Shibas Off-leash

Today Winnie's blog has a nice post about shibas being off-leash. Winnie has been so well trained that she is reliable off-leash, despite being a shiba. Still, Winnie's owner won't let her off-leash on city streets in fear of her getting hit by a car.

Our personal experience with our shibas off-leash have been pretty good. They've been off-leash by accident and didn't go anywhere. But we've also had a scary experience with Juju bolting. (Her tendency to do this has dramatically decreased in the past year.) We only  let them off-leash when we are far away from traffic. They are not the type of dogs to stay at our heels. They stay close, but not that close.

Most sites about shibas will tell you that they are NOT reliable off-leash.

Some people never let their shibas off-leash, except in an enclosed area. Personally, I think that's a little sad. It's so nice to see them run free.

What do you think about off-leash?

Washington Shiba Inu Meetup Group

The Washington Shiba Inu Group has moved from to Facebook. Why? Because charges a fee to the organizers and Facebook is free. Some Meetup groups charge its members a small fee to help cover the cost imposed by, but all the organizers of the shiba meetup have always kept membership free. Dogs should be free to sniff butts! So the Meetup fee becomes pretty burdensome for someone to constantly pay. Hence, the move to Facebook.

I haven't been to a shiba meetup in a long time (since baby arrived), but maybe we'll head out when spring rolls around.

Happy Holidays!

Juju wishes you a Merry Christmas!

And Loki does too!

Both of them together? Well, they didn't feel like posing together. This was the best that we got.

Learning his name

Last night, we were talking to our baby as usual (he can't talk yet), and then all of a sudden it occurred to me that he seemed to respond to his name. I got super excited.

"I think he knows his name! Look he just turned his head to look at us."

So then, Yun says, "Oh! You have to do positive reinforcement!"

"Uh? You mean like when you train the dogs?"


So then we proceed to call out our baby's name and then heap on an extra dose of praise when he gave the slightest hint of responding to our calls.

He must be thinking, "What strange parents."

Peeing in the backyard

Like many shibas, Loki is very particular about where he eliminates. We try our hardest to get him to pee in the backyard, because this is the easiest way for us lazy humans to take care of the dogs’ needs. Jujube always goes as soon as she is let out into the backyard. It doesn’t matter if it’s sunny or raining, cold or hot. Jujube is very consistent in eliminating quickly in the backyard. Not Loki. Loki doesn’t like to pee in the backyard. He much prefers to mark the entire neighborhood on walks.

But we’ve noticed an odd seasonal trend. Loki is much more willing to eliminate in the backyard during the winter compared to the summer. Why? We don’t know. Maybe because it’s freezing outside, and he knows that if he goes quickly, he can quickly return to the warm house. Maybe because it’s fun to relax outside during the summer. Maybe because he’s oh-so considerate of us when it’s oh-so cold out. Who knows why? In any case, we’re very glad that we don’t have to gather up our heavy coats, boots, hats, and gloves just so he can pee.


From time to time, I give my baby Cheerios. He's supposed to eat them, but mostly he just plays with them. Inevitably, they end up on the floor for the dogs to gobble up.

Here's Loki, eager for the treats that just fall from the baby's chair. Dogs are great for clean up! I don't have to ever sweep or pick up the floor of food products.

Here's the view from Loki's eyes:

First snow of the season

Here's Jujube posing in our backyard:

And here's Loki... and no, that's not his body all oddly contorted in the background. Juju is behind him.

We only got a few inches, not much. Not like last year, or at least not yet.

Where are my greeters?

The best thing about having a dog is that there is always someone to greet you when you come home from work. I mean, your husband might greet you with a hug and a kiss the first week you're married. After that you're just happy if he says hi within the first fifteen minutes after you've arrived home. And your children might excitedly greet you at the door until they hit adolescence, at which point you become the bane of their existence. But your dogs are always, always, always eager, excited, and greet you when you come home from work.

Unless your dogs are two shibas named Loki and Jujube.

Gee, Loki, can't be bothered to get off the cozy couch to greet me? Nope. Can't be bothered to even lift your head? Nope.

And you, Jujube! You can't be bothered to get off from the cozy queen-sized bed? Nope.

