Shiba Meet Up

We went for our very first Shiba Inu Meet up this afternoon at Shirlington Dog Park. The forecast said rain, but we decided to head out anyways. We had a bit of trouble finding parking. It was our first time to that park. It's a bit of an odd park; it's all along a river bank. We're not used to that in California.

We met three other Shibas there in the small dog region. Not as many as I hoped, but it was raining a little bit today.

Who's that? A dog more standoff-ish than Loki.

Loki made it all down the rocks himself. Very cautious the first time. But after that, he was bouncing up and down real fast.

What's in the water?

The shiba with the red harness, named Noble, was the most dominant one among the bunch. He was still entact & was a very in-your-face dog. Loki & Noble made good friends, and enjoyed a good game of chase.

Loki peed on everything.
Water vs. Ball... what will win?

Dislike of water beats prey drive.
As for the dog park itself, I'm not sure that I'm a fan. Parking is difficult. And while there are plenty of poop bags, there aren't enough trash cans to dispose of the poop. The trash cans are only by the entrances. I'm sure that the dogs love the river, but I'm not sure I want a wet or dirty dog in my car. The best thing about this dog park is that it's pretty large.

We'll have to try out some other dog parks in the area.

Marital Lessons from Loki

All the experts recommend that a couple (or family) agree about how they are going to raise their dog and be consistent. Easy advice for them to dole out!

Yun and I have vastly different training & discipline philosophies when it comes to Loki. We try to agree, but when we can't, the best we do is just agree to disagree. I stick with my philosophy and am internally consistent. He sticks with his and is internally consistent. Loki just eventually learns that we are different. And yes, Loki behaves differently.

I know that all the experts say that the entire family has to be consistent and have the same philosophies about raising dogs, but realistically, I don't think it's going to happen. So we do our best to make it work for us.

For example, Loki will beg for food from Yun, who loves to give him table scraps. Loki never looks at me when we're at the dinner table; he knows he doesn't get anything from me.

Yun’s philosophy is that the act of eating human scraps is natural and instinctual to dogs. Dogs are scavengers; being cute and friendly to humans allowed them more access to our scraps and ensured their survival. I, on the other hand, subscribe to the idea that a dog’s nutritional needs are best met with appropriately selected commercial food, and that you should never feed a dog human food. We simply disagree.

My advice is: pick your battles wisely & be willing to compromise. I do my best to emphasize that all table scraps must be healthy for the dog. If it's a piece of meat with no seasoning, then I'm fine. If it's cheese, then only a very small piece is allowed. If there's any garlic or onion in the seasoning, then I veto. So we compromise. Yun gives table scraps as long as they are healthy for the dog.

This post was inspired by someone seeking advice on the Dogster boards. I realized that I’m not alone in having spousal conflicts about raising a dog, and it might be useful to blog about the topic.

Loki and the frog

The nice thing about Virginia, and the east coast in general, is the abundance of woods. There are a lot of woods. Loki seems to love the woods. We went to a park yesterday. There, he met his very first frog (or is it a toad?). In the beginning the frog played dead, and Loki eventually lost interest. Then it hopped over to some other part, and Loki had a little trouble finding it again. He couldn't really see the frog, which was camouflaged pretty well, but he could sniff it out. Funny how different our senses are. We humans could spot the frog even with the camouflage, but Loki couldn't.

Here we have a clip of Loki bouncing after the frog!

The half-a-million dollar dog house

We are currently looking to buy a home. This is possibly one of the largest purchases we will make in our lifetimes. It’s a huge financial investment. And yet, why do we feel like we’re buying a home for our dog?

Condos? Definitely not, there is no yard.

Townhouse? Only if it has a fenced yard, or at the very least a yard that can be fenced.

In fact, we fell in love with one particular townhouse this past Sunday. It was completely us, much more so than any of the 20-some other open houses we had visited. From the open, contemporary floor plans to the pre-wired audio-visual entertainment closet, it fit us so well. But alas, there was no yard at all. So we crossed that one off of our list.

Detached single family houses? They typically have a much larger yards and many are already fenced. But then the questions become even more astounding: are there enough large trees to provide adequate shade for Loki?

Wait a minute, when did we become Loki's buyer agent in the purchase of a really expensive dog house?

Stupid Humans

Today we went to WylieWagg and purchased new food for Loki. WylieWagg has become our new favorite pet store in this area. All of the staff are very friendly, we get free samples & treats, and the store has a nice atmosphere.

We selected a 20 lb. bag of California Natural with Herring.

Then we dropped off the food and the dog at home before rushing off to the DMV.

When we arrived back home, I was very happy because we successfully completed all of our DMV tasks. I began preparing for dinner and asked Yun to feed Loki, but Loki was not at all interested in dinner. ?!? This is strange. He's always interested in dinner, why not tonight?

This is why:

Since his stupid humans didn't put the bag of food away, Loki chewed a hole through it while we went to the DMV. Who knows how much food he ate?

I hope he didn't eat so much that he'll throw up later.


We selected Alexandria Animal Hospital as our vet in this area. Prices for vet visits in this area seem to be quite a bit more expensive than it was at our old location. Anyways, for our first visit, we got him tested for heartworm and also brought in a stool sample to check for worms. Heartworm was never a concern for us in Southern California, but apparently it is in these parts. Also, we were advised to put him on medication for fleas as well as ticks. We previously had him on Advantage, which is only for fleas, not ticks. Now, we're going to try Advantix. He never liked Advantage much, so we hope he won't have an adverse reaction to Advantix. Otherwise, we'll try Frontline. He was really well-behaved at the vet's office.

After we were all done and ready to go home, he decided to jump into the driver's seat. Silly doggy!

A Pet Sitter

There have been big changes in Loki's life lately. Not only have we moved across country, but now his mommy is working full-time. As a graduate student, Loki and I were constant companions. But now poor Loki boki is left all alone for the entire day.

We hired Kathy, a pet sitter, to take him out on a potty break during the middle of the day. Her advertisement was part of our welcome packet at our apartment complex. She lives very close by, like across the street. At first, I was a bit apprehensive about her. She didn't seem to have the take-charge-assertive type personality that a shiba requires, but I guess neither do I. She came by for two visits to meet Loki before she actually had to start without us. Luckily, Loki liked her a lot. Perhaps that had something to do with all the treats she brought him when she visited. Treats are the way to Loki's heart.

2008 Naaap Convention Mascot

Someone on Facebook tagged Loki as the 2008 Naaap Convention Mascot. So we decided to dress him up for the part. What do you think?

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