Well, it had to happen: Facebook found out that Tierce is a dog. Four years after the fact, but what the hey.

It was a shock to all of us.

tiercezombiecollage Shiba Inu Tierce VS Facebook

Tierce finds out that Facebook has shut down his profile.

To be honest, I’m a little chagrined, but I’m not that pissed off.  After all, Facebook is owned by… Facebook.  I think they’re ignoring a big demographic that could be bringing in income, but what the hey.  If they don’t want my Shiba’s money or fans, then fine.  We don’t need Facebook. Stupid Facebook.  Blah blah blah Facebook!

…actually I just converted his profile to a Page.

You can see it here.

Tell your friends.



Black Collar, No Tags

So this post is about a dead dog we found today.  No pictures or anything of the body.  Just letting you know.

It was our first kayaking day of the year and I wanted to go somewhere new.  It was beautiful.

eagle flight Shiba Inu Black Collar, No Tags

Immature Bald Eagle – they’re light brown/streaky white until they’re around 5 years old, when they get the classic white head/dark brown plumage


Tierce was, of course, unimpressed with everything.

home mischa Shiba Inu Black Collar, No Tags

“The park, Bitterman. Drive through the park. You know how I love the park!”

Until he started digging for clams.

tierce clams 1024x576 Shiba Inu Black Collar, No Tags

Mischa noticed her first as we were cursing and swearing our way upstream in the Nanaimo Estuary.  The body was draped over the riverbank, likely pushed there by the currents of the last high tide.  The hindquarters hung down towards the river – not a natural position for any dog.

It didn’t look like the dog had been dead very long; the eyes were filmed over, but present, and the body didn’t look like things had been nibbling at it.  The last high tide had been at 08:47; we had started kayaking around 16:30, roughly a half-hour after low tide.  By the time we found her, it was 18:45.

Mischa held my kayak while I got out.  Then I scrabbled up the bank.  By the time I stood over the dog, I had to keep blinking the tears away.  My brain flashes on random thoughts and images, both past and imagined.

Flash:  This isn’t right.  Dogs should die at home or at the vet’s, with their owners making sure that everything’s done proper.

It was the first time I remember touching a dead dog.  I saw a collar, but the fur was too thick to see if a tag had survived the river.  I reached into the waterlogged mass of fur and yanked it around so I could unbuckle it.  Black collar, no tags.

Flash: Tierce limp on a riverbank somewhere.  

It looked like a Golden Retriever mix, and young – the black on the muzzle had yet to frost over.  Well fed, no missing fur.  The smell was really strong, but I couldn’t tell if it was the smell of low tide on her or the beginning of decomposition.

Flash: A picture of a Shiba that had died during the Japanese tsunami, chained to a post and drowned.  It looked a lot like Tierce.

I checked to see if it was a male or female.  Female.  There was some blood on her inner hindquarters, but just a patch of it. Her hind paw hung heavy in my hand; just there.  Whatever made her the dog that her people would remember, it wasn’t there now.

Flash: Do dead dogs bleed?  The blood would have washed away in the river, wouldn’t it?  Was she alive when she washed up?  Was she hurt or killed and fell into the river somehow?  Or dumped?  Was she frightened?  Did it hurt?

I took a careful picture, trying to angle it so the eyes were mostly covered by the grass over her – if I had to send it to anyone, they didn’t need to see that.  I took a picture of the collar.  I looked up the latitude and longitude and took a screenshot.

Tierce looked up, incurious.  Maybe he couldn’t smell her or hadn’t noticed a doglike shape hanging over the bank.  Maybe he just didn’t care; the mechanics of death beyond him.

Flash:  This cannot be my dog.  This can never be the way my dog dies.  I couldn’t bear it, wondering forever if he was frightened or if he was in agony.  We’ve always been there to take care of him, to save him from himself.