Gee thanks for nothing guys...

I came home tonight wondering what happened to them. Were they inadvertently locked outside in the backyard? Nope. Did they escape and run away? Nope. Were they trapped behind a closed door somewhere? Nope.

They just didn't bother to greet me tonight.

An intruder!

There was an intruder on Loki's territory! How dare we! Loki couldn't believe that we could bring home such an abomination!

We bought the stuffed animal for our son. But Loki was NOT pleased! He barked and barked at the intruder all night long. Grrr!
He only stopped barking after we moved it out of his sight and into the baby's room.

Juju seems okay

Well, we still don't know what was wrong with Juju, but she seems to be okay now. She ate dinner just fine, and is otherwise, acting normal.

Of course we want her to be perfectly fine, and if we had to do it all over again, we'd still take her to the vet, but in retrospect all that money spent at the vet seems to be such a waste.

Jujube is sick

We got a call from our dog walker today. Jujube is really sick. She's been vomiting, having diarrhea, and shaking. Yun is taking her to the vet now.

She seemed fine when we left for work this morning. She must have gotten into something. She eats practically anything and everything. I've given her cardboard before to play with, and she just ate it. (Loki, on the other hand, plays with cardboard and doesn't eat it.) Did she eat the Christmas tree? Did she get into the garbage? I don't know!

Poor girl!

Of course we're going to pay for all the diagnostic tools, like x-ray and blood work, but my gosh, it's expensive!!! It's running into the hundreds of dollars. I hope that the vet has something useful to say. It'll suck if he can't find anything after all that money.

In any case, I hope that she gets better soon.

Shiba Mind Control

Last night my family arrived from Jersey to celebrate Thanksgiving with us at our home. They stayed in our guest room. As they arrived somewhat late, we all went to bed shortly thereafter.

In the middle of the night, I was awoken not to the sound of my baby's cry (as I'm somewhat used to), but rather Juju whining and scratching at a door. Really, Juju? In the middle of the night? Then I realized, it wasn't my door. It was the door to the guest room. I got up, told her to go away, and tried to go back to sleep. This repeated a couple of times, but I was unsuccessful in stopping her obnoxious behavior.

Then from the comfort of my bed, I heard not only Juju's whining, but also Loki's barking. Ugh! What is going on in this house? So I got out of bed again and went downstairs to find out what was the matter. There in my kitchen I saw two dogs staring up at my mother, who was standing in front of the pantry where the dog food is stored.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"She was whining at my door, so I was going to feed her."

I glanced at the clock. It was 3am! Seriously Juju? You are getting our house guests to give you food at 3am?

I told my mother to go back to sleep and that feeding her will only encourage her bad behavior.

So my mom went back to bed and I locked the dogs up in their crates.

Jujube and Baby

Shedding Season

How long does your shedding season last?

Ours lasts approximately from Labor Day to Thanksgiving. Jujube started on Labor Day and Loki is almost finished. One of the downsides to being a shiba owner.

Off-leash by accident

This afternoon, Yun reported one of his misadventures with the dogs last night. Good thing that I saw both dogs this morning and knew that they were okay before Yun related his tale, otherwise, I wouldn't have been so happy with him.

Yun is responsible for taking the dogs out for their last pee at night. This usually occurs well after I have gone to bed. Last night, Yun tells me that he started to take the dogs out as he usually does. That is, he opened the door to our front landing and proceeded to walk down the outside stairs with the dogs in tow. But as he was heading down the stairs he wondered, "Why are the dogs so far ahead of me?" Suddenly, it dawned on him that he forgot to put their leashes on! Yes, you read that right. He forgot to put their leashes on! What? How in the world did he forget to put their leashes on? I can't comprehend such absent mindedness.

Anyways back to our story. He raced inside, grabbed the leashes, and then grabbed some treats. Once outside again, he realized that both pups didn't go anywhere. They waited patiently for him at the bottom of the stairs. They didn't cross the street. (It's not a busy one, just a residential side street.) They didn't walk down the sidewalk. They didn't wander anywhere! Without further ado, he slipped on their leashes and they all went about their merry way to pee on bushes and stuff.

