HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY KUMA!!!
We gave Kuma an antler and a buffalo knuckle. We didn’t really see him for the rest of the night after that lol. Guess he enjoyed them. 🙂
It was a great first year Kuma. Looking forward to many more.
I few weeks ago we attended the Chicago Area Shiba meetup. It was a blast. The meetup was at best friends Pet Care in Lincolnshire. There was a large gated area for the dogs to run around and play, pools for the water shibas, and of course treats. Great dogs and great people. Kuma had a blast. In fact, he met another red shiba who was also named Kuma. Kuma was the resident water dog at the meetup, jumping in and out of the pools and enjoying showers with the hose.
He was much more outgoing at the shiba meetup than he was at the Evanston dog beach. Maybe because most of the dogs at the beach were large breeds?
In any event, we strongly encourage any Shiba owners in the Chicagoland area to attend some of the meetups. They’re loads of fun, and the owners and the dogs were great.
Peace everyone. I shamefully admit that we are long overdue for a new post. Kuma has been well. Outside of his skittishness around loud noises in unknown environments. We have been continuing to socialize him in new environments for this, hopefully he will gradually get better.
Kuma recently had his first off-leash experience at the Dog Beach in Evanston, Illinois. There were lots of dogs and lots of owners. Kuma had a good time. We went with Kuma’s best friend Koa.
Koa frequents the beach with his owner. According to Koa’s owner, most of the dogs at the beach that day knew each other. This meant that Kuma was the new kid on the block. Kuma was nervous at first, he wasn’t quite sure how to react to a pack of dogs all wanting to meet him at the same time. Some of the dogs could sense Kuma’s nervous energy, and they hazed him a little bit. But Koa came to his rescue anytime the other dogs got a little too rough. After a brief nervous first meeting for Kuma, he relaxed and ran around and played with all the dogs for the rest of the visit. Acceptance! Kuma had successfully proved himself. 🙂 We plan to go back to dog beach as often as we can, it was beautiful and Kuma enjoyed it. Below is a video of the first awkward initial meeting. You’ll notice Kuma’s nervous body language, but after the dogs finally get a chance to sniff him he perks back up, and later joined in the fun.
The visit to the beach was great for Kuma. In a way, he got a taste of his own medicine (the other dogs really let him know where he stood as far as dominance. And Kuma usually tends to have a dominant streak in him when it comes to other dogs.) It allowed him to play with new dogs and meet new people. AND, it allowed us to learn something new about Kuma….(drum roll pleeeeease….). KUMA LIKES THE WATER!! We don’t have video footage of it, but at one point Kuma was swimming happily in Lake Michigan with just his face sticking out of the water. Maybe one day we can teach him to surf :-).
Kuma and Koa enjoyed an evening together while we went out to the movies. This was one of the brief moments they had together where they weren’t flopping around the apartment playing. 🙂
Exactly one week ago, the scariest thing that could ever happen (to a dog owner at least),….happened. Kuma escaped.
Last week we spent a few days at my parent’s house in St Louis. On Saturday we decided to go downtown to catch a concert. We decided to leave Kuma with my parents, my parents love him and didn’t mind watching him. So, we left assuming everything would be fine. After 25 minutes on the road, and almost arriving at the venue I got a phone call. It was my Dad, his exact words were, “You’re not gonna believe this.”, “What happened!?” I replied. “Kuma got out”, he said. (DUN DUN DUNNNN!)
Apparently, my Dad did not put on Kuma’s harness correctly, and Kuma slithered out of the harness when my Dad took him outside. The scariest parts about this were…1. We were 25 minutes away and I knew my Dad would not be able to catch/lure Kuma back into the house. 2. It was about 7:30 when my Dad called, I knew that soon it would be dark and searching for a shiba at night would be nearly impossible. 3. My parent’s backyard is unfenced and on the corner of a residential street. We decided to turn back around and go help my parents hopefully lure Kuma back into the house. I told my Dad we were coming back and to try and just follow/stall Kuma until we got their. My Dad ran back into the house and grabbed a raw soup bone in hopes of luring Kuma into the house, or if nothing else, away from the street.
As we were driving (speeding) back, my Dad would call me and give me updates. He was amazed at how fast Kuma was, no one could catch him. Amazingly, Kuma did not run out of the backyard, or into the street. He would just run circles around my parent’s yard. Periodically he would come back to my Dad, take a few bites of the meat from the soup bone, but dart off again before my Dad could grab him. As we drove back, the sky got darker and darker and the drive seemed to take longer and longer. Just before we pulled into the neighborhood my Dad called again and told me that a man had walked by with his Labrador and Kuma was trying to coarse him into play. My Dad asked the man to bring his dog into the yard and hang out until we got back. Thankfully, this helped keep Kuma in close proximity (by this point kuma had nibbled the meat from the soup bone down to the bone). At one point, my Dad allowed the man to bring his dog into the house in hopes that Kuma would follow. No such luck though. By this time it was a little after 8:00PM and we were pulling into the driveway. I walked through the front door of the house and came out the back door hoping that Kuma would run in my direction. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t anticipating a chase. When I walked out the back door to the yard, there was Kuma, lying down in the backyard. I called his name, “Kuma!”, he looked up, and ran to me and jumped into my hands. Talk about a sigh of relief!
