Squirrel!

io9: Squirrel attempts to hide nut in BMD’s fur

Yeah, with Tierce, this probably would have the following ending:

Tierce: OH HAI WANNA PLAY WITH THE NEW STUFFIE I FOUND?

Me: What is that?

Tierce: Uh. My new toy.

Me: It looks like a dead squirrel.

Tierce: Yes! It’s my new stuffed toy!

Me: That’s not a stuffed toy, Tierce. Did you kill that?

Tierce: I played with it until it stopped moving. On its own.

Me: So you killed it. You can’t have that thing in the house.

Tierce: But… it’s my new stuffed toy.

Me: It’s not stuffed.

Tierce: Yes it is! With bloody, chewy goodness!

Me: Precisely why you can’t have it in the house. What’s that smell?

Tierce: I pulled some of the stuffing out of my new toy. Behind the couch. Why don’t you feed me stuff like that? It’s good.

Me: Does the word ‘de-wormer’ mean anything to you?

Tierce: No. Should it?

Me: It will.

(Thanks to Sarah, who provided me with the impetus for this completely imaginary conversation)

No! Stay! (Away From Shibas?)

shibasnuggles

Used with permission.

Lately, the Doge meme has spurred new interest in the Shiba.  Buzzfeed picked up on it. Jezebel even commented on it in their For the Love of Doge, Please Do Not Get a Shiba Inu article.

…when a breed advocate says “DO NOT GET THIS KIND OF DOG UNTIL YOU MEET ONE AND ARE SURE,” it is probably a good idea to listen. ~ Erin Gloria Ryan, Jezebel

This is pretty much my stance, but some comments and a recent conversation with Sarah, the person pictured above with her Shiba Inu, Kit, made me wonder: Are Shiba enthusiasts overly negative about their breed, even out of the best possible intentions?

Here’s our conversation:

TMS:

I want to quote some of the stuff you’ve said about the Shiba owner issue – pushing people away from their breed. I don’t want you to think that I ignored your posts and comments about it – it’s just been percolating at the back of my head and I want to write a blog post about it.

Sarah

Absolutely, please feel free! And if you’re inclined to disagree with it, I hope you know that I will still adore you anyway and you don’t have to hold back on account of fragile friend ego if you’re inclined to take another position, I’m totes OK with that.

TMS:

Haha… no… I am actually one of the worst culprits when it comes to OHMAIDOGSTAYAWAAAAYFARAWAAAAY

Sarah:

LOL!!!!!

TMS:

I was thinking about why and, well, I think it’s partly because, yes, the breed looks cute, but is really tough…

But I think also it’s because it’s like being a fucking parent – a real one – and you’re talking to some kid who’s all “I wanna be a mommy!” and you’re saying to them, “This dog will infuriate you, ignore you, frustrate you and will rip out your heart when it dies. You want that?”

Other breeds are like the Kodak moments. You don’t generally have to worry about your Lab with kids. Your Collie just magically comes when called. The Shiba is the problem child, the smart one, the one with the most potential for greatness AND disaster. No wonder our hearts get fused to them so closely. No wonder we look at other people and worry about whether they’re ready for that kind of thing.

However, like a lot of parents, we can get a little too involved with our dogs. When it gets to the point where ‘no one is good enough’ for your breed, you really have to step back and re-examine what you’re doing.

Like mothers who don’t let their mates parent because they don’t put diapers on right or because they’re okay with the kid taking two bites of broccoli and not eating the whole thing.

Sarah:

I completely get that, I really do. Because Shibas are so much their own person, it really IS like having a relationship with an autonomous creature that knows his/her own mind and is willing to go to bat for what they want.

Kit is my first dog, so I didn’t actually come into the relationship expecting her to be (in the words of T’Pal, forgive the Trek reference) a subservient quadriped. It cracks my family up that I have a dog so much like me – stubborn, independent, determined to do things her/my own way. And I love her for it. It doesn’t really irritate me, I admire her for her moxie.

