This interview was conducted at the home of Don and Twyla Lusk in May of 1991 by Judy Mears.
AW: How long have you been involved in Akitas?
Don: Since 1968. About 22 years.
AW: Where did you see your first Akita?
Twyla: I can probably answer that. Back in those days the breed was virtually unknown as an Akita. Don and I had a little Poodle whose name was Charlie Brown. At a year of age I took him to an obedience class in Pasadena, CA. In that particular class, there were two wonderful big dogs that I did not know what the breed was. I was fascinated just looking at them. As I went each week with Charlie, I began to talk to the owners and became even more fascinated with the things that they were telling me about their dogs. Those two dogs were both Akitas. This was in September of that year and Charlie graduated. In January of the following year, we were watching the famous Pasadena Rose Parade and on a float were two of the breed that I had been so interested in, in the classes. We had talked about getting a puppy that would grow up to be a large dog. Don traveled at the time quite a bit and the Akita seemed to be ideal so that's how we first became aware of what an Akita was.
AW: Did you buy your first dog in southern CA?
Twyla: Yes, we did. You couldn't find Akita puppies anywhere. You couldn't look in a newspaper, you couldn't call a breed club, there was no way to even track down where they were located. But by doing a lot of digging, word of mouth, dog people and making phone calls, we found a breeder. When we went to see the puppies they did not look healthy or of good quality so we bypassed that group. We were very fortunate. I called another person who seems to know a great deal. His name was Gus Bell and everybody in the breed would remember back in those days, Gus. He said he had a friend. a lady, who had wonderful dogs and we ended up going to Liz and Al Harrell's kennel and that is where we go started with our first Akita puppy.
READ MORE: AW Talks with Don and Twyla Lusk