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.