People do need to know that these dogs are SMART, and that having one is a partnership and will never be a master/slave relationship. They’re not for people who can’t do unconditional love – like parenting. The kind of love which accepts everything and delights in it all – the sassy moments, the disastrous decision of the child to TP the entire house, build an A-bomb in the garage, etc. etc. etc. – it’s all part of having a critter who is gloriously real and not just a yes-dog.

I agree with you that people should know what they’re getting into, and I *double* agree that it’s important to treat prospective Shiba owners as potential new parents who need encouragement and support instead of judgment (putting diapers on wrong) or criticism (make them eat all the broccoli) or disdain.

It’s a challenge, but it’s also wonderful to have a dog who is their own person. I love Kit’s lack of subservience more than I can say. I’m proud of her for feeling so empowered to assert her will even though she is so tiny and I am so big. I love that self-confidence and I can’t help it, it makes me smile.

Yes, sometimes I find myself standing in the freezing rain or next to the car door for 5, 10, 15 minutes because she and I are doing Immovable Object and Irresistible Force (it happens, sometimes she can’t get what she wants), but she knows that I will out-wait her no matter how long it takes and eventually she chooses to come along. I don’t actually find it particularly infuriating or aggravating because this is her, in all her glory.

I love what you just said about “When it gets to the point where ‘no one is good enough’ for your breed, you really have to step back and re-examine what you’re doing” – because that’s exactly how I feel, too. It breaks my heart to see Shiba enthusiasts trying so hard to make people never, ever want to get a Shiba.

These same people will swear up and down and inside-out that there is NO bad pit bull, only bad owners. But for whatever reason, they think Shibas are the fucking devil incarnate. It is so weird to me, and I sincerely wonder if some of these Shiba owners should probably have gotten a different dog if they have such negative feelings about the breed. And why the hell are they so against BSL and breed stereotyping when it comes to bully breeds, but so eager to do it to their own dogs?

I swear to god, if I got on that Shiba board and replaced the word “pit bull” with “Shiba” and replicated some anti-pitty diatribe with just the breed names replaced, everyone will fall all over themselves agreeing with me. Put up the same diatribe about pits, and they will shit themselves blind about how evil it is to do that. It is baffling. I don’t mean mean that people should be all pie-eyed and rose-tinted glasses and in denial about Shiba temperament, but I’d like to see more people like you – Tierce is sassy and indomitable and it cracks you up and you respect it, and you work with him and who he is, setting boundaries with lots of love.

These are definitely dogs that require human-style parenting; attempts to dominate them are laughable. I don’t know if I told you about how my Uncle Jerry tried to get Kit to treat him like an alpha male over Thanksgiving, but it was HILARIOUS. Poor ex-Marine with his macho alpha male personality. He’d walk up to her and take this wide-legged stance and glare at her, expecting her to go all submissive on him, and she’d just go (literally) “Hmph” and walk away. I swear she was laughing at him. It slayed me. But if Jerry had adopted a Shiba, it would be such a tragically bad fit. Unbelievably bad. For the dog and the person. I shudder to think, I really do.

But of course, alienating good people from the breed by trying to terrify the fuck out of them is not good for the breed. I think it’s worse than being cheerfully cautionary. Much worse. I’m really happy that you’re going to write about this. I know people respect you and your perspective.

TMS

Well, it’s a balancing line. I met a woman who just got a Shiba from some weird place or breeder or whatever and the message I tried to leave with her is that YES… You will find this breed is the devil sometimes. You will have to work harder, train more frequently, be more aware of what your dog is doing and how she’s reacting… BUT you’ll be okay. It’s not your fault if the dog freaks out at some random thing; it just means you need to find a way to work around it. BUT you’ll be okay. Even if your dog decides it hates other dogs with the fiery burning passion of a rash people won’t see their doctor about. BUT you’ll be okay…

Sarah:

I think that’s a great message.

And I should also mention that my perspective is maybe weird because I’ve made absolutely no attempt at all to train Kit. I would probably think she was the devil more often if I was trying to get her to do obedience and agility and stuff. She has mostly trained herself because of the collaboration and give/take thing. Her recall is mostly good, because she’s pretty sure that if I call her there will be pepperoni. Sometimes she values freedom over pepperoni, and then she’s magically deaf. She has figured out how to put on her own harness if I hold it up, because she likes going for walks. She sticks her head in and threads her own leg through the loop. I don’t think I could have “trained” her to do that in a thousand years.

