My first encounter with an Akita was in New York city when I was about 11 years old, it was truly love at first sight, I was utterly stunned and couldn’t get this magnificent bear-faced animal out of my mind.
I tried getting more information and started to collect every photo and article about this breed.
I never saw any in Europe until I met one of Meg Purnell Carpenters dogs (Overhill) on her trade stand at CRUFTS, at that time CRUFTS Dog Show was held in Earls Court London and I used to spend most of my time on Meg’s Stand, admiring her Akitas, asking silly questions …
I realize now how much of a nuisance I must have been… But year after year Meg and I got to be friends. In 1988 Soon, after I bought my house in the country, I went to choose my puppy there, , I went wanting a red pinto bitch and fell in love with a dark chocolate girl that we very appropriately named “Kita” (how unusual).
Kita will always be the love of my life; she was the “Boss” here and taught my son how to walk. She was his “Nanny” and she will never be forgotten.
She is lying in our garden in her favorite spot where we planted a lovely Japanese apple tree, with leaves of the same color as Kita’s coat was…
Every spring it surprises us with generous blossom as generous as Kita was… Kita stole everyone’s heart, we will never ever forget her.
Overhill French Connection de Champernoune (Kita).
I went to choose her when she was 6 weeks old and fell for this chocolate color Roly Poly puppy, I knew both her parents had great temperaments. Meg sent her by plane a few weeks later and I remember getting her out of her crate at the Paris airport where as soon as she had her 4 feet out of the crate, she just had to relieve herself and looked at me with her ears flat on the side as though she knew it wasn’t the best behavior but just couldn’t hold it any longer…!! Poor baby, what a big wet puddle for such a young girl … she then wiggled her butt and sat on my lap in the car as we went to discover Paris.
She was such an easy girl to train, well in fact I never trained her she just knew it all.
The only thing she had to learn was that small dogs were not “dinner” and big dogs were not “public enemies” but by the age of 2, she knew it all and was really great with all the dogs she met, and felt totally in charge of everybody here, dogs, puppies, people and above all of my son Robin.
Kita arrived on the show scene at a complicated time in France as the “American type” was getting frowned on and at that time, she could be winning BOB at one show and not even judged at another!!!Kita had four litters; she was the greatest of mom’s and loved every minute of motherhood.
In 1990 we were still hoping to get the American Akita recognized in FCI countries and we wanted a top show bitch to be a great ambassador for the breed, we turned to one of the top breeders in the States and imported AM CH O’BJ Canduit Tuya from BJ Andrews.
“Tuya” was big, powerful and unmistakably American in the type, her pedigree speaks for itself: she was daughter of the great CH O’BJ The Widow Maker – out of the winning combination of CH O’BJ Widowmaker Ch O’BJ the Mad Hatter.
She produced beautifully and is behind many of the top winning dogs of today, Raja is one of her G.G.son…
Again Tuya was shown here at a time when the breed was in a mess so of course never made the cut as things were definitely getting very Japanese oriented.
At the same time we imported a “Widow Maker” son, again his pedigree speaks itself, his mother was the well know CH Ko Dee Ak Kitty Hawk.
Ted was only shown once at the Amsterdam all winner Show in 1992, he was 13 months when he won BOB over all the champions and went on to win Best in Group… what a great memory…especially on the same day I won BIS with my Westie.
Sadly, it was his last show in FCI countries as the standard changed and American Akitas were banned from showing and breeding.
1993: Well I guess that’s the end of the first era…
We continued to write articles in all the magazines and kept hearing about rumors that the breed would be split in a few years. We didn’t dare believe this but we did keep our fingers crossed and continued fighting for the recognition of our beloved Bear Headed dogs.
In 1999 the rumor was getting really so important it had to be true… and at the Annual meeting of FCI in Mexico, June 99, they signed to agree to split the breed and published the new standard for the new old breed.
Great Japanese Dog
We, at Champernoune think the name is stupid and ridiculous so we usually refer to them as American Akitas but the bottom line was that we could start showing and breeding again, the sad part is that we had lost all the initial lines we had imported and had to start from scratch again as the breed as been forgotten by most people here in Europe and had totally disappeared from the dog shows. We wanted to help start them back on the right path and I was totally thrilled when Katie and Malcolm ASLING from Hoka-Hey Akitas in Oregon accepted to lend me their fabulous champion male “TAMA” for 2 years.
knew then that American Akitas would need a great ambassador in France
to help the breed get started, October 99 we had already managed to acquire a fabulous
bitch from our friend BJ Andrews and the aptly named O’BJ Miss America
arrived here and helped us fill in the gap left by our “Kita”.