I was shocked! Shocked that Yun could actually forget the leashes. And shocked that the dogs didn't go anywhere. I'm amazed that they just patiently waited for him at the bottom of the steps.


Do your dogs beg at the table?

Ours do! Although begging is thought to be terribly bad dog manners, Yun seems to love the begging. In fact, when Jujube came to us, she never begged. She didn't know the first thing about it. Yun quickly taught her to stare up at us with big cute eyes. Now she's a first class begger, just like Loki. Neither of them are obnoxious about it. They sit up real pretty and give us their cutest looks. They don't really whine. I am much more against the idea of begging, but I've accepted the fact that Yun loves it. He thinks that it's a "natural" behavior. And by "natural", he just means that throughout most of dogs' existence with humans, they have begged for our scraps. They are scavengers. We don't really feed the dogs our scraps. We just give them little morsels of yummy food. My mother and mother-in-law would be the types to truly feed the dogs human scraps; that is, their food would consist of everything that we humans didn't consume after a meal. Doesn't seem very healthy, does it? We don't do that. We just give little bits of meat or veggies from our bowls. Not a meal, just a treat.

More babies

Over the past weekend, we had some friends over, including a baby who is the same age as our Baby. The dogs did very well with the small visitor. Yay! I was a bit apprehensive about the whole situation. But both dogs behaved very well. Jujube was more nosy. She was fishing for attention, which she got. She didn't mind being prodded, poked, and grabbed at. She's a very sweet girl. Loki also behaved well, but he after his initial sniffing, he stayed back. He wasn't going to join Juju in being prodded, poked, and grabbed at.

Baby cries at dog

Just because Baby lives with two dogs doesn't mean that he is comfortable with all dogs. This weekend, we took Baby with us to a friend's house. Our friend had a small, hyper dog that loved to play fetch and never sat down. For some unknown reason, Baby started crying when he was around that dog. We have no idea why the dog upset him, but it did. The dog wasn't mean, didn't bark, and ignored Baby. At first we were really puzzled as to what was making Baby upset. But we guessed it was the dog, And our suspicions were confirmed when Baby was perfectly fine as soon as the dog was put away in a bedroom.

So just because your baby or child grows up with dogs doesn't mean that he'll be comfortable around every dog.

Talking to your dog

Do you talk to your dog? We do! Little did I know, but this was one habit that proved to be very useful when Baby came along.

I talk to Loki and Jujube all the time as if they understood me. And I realized that if you repeat the same set of words or phrases, then they eventually DO understand. For instance, when I get my coat and socks on, they think that they are going out for a walk. I see that they are all excited, so I glance over at them and say "sorry". Nowadays, they understand that sorry just means that they aren't going anywhere. I also ask them how their day was and ask if they missed me. I'm not sure if they understand, but I assume that they do. Perhaps they only understand it as words upon my return. We also ask them, "Do you want to go out?", "Do you want to go on a walk?", and "Do you want a treat?" They definitely know "out", "walk", and "treat". They  know a bunch of different words that we've never specifically taught. And they only learned because we talk to them.

So, how is this useful when you have a baby? Well, language experts say that babies begin to understand language far earlier than when they begin to speak. The best way to encourage their language skills is to talk to them all the time as if they understood you. And you know what? Perhaps they do understand. I talk to Baby all the time. I tell him "I'll be right back" if I'm going away for a second and "Let's change your diaper" if I'm about to change his diaper. I ask him, "Are you hungry?" and "Do you want more?". If I always say "I'm going to change your diaper" right before a diaper change, then perhaps he will associate that sentence with a diaper change. Now, I don't really know for sure whether or not he understands, but I assume that he does. And well, one day he will. I just don't know exactly when.

I bet for some people it seems difficult to talk to someone who doesn't talk back. But I had plenty of practice on the dogs and that's one way in which having dogs has made my transition to motherhood easier.

Guarding the basement.

Here's Loki guarding the entrance to the basement. Can you see his little teeth? He decided to lie on the top step and no let anyone pass. And by anyone, I really mean Juju. He always moves for us humans. Silly doggie!

