Keiko Shih Tzu

Why Keiko? (English)
February 20, 2013, 7:39 pm
Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , ,

A question that a lot of people ask is…from where I got the name Keiko for my Shih Tzu?  The answer is easy, but finding the name was not it easy.   This took several weeks like when a couple is going to have a baby and wants a very special name.

We all know the Free Willy movie that was a blockbuster in the 90’s that helped to create conscience about orcas in captivity.  Well, the orca that stars on the film was named Keiko and this orca was in captivity in a theme park in Mexico City called “Reino Aventura” which all we know now as “Six Flags Mexico City”.   A group of activists formed The Free Willy Keiko Foundation to remove Keiko from the swimming pool where she lived and take her to a bigger aquarium in Oregon (in the US) where she would be trained to be independent.   They hoped to release Keiko to the open sea.   The program was successful, but Keiko passed away a few years later from respiratory problems.   The Free Willy Keiko Foundation continues working to help other species that are in the same circumstances.

This is why I chose the name Keiko for my Shih Tzu puppy, in honor of the orca who I have always been a big fan of.   In addition, the Shih Tzu is a Chinese breed and I wanted an Asian name to go with the breed aspect.   Keiko is a Japanese name, but it sounds pretty and I like the meaning, “Happy child”.  Although in some sites they said it means “Blessed Child”, the first option is more convincing.   Well, my puppy end up with that name and the truth is that it has fit really well because he is like a blessed happy boy all the time.

More information about Keiko the orca go to

2 Comments so far
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Aw! What a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing it. I got my name from a misunderstanding (and far less meaningful way). A man in her person’s office suggested ‘Satan’ but her person heard ‘Sadie.’

Comment by Sadie Shih Tzu

Well, I’m glad it end up Sadie! is such a cute name. I’m not sure about Santa…

Comment by Keiko Shih Tzu

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