People find it annoying that she doesn’t sit on command, but I take a certain smug satisfaction in watching them try to make her do it. HA GOOD LUCK. I don’t care if she doesn’t sit on command. Or roll, or fetch, or whatever. I just don’t. It’s not even a little important to me. All I care about is that she stops – every single time, dead in her tracks – if I yell “NO!” (No don’t eat that, no don’t run over there, no don’t chew on that dog, no don’t eat that tennis ball/acorn/coyote poop.) That’s the only thing I really need her to do, for her own safety, and she is flawless on “NO!” so we’re good. Everything else, meh. I admire people who have figured out how to communicate and collaborate with their Shibas, like Elee and that one novice owner who is getting all those agility championships. But Kit and I aren’t that ambitious.

Also, I might have found it devilish that she managed to completely remove the wainscoting from the front door when I left her uncrated in the apartment on a teaching day, if I hadn’t been so impressed. I’m lucky as hell that she didn’t tunnel straight through the drywall. I hate keeping her crated for so long (it’s like six solid hours) so I’ve been trying to get her used to being on her own and not in her crate, and she is getting better at it, but I currently have a door frame propped up against the wall in two parts, because somehow my wee little dog managed to pull two lengths of 7 feet by three inches timber off the wall.

TMS:

Heh. Life with a Shiba.

It was such a culture shock when we got Shassi – we were accustomed to dogs that basically lived to please. Shassi was… something new.

Sarah:

LOL! Yeah, I actually think there’s a lot to be said for Shibas being BETTER for first-time dog owners than experienced dog owners, which is the opposite of the standard lore on the matter. If I’d been used to a yes-dog, Kit might have been harder to accept. But she’s my first, so wasn’t really bothered. I didn’t have any pre-formed expectations in particular, I just learned what to expect from her as we got to know each other. And vice-versa, I’m sure. Her show owner was a lot stricter about food and heeling on walks. Kit used to walk loose-leash picture-perfect on my left, but she figured out that I’m a pushover 75% of the time pretty quickly.

TMS: 

You see, I’d be afraid that a first-time owner would be overwhelmed by a Shiba, but maybe you’re right. After a Shiba, other breeds would seem pretty tame.

Maybe it’s because we feel that it takes more to love a Shiba than another breed that’s easier to own and we’re forever terrified that by recommending Shibas as a good dog to try that we could be setting one up for abandonment.

But that doesn’t make sense. “Good” dogs are abandoned every day.

Sarah

For real. If a first-time owner has expectations based on fantasy, they would definitely get a buttshock when it came to reality. Same is probably true of most first-time owners of any breed, though. Kit only chews on her bones (and one rare time, a particularly odorous ballet slipper, she couldn’t resist the smell of foot), I gather from other friends with dogs that most dogs will chew freaking ANYTHING.

I have a neighbor with a medium sized mix (something fluffy and short) and I walked that dog while he was laid up with hip surgery. It was startlingly easy. I’m so used to Kit asserting herself vigorously that I kept thinking the dog must be depressed. He just didn’t show much interest in doing anything than walking right at my side.

You’re absolutely right. Good dogs are abandoned every day, and I hate to think that there are Shibas that won’t get homes (from shelters or rescue or retirement or whatever) because they’ve been depicted BY SHIBA OWNERS as the worst possible dog in the entire world.

When I told my mother I was getting a Shiba she googled when we got off the phone and then called me back and said she didn’t want me to get Kit, she wanted me – and I quote here – to “get a dog that will love you back.” That is the impression she got of the breed from searching about them online. That they are not loving, that they are aloof and obstinate and a pain in the ass. And she tried to talk me out of Kit. And I insisted on getting Kit, because I had met her and I just knew we were going to be soulmates. I will be gutted as fuck when she dies, but I wouldn’t give her up for anything. She was the best decision I ever made.

