The pure-white Kupuna was brought to Japan from Hawaii by a military family. When they were ordered to return to the States before a reposting, the airline refused to take the dog and cited earlier problems it had had with dogs, though none had anything to do with Kupuna.

Problems with animals and airlines do exist, such as the case in which the airline was sued after a dog suffocated after being forced into the overhead compartment by a cabin attendant.

The 6-kilogram Kupuna, though of a good age, has no breathing problems whatsoever. Nonetheless, he was left behind, but was lucky enough to come to ARK in July.