Wednesday, June 17, 2009

And the rains came

So we've officially entered 'Tsuyu', the rainy season. Of course it's been raining more often than not for a while now. Thank you captain-obvious-weatherman for pointing it out.

Yesterday we visited my wife's (I need to come up with a nickname for her as I'm getting bored of always typing 'my wife') grandparents. As usual her grandmother noted that I look skinnier than ever and proceeded to break out all the stops to try and fatten me up.

Benny (my bro-in-law) drove up with us and stayed for lunch as well. We had loads of 'yakiniku' (literally 'fried meat'), shiitake mushrooms, homegrown cabbage/onions/carrots, seafood, sushi, and so forth. The onions were particularly amazing, big sweet buggers grown by grandmother's brother. Organic food at its best. Even managed to sneak in a little Kirin beer.

While TW (the wife) fought to stop herself from falling asleep on the living room tatami, I tried to get us moving out. There was still Inoue-san to visit, and his house is a good hour away from the G-pad. By the time we successfully departed, we were nearly an hour late. A storm looked to be coming in as we putted northward (my jeep redlines at 80kph).

We'd been wondering aloud the whole trip up how Haru would react to the return home. When we pulled in we were greeted by the Kai barking chorus, and Haru did her usual return bark. Pretty much the only time I've ever heard her bark is when other dogs bark at her.

Well Inoue-san came out to greet us, and as soon as Haru got out of the car and took a sniff, she was all over him. It was a very happy reunion, with Haru running up to the kennels and licking all the other dogs through the bars. She obviously remembered them all, and they her.

We all went inside and had tea while we talked Kai, and watched a recording of a TV show from last year starring an Inoue-so Kai. Her name is 'Salada' (salad) and she's a certified SAR dog. The TV show was a canine obstacle course competition, and Salada was one of 2 dogs to complete it. She made it look effortless. I'm going to try and borrow the VHS and capture it to com for uploading.

We talked about the Kai in all the pictures covering the wall of the room we were in. Two of Haru's siblings were taken to Hokkaido for a test program run by Hokkaido University to control the ballooning raccoon population. Another pup 'Momo' is in a program in Gunma as a 'monkey-dog' protecting orchards from raiding macaques. Salada's son is also a certified SAR dog as well.

As we got ready to head home we were loaded with presents as usual. Inoue-san works in the fish market, so every time I visit he loads me down with fish. We got a nice block of delicious salmon sashimi, a couple squid, some still very alive shrimp, homegrown cucumbers and 'daikon' (a type of radish). It all made for a great dinner when we got back.

Home made Japanese food = GOOD TIMES.

I figured I'd add that we had a thunderstorm hit while at Inoue-so yesterday, and another tonight as well. Nutty weather with direct lightning strikes in the neighborhood.


  1. Ah, my mouth is watering looking at the pictures! Are those some sort of conch or snail in the last picture? I hope you find a way to post a clip of Salada. I enjoy watching a well-trained dog in action. I live in western Washington, and our rainy season usually begins from the end of October until the 4th of July. There are different degrees of rain over here so that's not as bad as it sounds. And, we have lucked out this year with an early summer: since mid-May, 28 consecutive days of no measurable rain. Glad that you had a wonderful trip and shared it with us. Thank you.

  2. Oh man that food looks delicious!

    Inoue-san sounds fantastic, I'm glad Haru enjoyed her trip back. Was he happy with her developments?
    Do try to get that video of Salada! How interesting!

  3. Didn't take pictures of the sushi cause by the time it was served I was starving and jumped the tray.

    Tiger: I forget what that type of 'kai' (clam/shell/mussel thingy) that was, I'll ask the wife. I'm not a big fan of mussels and all, so I let her down those.

    Jen: When we arrived Inoue-san said he had been excited all day just waiting to seeing how Haru is developing. He was very happy with her, but shared my amusement at the fact that most Kai get more red as they get older, but Haru seems to be doing the opposite. He said she has great build, a good 'stance', and excellent temperament for the ring. We'll just have to see what condition her coat is in for the exhibition this fall.

    I will try and get that footage of Salada, and I'm also arranging a meet with her and her trainer. Will try and get some SAR training footage as well. That's 4 Kai now that I know of that are SAR certified.