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Rika Okubo & Dog Vivian

We have lived in Moscow, in a comfortable Russian apartment for two years. There are nice playgrounds , sport courts around us but to my concern our three kids are very timid to go outside. They are scared of Russians. So when my daughter asked for a new pet instead of her previous pet hamster which passed away this Spring, I thought of keeping a dog might help the children to go outside and play.

I heard from one of the IWC members that there's a dog shelter. She highly recommended to adopt a dog rather than buying one in a market because of hygienic reason. I also noticed that at the shelter, it's much convenient to find the exact kind of dog we want.

We decided to have an adult dog, not a puppy. Raising a puppy is of course a gorgeous experience but it will ruin the house. Since all our furniture belongs to the landowner, we had to give up the puppy fun. The size of the dog must not be too big concerning our daughter's size (she turned 8 in summer), it shouldn't be noisy because we live in a apartment, it must be not a puppy but also not too old because it has to be strong enough to play with three children, etc. Mrs.Yasuko Naka greatly helped us look for the dog that will suit all the conditions. And we met Vivian.

My daughter picked her. This is her comments about Vivian (or Vivi which comes from the sound of Japanese adjective meaning 'timid'.) "When I first saw Vivi, I thought she's very cute and pretty, but very shy and scary. All other dogs had there own table to hide underneath, but Vivi was alone at the corner and couldn't hide herself. I felt sorry for her. But she was friendly when I reached her. So I chose her."

Now 2 months have passed since Vivian joined our family. At first she acted shy but now she's more relaxed. She is amazingly clever, and very obedient but we enjoy the most when she squeezes herself among children and me trying to win mommy's love. We all love her very much and feel that we are very lucky to have her.