TMS: 

Yeah, I can get frustrated with people, but in the end, I want us Shiba people and us dog people to realize that we are mostly on the same side. We have to work towards the goals we all share and keep arguing about the ones we don’t in ways that facilitate learning instead of shutting it down.

Sarah:

Absolutely! I’d love to see the active Shiba forums become more supportive, encouraging, and positive. And I’d love to see more people interested in rescue and in supporting conscientious breeders. Without being shitmonkeys. Some crapnoodle on the forums said Kit should have never been born/bred because I thought she might be having seasonal allergies. I would have cheerfully punched her in the face if she’d said that to me in person. But that’s also just the internet being dire.

Thank you, Sarah!  (and thank you, Kit, for inspiring your person!)  

Kit was bred by Goldkress Shibas. To quote Sarah:

Lonita Kress is (IMO) a wonderful and responsible breeder who is passionate about the happiness and health of her dogs. She does not breed pets, she does 1-2 planned breedings per year and very occasionally has an adult who is retiring or a puppy who isn’t going to a colleague/show owner and is available for a pet home. I credit her for Kit being so affectionate and cuddly and loving, she gives her dogs a ton of love and affection and it shows in all of their temperaments. They’re all absolute people persons.

Do you think that Shiba owners are overly negative about their dogs?  Talk about it here or on Facebook.

Dogster Closing Community

I just found out that Dogster is closing down its Community section.  I haven’t been on it in years – Tierce has his own blog and Facebook… that’s enough for him!  Plus, I never really cottoned on to Dogster’s community, so I kind of visited on a whim every now and again.

Thought I would visit again and found the entry I made for Shassi when she died:

Know this, that I am queen!

RIP Me

January 7th 2010 10:05 am
Leave A Comment ]I haven’t been on here for a LONG time – so many other things to do, you know – eating, sleeping, sleeping, walking in the yard, sleeping… But it was time to go yesterday, so I went. I haven’t been thinking really well lately, so I didn’t really know what was happening when I slipped away from the world.

Dogs don’t think like people. We don’t worry about death and we don’t concern ourselves too much with the future of old age and increasing infirmities. We just are and fortunately, we have owners who look ahead and make life easier for us when it’s hard getting up and down the stairs.

I had a long life, long even for a Shiba and I had a really good one, too. I’m glad that I got to live my life surrounded by people who love me. But I think that I’m also glad for death, because living in a frail body that doesn’t work right and a mind that slowly shut me off from the real world wasn’t much fun and, since I lived in the moment, that slow darkness was who and what I was.

I’m happy that I touched so many people and that my owner was able to write something that rang true for you all. I will always be “The” Misanthropic Shiba and I’m glad that you enjoyed my adventures of the last 16 years.

Goodbye,

Shassi

The Oreo Peanut Butter Cup Scandal

An artist's re-enactment of the scene.

An artist’s re-enactment of the scene.

18:07 Pacific Standard Time:

Me:  You little bastard.

Tierce:  What?

Me:  I left half an Oreo peanut butter cup here on the desk and you took it!

Tierce:  Try proving that in a court of law.

Me:  I don’t have to prove it!  Exhibit A: The bag, on the floor.  Exhibit B:  Mischa’s sense of self-preservation.  Ergo, YOU are the only one who took it.

Tierce:  I remember it differently.  Which is to say, I don’t remember it at all

21:28 Pacific Standard Time:

Tierce:  I’m distressed.  Must bury my food.

Me:  Aw, look at the puppy!  Look, he’s trying to bury his chewy in his dog bed in front of us!  Is that not the cutest thing ever.

Tierce:  Must… hide… for… winter…

Me:  And look, he’s trying to cover it up with his nose!  Is that not precious!

Mischa:  What is that thing?

Me:  I think it’s his beef stick.

Tierce:  It’s food I found scavenging in the wilderness.

Me:  The wilderness?

Tierce:  Around your computer desk.

Me:  Mischa, can you check that thing out?

Mischa:  Oh, god.  It’s…

Me:  MY OREO PEANUT BUTTER CUP!  TIERCE, YOU ASSHOLE!

