Kiku Update

Good news! Max’s favorite little Yorkie companion enjoyed great success at her first dog show.

This ;little weiner is a big winner! Congratulations to Kiku-chan.

Congratulations to Kiku-chan!

Here are the results in Kiku’s Mom’s own words:

On August 16 and 17, she won Winners Bitch (bitch is a good word in dog-ese) over her older “sister” and another girl, for 2 points each day, resulting in 4 points toward her goal of winning 15 points to become an AKC champion.

I’m glad she included that part about “bitch” being a good word among the dog set as my experience with that noun (and verb for that matter) has been less than stellar.

Apparently to many, I am the son of one.  On the admittedly rare occasion that the word has slipped twixt my lips it has inevitably resulted in my being judged a contumely oaf. Oh well, I’ll stop bitching about it.

Congratulations to Kiku-chan and good luck in her future competitions!

Posted in Max's Stories | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Doggie Photo App

Have you seen the new app called “BarkCam?”

Now here is an example of technology at its finest. BarkCam is an iPhone app that, according to a story in the LA Times, “helps people take pictures of mischievous dogs who’d rather frolic around than pose for a picture.”

The Times story goes on to say, “Before the photo is snapped, the app emits one of several sounds that should get a dog’s ears to perk up and pay attention in the right direction. Meows and squeaky toy sounds are other options.”

This sounds great! Max is a master at turning his head just as a photo is snapped. He delights in being photogenic until the moment of truth when he suddenly has to look away, lick his butt or start scratching his ear.

Perhaps they have a sound of a can of dog food being opened, a cookie treat being snapped into pieces or a burger sizzling on the grill, all of which are sounds that would attract the Malt’s attention.

Their website is funny. It has testimonials like the ones shown below:

With product endorsements like these, how can you resist buying this app?

With product endorsements like these, how can you resist buying this app?

There are also dog photos to which you can attach mustaches, glasses, a pipe and other accessories. Who says we waste time on the internet? It’s not all cat pictures and porn, dontcha know?

You know you want to play with this. Admit it.

You know you want to play with this. Admit it.

The website admits a fondness for “self-defecating humor” that you do not need to take on walkies. For example, they have a blog section with stories like: “Everything You Need To Know About the Beyonce & Jay-Z Rumors as Told By Puppies” accompanied with completely unrelated videos that ask questions like “Should Shar-Peis Consider Botox?”

Dog literally ROTFLMAO.

Full disclosure: I don’t get squat from these guys but if their business zooms because of this post I’m willing to negotiate. I can make up some ads for the condo elevators.

 

Posted in Max's Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Kiku

This is Kiku.

She loves to perch on the lower ledge of the refrigerator.

She loves to perch on the lower ledge of the refrigerator.

Ever since she was small – well, smaller since she is only 4 pounds now – she has loved to jump into the refrigerator if the door is left open for more than a few seconds.

Maybe she likes the cool air. Maybe she’s scoping out the salami.

Kiku’s a refrigerator girl but certainly not a chilly dog.

In fact, Kiku is a very high class canine, the debutante of our dog friendly residence.

She’s about 9 months old.

Her sire is an AKC Grand Champion; her dam is an AKC Champion. She’s pure pedigree puppy and a very pretty Pupperoni.

Alliteration is the blogger’s friend.

Kiku means “chrysanthemum” in Japanese. It’s one of those hard to spell words that wins big in Scrabble and produces a high mortality rate in Hangman and otherwise overworks your spell checker. Large numbers of otherwise brilliant kids from India lost their first spelling bee because of that word.

Note the stylized chrysanthemum on the Japanese passport.

Note the stylized chrysanthemum on the Japanese passport.

In Japan, the chrysanthemum is a symbol that represents longevity and rejuvenation.

For Japanese the chrysanthemum is to Autumn what the cherry blossom is to Spring.

When first introduced to Japan during the Nara period (710 – 793 AC), the Japanese Royal Family was fascinated with the Chrysanthemum.

Over time the Chrysanthemum became the Imperial Family’s emblem and the Chrysanthemum Throne is still the name given to the position of the Japanese Emperor.

In 1946, American anthropologist Ruth Benedict wrote a controversial book called “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese Culture” which was influential in shaping American ideas about Japanese culture and the behavior of Japanese in World War II.

The book focused on perceived contradictions in the Japanese culture which most Americans at the time considered incomprehensible. The author described the Japanese as…

“both aggressive and unaggressive, both militaristic and aesthetic, both insolent and polite, rigid and adaptable, submissive and resentful of being pushed around, loyal and treacherous, brave and timid, conservative and hospitable to new ways…”

After so many years as the AJF’s spouse-in-training I can confirm the accuracy of the above description, but I digress. This is a dog blog not Anthropology 202.

Tiny with a big personality and an impeccable pedigree.

Tiny, with a big personality and an impeccable pedigree.

