I Am Shiba.

Dedicated to momentary thoughts and musings of A Shiba Inu.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Boys in Da Hood

So The Woman and I were cruisin' the hood. She wanted to go to the Farmer's Market which is fine with me because there are plenty of adoring fans awaiting my arrival. As we were walkin' down my street, we passed a "Tag Sale" (aka Garage Sale aka Yard Sale aka "honey, clean out the attic and let's sell some of this junk" sale) and there, sittin' right there in the yard

is a Shiba Inu.

His name is Buddy and he is 8 years old.

Our eyes locked. We begin to shuffle, posturin' to see who is bigger, better. Our Women, they are laughin', talkin' about us. Buddy and me, we pass the evil eye to one another.

Buddy is about my size and weight. He has my look, that look of intimidation, that look of righteousness. But this is my street, and he ain't nuthin' but a visitor to my turf. He needs to respect my rights.

But he don't. Buddy, he stands tall in the yard, and watches me, waitin' to see if I am going to make the first move. I don't. I am not gonna start a war on my own street with two Labs living down the road and an impressionable Cocker Spaniel across the street. We just stand there, locked eyes, never blinkin'.

No words pass between us, just side looks and body movement.

Eventually, The Women stop their chatter and we move on, where I immediately lay claim to several bushes and one telephone pole, just to prove my point.

On our way back, we pass The House again. Buddy stands and squints, showing me that he is alert to my presence. I keep walkin', tail high and head forward, but I pee on the corner of The House Shrubbery to remind him whose street this really is. A shopper comments loudly, "they could be brothers."

No, we ain't no brothers. We are The Highlanders. We Are Samurai of our Hood.

I Am Shiba. There Can Be Only One.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sake vs. Michael Vick

Sake is an 1 1/2 year old female Shiba who lives in NYC, and comes to scenic Connecticut to visit her grandparents. The People used her as the excuse to go visit the Grandparent's house because they had spectacular gardens (and one of the ponds had frogs! W00t!!). Everyone sat outside on this beautiful Connecticut day, enjoying the lack of humidity and the beauty of the greenery.

Everyone, that is, except Sake who did everything in her power to inform me that this was her house and I was the intruder. Like I did not know that this was her house. I spent most of my time casually ignoring her; she spent most of her time trying to do sneak attacks upon me. Her people were ever vigilant though, and no problems arose. I laid by The Woman to make sure that Sake never came to close; I don't want her clothes spoiled by another Shiba's fur.

The Guy, however, was wooed by Sake's overwhelming adorability when we all enjoyed some Strawberry Shortcake. He said that the cuteness of that feminine face with the alert prick ears and dark eyes was too much. He succumbed to sharing his whipped cream with her. He doesn't share his whipped cream with me! When did I lose my cuteness factor?

We Shibas, by nature, are protective of what we rightfully aqueous as ours. Whether it be a park, a house 100 miles away from our home, or the neighbor's yard- what we claim sovereign rights. Sake was correctly doing what Shibas do; she was telling me that this was her house. I, of course, know that she can think whatever she wants.

That pond with the frogs is definitely mine.

For 6000 years, our job has been to guard and hunt. Initially, when we are young, we are a tad exuberant about our roles in life (even I admittedly have made a few mistakes). As we get older, we learn that we don't have to assert ourselves so vocally but rather our mere presence subdues the masses and all learn to respect us just with a curl of the lip or what The Woman calls, The Look.

Sake did nothing wrong. She was behaving as she should, and while I will never tell her that she is on the road to being a good Shiba (why encourage her ego that much more?), she was protecting what she felt was rightfully hers. She is not an aggressive dog; she is, however, like myself, an assertive one.

Michael Vicks, on the other hand, did what no one should do. He took dogs, assertive in nature like Sake and I, and taught them to be worse. Intentionally. He bred dogs to fight and kill other dogs, never encouraging them with loving words or subtle love, but rather wanted assertive dogs to become aggressive dogs. For Profit. For Sport. For his Sense of Entitlement and Fun. Teeth to Flesh, Blood and Bone, these dogs were allowed no sense of pride except to injure or kill another dog.

No Dog should be sworn to a Life of Crime. No dog should be born and bred for nothing more than the intention of maiming another dog.

'Tis one thing to defend one's territory. 'Tis entirely another to be forced into a life of violent slavery.

Sake and I recognize that we are lucky. Both of us had lives prior to our current lives, and both of us are blessed with people who understand our God-Given rights of toy destruction and escape artistry. But neither of us are forced to live our lives physically assaulting other dogs and causing them injury for no reason other than to make The People feel Bigger. Better. Stronger. Instead, we are encouraged to be ourselves; Assertive, Attentive, and Affectionate.

And Our People's lives are better because of Us.

I Am Shiba. I Bark At The Mailman But the Mailman Does Not Bark Back.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Summer Of Fur

Today was my third brushing in three days. I stand patiently as The Woman continues to remove more and more of my coat. I am enjoying this new style. I look all sleek and muscular now- much more macho- than that winter Teddy Bear look.

And still, the fur falls.

Despite all the literature that exists regarding dog breeds, everyone always asks, "Do Shibas shed?" The answer to that is no, we do not shed;

We explode.

Similar in style to that of a Hiroshiba. The Woman vacuumed and had to empty the cannister three times while just doing the upstairs. When I shed, I like to make sure I do a thorough job.

