I Am Shiba.
Dedicated to momentary thoughts and musings of A Shiba Inu.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
The Ying and Yang of Feeding Two Shibas
There is just no way that The Woman is going to win this battle. Belle-chan and I are two separate entities that merely share only the same title of breed and differ in every other way imaginable.
Things that I can eat without effort make Belle-chan feel ill. For example, the raw carrot that had required an overnight hospital stay. Things that Belle-chan can tear right through without hesitation, make me ill as discovered by The Woman's experiment in how to create an electrolyte imbalance.
This incident involved a ham bone. With the Christmas ham finally consumed, it was decided that it would be divided between the two of us for a treat.
Well, like the turkey grease pan incident 5 years ago, I had several late night *omgIHaveToGoOutRightNow* callings and even made several errors on the carpet (much to my embarrassment). Also, what The Woman learned is that ham is, of course, very salty, which makes Shibas very thirsty, which in turn, makes us need to pee.
I guess just because it tastes good does not mean it is good for me.
One would think that after Her several lectures on electrolyte imbalances that She would have realized that the imbalance due to increased consumption of Na+Cl- would cause Us to have the symptoms of dehydration and the resulting salt sicknesses. What is it that This Woman is Learning except how to ruin a Shiba's weekend?
Belle-chan lived through it like a trooper. I, on the other hand, was a textbook case of every symptom and a few creative additions.
So, it is decided. The only thing that both Belle-chan and I can eat is cheese, eggs, salmon, organic chicken and Filet Mignon.
I like my steaks rare, thank you. Belle-chan prefers hers to be more well done.
I Am Shiba. You May Want To Get The Carpets Cleaned Soon.
Monday, December 21, 2009
The Story of the Fuzzy Red Blankets
These blankets could never be purchased at any store. They are handmade 33 year old blankets. With a story.
Two furry red blankets were made by The Woman's Mom as Christmas presents for The Woman and her sister. They are hemmed fuzzy red cloth but who would have guessed the travels that these blankets witnessed.
The Woman and her sister on Christmas Day in 1975 each received a fuzzy red blanket as a Christmas present. The Woman instantly fell in love with hers, turning the fur inside rather than outside so that she could enjoy its warmth rather than look. The Woman has never enjoyed cloth sheets, but rather preferred the feel of fur, flannel or wool while sleeping during winter nights, even in Arizona. Before she left for Alaska in 1982, the sister parted with her red blanket and both traveled their way north.
At one point, The Woman was living in a small cabin, warmed by a wood stove and a small black cat and with the two furry blankets and the addition of a quilt, slept through several cold winters. Cats always loved the fuzzy red blankets. They were perfect for burrowing and purring. The Woman would wrap herself in one as she moved about the house; and in the summer, just let them lie at the foot of the bed in case a sudden cold spell arose.
The blankets then traveled to Europe and ever remained The Women's snuggle. Many a night she would lay out one blanket below and the other on top, and fall asleep reading, with one or two cats snuggled in closely.
The blankets then traveled to Connecticut in 1998.
They began to show their age, with worn patches of fuzzy fur missing, and the smell of cats. huskies, and wood stoves embedded into their fibers. No longer were they sleeping material but merely wrap around material as flannel replaced their furriness, and they did not fit a queen sized bed.
Then arrived The Shiba. The Shiba who enjoys luxury, organic foods, and comfort. As winter approached, one of the red fuzzy blankets became his.
Later, both became his. One by a heater, the other within his crate. They were his wintertime bedding. And this pleased him greatly.
This year, Belle claimed one of the blankets as hers and now each crate has a red fuzzy blanket for Shiba snuggling. It is not uncommon for us to drag our blankets out and then bring it back in, rearranging it to our liking. It is not uncommon for The Woman to wash our blankets and pull all the fur and red fuzzies out of her dryer for at least a week after. New Land's End blankets were purchased for heater resting and chair relaxation but neither are as good as the soft fuzzy red blankets that The Woman's Mother made so many years ago.
These are Honorable Blankets, made by our Women's Mother, and now given to us as gifts for warmth in the winter. The Woman was amazed when she sat down and thought about how old these blankets were, and how they have been a part of her life for so long.
But to Shibas? They are a necessity. Comfort from the cold. Easily Arrangeable. And both fit perfectly inside our crates.
It was one gift of many so long ago. Who would have guessed that this gift of would have traveled so far or lasted so long or given joy to so many?
Never underestimate the power of what is but a simple gesture to last for many years after.
I Am Shiba. I Still Want Breakfast in Bed.
P.S. That is Belle in the Blanket Below, not Me. She loves hers as much as I love mine.
Friday, December 18, 2009
How Can You Tell If It Is Cold?
Monday, December 14, 2009
Thank you all!
This year's small fund raiser for the Allan A. Leventhal Memorial Fund went very well. With the sale of calendar's and some personal donations, we donated $65.00 to this fund. As a Shiba whose breed is prone to getting loose for no reason or feels that traffic stops because we are omnipotent, this is an important fund particularly during the holiday season when people spend money and don't plan for emergencies.
Emergencies happen. Especially with Shibas.
I had to be hospitalized for a reaction to a distemper shot.
Belle had to be hospitalized for eating something she should not have.
Vet bills happen, and sometimes, the money is not there to pay for them.
The Woman strongly believes that pets help people (well, maybe not Shibas but you know, ordinary kind of dogs, cats, hamsters, or what have you) get through life with a sense of well-being and purpose. Pet ownership (while a privilege and not a right) should not necessarily be cast away because a beloved companion is in need of an office visit or emergency surgery that can not be afforded. Particularly in today's economy and issues where people are abandoning pets in order to reduce costs, for those struggling to keep their beloved family member healthy, funds like this are angelic.
