So, let’s talk Aki, my hero in so many ways. He saved my life in so many ways I thought it was time to share my love and appreciation for this incredible soul that I am blessed to share every aspect of my life with.
About 5 years ago, I was in a dark place. I was bullied by classmates, best friends and people who I was supposed to be able to depend on. I’m not a person that is affected by name calling or physical bullying and abuse but I am a very social person, and I thrive on sociality. Bullies figure out where they can hit you the hardest pretty quickly, so when the name calling and physical bullying was not getting the expected results, they decided to just ignore me. They made most of my time in high school a living nightmare. It was like I was contagious. People only spoke to me out of obligation. I didn’t have any friends or anyone that enjoyed my company. I felt the loneliest I have ever felt in my life. So you can probably understand I was so happy when I graduated high school and could finally leave that place behind me, or at least that’s what I thought. Unfortunately, it was not that easy. Spending a few years in so much mental and emotional pain had taken its toll. Life was a little better, I had some social contacts studying law, but I still felt super lonely and never felt like I belonged. To be brutally honest, I was so depressed I couldn’t see a way out anymore.
Little did I know that seeing a movie would change all of that. I saw the movie Hachiko on tv with my parents, and I was hooked. That dog would’ve gone through fire for his owner, he loved him no matter what. The moment I saw that movie, I knew exactly what I needed; I needed an Akita, to train, to cherish, to spend my life with! However, my parents weren’t the type of people to just by a dog. They didn’t want a pet in the house, not a dog anyway. They perceived dogs as being annoying and badly-behaved, so I did all the research I could possibly find on training, the breed, and bonding. With all that information I went to my parents to make my case, they said no at first, but after lots of discussions, they agreed to buy me an Akita after all. While looking for breeders, I found one not so far from our family home and went for a visit. It seemed like a good fit from my perspective even though they were slightly hesitant because of me being in a wheelchair. But in the end, it didn’t matter.
I got to choose from 5 puppies, which was so hard, I went to visit them every week, held every single one of them. Because I knew I wanted male there were three left for me to chose from. One of them wasn’t for me at all, I knew that rather quickly, but the choice between the last two was a little hard. In the end, I have to say Aki chose me, and I couldn’t have made a better choice, he was so calm and content all the time, just what I needed.
The first few weeks were hard, he was happy spending his life with me, but physically he was not doing so well. He was sick all the time. I knew something was wrong and in the end that gut feeling I had turned out to be correct. After I got him treated and listened to my instincts more, he started thriving, pushing me and enjoying life to the fullest. He thought me what pure happiness looks like. To not worry about the past or the future but just living in the moment and enjoying that. His love for me despite my flaws and imperfections helped me to find the confidence that I lost. He showed me I didn’t need to change for people to like me if they didn’t that know was and is their issue.
He also paved the road to a vegan lifestyle for me. After getting to know him better than I knew myself, I understood that he had such an amazing personality and wasn’t and still isn’t any less worthy then we humans are. So then the question arose: If he is my equal, why aren’t all those other animals that are being slaughtered for my food? After that, I couldn’t come up with a justifiable answer to continue consuming animal products. Human, animal, tree we are not the same, but we are equal.
Aki thaught me that and I am forever grateful that he made me let go of my ego, my shallowness, my prejudice and taught me compassion and empathy instead. It has made me a better person, he has made me a better person. Now I am proud of who I have become and am excited to see what the future holds for the both of us…