Dogs in bed

Do your dogs sleep in your bed?

Ours do, but at different times. Loki crawls into bed when no one is around. He's sneaky like that. He almost never sleeps in bed with us. Juju, on the other hand, only sleeps in our bed when we are in it. She tends to be this big lump at the foot of our bed and prevents us from being able to stretch our legs out. She doesn't move when we nudge her. To get her out of bed, you have to push her, pick her up, or promise her treats elsewhere.

Both sets of our parents think we're crazy for allowing dogs in our bed. But we don't mind. The more the merrier!

A Staring Triangle

Every time I feed Baby solid foods, we end up in a staring triangle. I look at Baby, because I'm trying to feed him with a spoon. Baby looks at Loki, because Loki is so very interesting to look at. And Loki looks at me, because I have a spoon full of food in my hand.

Texts about Loki and Baby

Yun picks up Baby after work. During this time, I am still at work, so everyday Yun gets to spend a couple hours with Baby alone. Every so often, I get random texts updating me on their latest adventures.

One day last week:
Yun: Baby punched loki in the face =P
Me: Oh no!
Yun: He was just surprised not angry
One day this week:
Yun: He got to pet both dogs
Me: How'd he do?
Yun: Well
Yun tells me that Loki is actually very curious and well behaved around Baby. He reports that when Loki sniffed Baby, their noses were almost touching. And Baby was laughing and happy. I was and still am apprehensive about Loki being around Baby. We are always careful to monitor them when they are together. I get nervous when I receive these texts, but it seems like everything is going well. Maybe it's the start of a wonderful relationship between Baby and Loki.

Addendum to The Mint Review

I tried The Mint Cleaner in our living room and it didn't fare as well. It got stuck under our couch. The Mint Cleaner is a little bit higher towards its back compared to its front. So, the front of it went under our couch, but then the back wouldn't fit under the couch. This confused the machine, and I had to manually rescue it.

I also wanted to mention that this machine won't be good if your floors have A LOT of pet hair. It doesn't really "pick up" pet hairs. It's not a vacuum. It is an automatically rolling Swifer. Pet hair does stick to microfiber cloths pretty well, so I think it still does a good job. But it won't be able to handle too much pet hair. If you use it daily or near daily, the hair won't have time to accumulate and The Mint Cleaner can still handle the job.

It's not perfect, but I still love it.

Loving the Mint Cleaner

We tried out the Mint Cleaner tonight and I love it! It is basically an automatic Swifer. You attach a microfiber cleaning cloth (or disposable Swifer cloth) onto the machine and it rolls around your floor. It has two modes: sweep and mop. Sweep means you put a dry microfiber cloth on it, and mop means you put a wet one on.

It did a great job at navigating around my kitchen, dining room, and hallway. It even made it into the powder room because the door was left open. I've read some reviews in which their Mint got stuck, but mine never did. Moreover, it didn't fall off the stairs. And it maneuvered around the rug, dog beds, dining table, dining table chairs, baby swing, and the kitchen trash can. There were only two issues: (1) The dogs' empty food bowl was light enough for it to push out into the hallway. (2) And a relatively empty wastebasket was also pushed out into the middle of the kitchen. I thought these were pretty minor issues. The biggest drawback is the battery. On one charge I was able to get one complete sweep of my kitchen, dining room, and hallway. But then the battery died out after mopping all of my kitchen, half of my hallway, and half of my dining room.

In terms of cleaning, I think it did a fantastic job.

More importantly, how did the pups do? Well, Jujube was curious for about a second and then she didn't care anymore. She didn't try to attack it or anything. Basically she ignored it. Loki's reaction was much more animated. He barked at the intruder for quite some time. He was clearly afraid of it. Finally, he retreated to the safety of the basement. After awhile, Loki got used to it and ceased his barking. He's still afraid of it and stays far away from it, but he no longer barks. Yay! Overall, I'm surprised by how easy it was to get the pups used to the machine. No problems at all!