$65.00 may not sound like much, but it helps with:
6 months of Heartworm and Tick medicine
One office visit for shots
One overnight stay
and the list goes on.
Normally, I would not care what happens to the canine heathens that roam the streets with their primitive owners but 'tis the season to care, and I shall contribute my part.
So, thank you all. A dog who slips out during the night and gets hit by a car, rushed to the vet on Christmas Eve, and their people silently pray for their pet's survival, all thank you.
I Am Shiba. Can I Have My Greenie Now?
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
December 9th, 2009
Something happened to Nature's Graphic Card because it's all white outside.
And Nature's Air Conditioning is on High.
Today is a good day to be zen.
I Am Shiba. I Will Zen the Sun Back.
Friday, December 04, 2009
Books for Dog Lovers
Admittedly, not everyone is completely in love with the Shiba Inu (shocking as it may seem). Also, there are individuals who like dogs, but have other interests as well (unbelievable as that may sound). Hence, what kind of books do you buy people are not necessarily in love with the most perfect breed that survived the 6000 year test of time but yet still enjoy canines and/or other subjects?
Allow Me (via advice from The Woman) to make a few recommendations:
Good Dog. Stay. by Anna Quindlen. A well-written monologue about growing old with your dog. (Caution: Shiba picture included inside!) A box of tissues should be given as a gift as well.
First Dogs: American Presidents and Their Best Friends. by Roy Rowan and Brooke Janis. A fun easy read that combines the history of our country's executive leaders and the animals that followed them to the White House. Starting with Harry S Truman's quote, "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog," the book entertains to include the recent arrival of Bo.
If you know a first time pet owner, I can not recommend these two books enough. Both The Woman and That Guy read these books in order to better understand Me and Why I Do Things For This Reason. Without these books, I believe that The Woman and That Guy would have been lost causes for Shibas. Mine and The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson are most likely two of the best written books regarding using positive reinforcement and noticing the good in what has become your bad dog. It was because of these books that Belle-chan is accepted for her happy-go-lucky "I am going to bark at anything different and attempt to attack the Akita living down the street just because I can." You learn the limits of yourself and your dog. This is Important!
As wise friend once said, if you live with your dog, your dog will learn to live with you. This is the Jean Donaldson approach.
Written by a Woman who obtained a 2nd hand Shiba, Second Hand Dog by Carol Lea Benjamin is an easy to read entertaining book (with cute illustrations) for that person who felt the need to obtain an adult dog rather than purchase a puppy. As Belle-chan and I were both adult dogs moved into a house from Rural environments to the chaos of an Urban One, we can relate to the difficulties of adjusting to a new home. Again, it teaches you how to work with your dog and its quirks rather than attempt to mold the dog into what you think it should be.
Of course, with the movie Hachiko coming out, there are plenty of books that will be telling his tale. The best of these Akita books, however, does not tell the tale of Hachiko but rather, of a small man who saved the Akita breed. Using the historical and sociological perspectives of post-WWII Japan, Dog Man: An Uncommon Life on a Faraway Mountain by Martha Sherrill. This is The Woman's Pick of the Dog book of the Year (although it was written in 2008). More proof that She is never on time for anything.
Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle by Brian Dennis. Also provide a box of tissues to accompany this book. It's a story like Hachiko with a twist.
The Daily Coyote: A Story of Love, Survival, and Trust in the Wilds of Wyoming by Shreve Stockton. If you think you were crazy for bringing a Shiba into your life, try a Coyote!
Nicolas You are . . . Ridiculous! by Olena Kassian is a favorite among the Shiba Peoples and perfect for anyone who enjoys the antics of a puppy.
Finally, in general, there are authors of note that have books and stories that many have enjoyed:
Jon Katz and his adventures on Bedlam Farm
James Herriot and his adventures in Yorkshire, England (classics!)
Spencer Quinn and his Mystery Series of Chet and Bernie (a second one to be released in January!)
Gary Paulsen. Winterdance: The Fine Maddness of Running the Iditarod by . Ever get a hair up your butt and want to go to Alaska, or just take off on some great adventure? The Woman did and what was to be one winter in the Arctic become 15 years filled with cats, dogs, horses, mountains, and lots of berry-picking. This book is a great tale by a great author who says, "hey, I wanna do this!" and then learns what it means to do exactly that. He also wrote: My Life in Dog Years, Wintersong, and Puppies, Dogs, and Blue Northers.
There is one book and one author that The Woman does not recommend this year.
The book Marley and Me (particularly after the movie came out), in The Woman's opinion, encouraged People to make fun of their dog's misbehaving social antics. It promotes the humor of owning a misbehaving dog and people who encourage these behaviors. I think that author made enough money on the book without The Shiba world promoting it further. (Plus, we Shibas could write several novels on how to be a misbehaving dog. Marley has nothing on us!)
The author that The Woman wishes to avoid this year is Ceasar Milan. Outside of the fact that he has made oodles of money off individuals through the marketing of books, video tapes, audio cd's, training devices, etc., The Woman is not disagreeing with his idea that The People of The House need to be the Leader of the Pack. She merely disagrees with his means of reaching this goal. While She has read most of his books and seen his show many times, his techniques are not for the inexperienced individuals. We Canines need to be treated with respect, not put in our place. As result, The Woman says to enjoy Ceasar for the entertainment value that he is, but to recognize that his training program (like a guide to good living or a book on how to lose 20 pounds in 4 weeks) works only for a few and not the many. Each to their own taste but use his advice with caution, and realize that soothing encouraging words go further than an alpha roll under duress.
I Am Shiba. Happy Shopping (And Don't Forget The Dog Treats!)