Kiku is not Japanese. She is, of course, a Yorkshire Terrier, a breed developed in the 19th century in the county of Yorkshire, England.

But wait! Both of Kiku’s parents came from Italy.

In other words, Kiku is a purebred English Yorkie, born of Italian parents with a Japanese name. She is, therefore, a perfect fit for Hawaii where we dearly love a taste of chop suey.

Kiku loves to jump on boxes and snuggle into tight spots like under her owner’s desk.

She shares her happy home with two other Yorkies, both of whom are already accomplished stars in the world of dog shows.

This weekend Kiku will be entered into her first formal show.

It’s quite the production involving a top professional handler and we all have high hopes for Kiku’s career as a show dog. Max doesn’t care about her career, he just thinks Kiku scores high on the cute meter.

A favorite hiding spot - under her owner's desk.

A favorite hiding spot – under her owner’s desk.

Of course, Max is a show dog too. If you want him to obey, you have to show him some food. Snorf, snorf.

Posted in Max's Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Insensitive Lout

Sometimes I’m just an insensitive lout. Other times I’m worse.

The Puna District took a hard hit from the hurricane.

The Puna District took a hard hit from the hurricane.

Recently I was crowing about how Honolulu lucked out on Hurricane Iselle and declared the storm as little more than an inconvenience.

I completely failed to note that some of my fellow Hawaii residents took a real beat down and are still suffering mightily from the effects of last week. Shame on me.

On the southeast coast of the Big Island is the Puna district, one of nine such districts on the Big Island, an area of some 320,000 acres which makes it just a tad smaller than the island of Kauai.

In Hawaiian, “puna” refers to bubbling fresh water and in the Puna district there are several tide pools where cold or hot spring water percolates from the ground.

The Ahalanui Hot Pond at Pu'ala'a County Park in Puna, Hawaii: Photo by Donald B. MacGowan

The Ahalanui Hot Pond at Pu’ala’a County Park in Puna, Hawaii: Photo by Donald B. MacGowan

It’s an extraordinary area with the highest volcanic risk on the island, with Hawaii Volcanoes National Park as a main draw, and extensive networks of subterranean lava caves.

Puna is not a wealthy area. In fact, approximately 85 percent of Hawaii Island’s Section 8 low-income rental housing certificate holders are Puna residents.

Puna is a unique ecological and geological environment with profound cultural traditions. It is the home of of the goddess Pele, giving the nearby volcano Kilauea and its surroundings a sacred status. Ancient Hawaiians recognized that human habitation here was subject to Pele’s will.

Pahoa town in the Puna District. A strange mix of old west and old Hawaii with a touch of Forever 1960 thrown in.

Pahoa town in the Puna District. A strange mix of old west and old Hawaii with a touch of Forever 1960 thrown in. Photo by Donald B MacGowan

Close to 50,000 folks live in the district. Due to Hurricane Iselle about 8,000 have been without water, power, ice or ready access to food supplies for almost a week and the prognosis is for a slow recovery because of extensive downed trees and limited resources for infrastructure repair.

So while I was happily crowing about dodged bullets, a lot of folks are toughing out a difficult period.

For that I feel badly – pedio-oral inversion on my part – foot in mouth.

E kala mai…I apologize.

At our condo association meeting last night we agreed to conduct a food and bottled water drive for the folks on the Big Island in connection with the Hawaii Foodbank.

Our “Aid for Puna” drive kicked off this morning and I was drafted to market the program so, of course, I will inflict a sampling of my efforts on you kind readers.

Here are a couple of our posters.

The dog looks familiar.

The dog looks familiar.

The first one features none other than the Malt who beseeches us to give so that he doesn’t have to beg. 

This is proof that there is little truth in advertising.

The FuzzButt doesn’t beg; he demands and, as a money player, will not sit and stay unless bribed with food treats.

We expect a good response to our food drive. Not only because our residents are amazingly generous – and they really are! – but also because we all stock piled supplies in anticipation of a strong storm and now need to clear out some space in our tiny domiciles.

I have a couple of cases of bottled water in the trunk of my car and hot sun plus an enclosed trunk does not improve the flavor of the water over time so I’ll donate that as a starter.

Puna Cat

Back to the ads. We tossed in a few Pity Cats to tug at the heart strings. Kittens are always good for food drives.

No, not as food, I meant as symbols of need to get folks to move from “Awww” to “Give”.

As a dog guy I am immune to Pity Cat marketing but, hey, whatever works.

Finally we used our best shot, an ad that was voted best in show at our previous Food Drive. The thing is, this one will be largely incomprehensible to folks not very familiar with Hawaii because it draws on a famous saying that embodies the Tao of Pidgin English.

“If can, can, If no can, no can.”

If can, can. If no can, no can. Kinda, sorta but not really exactly if you know what I mean.

If can, can. If no can, no can. Kinda, sorta but not really exactly if you know what I mean.

