I Am Shiba.

Dedicated to momentary thoughts and musings of A Shiba Inu.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Obedience Class, Day 1

"You have a breed of dog who is independent and uninterested in what you have to say. You have to become the most important thing in your dog's life for that moment to get her to listen to what you are asking."

That was what came out of the lesson regarding how That Guy and Belle-chan are going to learn how to work together.

In our class, the following was present:

1 Shiba who attempted to kill any dog that entered her personal space bubble
1 Golden Retriever who sniffed my butt
1 Weimaraner/ Vizula mix who figured out how to leap onto the table to grab the treats.
1 One Poodle mix who never stopped barking
1 Mixed breed who looks like an evil dog that lives down the road from us but is about 8 years younger

and of course, myself, who watches it all with the stoic calmness that all Shibas should bring to an public event.

The big issue with Belle-chan for the day was to help That Guy find ways of getting her through being distracted by the other dogs. She has to practice being focused on him (That Guy pointed out that none of the dogs were focused on their People but as was pointed back, yes, but their dogs are not attempting to take command of the entire room). The solution became a Greenie, which we let her chew for a few minutes, then took away, then allowed to chew again, rinse and repeat. Her attention was focused on that, and then JL when he was holding it.

So we need to buy the really HUGE ones in order to keep her occupied.

There were some interesting reminders for The Woman that came out from the class:

1. Don't repeatedly call your dogs name or give the same command. Say it once.

2. Reward immediately.

And it quickly became apparent that She sucks at remembering to use the clicker to mark out behaviors but we know what she wants anyway.

But most importantly, we are a breed that shall remain independent. You have to work to become the most important thing in our lives, not vice versa.

I Am Shiba. I Am The Calm Amidst The Storm.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Hot Dog Party

This is Belle-chan and our youngest visitor to the party completely intrigued with the movie, "Toy Story."

Where was I?

Guarding the Hot Dogs!

I Am Shiba. Three For Me, One For You.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Am Shiba. And I Approve This Message.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Master of the House

It has been rainy, gloomy weather nonstop for days here in the Northeast. So The People have been having their cocktail hour indoors, chatting around the kitchen table. The Woman keeps the doors and windows open as well as the fans on to help the air circulate because the humidity is often so high that her glasses fog up for no reason. Condensation is our friend for the next few months.

So we are all enjoying our luxury time of conversation, when I hear something suspicious. Very suspicious. I call attention to this, and Belle-chan immediately sounds the alarm, running to the front door. I follow. The noise is not a cool noise. The People move to the Front Door to see what we are barking at, but there is nothing.

As they turn around, The Woman points out that the Backyard Light has turned on (meaning that movement took place in the backyard).

Something is up.

Cocktail hour resumes, and about three minutes later, The Woman says to That Guy, "The Local Police Dog Team is moving through our backyard."

Red Alert. Shields Up. Set Phasers on Disintegrate.

So The People close up the Doors and look out the Windows to see what is happening. Police Officers are trambling through our shrubberies (must remember to sniff this out later!) and the Dog is in Hot Pursuit.

So about 30 minutes later, The Household decides that more beer is required and The Woman and I leave to go visit the local liquor people. As we walk toward the car, we see three Police officers walking back. One is completely out of breath. They explain it had been merely an exercise drill. The out of breath policeman says that he heard us as he went by (well, yes, of course, two Shibas in full alarm is not a sound to be ignored!). The Woman recognizes one of the police officers, greets him and . . .

then I see Him.

The Police Dog.

He is loose, holding the scent marker bag.

We lock eyes.

Now, here I need to digress. Recently, an email was sent from Alice, my trainer and soon to be Belle-chan's torturer:

Belle is more than likely still adjusting and I am sure Cortez may be very subtly bullying her. Cortez is an expert at using eye contact and posture to let other dogs know to clear the way for "the king." I have witnessed his amazing use of these almost invisible to the trained eye canine communications.

Did I mention that the Police Dog and I locked eyes?

