The past weekend was an exciting one for Loki. Perhaps a little too exciting. We camped for the night in South Lake Tahoe, home to one of the most beautiful scenic destinations in Northern California. When it comes to camping, most sites require reservations in advance. Unfortunately for us, we were left with few choices by the time we made reservations. This mistake led to the discovery of KOA camp sites, a rather comfortable alternative to traditional camp sites. I was surprised to find clean bathrooms, showers, laundry, and even WIFI! Yes, I myself thought it was silly to camp with these amenities. But when you’re dying to use the bathroom at 3am during a THUNDERSTORM, that clean bathroom comes in mighty handy.
So how did Loki fare? At first, he was enjoying the pine cones and bouncing around like a silly little fox.
Soon after, we started the campfire and got our cooking on. Mmm, I LOVE cooking camp food!
And this is when Loki decided that he didn’t like camping anymore. He was afraid of the SMOKE coming from the campfire We literally had to drag him from underneath our car.
Loki: I love camping so much, I’ll stay right here. Kthxbye.
Oddly, Loki didn’t flinch to the sound of intense thunder and lightening later that night. I was freaking out more than him. This little guy makes no sense sometimes.
How can you not fall in love with this fuzzy face?
As much as I love my dog, I’d be lying if I said that raising Loki has been easy. Hes the first dog I’ve ever raised, and I sometimes find myself wondering ‘hmm, should I have adopted a more obedient dog instead?’ Breeders discourage first-time owners from raising shibas for this reason – they are aloof, independent, wickedly smart, and could care less about what you want. They require an extremely patient, confident, and compassionate owner to instill confidence and gain trust. Its easy to read these words and think “yeah yeah, I’ll get my dog to behave! Other people just don’t know how to do it right!” I’ve been raising Loki for the past 7 months now, and even I must admit that I’ve underestimated the challenges of raising a shiba. I’ve watched too many positive reinforcement training videos on youtube to remember, and scoured through forums hoping to find the perfect solution. Do these training methods work on shibas? Yes. Do they work reliably? Well….maybe in a couple of years…I hope.
I know I’m just venting right now after a long day. Disclaimer: we never yell, we never get physical, and we always train him through positive association (clicker training with treats). Hes very quick to learn, yet every time he senses me wanting to hold him (brushing his fur or putting on his harness), its yet another game of cat and mice, with a lot of grrr’ing in between. And that quickly gets old after a long day at work. STOP RUNNING AWAY DAMNIT!
I’ll be back in happy Loki mood in my next post. But for now, sigh. Loki, you are one hard dog to train. On the bright side, perhaps training Loki is a good precursor to whatever children will bring to the table. Night night.
When we first brought Loki home from the breeder, she mentioned that she gave him cow hoofs to chew on. Perhaps this is why Loki is biased towards these bones. Over the past few months, I’ve noticed that cow hoofs are by far his favorite chew toy. And how many chew toys does Loki have? Well…
The squirrel house that we bought him 5-6 months ago is surprisingly still intact! He doesn’t care too much for plastic chew toys, and he regained his interest in attacking the squirrel house again. Perhaps its the taste of animal bone that hes attracted to? Even then, when it comes to chewing on bones, there are few types that we bought him.
From left to right – cow hoof ($1.75), bully stick ($5.99), deer antler ($10?)
As I’m typing this blog, Loki is chewing away on his cow hoof behind me. You can smell how foul the hoof is a few feet away @_@ I’ve read pros and cons on dog forums about giving your dog cow hoofs. For now, I’ll stick with it because its the only thing that distracts him from chewing up my house. Thank goodness its a cheap and effective toy!
l’ll just sit here with my cow hoof, thank you
The farmers market opens every Sunday near my house, so today I decided to take Loki there to meet some new friends. Despite arriving at the market around 11am, I was already starting to feel the afternoon heat beating down on my skin. There were a lot of dogs sitting outside the market underneath the shade, none of which Loki was interested in because of all the distractions – new smells, noises, people, and dogs! Getting him to walk alongside me had never been so difficult. Unfortunately, I was politely asked to take Loki outside of the market due to health regulations. I should have known beforehand, but there weren’t any signs!
I scored some amazing homemade pesto to pair with naan that I bought at Trader Joes, as well fresh granola packaged in the cutest little bag. Can’t wait to try it!
Brushing Loki’s Fur
Brushing Loki’s hair used to be a painful experience, but I today I made a breakthrough! I was able to brush him for a full 15-minutes without him grring or snapping at me! He only tolerates brushing with the Kong zoomgroom brush. I suspect that the rubber teeth doesn’t feel as uncomfortable against his skin, in contrast to the GripSoft Softpin brush that I bought a while back.
This is a 2-in-1 brush that you can use to lather shampoo during a bath, as well using it as a grooming device. I definitely recommend this to shiba owners.
Is that really my hair??
Loki has grown quite drastically since the inception of this blog. His fur coat grew thicker and softer, which is nice to touch but makes it challenging to do outdoor activities in the middle of the day. Believe it or not, Loki is 8 months old and he never had his nails trimmed before! Wait – I take that back. I did buy a pair of doggy nail clippers before, but I am terrified of cutting his nails too short and hurting him. We all know how difficult shibas can get when they associate an object with pain…
After digging around amazon, I finally settled on the Dremel 7300. It isn’t marketed for dogs, but dog owners who bought the doggy-version Dremel insists that this model is more powerful, therefore reducing the amount of time you need to grind your dog’s nails.
I actually haven’t used the grinder on Loki yet. I’ve been trying to get him comfortable with the sight and sound of the dremel. I’ll turn it on for a minute, give him a treat, and wait for him to approach me with the dremel running. So far, so good.
^ the dremel isn’t running! Don’t panic.
In fact, it worked SO well that when my dremel was laying on the floor, Loki decided it was his new toy and started chewing the base of the dremel =( Well, I suppose its a good thing. I’ll continue to this for the next few days so that Loki has no negative associates with the grinder. Only then will I start using it on him, can’t wait to see how that goes… (sarcasm).
So I finally used the dremel on Loki…and guess what? He didn’t freak out! Grinding his nails is a 2-person job though, and I’ll tell you a little trick. Andrew was holding Loki and distracting him with some honey on a spoon while I used the dremel to trim his nails – he didn’t even flinch! I have harder times brushing his coat than I do trimming his nails. I love how fast and easy it is to use this grinder – takes literally 1 or 2 swipes to round out his nails. Definitely would recommend this product!
Not much of an update here. I love my new dslr and using Loki as my test subject!