Five recent stories on the mixed fortunes in Japan of domesticated animals, with a strong bias toward man’s best friend:

 Japanese health officials find 164 dogs crammed into tiny house | REUTERS
Japanese health officials find 164 dogs crammed into tiny house | REUTERS
  • A police dog that turned the tables and sparked a manhunt (doghunt?) himself during an operation to locate a missing woman in Hyogo Prefecture was found two days later unharmed. The runaway 2-year-old German shepherd was discovered on Mount Nagusa, police said, after an extensive two-day search. The police said they will consider whether to continue working with the wayward dog.
  • An English-language website featuring stories about Akita dogs, a popular breed known for their good looks and loyalty to their owners, has been launched by a local newspaper in northeastern Japan. The daily started a special monthly page dedicated to articles about Akita dogs in January and opened a Japanese website in July, with the English version of the Akita Inu News established two months later.
  • A hostel attached to a rescue cat cafe in Osaka Prefecture allows guests to fall asleep while gazing at cats, offering a haven for those wishing to escape from reality amid the coronavirus pandemic. Neko Hatago opened in December as an annex to the cat cafe Neko Yokujo. With eight dorm rooms modeled after lodging for travelers in the Edo Period, guests can peep at toms through a window installed by each bedside.