I’m a good boy. When Kenji poops, no matter the volume or viscosity, I pick it up.
I’ve tried several different doggie waste bags, and have settled on the plastic bags you get from the supermarket. The price is right, the size is perfect, and they’re easy to find. The only shortcoming is the occasional hole. But that’s to be expected. Every time Kenji finishes up, I tie the bag into a knot and place it directly into our outdoor garbage can.
Today in New York, the winds have been gusting up to 40MPH. My wife just got home and found the garbage can in the street and about a dozen Kenji doggy bags strewn across the road. After apologizing for creating such an inconvenient weather phenomenon, (how dare I!) I calmly told her to just pick them up. I’m not sure what she expects me to do with all of his waste. But in the future I will be sure to secure the garbage can lid and start tying tighter knots. It would probably make sense to line the garbage cans too. If someone told me I’d be over the age of five, and talking so much about poop - even fighting about it! - I would have said they were crazy.
I didn’t sleep well last night. There was the 2am car that drove by at around 100mph. And then there was an antsy dog. Scratching. Shifting. Sniffing.
Since we were on the move this morning, Kenji spent a bit of time in his crate. Every time we put him in, we were met with crying, screaming and shouting. I even heard him outside when I pulled up to the house.
I knew something was up.
We went for our midday stroll and as we got near the end he took his usual poop stance. But this time, something different happened.
There was an explosion. A blast of the liquid variety.
I feel bad for my neighbor’s lawn. I did everything I could armed with a mere plastic bag. But short a hose, fresh sod and a shovel, I walked away from the scene of the crime, washed in guilt.
More importantly, I was worried about Kenji.
We’ve yet to have another elimination, but everything seems to be AOK. He’s eating, playing and being cute as a button - as usual. I wish I could say the same for my neighbor’s grass.
I don’t want to put a muzzle on Kenji, but I will if he continues to challenge me.
Somewhere along the line, around three weeks ago, the Red Prince picked up a stick during one of our walks. After several “GIVE!” commands, I ripped it from his mouth and tossed it aside.
ENTER NEW GAME: TRY TO PRY THIS STICK FROM MY MOUTH
After falling into the trap several times, I caught on that Kenji was goading me into a modified game of fetch. I immediately stopped and went into “ignore” mode. Kenji upped the ante by picking up a twig…then a branch…then a limb! The items in his mouth continue to grow in size.
And he looks back at me constantly! He even walked into a tree the other day because he was so busy trying to bait me.
I’ll continue to ignore him since that’s what the experts say to do, but I’ve learned a lesson. Give this guy a twig, and he’ll take the tree!
Now you might be wondering why I care if he is strutting around with a twig in his mouth. The issue is that it distracts him from his elimination business and it’s not until we get back into the house that the pee-pee/poo-poo lightbulb goes off.
Kenji certainly would make Teddy Roosevelt proud! “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”
Thanks to my nightly walks with Kenji, and the seasonal effects of the tilt of the earth’s axis, I’m out in the dark a lot more then I was pre-Shiba Inu. This has caused me to reacquaint myself with the stars, constellations, galaxies and nebulae that I had apparently turned my back on for quite some time.
It’s like a planeterium reawakening in my backyard.
Yes, I’m in New York. And sure, there are about a million other places where my sky gazing would yield better results. But I’ll take what I can get.
So every night, sometimes twice a night, I hitch Kenji to his leash and wash myself in luminosity.
It’s so peaceful.
But like all beautiful things, the tranquility inevitably ends. Often with a tug. Then a second TUG!
Kenji reminds me that I’m on his watch. I look down from the sky and find something waiting for me on the ground. Fallen star? I think not.
Listen closely. There’s a high-pitched sound that Kenji only makes when he’s biting my hands. Any idea what it means? Enjoyment? Attack? It seems he reserves it only for our play sessions when my hands are in his mouth. (Yes, I know this is a terrible game/habit.)
Kika became the world’s most famous Shiba Inu back in 2008 when 3 million folks tuned in to watch her care for her puppies.
Well, she’s back.
Fresh off the birth of five new pups, Kika has broken the 17,000,000 view mark on Ustream.tv. You can tune in here.
Kenji is jealous, yet secretly happy. See, he only aspires for wealth, not fame. He’s a dog after my own heart.
Shibas are an amazing breed. One that comes with work and a serious time committment. I always get worried of the effect of mainstream success.
