Monday, December 14, 2009


Went to a 'Bo-nen-kai' which is basically a year end party to close out and 'forget' ('Bo'=forget,'Nen'=year) the past year. I was invited to this one by a Shikoku breeder, and thought it was supposed to be a small 5-6 person deal. Was roundly surprised when I arrived and there were over 30 guests. Apparently the party is held every year by this group of Nippo breeders, so they're all Nihonken people, a couple Nippo judges and board members. Also met an ex Akiho (Akita Hozonkai) judge there.

The food was great, company was too, and the alcohol was excellent. Recently I haven't been getting 'buzzed' off alcohol, it just seems to run through my system and not do much. It's not pleasant cause if I don't get anything out of it, why the hell am I drinking. Well, really went after the Nihon-shu, and finally got my kick. When everyone was heading to bed (we were staying over night at a 'Ryo-kan') I went out to walk the dogs. I brought them with me as I planned to hunt in the area the next day.

After walking them, getting back inside and crawling under the futons, I could hear the sounds of the waves crashing (we were on the beach), and the wind howling. Every now and again I could here what sounded like a dog howling too. The only thought on my mind was, 'Please don't let that be Baron.' I got dressed, headed out to the car, and sure enough Baron was wailing. I took the pups out of their crates (I've got the back of the jeep all set up for the dogs and hunting gear) walked them again, and got them back in the car. Nothing doing, Baron started wailing again. Funny, as usually he's fine being crated in the car as long as Haru is there too.

So, I ended up curling up in the front and spending the night there. Good thing I always have my sleeping bag packed in with the hunting gear. Come dawn, I got up and headed over to my hunting spot. After getting all my gear and Haru ready, I noticed I was still a bit buzzed. Figured I'd be okay after walking a bit, so I tried that and got around 15 minutes in before I gave up. Alcohol was definitely still there, and definitely not a good idea going traipsing through the mountains like that.

Had some breakfast, took a nap, and started heading home. Figured I'd stop by my usual hunting area on the way back and take a look. Even by Sunday standards, it was pretty nuts. There were 2 big hunting 'groups' out in the same area. One was just leaving though, and asked if I'd seen 2 of their dogs. I'd see a few earlier up the mountain, so told them where to look. They were hunting mixes, and these hunters don't use radio collars or gps. Kinda makes it hard to find all your dogs at the end of the day.

With that many people running around, I decided to stay out of it, and drop by my local hunter friend's house. He was out hunting, but his kids surrounded the car and wanted to play with Baron again. So we hung out playing with the kids till their dad got back. Baron did great, and the kids all took turns holding/running around with him. When their dad got back we talked for a while, and it turns out they had a small pig that had been trapped earlier in the day. It was already dead and bled, just waiting to be dressed and dropped into the freezer. I asked if it was okay to show Baron his first pig and see his reaction, and he agreed.

At first Baron took a few whiffs and wanted to get away from the pig, but I wasn't about to pass up the opportunity. I started grabbing at the pig, making growling sounds, barking, and shaking it much to the amusement of all the 5 or 6 hunters standing around watching. My friend used to hunt with Kai, but while they were good dogs and had a lot of drive, they didn't have the skill to actually stop the pigs long enough for him to get there. Apparently he hunted with them for 4 years before switching to the dogs he has now which are 'Ji-inu' (local hunting mixes). He really likes Kai, but naturally his experiences hunting with Nihonken leave him a little biased.

He's been trying to sell me on his dogs for a while (he doesn't want me to waste 4 years like he did with dogs that don't cut it), and he started talking about how the pups from this line of Ji-inu will latch on to pigs at 3 months. Just as he said that, and I was looking up at him, Baron attacked the pig, and started biting its rear legs, growling and barking. It was like a switch turned on somewhere, in a flash he was all over the pig, running around it barking, picking spots to bite and tug on. All the other hunters stopped laughing at me, and were very impressed with him. He's 2 months old and this was the first pig he's ever seen or smelled. Me, I was thrilled relieved and feeling very proud. Looks like Baron has the 'pig gene'.

So, Baron's started on the path to becoming a pig hunter. I would have filmed or taken shots of him, but it was already dark out and couldn't get it on cam this time.

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