And it looks like the end is not in sight. With temperatures continuing to rise, I expect to lose at least another pound of fur before August.

So The Woman posted to my breeder's web circle about how do people with two Shibas survive (this is where I found out that "puppies" have been under consideration- a topic she and I will have to discuss at a later point). Here is an example of some of their responses:

We also experienced the shiba blowing of the coat abut 2-3 days ago. (It must have been the hot Connecticut weather the past week!) The fur drives me crazy - and I am constantly washing, wiping and vacuuming fur out of the corners. But we only have Teika - and that's enough fur for me!

I personally like it when The People bring out the Dustbuster to chase my fur on the hardwood floors. I love to chase it while it chases the dust bunnies.

We have resigned to the fact that we will NEVER have a home free of Shiba fur again!!!

No house should be without Shiba fur. That is just a given.

Saku has the thickest (not long just THICK) coat I have EVER seen on a Shiba. His owner calls it a carpet coat and that's what it reminds me of, an expensive wall to wall carpet that you sink into barefoot.

When he arrived in Feb he had just done a major shed, Debbie said. She spent 2 days grooming him and still sent him and Bambi for a professional groom before I picked them up!

Then when spring arrived here he shed a mod amount again

HOWEVER he was still not done and you could not see his skin even when he was being washed. BUT with the hot weather and 3 bitches in heat (first Doodle and Bea in May, then Rosie who came to "visit" him and now Annie with Bambi close behind I think) he has decided that any type of a carpet is too much and is dumping the entire thing

He looked so horrible today that I decided that even though I can't groom them well anymore with my hands we were going to try.

Without doing a spectacular job, just a pretty decent one, his entire 10 X 10 pen is COVERED with fur. It looks like he has a red/buff carpet out there (did anyway til the wind came up)

I cannot imagine that in a house (he stays in the dog room when inside) but supposedly you with nice altered housepets who comb the dogs more often have less shedding then us multi dog people.

isn't that nice to know????

Okay, I need to comment here for a moment. I would lose my coat too, if I lived in a house with 5 girls all going into heat at the same time. I am not sure that any dog could survive that and not lose their fur, their sanity, or even remember their own name when surrounded by that many available girls.

I pause to consider what a Shiba/Rottie cross would look like . . .

We brush down AKU everyday and sometimes a few times a day.

I like these people. I wanna be adopted. Do you put cheese on his breakfast and dinner? If you do, I think you could be nominated for Shiba Sainthood.

Funny Shiba siting on QVC...
They were selling a pet comb and for the show they
trotted out a huge golden retriever and a little
Shiba. At first I was puzzled by their choice of a
Shiba but when you saw the huge mound of fur next to
such a little dog the brush looked like it was Magic.
Pretty funny show because they had to keep cutting the
Shiba out of the picture because he was not into the
demonstration. The golden was falling asleep and the
shiba kept trying to run away as some guy kept
fumbling for the leash. I am pretty sure the guy
combing may have gotten bitten at least once because
the camera did a very awkward cut away just as the
teeth started to show 2x in the 3 minutes I watched.
I am certain the shiba fur pile sold hundreds of those
shedding combs though because the Shiba pile was huge!

This one makes me laugh. I also would have bitten the guy. First, Shibas deserve all camera attention; we don't share the screen with a commoner. Second, being brushed is a private moment. It's like when The People take their shower. You really don't want it to be a public experience because we are losing what it is that makes us great- our fabulous fur. Hence, it is not something that should be publicly advertised, and then further more, used for selling a product. We are above product endorsement unless it involves food. And not kibble, but good food. Like cheese that costs $20 an ounce, or ice cream, or chicken.

Damn, now I am hungry again.

So, for the record, yes, Shibas shed. And we do it with the dignity and grace that make us the adorable Shibas that we are.

I Am Shiba. I Prevent Boredom by Losing Fur.

Monday, July 09, 2007

My Park is Contaminated

This is highly irregular and very upsetting. My own little wildlife park, my little community space, has been contaminated by West Nile Virus.


No walks in the morning or early evenings when the wildlife is out.
Possibilities of contaminating The Woman or The Guy if they take me.

No evening cocktail hours because The Guy is susceptible to mosquito bites (for some reason, they really love him).

And, of course, this does explain the recent rash of dead birds that I have been finding all over the neighborhood.

This will just not do. I demand that something be done about this immediately but it sounds like I am just going to have to wait until like September.


I Am Shiba. A Depressed Shiba is Not a Happy Shiba.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

On Today's Walk

The Woman pointed out to me ad of a lost dog. A Bernese Mountain Dog named Beauregard.

She knew that this had to be the dog of a colleague of hers- because a) how many Mountain Dogs are there around here and b) how many Mountain Dogs would share the same name?

Upon getting home, she gave me a Greenie and a hug, and immediately called the People of the Mountain Dog. Fortunately, he had been found. Apparently he had been scared off by the loud noises of the firecrackers, and was found at a nearby grocery store looking for food.

At least he was thinking coherently after the trauma of the rains and the firecrackers. Nutrition is always important when one is under stress.

Fourth of July sucks for us canines. Too many loud noises and too much chaos. But I am glad for my Greenie and I am glad that another dog found his way home.

I Am Shiba. Identification: Never Leave Home Without It.