Tierce:  The bounty of Christmas is over.  I have to save enough food to see me through til spring.

Me:  You stole my Oreo peanut butter cup and didn’t even have the decency to eat it.  No.  No, after slobbering all over it, you buried it in your dog bed in front of me.

Tierce:  You just left it lying around; how was I to know you still wanted it?

Me:  IT WAS ON MY DESK.  IN A BAG.

Tierce:  Practically had a sign on it saying, “Take me.”

Me:  You could not be more of a jerkass, Tierce!

Tierce:  And then, you leave me alone to starve.

Me:  You just had dinner!

Tierce:  A half-cup of measley kibble.

Me:  Mischa, it’s time to trade him in.  Get a new dog.

Mischa:  We can’t trade in the puppy.

Me:  You think we could get a couple of Oreo peanut butter cups for him?

Tierce:  Hey! You threw it out!  I was going to save it for later and you threw it out!

Me: Well I’m not eating it after you had your jaws all over it.

Tierce:  Then give it back.

Me:  No.  A. It’s not for dogs.  Chocolate is bad for you.  B.  Do you seriously think I’m going to give you back the thing that you stole from me?  It would give you the completely wrong message.

Tierce:  That if at first you don’t succeed, climb up on the chair and get onto the desk that way?

Me:  No.

RIP Kona

Kona

Tierce:  Why are you crying?

Me:  Kona is dead.

Tierce:  Who?

Me:  She was an American Eskimo.  You never met her.

Tierce:  Was she important or something?

Me:  She knew Shassi.  She played with Shassi, many, many moons ago.

Tierce:  Impossible.  Shassi never played with anyone.

Me:  She did once.  Kona used to chase her and pull her tail.

Tierce:  No!

Me:  True story.

Tierce:  I can’t really picture Shassi playing with anyone, unless it was with their severed limb.  She threatened to bite my nose off once, you know.

Me:  You probably deserved it.

Tierce:  You always loved her best.

Me:  At least you know I’m not lying to you when I say ‘Yes’.

Tierce:  Shassi… playing…

Me:  It was a long time ago.  Before you were born.  Before your dam and sire were born.  And now she’s dead.

Tierce:  Is that why you’re crying?  The death thing?

Me:  Yeah, kinda.

Tierce:  But why?  They’re not here.  Why think about them?

Me:  The fact that Kona’s not here anymore is sort of the reason why I’m sad.

Tierce:  But look, there’s a toy.  See?  I haf a ‘oy.  In my mouf.

Me:  That’s nice, but it doesn’t stop me from feeling sad.

Tierce:  But maybe she’ll come back.

Me:  No, Tierce, no, she won’t come back.

Tierce:  It happens all the time.  Someone leaves and POOF, they suddenly come back.  Like you.

Me:  I go to work, Tierce, for about eight-nine hours at a time, but I regularly come back.  It’s really not the same.

Tierce:  But I never know if you or anyone is coming back.  So you could be gone forever and then still come back.

Me:  No, it doesn’t work that way.  We’ve had this conversation before.

Tierce:  I’ve forgotten.

Me:  It’s not something you need to remember.  Don’t worry about it.

Tierce:  Sometimes it’s easier to be a dog, isn’t it?

Me:  Yeah.  Sometimes, it is.  But if we all thought like dogs, we would forget those who mean the most to us.  And we couldn’t tell other people how much they meant or do things with our lives to remember them.

Tierce:  I thought that some dogs grieve for their people or other dogs they were close to.

Me:  They say that and there’s evidence that it is true.

Tierce:  It must feel like there’s an empty place that can’t be filled by other people or other dogs.

Me:  Yes, that’s how it feels for a lot of people and, I suppose, dogs.

Tierce:  I’m glad I don’t have anyone like that in my life.  Imagine how sad it would be to lose someone you truly care about.

Me:  Uh, I’m happy for you.  Really.

Tierce:  What happens when you have a space in your life you can’t fill?

Me:  You live around it until eventually it becomes part of you, part of your life.

Tierce:  Then you replace it with another dog?