The Mint Cleaner

Prior to Baby, I didn't really care that our entire home was covered in dog hair. Of course I kept our home somewhat clean, but it didn't really bother me that we lived in dog hair. Now with Baby, I find myself caring a lot more about the cleanliness of my home and I clean much more often than I used to. Baby hasn't started crawling yet, but he should in the next couple of months. With working full time, I don't have the time to keep my home as clean as I would like. So, this afternoon, I decided to buy the Mint Cleaner from Bed Bath and Beyond. (Bed Bath and Beyond has the best price, and on top of that you can use their 20% off coupon.)

It is basically a robotic Swifer. I haven't tried it out yet, as it takes 16 hours for the initial charge. But I'll let you know how it goes. I'm mostly afraid that it'll drive Loki nuts and that Jujube will attack it as if it were a rodent. But I hope that eventually they will get used to it.

Upside Down Bowl

Loki, why is the bowl upside down and on the floor? What did you do? 
And I know it wasn't Juju, because she was outside in the backyard.

NatGeo Dogtown Book Winner

Using the random number generator at, the winner is commenter number five:
Anonymous said...
What a great resource for a Shiba owner! I know my 2 would benefit from mamma being better educated.
October 19, 2010 9:44:00 AM EDT
Congratulations Anonymous! Hm... I do wish you left a name, because "Congratulations Anonymous" just doesn't sound very congratulatory. Anyways, please email me at to claim your winnings.

NatGeo Dogtown Book Giveaway!

Hi blog readers!

Guess what? The lovely folks at National Geographic have offered a copy of Dog Tips From DogTown: A Relationship Manual for You and Your Dog.

About the book from the publishers:
Following in the paw prints of the successful first DogTown book, companion to the hit show on the National Geographic Channel, Dog Tips from Dogtown is the pet owner's practical guide to building a healthy, happy relationship with a dog. Relying on the unparalleled expertise of the trainers at the Best Friends Animal Society, this manual shows, with step-by-step illustrations, how to apply the power of positive reinforcement to train a pet. From adoption tips to canine communication lessons and training strategies that make a regimen fun for everyone, Dog Tips from DogTown is a complete guide to the tried and true methods that work miracles every day at the Best Friends Animal Society.
In my opinion, it is a wonderful training book filled with practical training tips, a compassionate relationship-based training philosophy, and realistic expectations. And by realistic expectations, I mean that the book outlines things like how much money you should budget in order to care for a dog. I thought this was a nice addition that you don't see in other dog books, because many times people underestimate the cost of owning a dog. Anyways, the book covers a wide range of training issues from the basics to common problem areas.

Leave a comment if you want to participate in the giveaway. Entries must be entered by Tuesday, October 17, 2010, 5pm Eastern Time. I will pick a random winner on Wednesday.

Our fearless fly catcher

We were backing out of the parking spot when all of a sudden we see Juju in the rearview mirror. So we stop the car, and shout out, "What in the world are you doing?" Apparently she was catching a fly or something like that.

On Toys

Is that a baby toy or a dog toy? They all look so similar! Dog toys have squeakers. Baby toys have not just squeakers, but also rattles. Rattles seem like fun for dogs too. Some of the stuffed animal toys in our house are for dogs and others are for baby. Dogs have ball toys and baby also has ball-like toys. It’s so confusing, how can you tell the difference?

In our home, the dog toys remain the dogs’ toys and the baby’s toys remain the baby’s toys. They do NOT share toys. When Loki showed interest in the baby’s sheep cloth book, I only allowed him to sniff. I then removed the toy from Loki and put it in the crib. In general, the dogs’ toys are on the ground and the baby’s toys are stored in high places. Sometimes baby toys are on the floor, like when I put Baby on the floor mat to play, but I always pick them up afterwards. We haven't had any incidents yet of a dog picking up a baby toy.

I fully intend on maintaining the separation of toys as baby grows into toddler. So far, Baby hasn’t shown any interest in the dogs’ toys. But I plan on not allowing him to play with the dogs’ toys. The thought of him playing with dog toys is especially gross considering that everything that Baby plays with ends up in his mouth.

