We took advantage of the warmish weather on Sunday and took Kenji to the park. And he loved every second of it.
He ran in the open fields, and it was obvious that this is where nature intended him to be.
Since he’s a born hunter, he can never be off the leash. When he’s outside his name recognition is 0% - and he is oblivious to everything around him.
I don’t know if it’s possible, but I can swear that from the moment we brought him to the park, he has not been the same - at least not when he’s outside. Every walk we have taken since then, he is concerned about tracking. He’s not even using his outside time to go to the bathroom! He’s reverted back to going in the house…which means he’s back on lock down. No more free roaming, for now.
It’s as if his true hunter switch was dormant and we woke it up.
Aside from a blossoming biting problem, Kenji is a pretty good pup. He starts general obedience class in mid-January, and I was on the fence on whether or not it would be worth the $200. A visit last night from cousin Casper, a nine-year-old Maltese, confirmed that I made the right decision.
Based on his reaction towards anything that moves outside, we were unsure how Kenji would react to having another dog in such close proximity. We restrained both dogs with leashes and I held Kenji in my arms. The stage was set for a fun play date.
And then Kenji WENT BANANAS!
We don’t know if he wanted to play rough or rip Casper’s heart out, but it was evident that Kenji could not handle the situation. He was obsessed with getting near his butt. He was jumping all over the furniture. He was leaping 3-feet - vertically - in the air. It was chaos.
I removed Kenji by putting him into a locked room for five minutes. I returned to find #1 AND #2 waiting for me.
Our second attempt resulted in more of the same.
I’d love to find out if Kenji meant well and was just too big of a playmate, or if he was hunting for the kill. Without a dog to potentially sacrifice, we might never know!
The sight of a cat passing by was enough to make Kenji forget about the sliding glass doors.
He only took three steps forward, but he was already moving at full speed.
This happened last week.
Today, Kenji and I were playing with a towel (his favorite toy!), and the little Red Devil turned and ran — straight into the leg of a heavy wood coffee table.
The poor guy was temporarily dazed and squinty for several minutes afterwards. That led me to Google “dog concussion.” It is possible. Thankfully, his pupils looked OK and there was no vomiting; two major signs of brain trouble.
He was back to his normal self within a few minutes. But I’ve been told to play ‘nice.’
It is so rare to witness pure joy. That’s why when you get the chance, you better hold on for as long as the wave will let you. I see this joy when Kenji plays in the snow. I almost feel guilty keeping him inside!
After getting neutered it is important that Kenji take it easy for seven days. We started having trouble with him after seven minutes!
The little contortionist is obsessed with trying to lick the wound, so much so, that he found a way to scrape the cone around his head on the incision. That led to some drops of blood and another trip to the vet.
I’m running on fumes. And Kenji earned himself a larger cone, a tranquilizer injection and a week’s worth of Xanax for pups.
Hopefully he’ll chill out. Hopefully we’ll all chill out! Though I’ll have to do it without the help of meds.
You might not have noticed, but you only have one mouth. I know this pains you everytime you’re forced to choose which toy to grab out of your crate. Or when there are two hands or two ankles to nip at, but this is the way you were created. If I had one wish for you, it would be for a second mouth. But my hunch is that you would greedily start wishing for a third. So enjoy your mouth. God knows, it’s always working overtime. Just leave my hands out of it!
the puppy days are almost behind us. kenji’s teeth are falling like autumn leaves and we are about two weeks away from the BIG snip. everyday comes with adventure, excitment and love…but it also comes with work. a lot of it. when considering what type of dog to get, i researched a million Web sites. all of the ones that focused on shibas said the same thing: “the breed is not for everyone.” i now understand what they were talking about.
patience, a sense of humor and a lot of time are essential ingredients to making your relationship with a shiba work. my guy is a little red enigma. he keeps me on my toes. and most days, i like that.
i’m thankful for little kenji. and i’m pretty sure he’s thankful for me.
they say in order to truly relax, you must not be worried that something will un-nerve you. that’s why it’s a good idea to take the phone off the hook before you meditate. anticipating an interruption can be more distracting than the interruption itself.
well, thanks to kenji, i was grabbed out of the delightful grip of some deep meditation. i was about 15 minutes in when i heard a barking breakdown. since Mr. K is often a whimperer not a barker, and i was nice and calm, it took about 20 seconds for me to realize that my dog was going nuts two rooms down from where i sat. never left unattended, kenji was with my wife. (who was sleeping, so i guess that’s about the same as being unattended, so strike that last statement from the record).
so why the commotion?
