I Am Shiba.
Dedicated to momentary thoughts and musings of A Shiba Inu.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Empty Nest Syndrome
Or, what does The Dog do when The People are not home?
I like to think of these few hours a day as "my time," when I am undisturbed by The Felines or The People. There is no one tugging at my ears, no one asking me questions or making me lie down, nothing to interfere with the solitude and peace that I so deserve after hearing Loud Music play all weekend long. Each weekend is spent moving moving moving, guarding, inside - outside - back inside, walks, hikes, uphill, downhill, sit, sit, sit, in the car, out of the car, back in the car, run home, bark at the unusual, ignore the usual, wait for cheese to fall mysteriously to the ground, sleep as I can between the stereo, the television, the phone, the Dustbuster, the comings, the goings, The Felines, and The People just being busy busy busy.
When Monday comes, I pretend to look sad as The Woman leaves the house. I listen for the garage door closing, meaning that The Man has left. His car growls as it moves down the driveway, and slowly the music fades. The door is closed, creating privacy for The Felines downstairs and myself the upstairs.
I have a long drink, and wait. I watch for the sun to rise in the Eastern Window. As it slowly peaks through the backyard woods, I close my eyes and feel its warmth massage my fur. I remain still as it creeps its path through the dining room until it has moved beyond. The morning blessings have been spoken, and I must conduct my rounds.
I travel from room to room, seeking anything unusual or different. A cobweb in the corner The Woman missed while cleaning this weekend. A book left on the table that was supposed to be returned to the library this morning. Another late fee. Mail and coupons piled on the counter from the weekend. Nothing out of the ordinary. I check to see if The People left the bathroom door open. Alas, once more, they remembered to close it. No chewing on the bathmat today.
I check on my rawhide bone. I find my Kong. They are both safe.
I retire to my crate and continue my mediations. The Ying and the Yang of Shiba-ness. The Creation of the World. The place of The Felines in this World.
The sun is now peeking around the southern trees, and I can see the slated shadows dancing on the floor near The Woman's computer. I feel the need to smell. I walk into the bedroom and stick my nose into The Man's sneakers. Ugh, I don't need to smell anything else now. I feel lightheaded. I lay on the carpet near the couch until the feeling passes.
Another drink. I wonder what will be for dinner tonight. I fall asleep dreaming of pizza crusts and chicken pieces.
The sun has now moved to the western window.
When The Woman arrives home, I feign over-enthusasium of her appearance. I am actually happy to see her for she smiles and gives me pets and treats, stating that I am a good boy and that she missed me. The Woman asks me, Did you miss me too?
Yes, for the last hour, I did. I am ready and rested for the chaos again. Where are we going in the car today?
I Am Shiba. I Am Tan, Rested, and Ready.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Dog Day Afternoon
Today, I had to go to work.
I do not mind employment. My job outside the home only requires periodic attendence. It is difficult, however, and requires considerable concentration on my part.
This afternoon, I accompanied The Woman to the local High School. Here I present myself to children with special needs, and allow them to touch me. I sit by them and show them how to be calm and in control. There are two children who I take for walks around the building, and I show them how to hold my leash and not step on my paws. While The Woman is always nearby, I know my way around the school and concentrate on making sure that the children are comfortable in my presence. It is exhausting because there is always so much happening, but this responsibility is very important to The Woman and thus, it is important for me to fulfill my duties with dignity and grace.
Usually, we are done after this trip but today, we also went to visit a child who recently returned from the hospital. He was very happy to see me but unfortunately, we could not walk together because he was not feeling that much better. Maybe he will be able to walk me some other day.
Then The Woman took me to the Squirrel Park. It was sunny and I counted numerous squirrels running between the trees. It was nice to unwind after being so busy. I enjoy running between the trees, and watching the squirrels jumping from branch to branch.
I am now resting. The children can be oh so tiring, but for a few hours a month, it is a great way to help the younger people of the world witness all that is Shiba.
I Am Shiba. Shibas are Good for the Soul.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Recently, I was informed that canines are the optimists of the animal world.
I think I missed that memo.
Maybe Labradors are the optimistics, German Sheperds the workaholics and Poodles the fashion victims, but I would hardly consider myself to be Pollyanna.