I posted a picture of the latitude/longitude to FLED (FLED – Find Lost & Escaped Dogs Vancouver Island) along with a description and shared it on my Facebook page.  A friend alerted me to a post about a lost dog of the same description who had been missing for a week.  I called the phone number and left a message.  They called back and gave me an email address where I could send them a picture of the body.

It was her.

Her name was Angel and she was only 3 years old.

black collar no tags 1024x576 Shiba Inu Black Collar, No Tags




Allergy Panel

Tierce got his allergy panel back.  Apparently he’s really allergic to fleas.  He’s also mildly allergic to a mite called T. putrescentiae, black willow trees, dandelions, english plantain, goldenrod, a midge known as culicoides, and mayflies.

Mayflies?  Seriously?

And of course, our conversations go something like this:

Tierce: I have to go out.

Me:  Gotta pee?

Tierce:  Yeah, sure.

Me:  Fine, just don’t rub your face in the grass- stop it!

Tierce:  It feels so good, though!

Me:  You’re rubbing it right in the stuff that makes you itch!

Tierce:  You can’t know that.

Me:  Uh, this report that I spent about $350 on, says I do.

Tierce:  Nonsense.  I think they made it all up.

Me:  They didn’t make it all up- STOP EATING THE DANDELIONS.

Tierce:  But… they’re yellow.  I can see yellow.  It’s a universal sign for “Dogs should eat me”.

Me:  It is not!  Wait, if that’s true, then why don’t you like bananas?

Tierce:  They’re not the right shade of yellow.

Me:  Yeah, sure.

Tierce:  But this is!

Me:  No!  That’s goldenrod!  You’re allergic to that!

Tierce:  I’m sure that nothing will happen if I just bushwhack my way through this clump.


Tierce:  You and your superstitions.

Me:  This isn’t superstition or divination.  This is a report derived from scientific tests.

Tierce:  Look, they stole my blood.  Who knows what kind of witchcraft they engaged in.  It was probably a plot to make me itchy and you fell for it.  Idiot.

Me:  Look, I’m going to give you one more chance to get your ass out of the allergens and into the house.  Then I’m getting the hose.

Tierce:  Look at you, The Great Dictator.


Tierce:  Fine, whatever.  But don’t think I’ll forget the day when you let the devil-worshippers cast itch-spells on me.

Me:  House.  You.  Now.

Tierce:  There you go, always ignoring the real issues.  I’m the one with the problems here.

Me:  Oh, I completely agree on that score.

TierceAllergyReport1 231x300 Shiba Inu Allergy Panel

TierceAllergyReport2 231x300 Shiba Inu Allergy Panel

TierceAllergyReport3 231x300 Shiba Inu Allergy Panel



A Trip to Gibsons

image 1024x576 Shiba Inu A Trip to Gibsons

Tierce:  Another boat?

Me:  We’re going to an event in Gibsons.

Tierce:  This place smells like diesel.

Me:  That’s because this is the vehicle deck.

Tierce:  What’s that?

Me:  The ocean.

Tierce:  It looks wet. And cold.

Me:  Yeah. I’d take it as a kindness if you didn’t attempt a flying leap off the bow.


Me:  That’s the ship’s radar.

Tierce:  That’s the signal of the Hellmouth. They’re sailing us into the jaws of the Kraken!

Me:  Would you shut up?  Look, we’re under the roof again. It’s gone.

Tierce:  ALL HANDS ABANDON SHI- oh, okay. Hey, look, a tug toy!

Me:  No!  That’s a life preserver!

Tierce:  I bet I could run off with it and sever the rope in three places before you can reach the opposite end of the ship.

Me:  I’m not taking those odds.

Tierce: Spoilsport. What’s this?

Me:  This is the pet area.

Tierce:  The pet area?  It looks like a big crate. A Dane couldn’t even turn around in here.

Me:  Well, when they designed the ferry, pet areas weren’t a big consideration.

Tierce:  Now you know why their revenue’s dropping.


image2 300x232 Shiba Inu A Trip to Gibsons

Me:  Well, here’s Horseshoe Bay.

Tierce:  Shall we celebrate by sharing your ice cream?