My Dad was extremely relieved, saying “I would have never forgiven myself if he got away”. The man with the lab said he was “happy to help” and continued on his walk. We brought Kuma in and everybody praised him in relief. Kuma had a look on his face that almost said “I don’t see what the big deal is. I thought we were having fun.” LOL. A romp in the backyard, free meat, and a brief play session with a new friend, yea I guess I could see why he might think that.lol. Meanwhile, we were freaking out!
We are still amazed that Kuma was off-leash in an unfenced backyard for a half hour and did not run off exploring, chasing after some small animal, or worse. We have no idea what kept Kuma in the yard with so many distractions around him. We’ll just consider it a blessing from God himself. Kuma, we are happy you chose to stay with us. But please, please do not ever put us through that again. 🙂
Quentin & Sheryl
This is a picture of Kuma and my Dad, right after we got him back inside the house. Doesn’t he look like he doesn’t get what the big deal is. lol
Today is Kuma’s last day wearing his cone. 15 minutes from now we will be taking Kuma back to the vet for a follow-up check-up. If all goes well Kuma will finally be out of his cone. Though, I think he did kind of get used to it. He doesn’t seem to mind it too much in this pic. Just look at that smile! 🙂
The deed is done. Kuma,….has been neutered. His surgery went very well. When I went to go pick him up he seemed to be unphased by the surgery, he was still his normal happy self. However, the infamous “cone” had quite a different effect on him. He hates it! lol. He lets us put the cone on just fine, but whenever he is wearing the cone he gets this depressed look on his face.
The first cone we got him was not big enough and he was still able to reach his stitches and lick them (which he was determined to do every chance he got).
So, to get him through the night, I used cardboard to make the cone slightly longer. Thankfully, this prevented him from getting to his stitches for the time being, but only added to his humiliation. Sorry buddy.
The next day I went out and bought a cone that was 2 sizes bigger. This did the trick, and Kuma can no longer reach his stitches, but feels just as insulted to have to wear the cone. If he could, I think he would punch me in the face for all of this.lol
Aside from the slight humiliation of wearing the cone, Kuma is mostly doing okay. I say mostly because he has been VERY lazy indoors ever since his surgery (which was 5 days ago). He’s his normal active self when outdoors, but indoors all he does is lay around. I’m thinking/hoping its just because of the awkwardness of the cone. But we’re monitoring closely just in case, we’ll probably call the vet just to be sure his behavior is normal.
EZY Dog Collar:
Kuma LOVES his collar. Its the only one I have seen him put his head through willingly on his own. He just seems so much more comfortable in it.
Here’s a vid of Kuma wearing the collar while doing his new favorite thing. Taking in the smells during a car ride. We hope your approach to life is the same as Kuma’s approach to car rides. Enjoy the ride 🙂
Friday is the big day. Kuma will be getting neutered. Only 4 days intact for our little pup. The vet makes the whole process seem so simple, but its STILL surgery. What have been your experiences in neutering? Has anyone experienced complications? Anything to watch out for as a pup recovers from the surgery/anesthesia?
Kuma had his first grooming appointment yesterday. He protested a little in the beginning. But after the first few nails were clipped, Kuma decided to except his fate and stop whinning. After the appointment the dog stylist said that “he did very well” and we “should be proud”. Kudos to Kuma!
We’ve had Kuma since October. Between then and March Kuma has chewed through and/or destroyed 5 Kong harnesses. $100 dollars later we finally decided to wise up and buy a better harness. We went out in search of something that would fit better, be more comfortable for Kuma, and be relatively chew proof. We ended up purchasing a harness by Ezy Dog. The Quick Fit Shock Absorbing Harness was what we ultimately decided on. There is a padded chest brace in the front that eliminates any pain from pulling or friction. It slips on very easily and adjusts well to fit Kuma’s size perfectly. Kuma did not like to wear the Kong leashes very much, at times he would avoid us when we would try to put it on him. He doesn’t mind the Ezy Dog leash, and he seems to move much more comfortably with it on. We highly recommend this harness to any dog owners in need of a sturdy, easy to use, comfortable harness. Below are a couple photos from the Ezy Dog website.
Yesterday we enjoyed a peaceful walk through downtown and along the Riverwalk. Something about walking through nature with an animal that brings peace (more on this later).
I recently read a great book by Ekhart Tolle and Patrick Mcdonnell called “Guardians of Being”. I love this book! It is comprised of simple words of ancient wisdom coupled with illustrations by acclaimed MUTTS comic strip creator Patrick Mcdonell.
The book talks about how our dogs/cats can teach us how to live (or “be”) much more simply and effectively, by keeping our minds focused on the present and not on past experiences and/or future worries. If we humans did this more often, our lives and mental health would be much better off. In this way, our pets can teach us some simple valuable spiritual lessons. In this way, our pets are guardians of being. I haven’t read any other books by Ekhart Tolle, but this one I have to say, I enjoyed. Here are some of my favorite excerpts…