How can one afford to spend so much energy looking forward to the future? Everyday, I awake, and know what to expect from my environment. This morning was a perfect example. While we were walking (both The Man and The Woman attended my morning constitution), I had the opportunity to witness at very close proximity, a cat chasing a squirrel. I was completely beside myself for to which do I direct my attention- the running squirrel or the pursuing feline? It was a moment given to me by the Gods, and if it was not for the leash, we would all know what my decision would be (and since I am a selfish beast, I shall not share my answer).
Is it reasonable for me to expect a gift like this every morning on every walk? I am right in hoping that the sky will someday rain squirrels or that my bowl will be filled every night with cottage cheese, mashed potatoes, and grilled swordfish (I like white foods)? Should every trip involve a stop at PetSmart (well, yes, but . . .)?
I think that people misunderstand contentment and enthusiasm for optimism. I have expectations of seeing squirrels in the trees and visits to PetSmart but I also have my dreams. This morning, I was granted a dream while my expectation of a nice morning walk was met. There is a subtle but noticeable difference. When The Woman leaves, I expect to go in the car with her. I do not sit around wondering if she will take me or even if she plans to travel. I merely prepare to travel when she does. This is not unreasonable nor is it optional.
Far too many canines always hope that each day is as good as the next. I expect that every day will provide me satisfaction- anything extra is merely a bonus because it should happen.
There is no reason to feel positive or negative about what each day provides. Things happen as they do. And while sometimes you are given moments of cats chasing squirrels, the normal of a day should not be greeted with either optimism nor disdain, but rather as given what is your due.
I Am Shiba. I Believe in neither Heaven nor Hell but rather in the Consciousness of Being Shiba.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
It is the best of Times; It is the worst of Times.
Or so sayeth those more eloquent than I.
The Woman has returned to work. This means that I have been returned to my sanctuary during her absence. The felines now patrol the house during the morning hours while I feign sleep and await her return. The front door is shut during her absence, and I can no longer monitor the comings and goings of the neighborhood. Our time outdoors is limited; our time indoors mundane. It has become a droll existence.
The Woman is also involved in her Obedience School, which takes her from my presence two nights a week. This means that The Man is responsible for my care. While he is my Best Friend for playing Ball, he lacks a certain understanding of my nighttime routines. I am trying to adapt, but it is hard, so very hard.
I would rather face the heat of summer and the freedom that it brings, than the cold of winter and the frigidness of absence.
However it is days like today that make it all worthwhile. A long walk in the woods. I find a toad, hear the chipmunks, smell the primal nature of nocturnal creatures. I feast upon barbacued swordfish and I survey my domain as the King that I am.
I Am Shiba. It is Good to be King.
Friday, September 01, 2006
Not a Happy Camper
It appears that, without consulting me, more decisions have taken place.
The Woman has decided to return to Human Obedience Training. This means that on Tuesdays and Thursdays, The Man is responsible for my walks and my dinner. In the past, his primary responsibility was "toy regulator" so appearantly, he has been "promoted."
Yesterday was our first attempt at our new relationship. He started me on my walk at the wrong time, took me in the wrong direction, and refused to follow the standard order of business of the walk. It was too frustrating and after two minutes, I refused to cooperate any further. We argued the entire length of the walk over even the smallest of details such as where to cross the road and how he is supposed to hold the leash. The Man appears to make things up as he goes along; this is intolerable to me. My walks are my marches of boundary examination. I must provide structure and discipline to my subjects. This just can not be made up on a whim.
Then, upon returning, The Man graciously offers to fill my bowl with succulent treats, obviously as an apology for his foibles. Ummmmmm, hello? This is dog food. There is no cheese. No eggs. No broth. No scraps. Nada. Nothing of apology. Just dog food. This is too much. I refuse to eat until The Woman returns to The Domain. Shockingly, she adds nothing to the bowl, stating that I must eat what The Man offers me. I hear them laughing at me, mocking me, while they dine on what I am sure is finer cuisine than what lies before me.
I return to my crate, ignoring all parties and decidedly curl up in the darkness as so my tears of frustration remain unseen by my tormentors.
I Am Shiba. I Have Needs.