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.


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.


Oh hai, doggy

If you’re on the TMS Facebook, you’ll know that we’re all still here.  Battered, bruised, tired as fuck, but we’re all here.  TMS kind of takes a backseat to everything when there’s a health issue or a financial crisis or whatever.  Fortunately, due to the auspices of fate and friends and connections, it turns out that we’re keeping going and the humans, at least, are holding on.

Which is why we’re getting another Shiba.

Ummm… yeah.

You see, Tierce had a birthday.  We threw him a party.  And we realized that he is 10.  TEN.  Ten years have elapsed since we were introduced to ‘the terrorist’ (no shit, that’s what they called him).  Ten years of sarcasm and scorn cleverly hidden as ‘well, that’s just how Shibas are’.

 And, after we had gone through all the years past, we started thinking about the future.  I don’t want a future where I’m suddenly WITHOUT A DOG.  It’s one thing to lose a dog; it’s inevitable, like losing family, friends, things you cherish, places you loved… but that doesn’t mean one has to worship the gaping hole in your life.  I want another dog now so that I can face the eventuality of Tierce’s death with a little more equanimity.

There can be no replacements, only successors.

I would get another dog anyway, no matter if Tierce died tomorrow or 10 years from now.  My breeder is slowing down her kennel breedings and that’s another reason to get a pup now, because I want another Sunojo dog.  It’s been nearly 25 years since Shassi first came home and it seems suitable that the third Shiba in my life be another Sunojo dog.  Tierce was bred by a different breeder, but his sire and dam were still Sunojo.

25 years with Shibas.  Damn.

The potential puppy was born on March 28.  I’m thinking of naming her ‘Shimano’.

Shiba Rage


This was a response to issues in one of my Shiba Inu Facebook groups, where queries about testing or purposeful breeding are often met with accusations of superciliousness.

I, for one, am sick and tired of how “breeding this dog is not in the best interest of the breed” is equated with “All cream Shibas should be shot while simultaneously kicking a homeless war veteran while screaming NUKE THE UNBORN BABY WHALES FOR JESUS AND MUHAMMAD.”

Look, we like cream Shibas. We don’t advocate breeding them because the cream dilutes the strong red and black and sesame that is one of the distinguishing features of the Shiba.  That doesn’t make them bad and it doesn’t mean that breeders stab pale puppies to death while invoking Cthulhu.

Likewise, saying that not testing for *known genetic health issues in the breed* makes someone a crappy breeder is because it… does. You have the tools to make a real difference to the breed and dogs in general and you don’t do your utmost to ensure your pups have strong joints and eyes?  You are what every responsible breeder, rescuer, and owner learns to hate, because you knowingly create animals without doing your best to keep them healthy and pain free.

Anyone who has a knee injury, stand up. Does it hurt?  Now imagine that happening all the time because you have no other choice of locomotion and you have no way of telling someone to get you to a goddamn doctor.  Welcome to luxating patella.  It’s genetic and it’s painful and it gets worse over time unless you shell out for a surgery that can cost several thousand dollars, depending on whether one or both joints are affected, severity, health of the dog, etc. etc.  And the happy companion you were supposed to have to walk and play with can’t go on any kind of long walk and spends a lot of time not doing much because it hurts. 

People who give a shit about their dogs don’t want to produce this. They fight actively not to produce it.  Anyone who doesn’t is doing their puppies and their puppies’ owners a huge disservice.  That’s why we say ‘responsible’ breeder. Responsible. Response. There is no apathy in serious dog breeding; there is active research and evaluation, not wilful ignorance and a casual assumption that Nature can take care of everything. (Nature sucks, by the way. Examine the physics of the human knee sometime)

Yes, it can happen to dogs from tested clear parents, but the thing is, it happens LESS and, gradually, through a dedicated breeding program, it can systematically be eliminated to the point where affected animals show up extremely rarely. That doesn’t mean you can stop testing, though… oh, no. You keep testing, you keep checking because you don’t want a random gene dance to bring the nasty back into what you’re breeding.

And then, of course, you’re online and someone blather on about how there’s no point to genetic testing ‘because it can happen even if dogs are healthy and tested’.  It’s like you spend your life trying to eliminate drunk driving, only to have a bunch of people tell you that there’s no point to prosecuting or restricting drunk drivers ‘because drunk drivers are going to happen anyway’.

And then you ask a few pointed questions about whether someone with adorablesweetcuteomg puppies has thought about this and we’re back to Shiba jihad again.