ARK Reunion 2008

On Sunday November 8th, former ARK dogs had a reunion gathering at the future ARK Sanctuary in Shinoyama City, Hyogo. More than 50 families and 70 dogs joined the event, where the scenery was beautiful, complete with red autumn leaves. It was a really cold day though! Those who participated the event, I hope you didn’t catch a cold!

Of the many dogs seeking an adopter at ARK, Sakura (front) and Momo (back) joined the gathering (we were so hopeful that some families might want to have them as a second dog). Sakura and Momo were nervous about meeting so many people in a place they had never been to before, but were also excited to see so many dogs.

This is the reunion program.

The newly-published ARK photo collection books, autographed by Elizabeth Oliver, were sold as well.

Adopters, dogs, and all the staff members were excited to see each other again. The dogs who were adopted as puppies had grown surprisingly big!

There must have been a lot of adopters who were looking forward to seeing the brothers, sisters, and other families of the dogs they adopted. However, ARK dogs are adopted all over Japan—from Hokkaido to Kyushu—which make it impossible to see all of them.

There was also a “Doggie Consultation Room” held by Tsuda-sensei, who trains dogs at ARK, and a lot of adopters took the opportunity to ask for advice. We hope her advice was useful and will help you make the most of life with your dogs!

In the “Borrowing Game,” we took the advantage of the location out in the countryside, and collected stuff that’s readily available from Mother Nature. Adopters had a lot of fun running around the area with their dogs looking for the items on the list. They did so well! Here’s Aira-chan anxiously looking at the collected items (top right). Bigori and Choko (bottom left) are searching for goodies. Charm-chan in her daddy’s arms is curious about the winnings.

”Come here, come!”
Only a few dogs ran straight to their mommies or daddies waiting at the goal line. Most dogs froze in their tracks or ran away to wherever they liked. “I want to play with my friends, not with mom or dad!”

”Tail-wagging game”
Those who wagged their tail most fiercely won the game. Adopters were enthusiastic and encouraged their dogs to wag their tails, but some dogs backed away. Momo (top left) and Sakura (bottom right) joined the game too. Hey, it’s your tail we want you to wag…

”My Specialty”
Bonnet-chan (top left) was adopted at the reunion last year. Her mom is a dog trainer. “Bang!”
“You got me….”
Tartar-kun (top right) proudly performed the slow-moving “lie-down,” which was so cute. Arashi-kun (bottom left) is a performer who can dance. Chappy-chan’s (bottom right) specialty is creeping, the skill Bonnet-chan demonstrated last year. All of you have developed your talents even more!

Jolly-kun has learned many skills too. I always follow your goings-on at “Mama’s blog”!

In the free-time session at the end of the day, both dog friends and human adopter friends enjoyed talking to each other. It was so refreshing to see that some of the dogs who used to be aggressive at ARK were calmly enjoying the company. I’m so happy that they found their new homes and I’m so thankful to their new families.

We ended the reunion of 2008 on a high note. Adopters and dogs, I hope you had a good time. Thanks to your generous support and understanding, the event was a great success.

The family of San-chan the cat, we appreciate your help as volunteers.

The huge dog run for the reunion was completed by the maintenance staff of ARK. They worked hard till after dark for many days, giving up their holidays, so it would be a waste of time and energy not to reuse it, wouldn’t it? Maybe it would be a good idea to rent it out until the construction work starts. That might supplement the Sanctuary Fund. If you are interested, please contact ARK. ♪

For those who came to the reunion, I’d be happy to read your thoughts and messages on this blog! ♪

(Oh yeah, Sakura and Momo didn’t find new families this time…don’t worry, let’s keep trying!)

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