Kayden, 7mos

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Here are some new pictures of Kayden, our akita puppy. He is almost as big as Luna now, he weighs 82 lbs, and he is really turning into a beautiful dog. He is also one of the friendliest, most tolerant akitas I have ever met, liking people and dogs of all shapes and sizes. He could become more aloof as he grows, and there is no guarantee with akitas that they wont eventually decide he doesn't like other dogs, especially other males...but for now we are really enjoying his happy-go-lucky attitude at the dog park and everywhere else. Sometimes he will even take on the role of "protector" to a smaller dog at the park.

We also just got him microchipped, as a precaution since we will be boarding him and Luna with a friend of ours when we head to LA for Thanksgiving with my parents. For those who are unfamiliar with it, pet microchipping is very important for dogs and cats because it gives them some way of being identified if they are lost, besides their collar and tags (which can come off or be removed by a determined pet). Basically, a teeny tiny microchip is implanted, using a needle, below the skin between the animals' shoulder blades. When the lost animal is picked up by animal control, local shelters, or vets, they pass a reader over the animal and if the chip is inside, a number will come up on the reader. This number can then be looked up via a database, and the pet owners name, address, and contact info will show up, so the pet can be reunited with the owner.

Not too long ago there were serious issues in the microchip industry, with different companies making different chips that were only readable using their own readers. If the local vets or AC had a reader from a different company, your pets number just would not show up--it would appear like the animal was not chipped at all. There were more than one instance of lost, microchipped pets, whose owners were actively looking for them, being adopted out to new owners or even euthanized because their microchip was not readable by the scanner that the shelter had. In one tragic case a man was able to track his dog down to a specific shelter, only to learn that the dog had been euthanized not 30 mins beforehand, because his chip information did not show up on their incompatible reader.

Thankfully, in 2005 a bill was signed into law ordering the companies to standardize their technology. Now chip manufacturers like ResQ, the company that we used for Kayden's chip, are making universal chips (that can be read by any reader) and universal readers, that can read any chip.

Having up to date tags on your animals, especially dogs, is extremely important too. I put the words "Large Reward" on the top of my pets' tags, with my phone number--to me I feel that is a better use of the space then the dog's name, which will not help him be found anyway. Earlier this year, we were out at the dog park with Kayden while Luna was at home. Somehow she managed to break down part of the wooden gate leading out of our yard, and was found running up and down the side streets near our house by a neighbor out walking her dog. The neighbor captured Luna (it wasn't hard, she's not at all skittish and will do anything for food) and put her in her garage, then immediately called the number on the tag...which was my cel number. Luna was back home in less than 30 mins, and the neighbor got a nice bottle of wine from us for her trouble. When she was younger Luna had this annoying habit of bolting out open front doors, but this was the first time she (or any dog of mine) had escaped without us knowing about it and running right after her...so I'm really glad we were prepared.

Anyway, enjoy the new pics of Kayden. What a cutie huh?

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