'Most of our worries about bringing Akita with us turned out to be justified, and there are extra problems as well. The environment in Hong Kong is just not suitable for a large dog like her. When we were in Toronto, we regularly went out camping and canoeing in the wilderness. Our house was large and the dog could roam in the backyard and in open spaces near our house. Despite her looks, she has a lovely personality. She just loves people, even strangers. She is a very gentle and playful dog. Before, she was very relaxed among people. This might be because Canadians generally like dogs - and pets in general - and they prefer large dogs. I wouldn't say Hong Kong people don't like animals. I think many love their pets. But I think people here do tend to discriminate against large dogs, regardless of whether or not they pose a threat. They see a large dog and they pull their children away. Most people don't realise most dogs don't attack people unless provoked. Because Akita grew up around people who love her, she has no sense of danger. Akita used to love to be around people. Now she is tense and cautious among strangers because she knows she might not be welcome. While we do try to take her out to country parks and beaches, because of our long hours at work, we just don't have the same amount of time to spend with her as we did in Canada. She is not as playful and is a lot more tense than before - a bit like people in Hong Kong. We adopted Akita from Toronto's Humane Society when she was a tiny puppy. People at the society weren't sure what breed or mix of breeds she came from. But we didn't care about pure breeds. My husband, Patrick, took one look at her and he knew Akita was the one he wanted. The society people first said yes, but then made up some excuse about the pup not being adoptable. Perhaps they wanted to see how badly Patrick wanted the dog. He insisted on that dog. Our vet - I am not sure if he was joking or serious - said Akita was a mix of Rottweiler, German shepherd and Akita (a Japanese breed). Her head looks like a Rottweiler, her body a German shepherd and her tail is that of an Akita. Because she is so big, she may look fierce to many people. Actually, I have never seen her get angry. If a thief broke into our flat, I am sure she wouldn't attack and defend our home. She'd probably try to play with him. She is just a gentle little girl. But who would guess that if you didn't know her?' Do you have a story to share? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . 'If a thief broke into our flat, I am sure Akita wouldn't attack. She'd probably try to play with him'