Well Let's Catch Up Then

 So here we are, sitting a third of the way into 2022, another year in which I have left the blog sitting mostly quiet, un-inked. My posting has always been sporadic, linked to how much time and energy I have at any given point in my life. Since my blogging is a non-commercial venture, I have to feel a fair amount of 'need' in order to pick up the proverbial pen and start writing. It takes time away from doing normal things like paying the bills, spending time with my dogs, spending time in the mountains.

My blogs have been about the Japanese breeds: owning them, living with them, their history, their present. In 2020 I started to feel that there were deep questions about the Nihon Ken and their preservation that were scratching at the back of my brain, but I had to backburner these nagging thoughts in order to stay afloat through a global pandemic (I imagine just about everyone has had to fight some sort of personal battle to get through the past 2 years). These questions were core questions that shake the very ideas of preservation, purebred breeds, closed stud books, dog shows, and dog ownership. Without taking the time to address these questions, I was not in a place to keep writing.

A lot has happened for me and the dogs in these past few silent years. I still post visual snippets on my Instagram accounts, which tends to keep everyone somewhat in the loop I imagine, albeit with less commentary. The biggest two events of 2020/2021 would be the January 2020 purchase of my farmhouse, and the October 2021 passing of The Baron.

The first event was the culmination of over a decade of searching for the perfect property, the one that would tick all my boxes (and fit within my budget!). This property is not perfect, I remember telling my brother after our first visit, but I realized that I could keep searching for another decade for the perfect one, or I could get started with building a dream space for myself and the dogs now. We had waited long enough for more space! We've done a lot of work already, the house is almost completely renovated, kennel has been built, the orchard above the house fenced off for the dogs. As with everything in my life, dog needs take priority, and so everything having to do with them was done first. We're playing catch up on the personal bits of the property. Luckily I have taken a lot of pictures of all the different projects we have undertaken here, so I have plenty of house porn to feed the blog.

The second event was the passing of boar dog and friend extraordinaire, Baron, after a fast bout of acute kidney/liver failure. Cause of death was most likely Leptospirosis since there are outbreaks of it in this area on occasion. Unfortunately Baron nearly died as a puppy due to an allergic reaction to a Lepto vaccination, so he was not vaccinated against it since (and possibly had a predisposed sensitivity to it). We were unable to get a clear diagnosis due to the speed with which everything happened, and the need to start treatment, but it was either that or poisoning of some sort. Everyone who has ever visited with us remembers Baron, and that in itself was a very deep and touching realization I came to during his passing. To see how much he was remembered by friends and strangers all over the world (though to Baron there were no strangers). Everyone was his friend, and guard dog he was not. Baron will have his own post on the blog commemorating the life of a great boar dog. It's just taken almost 6 months to feel I can write about him without losing oxygen.

All things considered, we're doing well. Here we are at the end of March, and I've decided it's time to start writing again.



  1. Thank you for posting. I'm so sorry about Baron. He lives through Kenzo his son who is kind to all, just like his dad.

  2. I have been reading and enjoying your blog after I got my first Shiba nine years ago. So it's great that you will be writing again.
    My dog's kidneys are also damaged by lepto. The lepto vaccination would not have prevented the infection. The vet explained that the vaccine protects the dog from 3 of the 4 common strains and my dog was infected by a strain that is not one of the 3.

  3. Hi Kato ,

    I’m recently back from a trip to Japan where I became interested in the Kai Ken dog breed. I tried acquiring a puppy there but ultimately was unsuccessful.

    I saw your blog on Kai Ken, liked what you were doing with the breed, and thought I’d touch base to see if it was possible to buy a dog from you.

    I can be reached at 248-496-8267 or via email. I live in Michigan.

    Looking forward to hearing from you,


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