Me:  No.

Tierce:  Explain.

Me:  Well, it’s chocolate.  Chocolate is bad for dogs.  I don’t want you getting sick.

Tierce:  You love the fact that chocolate is bad for dogs, don’t you?

Me:  Pretty much, yeah.

Tierce:  I’m pretty sure you’d come up with some other bullshit excuse if you were eating vanilla, say, or strawberry.

Me:  Oh, no, I’d make it sound plausible.

Tierce:  Such as…?

Me:  You can’t have it because I say you can’t and I’m bigger than you, with opposable thumbs.

Tierce:  There you go, throwing that in my face again.

image1 300x225 Shiba Inu A Trip to Gibsons


Me:  Here we are!

Tierce: Where?

Me:  At our friends’ in Gibsons.

Tierce:  Is ‘Gibsons’ short for ‘Ferry Forever?’ Because it sure seems like it.

Me:  Well we’re here now.

Tierce:  Meh. Whatever.

Friends:  Can Tierce have the ends of the ham we cooked for tomorrow’s event? Oh, and there’s some turkey skin he can have.

Tierce:  This is the greatest day of my life. Let’s stay here forever.


Me: Okay, we’re off. We’ll be back in a few hours.

Tierce:  Why can’t I come?

Me:  Dogs aren’t allowed in the curling club. Sorry.

Tierce:  That’s not fair. I eat really well at events.

Me:  Alas, these things sometimes happen.

Tierce:  I think this is a plot to keep the turkey from me.

Me:  Could be.  In fact, it probably is.  The people of Fjordland are just against Shibas having turkey.  Sorry.

Tierce:  I’m sure there’s some kind of medieval hospitality law against this.

Me:  Well, you see, that’s the awesome thing about the SCA.  We can pick and choose.

Tierce:  A Shiba is without honour in his own Principality.


Me:  Oh, come on.  Stop looking all depressed.

Tierce:  I can’t help it.  All is dead.  I’m trapped.  The walls are closing in.

Me:  I came back in the middle of the event to let you out to pee.  You were just on an hour walk through the forest.  I didn’t even let a coyote eat you.  Still, you complain.

Tierce:  No will to live.

Me:  Okay, enough of that.  Come up on the bed here.  Look out the window.

Tierce:  I’m in the pit of despai- HEY THERE WAS A BIRD. DID YOU SEE THAT? A BIRD JUST FLEW BY.

Me:  That’s right, a bird.

Tierce:  Hey, a car.

Me:  Great.

Tierce:  ‘Nother car.

Me:  Thanks for sharing.

Tierce:  You’ll never guess what’s coming up the road.

Me:  A coyote?

Tierce:  No!  A woman with a SCHNAUZER!

Me:  This is news?

Tierce:  Another bird!

Me:  I’m just going to leave you to, uh, enjoy the sights.

Tierce:  No kidding, it’s like Wild Kingdom out here.


image3 300x244 Shiba Inu A Trip to Gibsons

Me:  What are you doing?

Tierce:  Getting ready for bed.

Me:  Well, most dogs get ready for bed at the end of the bed.  Not the pillows.  The pillows are for people.  Like me.

Tierce:  If pillows were meant for people, then why are they sized for me?


Allergy Panel of the Damned

tiercevetshort Shiba Inu Allergy Panel of the Damned

“I’m watching you take out your credit card. Hurts, don’t it?”

Me: Well, that was expensive.

Tierce:  You paid to have me tortured?

Me:  I paid to have an allergy panel done on you.  Inhalant and insect.  You could be allergic to dust mites.  Mould.  People.

Tierce:  I could definitely see being allergic to you and your oppressive regime.

Me:  This is not a regime.  This is ointment.

Tierce: Ahuh.  Sure.  So if you’re looking for allergies, why did you pay the vet to steal my blood for their demonic rituals?

Me:  The vet is going to send it away for testing and in a week or so, we should have an idea of what you’re allergic to.