If you are considering getting a shiba, I am more than willing to answer any questions you have. My guy is only seven months old, and I am hardly an expert - and perhaps that makes me the best person to ask. Hit me up at email@example.com
After several months of racing home during my lunch hour to feed Kenji, I’ve decided I simply can’t do it anymore - at least not everyday.
With a 60-minute lunch break, and a 20-minute ride home, I only have 20 minutes to walk Kenji and feed myself. With perfect planning and favorable traffic conditions, I can get it done, but it’s always a major rush. In fact, I’ve already needed a new tire on my car ($350!) from cutting a curb too close.
Enough is enough. On Friday I decided that the routine has to change. I love Kenji. But returning to work with knots in my stomach from the stress is starting to take its toll.
From here on out I will attempt to see if Kenji can make it through the day (comfortably) and go without his lunchtime pee-pee. At 7 months old, I’m pretty sure he can. I’ll watch him on the Kenji Cam and keep my eyes peeled for any behavioral changes. I’ve committed to walking him an extra few blocks in the morning. I hope that helps take the edge off…of both of us.
There are a lot of articles that talk about the Shiba Inu’s unique temperament and personality. And I can vouch that most of them accurately depict the breed’s nature. But if you’re in the market for a Shiba, here are a few observations from my four months with Mr. K.
CLEANLINESS IS GODLINESS. When I read that Shiba Inus are clean, I figured it’s a dog, how clean can it be. But let me tell you, Kenji’s personal hygiene rivals my own – and I’m a squeaky clean dude! He is so fastidious that it’s almost annoying. Kenji cleans himself as much as any cat I have ever owned. And an added bonus is that they steer clear of their own poop. As soon as he eliminates, he trots out of the way, making pooper scooping, an easy (yet still disgusting) task.
QUIET LIKE A LIBRARIAN. Oh sure, I can get Kenji to bark, growl, groan and cry – but when things are status quo – he’s quiet as a mouse. In fact, sometimes, you don’t even know he’s there! As someone who spent five years living in an apartment, I can say unequivocally, that a Shiba Inu makes a perfect apartment mate. That’s assuming of course that you are willing to put in the time to exercise him/her. And speaking of exercise…
RUN LIKE THE WIND. Shibas are fast! I mean VERY fast! So fast, that I’ve joined a gym in the hopes I can keep up with Mr. K! I’m in decent shape and I’m still no match for the turbo pup! With a little leash control and training, I finally have him where he’ll run at my speed (kinda). If you get a Shiba, he’s gonna want to run. The question is: Are you up for the challenge. Don’t underestimate the amount of exercise a shiba needs. I can only speak for Kenji, but I’ve learned that he needs at least 4 walks a day totaling at least a mile (cumulatively). Any less, and he becomes a restless, destructive liability.
BORN KILLER. They might be cute as a button, but there’s no mistaking that Shiba Inus are meant to be outside – and meant to kill. We’ll give Kenji an amazing life, but it is crystal clear to me that his place in this world is not under a roof. Oh, they’ll adapt. But nature intended for them to be outside slaughtering birds and small animals. The AKC says the Shiba Inu was bred to hunt small wild game, boar and bear. I believe it. If it’s furry and runs, it’s in danger. And this leads me to my biggest disappointment in Shiba ownership: He can NEVER be off the leash. EVER. The risk of flight will always be there, and I’m too much in love (and a worry wart) to challenge instinct. Keep this mind if you’re thinking of getting a Shiba Inu. Expect to be jealous when you see a calm husky or lab obediently following ‘master’ as they stroll off-leash.
GOOD BOY! I have been very impressed with the trainability of Shibas. There have been very few commands that have needed to be repeated more than a day or two. The issue isn’t the learning – it’s the desire to carry out the commands! Kenji will sit, fetch, get a toy, wait, jump up, and paw…all with decent regularity. Though we will have days where he seems to forget everything. But eventually, it all comes back. The little guy has even started waiting in his crate at 7:45am because he knows it’s lockdown time!
FURRY SITUATION. People talk about the two big coat blow outs a year, when Shibas lose most of their coat. But I’ve gotta be honest, Kenji is constantly shedding. I foolishly thought that the two shedding periods would be the only fur loss for the year. Not true. Expect light shedding throughout the year. I’ve yet to experience the MAJOR shed yet, but will report back when it happens.
