My dad and brother named the family dog, Kuma, which is the Japanese word for bear, which makes absolutely no sense at all. He’s a brown labrador that we’ve now had for what 10 months and this trip home was our first meeting. I can tell he took an immediate liking to me as he kept biting me with his teeth and ripped my shorts apart before I managed to squeeze off a one inch punch to his nether region, causing him to yelp in anguish whilst I rolled to safety.

I’m kidding of course. He’s a eunuch.

Anyway, people always get his name wrong. They think it’s either a)Cantonese for aunt or b)the Indian name, like the popular comedian Kumar. No one knows it’s Kuma no R, Japanese for bear. Everytime they mention him, I keep wondering why my fam keeps talking about my aunt.

So Kuma isn’t really very fierce except for when he mauled away at my little niece during Chinese New Year. He hardly barks if at all and is generally very obedient to commands, particularly when you’ve got a treat in hand. He knows how to shake your hand and give you a high five if you know how to put onna dem bone biscuits in your palm. I miss him already!

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