Tierce:  I think the vet is going to use it to bind me to your will.  Make me like a Lab or something.

Me:  Oh, believe me, if that could be done…

Tierce:  I registered my objections, though.

Me:  I heard.

Tierce:  I screamed, “THE POWER OF ME COMPELS YOU!”

Me:  Did it work?

Tierce: No.

Me:  Might have to do with the fact that you’re not a god and the vet isn’t a demon.

Tierce:  So you say.  Wait- what are you doing with that devil’s brew?

Me:  The ointment?  I’m spreading it over the place that you licked raw.

Tierce:  Hey, hey now.

Me:  Look, would you stop struggling?

Tierce:  It feels weird!

Me:  Look, this isn’t fun for me either, you know.  The last thing I really wanted to do tonight is put ointment anywhere near your junk.

Tierce:  How would I know?  You have all sorts of fucked-up hobbies.  Putting hats on me, harnesses, putting me in the kayak, in the bike trailer…  Pervert.

Me:  That’s what is known as ‘life experience’- stop kicking me!

Tierce:  Stop putting gooey crap on me!  Look, I’ll lick it myself and it’ll all be good.  Dogs have healing powers.

Me:  Forget it!  That’s what got you into this mess and don’t wriggle.  This cost me 20 bucks and you’re not wasting it.

Tierce:  You spent 20 bucks on Satan’s potion?  Now who’s wasting things?

Me:  There.  You’re done.  DO NOT LICK IT OFF.

Tierce:  Why not?

Me:  That stuff is to help you heal.

Tierce:  Why not?

Me:  I’ll be displeased.

Tierce:  Why not?


Tierce:  All right, fine.


Boot List

tiercemischaboot Shiba Inu Boot List

Me:  The Boxer on the Mainland* who had the bucket list has died.

Tierce:  Huh?

Me:  Boxer.  Bucket list.  Dead.

Tierce:  What’s a bucket list?

Me:  It’s a collection of things you want to do before dying.

Tierce:  What’s ‘dying’.

Me:  We’ve had this discussion before.  Never mind.

Tierce: Well, I’ve got a lot of things I want to do.

Me:  Like what?

Tierce:  Run loose.

Me:  You’ve done that.  In fact, we let you run loose for your birthday.

Tierce:  Run loose again.

Me:  Uh, sure.  Anything else?

Tierce:  Cheese.

Me:  You had some cheese.  We gave you some for deigning to come back from the yard.

Tierce:  More cheese.

Me:  Right.  Any other ideas?

Tierce:  Stinky fish**

Me:  You’ve had stinky fish.

Tierce:  More stinky fish.

Me:  This is getting a little repetitive.  Let’s see what we’ve experienced together.  In no particular order.

  • Bicycling
  • Bicycling in a trailer
  • Kayaking
  • Travelling in a big ferry
  • Travelling in a small ferry
  • Driving in a car
  • SCA events
  • Farmers markets
  • Local fairs
  • Downtown Nanaimo, Victoria
  • The Richmond Night Market
  • The vet
  • The groomer
  • The dog park
  • Doggy daycare
  • Dog expos
  • Swimming pools
  • The ocean
  • Lakes
  • Rivers
  • Hiked up a mountain
  • Conformation dog shows
  • Agility
  • Clicker training
  • Trick training
  • Lure coursing
  • Go-to-ground fun matches
  • Obedience training
  • Canada day celebrations
  • Geocaching
  • Zombie walks
  • Visiting other people’s houses

Tierce:  Some of those were fun.  Some really sucked.

Me:  Yeah, but that’s life, in all its glory.

Tierce:  Life should include more cheese and off-leash running.

Me:  Would that it did.

Tierce:  Want to see my boot list?

Me: Your what?

Tierce:  Boot list.  Boots smell better than buckets and you can put things in them.

Me:  Like the time you dropped your biscuit in my shoe?

Tierce:  Yeah.  Like that.  It’s ideal for hiding things.

Me:  Uh, sure.