Me:  It is said that there can be no replacements, only successors.  No dog can replace another.  They can succeed them, but each dog is different and therefore special.

Tierce:  So is that how humans do it?  Go out and get another dog?

Me:  Some do, some don’t.

Tierce:  I like to think that I’ve ruined you for all other dogs.

Me:  For rude, opinionated dogs, maybe.

Tierce:  Would you miss me if I died?

Me:  Yes.

Tierce:  But not enough to give me that pizza you’re eating right now.

Me:  No.

Tierce:  I don’t understand.

Me:  And that’s probably for the best.

RIP Kona.  I’m glad I knew you.

Shiba Name Ideas – Tsundere

Tsundere (ツンデレ?pronounced [tsɯndeɽe]) is a Japanese character development process that describes a person who is initially cold and even hostile towards another person before gradually showing his or her warm side over time. The word is derived from the terms tsun tsun (ツンツン?), meaning to turn away in disgust, and dere dere (デレデレ?) meaning to become ‘lovey dovey’. Source: Wikipedia

I first encountered this term over at TV Tropes, which shows plenty of examples contributed by its readers.

Facebook and Fact-Checking

It amazes me what people pass on without fact-checking.

This habit is harmful.  It perpetuates a culture of ignorance and credulity that makes people vulnerable when real threats come to their doorstep.  It can also be used to attack people who have little or no connection to the story being told through pictures and unsubstantiated claims.

Here’s an example of a Facebook picture that could go horribly wrong.  Look, a sad dog.   Look, a licence plate number.  Look, a claim that it was left outside by uncaring owners.  Let’s bring these owners to justice by sharing!  By the time this blog post was published, the below had already been shared over 1000 times.

I can't find any evidence that anyone even knows where this photo came from...

I can’t find any evidence that anyone even knows where this photo came from…

Sounds like it makes sense, right?  I mean, no one likes people who neglect their dogs by leaving them where they could get too hot or too cold.  But how do you know that the picture is actually of a dog left alone in a vehicle?  How do you know the license plate is even that of the car in question?  How do you know that events happened in the way that the picture or caption says they did?  Simple, without evidence, you don’t.

So, let’s say you share this photo and about 1000 other people share it, too.  Then someone sees the car at a parking lot somewhere and decides to perform some vigilante justice.  Sure, if events happened the way that people say they did, maybe it’s poetic justice.  Maybe it’s not.  You don’t know.  Mr. Caped Crusader doesn’t know (and whether he cares is debatable).

Don't pass on shit you haven't fact-checked.

Don’t pass on shit you haven’t fact-checked.

Can you imagine what would happen if someone took a photo of you and attached it to the claim that people are looking for ‘wanted child molester John/Jane Doe’?  That shit would get shared several hundred times because people don’t bother checking stuff. And it could quite possibly ruin an your life and prospects.  The same goes for claims of abused dogs, etc.

If you want to post information implicating someone in a crime like animal abuse or whatever, be aware that without confirmed proof (legal judgments, news reports, etc), you could be the target of a lawsuit for defamation. If you include the person’s identifying information and imply that you want something bad to happen to them? Not really good for you.

Social media has certainly saved lives and brought criminals to justice.  Just be aware of what you are sharing, where it came from and make sure that you’ve done your background research.  It just takes a few clicks to confirm and perhaps an IM or email.

Insta-Service Dog Certification!

There’s a new site that’s causing a furor in the dogosphere: ServiceDogRegistration.org. It’s a site that will register any dog as a service dog. They don’t even need a skill-testing question.

Since Tierce is my aversion therapy dog, I figured that he needed his own certification. Unfortunately, the cheapest option is $49.99 for a single laminated ID card. So we didn’t do that. However, Tierce is now registered as an Emotional Support Dog.

20131123-231312.jpg

You can find Tierce in the database!

Not satisfied with that, I felt that I should register him with another organization. You know, just to be on the safe side. So he is now Service Dog 1385277899 on the USServiceDogRegistry.org.

20131123-234048.jpg

But you know, that isn’t enough for me. I need extra help. I need another Service Dog.

