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.

11 replies

    • She’s a cutie but I cannot imagine having a 4 pound dog. I’d be afraid I’d sit on her by accident. At 16 pounds Max is still pretty small and seems delicate to me. Given my general distraction and inattention, I’d probably close the refrigerator door on poor Kiku and would be scouting for a new champion pup.


  1. Is Kiko aware that Max is not a show dog? Perhaps she thinks he runs on other circuits. Or maybe she’s just glad to have a buddy who’s not in “the business” and just lets her be Kiko. In any event, I never knew a chrysanthemum was such a big deal. My only association with it is an absence: not having one to wear at Homecoming, like all of the cheerleaders, who wore several at one time, streaming ribbons and little footballs, declaring them worthy. I wonder if they were ever crowned Winners Bit…oh, nevermind.


      • I wasn’t a cheerleader; the cheerleaders had the mums. I actually have three pink carnations in vases right now, so I do appreciate them! And I just ate kung pao shrimp, so there’s the crustacean. What a disturbing version of this song, like a poor man’s heehaw.


        • Your assessment of the Threetles version of the song is too generous. Most nations and The Hague would declare that ditty an affront to humanity and possibly a war crime. As a die hard Parrothead I always think of Jimmy Buffet when pink crustaceans come up in conversation as they rarely if ever do. But that would have been too easy and I needed a truly offensive version which I found with The Threetles.


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