Wag Wednesday: Diego Oka & Awki


Since starting the blog, we’ve interviewed many members of the hospitality industry, and one constant among the interviewees has been a profound love for their pets. We thought it would be great to share this love with our readers.

That’s why we launched an ongoing feature called “Wag Wednesday” to showcase industry peeps and their pets. Know someone who wants to be featured? Email us at bark@miamifoodpug.com.

This week, we’re featuring Diego Oka, Executive Chef at La Mar by Gaston Acurio, and his golden doodle, Awki.

Your Name: Diego Oka

Your Pet’s Name: Awki (Sir Prince in the Inca’s language (Quechua))

Sex: Male

Age: 8 months

Breed: Golden Doodle

How did you come to own your dog? What drew you to him?

I always lived with dogs in my house in Peru, but after leaving Peru and living in small apartments and working restaurant hours, I never had the chance to have a dog.

Now that I have a house where Awki can run, play and do what he has to do in the backyard (haha), it makes things much easier for him to be comfortable. Also, with my girlfriend, we take good care of him. Two people are better than one because it’s a lot of work!

What’s the story behind your dog’s name?

I’m Peruvian and very proud of it! I have always been a fan of Quechua names and Japanese names because they both always have a meaning. They’re unique and not just your average names. I was also looking at names that phonetically sound short, strong and unique!

After repeating it many times, I decided with my girlfriend that that was the name: AWKI.

How would you describe your dog’s personality?

Awki is still a kid so he is like a normal child: very playful, hyperactive and crazy (when we are not home, he sleeps). But at least he doesn’t destroy any furniture!

How has owning a pet made your life richer?

He’s a new member of the family and extremely loyal. He’s like a son and a friend. You don’t need anything more!

It’s said that dogs reflect their owners and vice versa. How does this apply to you and yours?

Hyperactive like me and cute like his mom.

Tell us a funny story about you and your dog.

The first time he went into the pool! That moment was priceless; It felt like it was like a real kid swimming.

Are you involved in any pet organizations or philanthropies?

No, but I adore dogs and would love to help animals any way I can.

We follow a lot of dog social media accounts like Doug the Pug, Rocco’s Contemporary Life, and Menswear Dog. Do you? Which are your favorites?

@awkithedog. Also, @Poochofnyc and @Marniethedog are very cool.

See past editions of Wag Wednesdays here.