Enter Puffy.

20131123-234758.jpg

Puffy entered our lives a month ago, when I bought him at the Richmond Night Market. He was quite bloated and had no visible hair. I can’t say that our ownership of him has improved him any; one leg fell off a week ago, but he keeps smiling, so I’m pretty sure he’s happy.

Puffy is now also a Service Dog with ServiceDogRegistration.org.

20131124-000406.jpg

You can find Puffy in the database!

And he is also now a Service Dog with the USServiceDogRegistry.org.

20131124-000729.jpg

BUT WHY? WHY POKE THE CRAZY? AGAIN?
20131124-001659.jpg
These websites will offer ‘certification’ to any person registering with them. For $49.99 and up, you can get laminated IDs, certificates… everything you need to convince people that you have a bona fide service dog. Then, the sky’s the limit, as ServiceDogRegistry.org advertises. The implication is that buying ‘certification’ from them will give a dog owner access to free flights for their dog.

These sites claim to be only providing registration services, but the products they offer are clearly purchased with the intent of using them to aid people who are trying to illicitly gain access for their non-service dog to areas normally barred to non-service animals. This places the public in peril of encountering a poorly trained and managed dog where they should reasonably expect not to encounter any dogs at all. As a result, it becomes more difficult for people with disabilities to get recognition, accommodation and access for their canine companions. These sites contribute to the abuse of a system put in place to help people with legitimate disabilities.

But, until Canada and the US governments do something about it, I’m sure that both Puffy and Tierce will be great comforts to me.

Tierce Art!

Tierce had his picture painted by LJ Phillips of the Skins and Under My Skin comics.  This was because I won a contest for fan fiction and asked for a painting of the Internet’s snarkiest Shiba.  This is the result!  Pretty awesome, eh?  You should totally check out her art.  Because it’s awesome.  And because Tierce told you to.

Tierce:  I did not tell them to.

Me:  Yes, you did.

Tierce:  Why do I want to tell them to?

Me:  Because the links lead to great, vast lands of cheese and unattended garbage bags.

Tierce:  Yay!  I endorse these links!

Tierce painting by LJ Phillips of http://lj-phillips.deviantart.com.

Tierce painting by LJ Phillips.  Copyright LJ Phillips.  Don’t steal it.  Don’t use it as your own.  Or… things will happen.  Bad things.  Legal things.  Evil Shiba things.

Me:  So I won a fan fiction contest and I got a prize.

Tierce:  A what?  You made a fake fan?

Me:  No, I wrote something that people liked and awarded me a prize for.

Tierce:  Is it edible?

Me: No.

Tierce:  Can you chew it?

Me:  No.

Tierce:  Can you tear it into little bits and eat some of them so they keep showing up in your poop for the next week or so?

Me:  No!  Ew!

Tierce:  Then why should I be interested?

Me:  I asked for a painting of you.

Tierce:  Of me.

Me:  Yes.

Tierce:  Do I look noble and far-seeing?

Me:  Yeah, but it’s only because I was waving a leaf at you when I took the picture she based the painting off of.

Tierce:  What’s it look like?

Me:  Take a look.

Tierce:  Like I can see in two dimensions.

Me:  Then I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Tierce:  Maybe she painted me with googly eyes.  I’ll never know.

Me:  Or with a cat.  The world is full of possibilities.

Tierce:  Please tell me I wasn’t drawn with a cat.  It’s probably attacking me with pixelated claws.

Me:  I’ll have to check it again.

Tierce:  You know, it’s about time I had art made of me.

Me:  Well, you didn’t really.  I did that for you.

Tierce:  Nobility often had art commissioned of them.

Me:  That’s true, but-

Tierce:  And it’s time that I started living in the manner to which I intend to become accustomed to.

Me:  Whatever, Henry VIII.  Just so you know, this is kind of a one-shot deal.  I don’t win fan fiction contests by awesome artists all the time and even if I did, they aren’t going to be constantly painting my Shiba.

Tierce:  To the keyboard!  Make more fake fans, servant!  The next portrait must show me defeating a cat!