations between Japan and the US. However the dog finally did make it over and the picture above is of the dog and Ms. Keller herself.

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In part Ms Keller and her frequent positive mentions throughout her dogs life, this would contribute to the Akita becoming a popular dog in the states.

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(at Los Feliz)