Friday, April 29, 2011

Things I love about my shiba

She's the worst bedmate.

Usually she likes to sleep on her own bed, but sometimes I put her on mine. She'll make right for the middle, then dig and claw at the blankets and spin in circles until she's built herself a comfy little nest. Then she sprawls out and pins all the blankets, and becomes an immovable object for the next 12 hours. She hates getting up in the morning. And she always sleeps with her butt towards my head. From a pack point of view, it makes sense, this way we're guarding both ends; from a human point of view, not so much.

Yesterday I wanted to sleep on the floor because my back hurt, so I set up some blankets, and then I sat on the couch to read one more chapter before bed. Meanwhile, the dog colonized my blankets. She picked the middle with mathematical precision, rounded everything up, and fell asleep. And I like to let her sleep, so I had about a foot of blanket for the rest of the night.

You might think this isn't exactly a good thing, but I like it because it helps balance out the evils of being single. If I had a man, he'd make trouble about the dog's bed manners. And he'd probably be right, even. But since I'm single, I can enjoy the cuteness of it in peace. And unlike a man, she at least lets me sleep, even if I have to contort myself to fit in the space she gives me.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Save water, shower with a dog

I've had either cats or dogs for close to twenty years and I've come to the conclusion that the best way to wash them is to get naked and get in the tub with them. Otherwise you get water everywhere and in the case of cats, usually a shredded shirt.

The other thing I've discovered is that bathing them releases a huge quantity of allergens all at once, and of course I'm allergic to cats and dogs. (Also apples, pears and poplar.) So I have to shower as soon as possible after bathing them, or I break out in a huge red rash all over my body. Then on top of that I generally need every allergy drug in the house: Benadryl, Visine, calamine, and usually some ibuprofen as well. And now that I'm back on asthma meds, my fast-acting inhaler. But it's all worth it to end up with a nice, soft, fluffy, clean-smelling little dog.

Also, it helps release all the dead hair during shedding season.

I'm really not sure how people live without dogs.

Things I love about my shiba

When she misbehaves.

Tinky-Winky never, ever misbehaves. Her recall isn't 100%, but that's about the only bad thing she ever does. In the house, she's perfect. She doesn't bark. She doesn't chew. She doesn't dig at the carpet. (I planted her a lawn on the balcony and she dug it up, but that was her lawn to do with as she wanted.) She doesn't pee. She doesn't get in the garbage. She even knows to puke on the linoleum.

But sometimes, she does something that's like the beginning of a misbehaviour. Then I say "what are you doing?" and we both laugh.

We're a good match in that way. Neither of us is the least bit playful or has any sense of humour. We're uptight each with our own kind. We're both spinsters at heart. But we "get" each other.

So today, Tinky-Winky decided it was her walking time. Yes, yes, Cesar, blah blah blah. The reality is, things between us are balanced enough that I don't need to be strict with her anymore. Once upon a time she was really bossy with me. Now she's not. So when she asks for something nicely, usually she gets it. But back to my story: she decided it was walking time, so she came into the living room and did a play bow. And this brought her face to face with a library book that was lying on the floor. She looked at it and got the idea to play with it. First she tried to open it with her nose. Then she tried to chew on the inside. Then she tried to chew on the cover. Then I said to her "we don't eat library books." And she looked at me and we laughed. She didn't even get any drool on the book.

I love my dog.

Looks just like a little fox!

Actually, he looks like a pretty badass mofo of a fox. And he's on our trail.

Looking right at us.

And he's not going anywhere.

After ten minutes he moved over to the side of the trail and we walked through.

You know what he totally doesn't look like though? A shiba. Racoon, maybe. Hyena, totally. Shiba? Not a chance.