My Dog Teny

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By Yoshito Wayne Osaki
Illustrated by Felicia Hoshino

My Dog Teny is a true story about a boy and his dog and the friendship that they shared.

It's a story that my father never talked about for over sixty years. It's a story about how the love of a dog never really ends and that life with all its trials and tribulations does come full circle.

In 1942, the United States government issued Executive Order 9066 which would force over 120,000 Japanese American men, women, children and elderly from their homes into the barren lands and deserts of America. They lived in tarpaper barracks surrounded by barbed wire and monitored by armed guards from watch towers for the duration of World War II.

They were allowed to bring with them only what they could carry. Many valuable and beloved possessions were left behind, including thousands of pets of which many, if they could not find someone to adopt them, had to be abandoned.

In 1988, the United States government passed landmark legislation which issued a formal apology and redress to Japanese Americans as a result of the government's actions during World War II. The legislation stated that the government's decision was based on "race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership."

My father decided to name his dog Teny, because he felt that his dog was a special dog which deserved especial name that probably no other dog had.