Tierce: Okay, here goes:

  • Run off leash
  • Find another bacon wrapper in the garbage
  • Eat cheese
  • Get the rest of the stinky fish
  • Run off leash
  • Get my equal share of pizza
  • Eat cheese
  • Have more friends on Facebook than you
  • Figure out how to open the door myself
  • Eat the cat crunchies at the side of the house
  • Be able to go up on the landlord’s deck whenever I want
  • Eat cheese

Me:  Well, that was interesting.  You repeated yourself.  Several times.

Tierce:  I repeated the important things as they occurred to me.

Me:  I see.  You do realize that some of these things will never come to pass if I can help it, right?

Tierce:  You’re just not supportive.

Me:  Of you getting worms from eating cat poop?  No.  Getting run over because you’re off-leash on the Parkway***?

Tierce:  YOLO.

*Vancouver, BC and its suburbs are known collectively as ‘The Mainland’ or ‘The Lower Mainland’
**Tierce means dried anchovies  
***Highway that bypasses Nanaimo



CKC-Approved Canine Nutrition Course

image1 592x1024 Shiba Inu CKC Approved Canine Nutrition Course

Tierce, attempting to supplement his diet with Shiba-appropriate nutrition.

Tierce: What are you doing?

Me:  I’m studying a canine nutrition course approved by the Canadian Kennel Club.

Tierce:  Why are you wasting your time with that?  I can tell you everything you need to know.

Me:  Because I want to know what goes into providing you with an optimal diet.  You… you’re not really what I’d call a reliable resource.

Tierce:  Sure I am.  I already know what goes into an optimal diet.  It starts with ‘ch’ and ends with ‘eese’.

Me:  I beg to differ.

Tierce:  I’ll beg for it, too.  I have no pride.

Me:  Then why don’t you like your bicycling harness?

Tierce:  That’s not ‘pride’.  That’s ‘dignity’.  Also, there’s the fact that the straps sap my will to live and make cats hate me.

Me:  Cats hated you before I even bought that harness.  Anyway, this is going to give me some good basic information about what kind of nutrition you need.  That way, I can make better decisions for you and become a better resource for my customers at work.  I’d like to know what supplements would be good for you to take, for instance.

Tierce:  I occasionally supplement with dried liver and anchovies.

Me:  Not exactly.

Tierce:  What?  They’re great.

Me:  Sure.  They’re just not what you need for long-term health.

Tierce:  I also supplement with other stuff.

Me:  Sure you do.

Tierce:  Cat poop!  Full of protein, trace minerals…

Me:  Ugh.  No supplementing with cat poop.

Tierce:  What are you, a hater?  Against a natural diet?

Me:  That’s not a natural diet, that’s disgusting.

Tierce:  Of course it’s natural.  I found it in the wild.

Me:  You mean the side of the house?

Tierce:  Yeah.  It’s pretty wild there.  The grass is really tall.

Me:  You are not allowed there anymore.

Tierce:  You’re all about feeding raw and natural and you can’t let me have a diet that would be natural for me if I was running free?

Me:  Well, ‘natural’ isn’t always ‘better’.

Tierce:  Then why do you feed me raw food?

Me:  Because I believe that a properly formulated raw diet, supplemented appropriately, is a healthy choice.

Tierce:  But you don’t let me supplement my diet as I see fit.  That makes you a hypocrite.

Me:  No, it makes me a little more cognizant of the physical and social consequences of certain dietary choices.

Tierce:  But you still feed me kibble sometimes.

Me:  I don’t think kibble is ‘bad’ or ‘evil’, just that it isn’t as good as fresh, whole food.

Tierce:  And sometimes it’s just easier.

Me:  Exactly.

Tierce:  So you’re lazy, too.

Me:  Not lazy enough to stop working so I have an excuse to not pay for your food.

Tierce:  Apparently laziness has a sliding scale.

Me:  Keep talking.  That sliding scale includes generic dog food.

Tierce:  A Shiba has no honour at his own dog dish.