while kenji napped i treated myself to a nice cup of tea - which i left on the coffee table after i was finished. god forbid we move anything around in the house without kenji’s approval first. upon waking, Mr. K had the tea mug in his line of sight and the rest is history.
being jarred from a relaxed state - when you look forward to it all day - totally sucks. and now the next time i try to decompress, i’ll be anticipating a bark. lucky me.
kenji loves new people. i tell myself not to take it personally, but when a ‘stranger’ walks through the door, and the little guy can’t contain himself, i feel like chopped liver. i feel like saying, ‘hey, remember me? the guy who pays the vet bills?’
i’m jealous of the greeting others get. i get the standard…
sniff, sniff, bite, bite, grab toy, PLAY.
boring! if anyone should get the mega-warm welcome, it’s THIS guy. ;-)
i was so happy when kenji mastered the ‘paw’ command. always a crowd pleaser, he entertaing children and adults alike. but somewhere over the past week he has decided to game the system. rather than go through the entire drill “sit, up, sit, paw” - he has decided to cut right to PAW. no matter what i ask of him, i’m getting the paw first.
KENJI, SIT = Paw KENJI, UP = Paw KENJI, STAY = Paw KENJI, PAW = Paw
i look forward to the challenge of un-teaching the paw command. whoever said dog ownership is a roller coaster ride, was definitely not kidding.
poor kid. his dad encouraged him to pet kenji (despite my warning that he’s a teething puppy who still needs some serious socialization). the end result, the little kid (dressed as superman), leaves hysterically crying and i get bitten on the nose.
the small superhero was petting an over-excited puppy and ended up getting a paw to the eye. while not the best behavior, i can give the puppy a pass. i apologized profusely to the understanding dad. “it comes with the territory,” he said. though i’m willing to bet his wife was not so sympathetic when he arrived home.
what really pissed me off was the way kenji reacted when i told him no and picked him up. he turned to me and in a mean-spirited way, nipped at my nose. there was no blood but it did hurt. we silently returned home and he was put into his crate.
he knew he was in trouble.
PRIORITY #1: I need to find an available puppy kindergarten this week.
As Mr. K was biting on a new toy, we started to notice a consistent blood stamp. Low and behold, he lost his first baby tooth. It was one of the little suckers between the K9s. That helps explain why he has been super mouthy of late.
He was also crying like a maniac before I left for work this morning. He eventually wiped himself out and went to sleep, but it looks like we might be in for a rough few weeks of teething.
Expect the unexpected, that’s wisdom I’d love to impart on Mr. K. The day began like any other for our favorite pooch, but ended in a frenzied panic. The reason why? A soccer ball.
I guess some kids in a neighboring yard booted it over the fence, no biggie. But Kenji might beg to differ. What was this odd rotund object doing in HIS yard? Rather than fight/explore/sniff, Kenji retreated, absolutely terrified of the ball. Not only would he not enter the yard, but he was scared to go into the yard hours after I kicked the ball back where it belonged.
The puppy was so scared of the ball that he began to do this odd choke/pant thing that I’ve never seen him do before.
The good news is that the Soccer Terror of ‘09 has knocked him out cold. That means I get to watch the Yankees game in peace.
despite my wife’s please, i fought it for a month. under no circumstances was i going to let a dog into my bed. and then it got cold and i caved.
it started out innocently enough. one or two nights of peace, each of us stealing a little warmth from each other. and then things took a turn…
we fell asleep early, maybe around 10:30pm. at around 11:45pm i got a whiff. it was something like rotted eggs, chicken and fish flakes all blended together. i looked down at the mutt and he was heaving. mouth wide open and some kind of liquified split pea soup spilling out of his mouth.
the barf was the result of some new food and too many treats (his granPAWrents were over earler in the day spoiling him rotten).
kenji spent the rest of the night in the crate, i’m cleaning the comforter as you read this and i scored a major victory of my case against dogs in human beds.
I am sorry you are hungry and have a full bladder. Due to several unforeseen circumstances at work, I am stuck here for a while and will not be able to make your usual 1pm afternoon feeding/walk. I’ll be there soon. Hang tight, buddy.
nothing traumatic has happened. not a thunderstorm. not an earthquake. not even a pot clanking to the floor. yet for whatever reason, mr. kenji has suddenly decided to cloak himself in fear. whether it’s the floor creaking, a door closing or a lamp getting flicked on, suddenly, without warning, mr. kenji has turned into mr. skittish.
as someone with enough of his own anxiety hangups, i am trying my best to be patient with our furry friend. but i must say, without an ‘event’ to point to, it is frustrating and perplexing. hopefully tomorrow he wakes up calm again. ;-)