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Rescue dogs are my new family

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Two rescue dogs are the new family members of Ayaka Hidaritomo

Do you currently have any obsessions? It’s boring to not be able to meet friends so often these days, but finding something you’re passionate about can totally help turn things around and make your life feel more fulfilling.

My dog Moko died last July, after 14 years together. Moko was always by my side, even through all those times I was frustrated about not being able to express myself well when dancing with AKB48. Moko was just the cutest thing.

After Moko’s death, I ended up watching a lot of dog videos on YouTube, apparently coping with grief over the loss of my pet, when I became interested in rescue dogs.

Rescues are dogs that were abandoned or accidently separated from their owners, and some of them can’t move their legs well or have no teeth. More than just watching those videos, I went to go see some rescues at a dog cafe with my mom. When I actually met the dogs, they came running up to me with the saddest faces. At first, I just felt sorry for the dogs. But I soon found myself wanting to take good care of them, myself.

That feeling grew stronger day by day, and two rescue dogs joined my family last December. Their names are Choco and Kuro. I feel that Moko led Choco and Kuro to us, and I want to make them happy.