INDEPENDENCE DAY. Many Shiba write ups talk about the independent nature of the breed. While there’s no doubt the dog wants to do what it wants when it wants, I do believe that they can be a semi-lap dog. A rare hour goes by when Kenji doesn’t want to be in the thick of our household action. After reading many other blogs, I was concerned that our Red Prince wouldn’t want anything to do with us. Fortunately, the fear was unfounded.
There’s plenty more. I’ll be writing regular posts on Kenji’s progress and my Shiba Inu thoughts. You’re always invited to leave a comment or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was tired last night. Really tired. So tired in fact, that I decided to lay down at 9pm. That means Kenji was forced to forfeit his 11pm bladder drain. And a change in my routine, means a change in Kenji’s routine, which inevitably leads to another change in my routine.
Mr. K woke me at 3am, because to him, it probably felt like 6am. That’s fine. But what I feel bad about is that he is unable to spend more time out of the crate.
As you can see from the recent damage to our house, he’s proven himself incapable of being left alone. That means confinement - a lot of it. Luckily for us - and him - he seems to be very tolerant of it. He has not expressed any signs of anger or extreme anxiousness. (I’ve even watched him on a spy cam and he mostly sleeps, sctratches, and then sleeps some more.)
But we’re talking quality of life here. And as we bond tighter every day, I really wish there were other alternatives. The budget isn’t there for a dog sitter, puppy day care or a dog walker.
Any other ideas? Let me know: email@example.com
Obedience class went as I expected. The teacher handed out a booklet on what we will cover over the next six weeks, and then read directly from it.
It should be more excited when the dogs are present next week. That was the big sell for me. The fact that Kenji will have the opportunity to interact with other dogs.
The teacher said that each group has a bully and each has a submissive scaredy cat. If I were a betting man, I’ll predict Mr. K will be the former. He’s a sweetheart…until he’s over stimulated. I just hope he doesn’t kill anyone!
Speaking of kill…despite TWO extra long morning outings, Kenji was on a poop strike. Until we came back inside and I turned my back for 10 seconds.
Thank God for the crate. I plopped him right inside..for his own protection!
We made it around the block and I almost had a stroke; Kenji was being a good boy! For the first time in weeks he was trotting along beside me. There were no escape attempts, no kill attempts and no let-me-chew-foreign-object attempts.
And then he threw his guts up.
Over the course of half a block, Kenji returned his breakfast - all of it. There has been no change in his diet and I don’t recall giving him any snacks out of the ordinary. The only thing that’s happened over the past two days was him gulping down a mystery object. Normally when I go to get something out of his mouth, he’ll give it up. But two nights ago he decided to gulp down whatever he was gnawing at. Perhaps an acorn cap or piece of twig wreaked havoc on his system.
After barfing he did move his bowels and everything looked AOK.
I’ve got the Kenji Cam back in effect today and he seems to be resting comfortably.
Kenji is a Joy Machine. He brings it out of everyone. Strangers, friends and family; the latter camp being the most fulfilling to witness.
The Kenji Cost of Ownership Calculator now stands at around $3,000. That puts Mr. K at an expense of $28 a day. Not too shabby for unrequited love. And assuming Kenji lives a long and relatively healthy life, that number should drop considerably over the next few years.
He’s worth 100 times that, simply for the joy he brings my wife and his grandPAWrents,
Today’s grooming visit set us back another $60. The little guy returned softer than ever. But to the naked eye, I didn’t see any change - not that I was expecting one. I’m really not into the whole grooming thing, but since I’ve read it’s a ‘must,’ I’ll play along.
Sometimes going against society, as badly as you want to, is not worth the effort.
My wife kept asking me to make the grooming appointment. And I kept refusing. Call me sexist, but I think that kind of thing is better off being handled by her. Unless of course she wants to trade. I’d happily let her deal with the plumber, the accountant and the car repair man.
In any event, she finally made the call and we’re dropping Mr. K off at 9am tomorrow morning. Supposedly, when I pick him up at 2pm, he’ll have minty fresh breath and a coat to die for.
I’m not convinced.
I’ve never owned another dog, but Kenji is one fastidious pup! His cleaning regimen can rival any feline’s. I’m curious to see what $60 will get him (us). I just realized I’ll probably have to leave a tip too.
Stay tuned, before and after pictures of this shiba makeover are coming soon!