DOG / INTERVIEWNov 20, 2014

Sachiko & Ococo

Start our interview in Chigasaki that side of the sea to feel the autumn.


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―Please tell me how you met Ococo.

When I moved to Chigasaki, I had a dog, a mix of Japanese Kishu and Japanese Kai. He unfortunately had an accident and lost his life. It was just right after we moved in. I was sad for about a year and could not forget about him. So, I started to look for a dog just look like him. I found a dog as white as he was in the Japanese Shiba center in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka. Without any hesitations, I decided to have her. So here she is, Ococo.


―How come you chose this name, Ococo? It’s quite rare name.

Yes, the dog I lost was called Shingen. It’s named after Shingen Takeda who was a general of Kai province in warring states period of Japanese history. It’s said that the girl he was in love with was called KOIHIME(Love princess) but her nick name was Ococo. So, I named after her.


―Which means Ococo is a princess?

Well, actually I didn’t know of this fact, but her grandmother was named Cocohime-go(Coco princess) I found out about this fact on Ococo’s pedigree certificate later. So, it was a surprise and was a good coincidence.

Ococo’s official name on the certificate is Misuzu(Beautiful bell). Isn’t it beautiful?


―How would you describe her character?

Ococo is so different from Shigen. She is very calm and very easy to have. She is friendly and loves getting in a car. If a car door left opened, she will jump in.


―Does she have any favorites about people?

I can tell she likes kids. I used to take care of my cousin’s daughter who would spend time after school at my place. After that, when she sees kids, she wants to go to them. When kids walk to school by my house, they stop and pet her. She loves the attention and she never bites or barks.


―So, she is never shy with strangers?

That’s right. I take her to Okiemonmaru, a fishing shop in Chigasaki, every morning and there are many people around. She loves going there to get treats.


-What does she like to do?

Hmmm….She likes eating, playing with toys. And she LOVES to be told “Kawaii(Pretty)” I think she knows what it means.


―What’s her favorite toy?

She likes toys that make noise. It seems like she changes her favorite toy with her mood though. She used to play with a ball on the beach and kept running. Maybe she is too old to do it anymore. It seems like she prefers to sit by the steps of the beach and enjoys looking at the ocean.


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-She looks good with the ocean.

Like I mentioned before she doesn’t run around the beach anymore. Instead, she sits quietly next to me and keeps looking at the ocean. I love to watch her do.


-Does she like going out for a walk.

Well, she actually doesn’t like it so much. We take her for a walk twice a day. My husband takes her to Okiemonmaru around 4:30am. My husband likes fishing and goes out for fishing on Okiemonmaru boats almost every weekend. I think he wants to check who’s there each day. My husband or I take her for a walk for a short time in the late afternoon every day.


-Dogs usually like going out for a walk. Isn’t she funny?

Well, I take it as she is trendy, a modern lazy girl? Hahaha. She is like a girl who prefers to stay home and chill. The dogs I used to have loved going for a walk. As soon as they heard “Sa”(the first sound of Sanpo, taking a walk in Japanese), they got so excited. But look at her, she looks me like “Really?!”

She sometimes looks very happy as if she met someone she loves on the beach. But usually no…


-Anything she doesn’t like to do?

Taking a bath!! She hates it. I bath her once or twice a month but every time I try to take her in, she tries to run away. Other than that, she is very easy to take care of. She is calm even when I cut her nails. She seems fine to wait home alone when we go out. Though she gives me a bit of sad face like ”Please don’t leave me alone”. Also, when we have visitors who kindly play with her, she actually stops them with her legs and does some sad barking when they are about to leave.


-Anything she is good at?

She makes a happy face to welcome visitors at the door. Like you see on the picture, she put her ears and eyes down and shows as if she is smiling.

I don’t know if you call it “Good at it” but she never eats food or takes stuff from our table. It seems like she has been trained well before she came to our house. She was only 3 months old at the time though. For instance, she would never take or eat even if I leave her favorite stuff on the table when I go out. We never trained her that way but somehow she does that.


-What do you like about her? Do you have any trouble with her?

Well, I like she is obedience, calm and friendly. I have no trouble with her.


-Has she been always well-trained? Never been naughty?

Not always. She played with tissues from the trash can and shred them into pieces on the floor. I think many dogs do that because my old dog did the same thing. I remember she chewed the edge of the table and dug a hole in a Japanese Tatami-mattress. One day she was chewing the leather belt of one of the boys. When we noticed, a few inches of the belt were gone. It was funny. I think she likes leather.



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-Please tell me her daily routine?

She gets up, goes for a walk, then has breakfast. She sleeps in many different spots in the house during the daytime. It can be in her bed, on a couch, or on my husband’s bed upstairs. She must like the breeze from the wind when she sleeps there. Also, she likes sleeping on the stairs. In the winter, she cuddles into the down-filled quilt.


-Dogs like fluffy places, don’t they?

Yeah, that’s right. They know the best place like on fluffy warm laundry after the dryer. “Man, I just dried them!!” that’s how I feel sometimes but yeah, they know the best place.

By the way, she eats twice a day and dinner is after a walk around 5pm.


-What does she do after dinner?

Well, I go to bed upstairs at 9pm every night. She waits for me in front of the stairs around that time and gives me “Let’s go upstairs” face. She goes first if I turn on the lights of the stairs. It’s very interesting that she does that around the same time every day. She must know the time.


―By the way, now she looks comfortable with modeling:) She looks directly at the camera.

She likes attention. She is like a person who likes being in pictures.

She must know that she is pretty. hehe


-I noticed that every time I try to take her toy, she growls a bit…

Well, that is actually her original way to play with people. I know visitors who see her doing that for the first time are shocked. So, if we just ignore her, she gives us a look of “Take it…” She likes to be played with. She is not mad or upset at all. She is more than happy and must be acting as if she is mad. I can tell she is very excited because she gets to be played with today.

By the way, this toy is called ”Midori-chan(Ms.Green)”

I think she understands what I say. So, she brings me whatever I say like Midori-chan, a ball. My old dog did not understand. In Ococo’s case, she lives here with us so she must learn language by listening like kids learn. Dogs are very understanding, I think.


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―So, you moved to Chigasaki from Tokyo, right? How do you like living in Chigasaki?

I feel like I live in a resort every day. I’m very fortunate to have the view of the ocean, Mt.Fuji and Eboshi-rock(famous huge rock in the sea in Chigasaki) in daily life. You know just looking at the ocean releases our stress, and floating on the water with a surf board is the best. I think people here look more free and relaxed. I can tell they enjoy their life, gathering with friends, BBQing and so on. They know many different ways to enjoy their life. I often see people fishing from their puddle board. Sometimes, I take my small fishing rod when I go surfing. Yeah, mixure of fishing and surfing.


―Do you catch any fish?

Yea, yeah, I brought my Yen-shop net and caught some Japanese whiting and a big ray once.


―Does Ococo like going into the sea?

Well, I see a Labrador which does surfing, a Chihuahua going in to the water. But Ococo…she hates being wet. She’s even careful with puddles on the street. A few days ago, she accidentally wet herself at the water edge. Oh my god, she gives me a look of “Maaan, what am I gonna do, mom?”

She likes attention. And you know she looks like the dog from the TV commercial, Softbank. During the summer, many beach people talked to her like ”Look, it’s Otoh-san(the nickname of that dog)” So, she still likes to go to the beach to meet many people.






Japanese White Shiba / Female

Birthday: November 16th 2004

interview, edit Tomoko Komiyama

photo Jun Takahashi

translation Chiyoko Kimura



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