A new dog bed!

This is what happens when you leave dirty laundry on the dining room floor. It becomes the property of Jujube! Look, a new dog bed!

Are shibas good guard dogs?

Depends on the dog! Haha!

Loki is our resident guard dog. He barks when people come to our house. He barks at children, dogs, and people outside our front window. And he barks at people on the other side of the fence in the backyard. We get lots of false alarms everyday!

Jujube, on the other hand, is a terrible guard dog. She almost never barks. The only time she barks is when she's playing with Loki. Yesterday, someone was walking behind our house on the other side of the fence. What does our girl do? She picks up a stick in her mouth, trots over to the edge of the fence, peeks out, and wags her tail. Very cute! But a terrible guard dog.

Jujube, our fly catcher

Who needs a fly swatter when you have a Jujube! She's our fly catcher. I've mentioned this about her in a previous post, but here I got a video of her. I actually can't see the fly and have no clue whether she ultimately killed it or not.

A Happy Smile

Believe it or not, but that is actually a happy smile. Loki's getting his belly rubbed and he's enjoying every minute of it. A show of teeth doesn't always indicate aggression. You have to take everything into account. The eyes, the ears, the stance, and even muscle tension. Reading dogs' body language is very subtle. And I think that while you can learn some of it through pictures and videos, the best way is simply experience.

"Pet Safety" in my Inbox

What a coincidence! Just a day after I blogged about how our son has become aware of the dogs' existence, I received a pet safety article in my inbox. I'm subscribed to my hospital's weekly newsletters. When I was pregnant, it offered information based upon the week of gestation; and now that we have a baby, it offers information based upon the age of the baby. So for week 15, I got information on pets. I suppose that it must be "normal" for babies to now become aware of pets and perhaps this is why I received this information now.

Here's a clip from the newsletter:
Babies and pets
Your baby becomes more able to interact with his surroundings every day. If you have dogs, cats, or other pets at home, take steps now to keep your baby safe and your pet adjusted to having a baby in the house. Keep a close eye on your baby and pet when they interact; even pets that seemed to have accepted the baby may change their tune when the baby begins to crawl and grab. Curious babies and toddlers can annoy the most patient pet to the point that the animal bites or scratches. Teach your baby how to be gentle right from the start, and never leave your pet and baby alone together.
Keep your pet’s vaccinations up to date; unvaccinated pets can pose a health risk to the entire family. Do not keep reptiles, including turtles, as pets; many carry salmonella, which can be fatal for infants. Even those favorite pets of childhood, guinea pigs and hamsters, can carry harmful bacteria. If you have one in the house, be sure that everyone washes their hands after playing with it and before holding the baby.
Pets, dust, and allergies
Recent research suggests that daily exposure to cats in the first year of life may protect a child from developing allergies. In one study, babies whose families owned a cat that was allowed in the baby’s bedroom were 67% less likely than others to develop asthma and 45% less likely to develop hay fever. Another study looked at children whose parents had a history of asthma or allergies. Children exposed to higher levels of house dust had less eczema in the first year of life. Exposure to a dog in the home at 2 to 3 months of age was also linked to less eczema in the first year of life. Other studies suggest that some level of exposure to common germs and dust may protect children from developing allergies, eczema, and asthma. So try not to worry too much about keeping a healthy baby’s environment sterile and germ-free. A little exposure to the world—cats, dogs, dust, and all—seems to play a role in building a strong immune system.

Loki meets baby

Today, for the first time, our son looked at Loki, actually looked at him. He's no longer completely oblivious about the existence of our dogs. It's fascinating to see the development of a baby. In the beginning, our son wasn't aware of anything except maybe his food source, i.e., mom. But slowly he's become aware of his limbs, of his surroundings, and now, of our dogs.
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A call for shiba stories

A representative from Animal Planet contacted Winnie's mom asking for shiba stories to feature on Dogs 101. You can post your stories here or you can contact Animal Planet directly using their email provided below.

Here's their email to Winnie's mom:
Animal Planet's DOGS 101.

We are currently in production on and seeking stories for Season Three of DOGS 101, a series for Animal Planet. DOGS 101 is the television encyclopedia of dog breeds. Each episode explores the history, purpose, temperament, amazing accomplishments, and curious facts about the most popular dog breeds in the world. A crucial theme of the series is the powerful love and intense emotional bond that forms between dogs and their humans.

We are looking for an uplifting and unique human-interest story to be featured on our upcoming season of DOGS 101 about the Shiba Inu. The story we are looking for goes beyond the basic show dog, breeder stories, or general therapy dogs and focus on amazing feats, talents, strengths, or the special relationships between a Shiba Inu and its owner. The biggest challenge of this show is finding stories that are VISUALLY stimulating. Newspaper stories are great but we need to show the dogs in action when doing these types of shows!

**I'm wondering if you could reach out to the members of the meet-up group to see if they have any interesting stories or activities they do with their Shiba Inus. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

To find out more information about DOGS 101 and CATS 101, you
can go to our website at:

Thank you so much for your time and I hope to talk to you in the very near future!

Reuben Bettsak
Powderhouse Productions-
Animal Planet-Dogs 101-Cats 101-Must Love Cats

Loki and Jujube Playing

Although I'm pretty quick about uploading pictures, I was very slow about uploading videos. Today, I finally uploaded a bunch of videos from our camcorder, so you should expect the next few posts to be old videos.

Here's a video of Loki and Jujube playing together. It was taken in December of 2009. In the video, you can hear Jujube's very low bark. She only barks when she's playing (or fighting) with Loki. She's most definitely not a guard dog. She doesn't bark when the door bell rings. She doesn't bark when people come to our house. She doesn't bark at strangers passing by.

Cool temperature > Human company

As much as Jujube enjoys hanging around us humans, our company can't beat the cool temperature of the basement. She no longer hangs out with me, nor does she follow me around the house. Instead, she spends her days lounging in the basement, the coolest part of the house.

Dribble, Dribble, Dribble

Loki hates peeing in our backyard. He much prefers to mark on walks. Why waste precious pee in the backyard when you can save it up to mark all over the neighborhood?

Unfortunately, we've gotten lazy and haven't been giving our dogs walks much, so often times we try to force him to pee in the backyard. How do you force a dog to pee? By not letting him back inside until he pees. But, you might ask, how does Loki know what you want him to do in order to get back inside? We say, "Loki, go pee pee!" This works brilliantly in rainy weather. He pees very quickly and we let him back inside quickly. But on sunny days, he just lounges outdoors without peeing.

This morning was sunny and I was anticipating losing our usual standoff.  As soon as I let him outdoors, he started barking at the people who live behind us. He was so focused on his barking that he couldn't hold his pee in anymore. So dribble, dribble, dribble. Even if it wasn't his intention to pee, he did; and so I let him back inside, where he barked some more.

Chewing our gutters

The furry kids were outside in the backyard for awhile this afternoon. When I went to check up on them, I found Jujube chewing up our gutter and Loki behind our HVAC. OMG and WTF!

Apparently, they were hunting some small animal. Maybe it ran inside our gutters. I don't know. It was very difficult to get them back inside the house. What a pain! Grrr!
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