So far, we’re doing well. The dogs have their toys (and occasionally my flip-flop shoe). They show minimal interest in Baby’s toys. And Baby hasn’t shown any interest in the dogs’ toys. This whole issue has been a non-issue at our home mainly because we have very few toys. The dogs only have a handful of toys and Baby only has a handful of toys. We’ll see what happens as Baby grows in to Toddler. I know that I’ll be using the dogs as a threat to get our son to pick up his toys when he’s older: “If you don’t pick up your toys, Juju is going to chew it up.”

Winery with the dogs

Today was an extra special fun day with the dogs. They were all excited. Where were we going?

Here's Juju:

and Loki:

After a long car ride, we stopped at Grandale Farm for lunch. It was a beautiful day. Gorgeous weather. We ate outdoors and the pups were allowed on the other side of the deck, away from the dining area.

But Juju had other plans in mind. She couldn't understand why the humans were keeping her away from the food.

After lunch, we went to Breaux Vineyards. It was a dog friendly establishment and allowed our pups to join us inside while we had our wine tasting at the bar. We thought that it was really special that they were dog friendly, but then they told us that most of the vineyards around the area are dog friendly.

Juju decided to curl up between the bar and our legs.

But sitting by the bar wasn't for Loki. He wanted to sit in the middle of the room.

(Don't worry, we didn't let the pups eat any grapes. We know it's bad for dogs.)

We had a fabulous time and recommend both of these places.

Dirty Window

Of all our window panels, guess which ones are the dirtiest? The two bottom corner panels. Gee, I wonder why? Maybe, it's because both pups do this all the time.

Random Shiba Links

Look! There's a shiba modeling a costume of ... wait, what is it? A cave man on a flying shiba?

Anyways, I saw this on CuteOverload.

Fabric Sweeper Recommended!

I was tempted to try the Pledge Fabric Sweeper after reading about it on The Consumerist. So I bought it from Target and tried it out on my couch. Wow! It works! It does a really good job at picking up all the dog hair. I'm now no longer hesitant about inviting guests to sit on the couch, no longer worried about them getting dog hair all over their clothes, no longer embarrassed when they do. I absolutely recommend it to all pet owners. It's so much easier to use than a vacuum and does just as good of a job, if not better!

The packaging says that it's "disposable", but don't let that deter you from using it multiple times. Even after you fill up the clear plastic casing with fur, you can easily remove the roll(s) to empty our the clear plastic casing. Then pop the roll(s) back in and you're ready to tackle the next couch.

Don't get too ambitious and try using it on carpet. It won't work. Yes, I tried it. The carpet overwhelmed with dog hair won that battle. It wasn't even a battle. Just a massacre. Use a vacuum.

My only complaint about this product is that it is kind of hard to hold. Maybe I'll try wearing latex gloves next time for a better grip.

Note: I was not compensated in any way for this glowing review.

Eating Dog Hair

With two shedding dogs, our entire house is covered in dog hair. Dog hair gets on pretty much everything. All the furniture, all surfaces, often times food, all of your clothes, and all of your clothes even after they come out of the washer and dryer. And yet, when Baby was a newborn, I strove to keep him free of dog hair. I would put down clean sheets or clean towels for the baby to play on. I kept his clothes free of dog hair. I kept his cloth diapers free of dog hair. And I kept his crib free of dog hair.

But Baby is no longer a newborn. He's over six months old now. And well, it's hard keep a six month old free of dog hair. Actually, I think he's already eaten some dog hair. He loves to explore his world with his mouth. So, I've resigned to the fact that I can no longer keep Baby free of dog hair. And as long as his digestive tract can manage solid foods, I guess (and hope) that the dog hair won't do any damage.

Our first dog-baby incident

Tonight, we unfortunately had our first dog-baby incident. Baby was napping in our bed. I was in the bathroom washing my face. Then all of a sudden I heard the dogs barge into the room. They were playing with each other and doing their Shiba 500. Before I could do anything, Juju jumped on the bed and trampled all over Baby, who immediately started wailing. I was so mad at Juju! I was yelling at her as I picked up Baby and tried to comfort him. I didn't even want to feed her dinner I was so mad. Yun had to feed the dogs dinner.

