The Shiba Fitness Regime

We don’t care if it hurts. We don’t care if you don’t want to.  We don’t care if you’re sick.  We don’t care if you’re injured.  We don’t care if you’re dying.

You are going to do this.

You are going to haul your lazy ass out of bed and pull on your clothes.  Then you’re getting that same ass outside – whether it’s sunny, rainy, windy, snowy, hailing, tornado…

You made a commitment and we’re going to see that you stick to it.  We’re simultaneously the cheapest and most expensive personal trainers you could have hired.

You’re pathetic and out-of-shape, but we’re going to fix that.  You’re going to walk until you die, because right after you die, we’re going to decide, finally, to take that poop you’ve been begging us to do for the last hour.

Too bad about your pneumonia.

It’s been five hours and we need to pee.  Again.

Meet The Shiba

Owning a Shiba is not like owning other dogs.

Okay, everyone says that.  This is one of the breeds that, if you say you like it, the owners immediately go into a litany of why it’s not the right breed for everyone and that its natural temperament is somewhere between Vlad Tepes and that bitchy girl in 7th grade who tripped you going into Math class.

But, really, it’s not.

Shibas are this Beagle-sized breed of dog that looks like a tiny husky.  A little fox.  A Corgi.  A Basenji.  Mini-Akitas.  They’re 20ish pounds and they usually come in red.  But they could be black and tan.  Or sesame, which is a colour hard to describe, but looks like you took the red dog, rolled it in some glue and then in some charcoal.

But what we really want to warn you about is the temperament.  They’re great little dogs. Except when they’re not.  Except if you try to clip their nails.  Or brush their tails.  Or do anything – ANYTHING with their ears.  But they’re great little dogs. But there’s that other dogs thing.  Some of them play with other dogs.  Others destroy them in small bites, like furry piranhas.  It’s worse if there are two of them.  They feed off each other.  Oh, no, they don’t fight together.  Well, except for that one time.  That was a $250 vet bill.  But normally, they’re very nice.

Do they learn quickly?  SO quickly!  Then they use it against you.  Recalls are virtually unknown here.  Oh, this one is okay with the recall, but that just means they’ll come up to you if there’s nothing else to do.  You are the most boring thing on their walk or run or whatever you’re doing and, if there’s something better, good luck getting them to come back.  They never will.  Oh, one did this one time, but it was a fluke.  And a hunk of cheddar.

Grooming?  They’re so clean; they practically bathe themselves.  Well, there was that mud incident.  Bathing them is great if you are tired of hearing… everything.  They scream.  Did we mention the scream?  Like a train whistle crossed with a dying rabbit.  No, we’re not being crude; that’s how it sounds.  No, we haven’t actually been around a dying rabbit, but anyway, they’re loud.  They blow coat like Michelangelo painted – with great perseverance, as if they put their whole hearts into re-insulating your house.  We hope you like the colour cream.  We’ve already mentioned the nails?  Good.

How are they with kids?  Oh they can be great if raised with kids, but we do recommend older, respectful children.  Younger ones are merely springboards to the Cheerios.  Well, I wouldn’t say that they would bite them, but Shibas do like their space and aren’t always fond of darting youngsters.  Oh, and that little habit of Junior of grabbing dogs’ cheeks needs to be stopped yesterday.  I’m sure it’s cute and looks great in family photos, but your dog with Junior’s head in its mouth is going to look slightly less photogenic.

You have to go?  Well, it’s been great meeting you and introducing you to this wonderful breed that we love with all our hearts.  Maybe the Shiba isn’t right for you, but it is for us and – in some small way – that makes us special.

Enter 2018

Winter on Vancouver Island marches on. The snow hasn’t lasted and a drizzly cold rain has superseded the white flakes that turned Nanaimo white for a few days.  With the excitement of the season over and the new year well underway, things have settled back down.  The Shibas seem ready to take on 2018.  Only three more months until Shimi turns one and Tierce turns eleven!

