Snow Dog


Tierce in the Snow, taken by my 2.0 megapixel cell phone camera

I took this picture this morning after Tierce and I conducted a successful transaction at Bosleys Pet Foods, where Tierce got a 3 foot long beef stick and a Christmas hedgehog that was on sale (it squeaks, honks and rattles, so Tierce liked it best of all the toys!).  He enjoys the snow mightily, leaping into the snow drifts, attacking the snowballs I throw for him and even chasing falling snowflakes.

We’re not used to so much snow on Vancouver Island; most of the major cities here are lucky if they get two days together when snow is on the ground.  What we do get is a lot of rain, which can be pretty bad if things go below zero.  Much as I love the Island and the people here, Island drivers suck the big one when driving in winter.

Tierce is blithely unaware of the unusual weather pattern, except to note that snow is a mighty fine thing to have around to play in.  Watching a Shiba bounce through snow higher than his shoulders is always an amusing experience.  That is, if you are not required to trudge through thigh-deep snow to follow him.

I’m wondering, at this point, whether many of the readers of this blog experience the Shiba Flexi-crazies.  Both Tierce and Shassi (in her younger days) have done the same thing. The first step in the process is to hurl oneself forward, only to be brought up abruptly short 16 feet from where I’m standing.  The second step is to run, full-tilt at the end of the lead, in a crazy circle around me.  After a few circuits, stop and pee or sniff at something or stare fixedly at an object like a garbage can and start barking at it.

This is all very well in summer, but on icy ground, it can be a bit problematic.  If he didn’t look so damn cute racing around and jumping in the snow, I’m sure I would be stricter about such things.

Picture of Tierce in the Snow – No, Really…

tiercesnowshadowI am slowly getting better, but haven’t gotten to take Tierce out lately.  Thank Dog for obliging boyfriends!

Mischa took this photo a couple of days ago as Tierce raced around… and around… and around in the snow.  It was snowing pretty hard and the camera was only a 3.0 megapixel.

I still kind of like it.  It’s rather evocative of the experience the Shiba owner has when an orangish or blackish streak announces to their disbelieving eyes that their Shiba has somehow gotten past the armed sentries and barbed wire fence to bounce ecstatically around the neighborhood.

During Shassi’s puppyhood, there was a subtle tension in the household every time someone opened a door… or a window less than 6 feet off the ground.  Shassi had a talent for finding a human’s blind spot and tracking it, so the only sign of her defection was an orange streak booking it down the stairs and across the street.

The problem was that we had gotten used to dumb dogs or at least dogs that used their intelligence for good rather than for evil.  Collie-types, you know.  The kind of dogs that only utilize their brain power to figure out how to come back faster and to sit with more snappy precision.

It’s become a happy fantasy of mine to one day open a door without automatically stick my foot in first and waving it around to forestall a Shiba from zipping out into the wild blue yonder.

I still like the photo, though.

A picture of the invalid

So, we got into the vet’s – one that his breeder and his grand-breeder have used for years. I found her competent and flexible, which is pretty damn valuable in a vet. We think that having that will make driving to Mill Bay worth the time and expense.

1 antibiotic for the hole in his head – he got a shot, so I don’t have to give this orally
2 antihistamines to help deal with his reaction: 1 once a day and 1, 2 pills 3x/day
1 bottle of ointment administered to a furiously wriggling dog: 2x/day
a hypoallergenic diet – pinto beans/sweet potato/peanut butter for taste, potato chips for snacks and/or Red Dog Deli‘s Herring/Veggie.

I still think it’s the shot. He just wasn’t tearing himself apart before this. The bad thing is, from what I’ve read, this could take months or years to resolve – or might not resolve itself at all. One thing is certain – Tierce is not going to get any more vaccinations. I’d rather do titers than put him through this again.

Now, I’m not totally against shots in general. However, I am seriously rethinking my attitude towards boosters after the initial puppy shots are given.

Neck Point Park

We went geocaching at Neck Point Park on Saturday and I got a really nice picture of Tierce looking out at the lagoon. I’d like to go again one day and check out the caches I didn’t get to find. Tierce was acting like an idiot, though. I suspect the last battle of his teenage years is beginning – and we have only 3 weeks until the Nanaimo Kennel Club dog show! Better get cracking…