“Hai,” that’s “yes” in Japanese. And that’s just what I’ll say if you ask whether my new best friend, Hero, is a genuine Samurai canine. Yes, he is. So no, don’t call him a junkyard dog, even though this is what a sadly mistaken Internet site terms him. Plus, Laurel told me that even the box he came in had his pedigree mislabeled.
I didn’t notice this when the good folks at Sisters Cascade of Gifts (where we adopted him today) brought out the original carrier that he came from China in. It was too large for us to take back home to Salem, so I cradled a bubble-wrapped Hero in my arms as we visited more Sisters stores during a cool, wet central Oregon afternoon that drove us out of our Camp Sherman cabin for some shopping excitement.
Poor Hero. Laurel didn’t tell me about his Junkyard Dog label until we were driving back to the cabin with Hero nestled in the back seat, enjoying his first ride in a Volvo. She said that the salesladies at the gift store whispered to her, “Don’t tell your husband what’s on the box.” This is because I instantly and volubly recognized Hero for what it is: a Samurai.
Well, at first glance I had him as a Chinese warrior. This is how he got his name (see posting below). And I wasn’t shy about telling everybody in the store about his obvious true heritage. Just look at his headgear! And his armor!
I could tell that mine was a minority opinion, however (with “minority” meaning “just me”). Other customers with whom I shared my insight were a lot more focused on Hero’s nuts, as in nut and bolt, not the other kind, and didn’t seem to recognize his perfectly evident Oriental martial heritage.
Carrying Hero into another artsy store, I unwrapped him and decided to see if someone more attuned to his bloodline could see my Samurai for who he really is. “Yes,” the cute little Westy, Mariah, said to me in dog language that only the two of us could understand, “Hero is Samurai. I know, for this was my canine karma also in a past life.”
Nonetheless, I realize that there still will be doubters. So I fired up Google Images and did some “samurai + armor” research. Look at this and tell me that Hero isn’t Samurai. Case closed, Hai!