We have been walking a lot, exploring downtown and some of the larger parks.  Walking down the E&N Trail and heading across the highway to hit the Queen Elizabeth Walkway is a nice walk which connects with Maffeo-Sutton Park.  If you’re a Pokemon Go player, Maffeo-Sutton is a really popular place for Pokestops and gyms.  There’s nearly always people playing, sometimes with their dogs.

Pokemon Go isn’t a bad game to play with dogs.  It provides an opportunity to teach your dogs to walk by your side, stop and wait while you capture a Pokemon, and lie quietly while you go raiding.

 

Bathing

Shimi does not like the bath.  She will cry after a little while and try to escape.  Tierce, of course, has a long-held disdain for water with soap.

I’m thinking of stopping into Dog n’ Suds every so often.  The plan is to bring Tierce and Shimi into the bathing room and feed them treats, then leave.  Maybe that will inure them to bathtime.  Or maybe I should just bring a big chew stick with me.  The first bath Shimi had, she was kept quiescent with liberal applications of PB2 powder, so that could be a strategy.

THEY’RE SO SOFT AFTER THEIR BATH OMG.

Year Of The Dog Knife

Victorinox has come out with a stellar knife for 2018 – the Chinese Year of the Dog.  It might be a Chinese celebration, but the dog on the knife looks more than a little like a Shiba Inu.  So that’s what my mother got me for Christmas.  Happy Christmas/God Jul/Nollaig shona dhaoibh everyone.

Shimi Shake

Shimi is coming along. She is 5 months old now and is it halfway through puppy class and is also going to Nanaimo Pet Services daycare.  She has her interview with Dog & Suds later this week.

Living with a puppy is something I haven’t had to do for 10 years so it’s been a bit of a curve but she is starting to sleep through the night and I am starting to get used to walking more. I am logging 10,000 steps on my Fitbit everyday more often than not. I have lost 10 pounds. Sometimes I think I’ve lost my mind but this was probably done prior to Shimi.

It’s funny how things come full circle. Shassi came into my life almost 24 years ago, in 1993. Susan, the same breeder who bred Shassi, bred Shimi – Shassi’s great-great-ad-nauseum-great niece.

I’m going to show her and, if things go well and she passes all the health tests, we might breed her but that’s in the future. Possible future.

After all the hell of last year, it’s nice to have something to look forward to.  It’s been easier to use Facebook because it was such a micro-blogging format and I just didn’t he the  but I also wanted to develop this blog but I just didn’t have the energy. And I realize that all the energy that I was putting into Mischa and the problems that we were having the health issues and like money stuff and everything that it was taking away from that and I’m just now getting it back.

So, here’s the first post in a long while and we’ll see where this goes.

Shimano

Yep, we have our own stacking guides.

So this happened.  Our little velociraptor in fur.

I can’t help being a little overwhelmed; Tierce was a puppy 10 years ago, back when I still had some pretensions of youth.  I’ve probably lost a few pounds due to the fact that Little Miss has a little bladder and can’t go too long without needing out.  Add to that the fact that she’s constantly moving and destroying and walks tend to look like the lesser of the many evils a bored Shiba puppy can visit upon its home.

Once you’re used to people in full armour, you’ll never care about the mail carrier.

Socialization is, of course, a high priority.  We’ve been covering the below list… with a few additions, like ‘plate armour’, ‘chain mail’, ‘Elizabethan court dresses’ and ‘thrown knives’.  The Society for Creative Anachronism: simply the best way to accustom puppies to the real world.

Oookay, so some of the terms are… dated.

And then there’s Tierce. Oh, how I still worry about his feelings. However, he seems bearing up under the stress well, with only a snap or snarl to give our little darling a hint that he is not a chew toy. We keep them separate when not actively supervised.  Of course, there was the one time when we came back from outside and Shimi came dancing up to us.  She later demonstrated that she can scale the walls of the ex-pen like a goddamned spider.  She’s been a lot better about not bothering Tierce… coincidence?  Probs not.  I think a ‘gentle discussion’ of appropriate boundaries went on.

The Guilt Bed. AKA a bed big enough to hold that massive ego.