To us in Hawaii that pretty well says it all. Faced with a seemingly insurmountable challenge? Invoke the Tao of Pidgin. Reluctant to dive in but don’t want to refuse a request? Yep, works there, too. The closest comparable expression may be the Arabic “Inshallah” but our version lacks any religious connotations.

Aid for Puna

Again, e kala mai, my humble apologies, to my fellow residents in Puna and anywhere else who have have faced adversity from the hurricane.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Dog Day Afternoon

The Malt was itching for an excursion. He was tired of being cooped up because of hurricane and tropical storm warnings.

Run, Maxie! Run like the wind.

Run, Maxie! Run like the wind.

The Alpha Japanese Female (AJF) and I decided to indulge the whims of the small white dog and take him on an excursion to his favorite places.

We started with a trip to Maxie’s Park where the Furball got a chance to stretch his legs and run over the broad lawn areas.

Max spots the AJF in the distance. He knows that treats are available.

Max spots the AJF in the distance. He knows that treats are available.

Maltese have a funny “skipping” style when they run as if they are unsure whether to walk, trot or charge ahead full speed.

A brief pause on a park bench gave him the opportunity to catch his breath.

I made the sign of the horns above his head. He didn't seem to care.

I made the sign of the horns above his head. He didn’t seem to care.

Then, it was back to streaking around the park, a high speed Maltese Fuzzbutt all the way!

Our next stop was Puowaina, (“Hill of Sacrifice”) more commonly known as “Punchbowl Crater,” the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, a very solemn place, beautiful, silent, heavy on the mind.

This is a solemn place, a place of heroes.

This is a solemn place, a place of heroes.

Puowaina’s first known use was as an altar where Hawaiians offered human sacrifices to pagan gods and killed violators of the many taboos.

Later, during the reign of Kamehameha the Great, a battery of two cannons was mounted at the rim of the crater to salute distinguished arrivals and signify important occasions.

On the fringes of Puowaina we stopped to gaze at the skyline of urban Honolulu. Such a gorgeous day!

Max and the AJF overlooking our urban Honolulu home.

Max and the AJF overlooking our urban Honolulu home.

All that activity worked up an appetite so we headed to the harbor and Gordon Biersch.

The beer special was a Heller Bock, a very well balanced and tasty brew in the style first brewed in the 14th century by German brewers in the Hanseatic town of Einbeck. But I digress.

Max lounged on his chair and accepted the fawning of nearby diners and drinkers. We slipped him morsels of the filet mignon sliders.

Lunch! Max got some of the filet mignon sliders.

Lunch! Max got some of the filet mignon sliders.

We munched and chatted. The afternoon cruises returned to port. We ordered another brew and some fries to be eaten with ketchup and loads of Tabasco, of course.

The mood was laid back, relaxed and friendly. It was an excellent spot to while away some time.

So well behaved! He perches on the chair very quietly.

So well behaved! He perches on the chair very quietly.

Finally, we left the port and headed home. A quick stop for the Malt to relieve himself and it’s back at the condo.

Well fed, lots of grins from jokes, good conversation, french fry theft strategies and dog scratches.

A very happy little Pupsicle.

Posted in Max's Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Dodged the Bullet

Update August 8, morning: Well, nothing happened.

Hurricane Iselle weakened to a tropical storm and hit the Big Island a bit south of the expected land fall with a lot of rain and moderately strong winds but all in all we dodged the bullet and the first of the two storms created a lot of inconvenience but little real damage.

Iselle sort of stalled over the Eastern point of Hawaii Island and is now slowly moving up the island chain but it’s track will be south of Maui, Molokai, Oahu and Kauai.

Here’s the satellite map:

As of 8:30 a.m. there is a lot of rain over most of the State.

As of 8:30 a.m. there is a lot of rain over most of the State.

On Oahu it’s a rainy and windy day which irritated a certain Maltese on his early morning walk. We didn’t even carry an umbrella because the rains are spotty and move past quickly.

As for Hurricane Julio, it it is too soon to predict the storm’s course as it nears the State. It looks like it may veer north of the islands. Should it take a more southerly track it could become a problem.

We’ll keep a weather eye peeled but for now things are looking good. Just about all the businesses in town are closed today, the government and the parks are shut down so we’ll just be lounging about and watching the passing showers.

Thanks for all the kind wishes and concern!

 

Posted in Max's Stories | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Prepared Pup

No, this is not a recipe for freshly prepared pup. This is Hurricane Preparedness Pup.

Hurricane Preparedness Pup is prepared.

Hurricane Preparedness Pup is prepared.

Update August 7 mid-afternoon: things are looking positive as Iselle diminishes to a tropical storm. Too soon to get cocky, though. The storm should reach the Big Island of Hawaii this evening and get to Oahu on Friday. This morning, just as an added insult, there was a 4.3 earthquake on the Big Island.

Iselle is almost tpo Hawaii; Julio is still on track to visit, too.

Iselle is almost to Hawaii; Julio is still on track to visit, too.

Posted in Max's Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments