Poor Loki-boki

Poor Loki-boki seems sick. We took him to the vet this morning. The cause could be either a viral-type of cold or there could be a foreign object (like a blade of grass) stuck up his nose. In either case, we're just supposed to monitor him over the next few days. If it's a viral-type of cold, then we'll just have to let his body deal with it. Just like in humans, a viral infection cannot be treated with antibiotics. If it's a foreign object, which could have occurred during our recent hikes, then we'll have to return to the vet to have the object removed.

Favorite Christmas Gift

My sister gave Loki a holiday snowman dog toy. He's already ripped off the buttons. What fun! There are so many parts to rip off and destroy! I think it's his favorite Christmas gift.

If I sleep on it, then they can't take it away from me.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Dog Park

'Twas the day before Christmas
and all through the house
not a creature was stirring ...

'cause we were all at the dog park!

What have you got there Mr. Human?

a tennis ball? Yippee!

Smells interesting...

Don't look at me to pick that thing up...
Hey, if you wanted it back, then you shouldn't have thrown it away to begin with.

Loki in Solvang

Solvang is a small Danish town north of Santa Barbara. It's a cute little town that is obviously made to be a tourist attraction.

We rented a foot pedaled double surrey from Wheel Fun Rentals to explore the town. But where to put Loki? We strapped him in the front where families would typically put small children. Unfortunately, he didn't like the yellow basket weave much, as his paws were unstable on them. So I ended up using my jacket as a cushion on the bottom for him to sit on. Much better with the jacket.

It's okay little buddy.

Loki got the best seat in the house! No pedaling and he got the best views.

First Hike

Loki got to go on his very first hike today! We went to Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks, CA. We let him off-leash, and he had a blast running around. He always stayed relatively close to us along the hike.

He got super duper dirty running around this area called Paradise Falls. He loved it so much!

Loki the Reindeer

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen
Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen.
But do you recall the most famous reindeer of all?

A Tale of Mari and Three Puppies

There's a new Japanese film about Shibas. It is based on a true story about how a Shiba mom and her three puppies survived the 2004 earthquake in Yamakoshi Village. You can read about the original story here. The movie website is all in Japanese, so I don't understand it, but there are a few cute pictures.

I want to go see it!!! The puppies are so adorable!

You can see the movie trailer on You Tube here. Warning: It is sad. You might cry. I cried and I didn't think I would.

Harness Training

In less than a week, I've been successful in training Loki to accept the harness. He used to be aggressive when we tried to put the harness on, so this is how I trained him out of it.

I hand fed all of his meals and each meal was a training session. I progressed gradually with baby steps. (By the way, this is a step-in type of harness.)

Step #1: I put kibble around harness on the floor and let him eat without me around (But be careful that the dog doesn't chew on the harness.)

Step #2: Just like Step #1, but with me sitting next to the harness.

Step #3: I ask for his paw with the harness laying harmlessly on the ground. Treat for offering paw without retracting it right away.

Step #4; I pick up the harness and put it through my arm, then ask for his paw. Treat for offering paw and shaking 5 times. No retracting allowed.

Step #5: I pick up the harness and put it through my arm, then ask for his paw. Treat for offering paw and shaking in such a way so that the harness hangs off of his leg rather than my arm. No retracting allowed.

Step #6: I pick up the harness and put it through my arm, then ask for his paw. Then I use my other hand to lift up one side of the harness as if I were going to put it on. But I don't actually put it on.

Step #7: Just like Step #6, except I do both sides. So I do lift up both sides of the harness as if I were going to put it on. But I don't actually put it on.

Step #8: I put the harness on completely. I leave it on for 2 seconds and then remove it.

He still hates it, but at least now he is no longer aggressive. Without the aggression issue, we can then move on to making positive associations with the harness on. In particular, the harness means we are going for a car ride, which often means we are going to the dog park.


I ordered a harness for Loki primarily as a doggy seat belt for car rides. Unfortunately, he hates it with a passion! He can be aggressive when we try to put it on. Then, when he finally does have it on, he is depressed. He lies down and refuses to move. If he does move, its with his tail between his legs. We kept the harness on for awhile, hoping that he would just get used to it.

I hand fed Loki his breakfast this morning, because he was too depressed to eat. Funny enough, I took advantage of the situation and started teaching him a new trick - crawl. It was the perfect new trick for him, because he wanted to lie down & not get up at all (even sit was near impossible). I'm not sure that he "gets" the new trick yet. But I was able to get him to crawl without a food lure & only use my hand gesture as a cue.

After breakfast I took him for a quick walk with the new harness. Lastly, we went for a photo-op in the car. Doesn't he look good in blue?

I bought the harness & car restraint from Champion Canine Designs. The product is very well made and of good quality materials. I would recommend it based on the product itself. However, I found the customer service to be severely lacking. It took me a few weeks between the time I ordered it to the time I actually received the product. I emailed them with no response & I called only to be told that the voice mail box was full. Nevertheless, even though I never heard back from them, I did finally receive the product.
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