We both stop. We both stare. And I am not going to back down. He is 10 feet from my yard and about 20 feet total from me. He Shall Not Pass.

For seconds, we stood there staring, and then the Police Man called the Dog to return. He did not. We continued to stare. The second call, he ran back to his Police Person.


The Woman calls me to the Car so that we can leave and I watch the Shepherd move down the road. As we drive past, I notice him peeing on a telephone post that Belle and I both mark.

My agenda for this morning? This situation will be rectified immediately with our morning constitutional.

But I will have you all note: the Police Dog Backed Down First. I Still Reign Supreme.

I Am Shiba. I Am K-9 007. Licensed to Kill.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Obedience Class

Today starts Belle-chan returning back to school. That Guy and her are going to learn how to better communicate.

The Woman and I will be attending just so that we can have a chuckle or two.

I Am Shiba. I Have Been There, Done That, and Got the T-Shirt.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Today, It's Official

Belle-chan and I went to the Town Hall today and got our dog tags.

$8.00 per dog.

Belle-chan is now officially a Licensed Resident of the Town of Manchester, #615.

We can now roam the streets legally.

I Am Shiba. I Am #614.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Ying and Yang

How can two Shibas be the same, and yet so different? How can such a breed have such fundamental differences and yet strong similarities?

I am Shiba. I exemplify what all Shibas should be. But allow me to point out some things.

I eat my food delicately, eating one kibble at a time. I wait patiently for my food to be served, preferably with nice additions to make it a pleasant dining experience.
Belle-chan inhales her food so fast that I don't think she tastes it or notices if a pill was added. She cares not what is in her bowl; she just eats.

I sit quietly and wait for the food to be served.
She is so excited at feeding time that she can hardly contain herself and sit for more than 10 seconds. Belle-chan can't stop bouncing, acting like this is the first time she has been fed in 48 hours.

When The Woman is cooking, I lie in the hallway, watching her and wait for my offering. When The People have dinner, I lie quietly in the corner, waiting for them to finish that last glass of wine.
Belle-chan can not keep away from The People when they are around food. Staying away from the table while The People eat is impossible.

I don't wag my tail. Display of emotion is an attempt to please people.
Belle-chan never stops wagging her tail. Everything to her is a happy, positive experience. She is the Valley Girl of Shibas.

Add to this, when The Woman and That Guy return home, I would approach, politely greet, and resume my duties.
Belle-chan jumps around, licks, wags her tail, and actually seems happy to see them, even when their arrival is not related to our feeding time.

Her enthusiasm is most distressing because now I have to pretend to be happy to see The People or miss out on a petting experience. Sadly, the people seem to enjoy her enthusiasm and encourage it!

I sleep in my crate. I sleep in spots where I guard The Woman. I sleep in the sun by the screened front door.
Belle-chan sleeps wherever she feels like. This morning, That Guy found her asleep on the bed after breakfast. She sleeps on the couch. She sleeps on her blanket. She sleeps in crate. She sleeps under That Guy's desk. She sleeps on the bathroom bathmat!! She has no shame on where she sleeps.

When we walk, Belle-chan keeps her nose to the ground to smell for squirrels.
I keep my head held high on walks, using sight to find my quarry.

However, we do share some similarilites.

#1 We both lift our legs to pee.
#2 We both will mark the backyard but we will not eliminate unless we are on a walk.
#3 We both announce visitors or necessary neighborhood issues of note.
#4 We both don't like small, barking dogs.
#5 We both feel the need to protect our people, although I am a watcher and she is the barker.
#6 We both think that all squirrels should be exterminated.
#7 We both like cheese, hot dogs, and potatoes.

So, while we are both Shibas, she is so 90210 despite her championship Agility titles (she probably flirted with the judges!) and I remain the dignified canine who expects worship over affection. Belle-chan banks on her cute looks to maintain her position in society; my Shibaness is what will always keep the kibble in my bowl.

I Am Shiba.
Fortunately, opposites attract, even with Shibas.