It's exactly for this reason that I didn't want to co-sleep with Baby. He is always put in his crib to sleep for the night, but from time to time, we sometimes put him on our bed for naps. I guess we just let our guard down with the dogs. We're lucky that Juju is only a 20 pound dog. As worried as I was, it doesn't seem like there was much damage. He cried only for a few minutes and then calmed down. His skin was a little red in the places that she trampled on, but other than that, he was fine. In fact, after about half an hour or so, there was no more redness at all.

I know that she didn't mean any harm. She was just playing. But I'm still angry that she would just trample over Baby. She just doesn't care that there is a person in her way. I guess we learned our lesson. From now on, if he's in our bed, then the bedroom door must be closed. Otherwise, he goes in his crib.

Loki talking

From time to time, Loki likes to join in when we talk to our baby. Here's a clip of Yun babbling to our baby. Loki's feeling very left out. He wants to join in the fun too!

More intense begging!

It's begun! We started our baby on solid foods this week. And even though it's just boring rice cereal, the pups are very excited. They both put on their best begging looks.

Loki's best begging look is a square sit with a proud chest.

Juju is lying down waiting for the food to drop from above, while Loki watches her to make sure she doesn't get anything that he didn't get.
 Feeding a baby solid foods is a messy process. Luckily we have automatic floor cleaners.

Squeakers are not edible!

Why does Juju always try to eat the squeaker after she disembowels her toys? It's not edible! Stupid dog...

Dogs and their families

Sometimes dogs are partial to one particular person in a family. And you can't always predict which dog will be best matched up to what person in the family. This is why I think it's bad to get a dog for a child. What happens if the dog develops a closer relationship to someone else in the family?

In our family, I think we both have pretty good relationships with both of our dogs. And although we always treat them fairly, we each have our own special bonds. As for me, I think I've grown very fond of Jujube and appreciate her company very much. She's definitely not always an angel, but I love the companionship she provides when she does... you know... on her terms, of course. On the other hand (or paw), Yun has a deeper bond with Loki. He sees Loki as our "first-born" (not that either one of us bore him), and that gives Loki a special place in Yun's heart.

I wonder how our baby's relationship with our dogs will develop. Will he develop a special bond with one of them?

For those of you with multiple dogs, do you see special bonds between certain dogs and certain family members?

Baby petting Jujube

Baby is about 6 months now. Yesterday was the first time he pet a dog. We had him on our bed when Jujube jumped on as well. He was aware of her and went to pet her. Too cute!

New toys belong to Jujube

She doesn't ask for permission from anyone. New toys belong to Juju. No question about it.

Jujube, the opportunist

It's no wonder that Loki sometimes bares his teeth at Jujube. Even with all of his aggressive stances, Juju still doesn't listen. She is our little opportunist and will take advantage any chance she gets.

For instance, a couple days ago Loki left his rawhide unattended while he went to drink some water. As soon as Loki left his rawhide, Jujube snatched it away. (We chased her down and returned the rawhide to Loki.)

There was also another instance about a month ago when I was visiting my parents for a week. My mom let me sleep in and she fed the dogs in the morning for me. But she didn't feed the dogs in the way I feed my dogs. She just puts down two bowls of food and walks away. One morning I discovered that what this really meant was that Jujube scarfed down TWO bowls and Loki got nothing. For all of his aggressive posturing, it doesn't accomplish much, huh? Poor Loki...

Loki skittish

Loki has never been good on smooth surfaces like tile or hardwood. He's definitely gotten better over the years, but he's never 100% comfortable. He's always afraid of slipping and sliding, which he does from time to time. It gets worse when his nails get long. Jujube also sometimes slips and slides when her nails get long. The difference is that she doesn't care if she slips or falls or runs into stuff.

This morning, I put down their food bowls for breakfast and Loki was nowhere to be found. It took him awhile to get into the dining room. Once in the dining room, it still took awhile for him to get to his food. Here's a clip: (By the way, the whining in the background is Jujube, who is waiting for her food, because we make them sit for their food.)

Jujube eats our watermelon

In the video, you can really see her rock the melon.

Yeah, we didn't keep the watermelon on the floor after that. We put it up on a table. Our pups love watermelon. No telling what would happen if we left it on the floor unattended.

"The dog peed on me"

That's the first thing Yun said to me when he got back from taking the dogs out for their nightly bathroom ritual. Hahahaha!

Apparently, Loki was peeing like usual at one spot and then decided that he wanted to pee at a different spot three feet away. Instead of stopping and walking over to mark the second spot, Loki decided to hobble on three legs and pee the entire way from one spot to the other. Yun was just collateral damage.

Hello? It's dinner time!

We try to feed the dogs around 7:30pm every evening. Sometimes we get to it beforehand and sometimes afterwards. If we are ever late, Juju never fails to remind us. Tonight, she started whining at 7:30 pm on the dot! How is her sense of time so good?

Lupine Leashes

We got yet another replacement leash from Lupine the other day. I've lost count of how many replacement leashes I've received. Jujube chews on her leash as soon as we put the leash on her. It's like she's conditioned to chew.

Leash goes on => chew
Grrr, Juju! Luckily, Lupine has a fabulous lifetime guarantee against chewing. They have saved me so much money. All you have to do is pay for shipping your old leash back to Lupine. For me, this is less than $2. And in just a couple of weeks, you'll get your replacement in the mail.

So check out Lupine! They are great! And order from the Midwest Shiba Inu Rescue so that the proceeds go to help some shibas.

"My dog thinks he's a cat"

A fellow shiba owner posted up this picture on her Facebook account. I loved it so much that I had to share it with everyone here!
Yes, shibas are indeed very cat-like.

The pups get a dog walker

When I was first researching different dog breeds, that is, before we got Loki, I tried to find a breed that would be a good match for us. At the time, we lived in an apartment with a 25 lbs. limit on dogs. We didn’t have a yard, but we were able to commit to daily walks for exercise. Also, at the time, I was a graduate student with a flexible schedule. Back then, we did not have any other pets or children. We had all the time in the world to devote to a dog. A shiba seemed like a good choice.

Fast forward a few years. Now we live in a three-level townhouse with a small yard. A second dog and a baby are part of the mix. After a long maternity leave, I am now back to working full-time. We commute to work, my son goes to daycare, and in our daily scramble, the dogs are often neglected. What used to be long daily walks have now degenerated to short weekly walks.

Life happens. It constantly changes and always moves forward. And you know what? Our dogs have adapted to all of our life changes. Some changes were easier than others, but all in all, they adjusted very well. They adapt to their humans. Both Loki and Jujube adjusted to a more sedentary life with less attention when we added a baby to the mix. Neither dog displayed any behavioral problems. Dogs are much more resilient than we give them credit for.

Anyways, luckily for our two pups, we can afford a dog walker. Now that I’m back at work, that’s what they get!

Resource guarding?

Jujube doesn't seem to have an aggressive bone in her body, so she's not really resource guarding. But if she was, this seems to be the perfect spot to do just that.


One small square of sun from the skylight is good enough for Loki. He loves to sunbathe. It doesn't matter that he has a double coat of fur. It doesn't matter that we're in the middle of a heat wave. It doesn't matter that shibas are supposed to be a northern breed built for the snow. Loki loves his sun.

But that's for the baby...

With two shibas our home has its fair share of dog hair. We find dog hair just about everywhere. Even after a good cleaning job, there's always still some dog hair. It's just not possible to make our home completely spotless. Because of all the dog hair, I always try to put down a clean blanket or a clean towel before I put my son down on any surface like the couch, the bed, or the floor.

But what's the point of putting down a clean blanket when this happens:

Loki! That's not for you! That's for the baby!


I thought Loki was okay with thunderstorms, but I guess not. We had a few last week, and he was shaking all over. Moreover, he wouldn't even take any treats when I offered some to him. When a dog doesn't take food, that's a real sign of fear. Poor dog. Fortunately, he got better as soon as the storm lifted.

Loki's got it

One day last week, I was pre-occupied in the bathroom, and couldn't get to my crying baby right away. I yelled over to Yun to see if he could go tend to the baby, but unfortunately, he also was unable to see what was the matter.

When I finally headed over to the nursery to check up on our crying baby, this is what I saw:

"Oh, don't worry," I called over to Yun, "Loki's got it!"

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