Welcome to Shiba-Nunu

There is no real English word such as "Nunu", though privately, Nunu is a silly term of endearment my husband coined for our shiba inu, Mya, and all her shiba antics.

She is, then, our very own Shiba Nunu!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Out-of-League Shiba

I have been asked many times what it is that I love about this breed.  This Nihon ken is usually not affectionate in the usual ways and has a very independent nature which means she keeps you at an arm's length. 

They like to be around you but not touching you, and definitely not on your lap... unless you're at the vet. Mya is not an exception.  Though I dream of her excelling in agility since she is a very spirited, agile and nimble trackster, we flunked out because she would rather go on her own terms. She will gladly take treats from my hands but not before sniffing every piece to make sure I know I still have to earn her trust.  She is proud, she is dignified and expects to be served.  A fellow shiba inu lover puts it aptly:

"Ever meet that hot guy our girl that's so beautiful you think they are out of your league? they always treat you like they can live without you and hardly ever give you the time of day. However there are those brief moments where they look at you with those eyes, cuddle with you for a minute or two that makes being "together" in this seemingly one-sided relationship worth it? And afterwards you go back to followimg them around like a lovesick puppy-dog picking up after their shit and putting up with their antics?

Yeah, owning a Shiba is something like that..."

Thanks, Jesse, for putting words into my thoughts!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mya Goes to School

Just a few convincing photos showing the value of patience and persistence in socializing dogs and teaching them how to "share".  Mya used to get snarky when she is with other dogs and suddenly, yummy treats come into the picture.

Here she is, practising self-control during a session of desensitization- desensitizing her to the presence of other dogs during treat-giving. Just look at the intensity of her stare. Ears focused and all.

Good job, Mya!

You deserve a treat!
Acknowledgements:  Pup Culture

Glaucoma and Cataracts

Abnormal Eyes
Call me paranoid, but upon coming across shibas in the forum who have lost sight due to cataract and glaucoma, I suddenly felt so alarmed when Mya's right eye started having abnormal discharge.  I never had to clean up the eyes of this self-cleaning dog, and yet I found myself having to wipe her eyes 3 times a day. 

Brave Nunu
Noticed it on a Wednesday and thought I'd give it a day for her immune system to take care of it but since the next day it was worse, and some advice from the shiba peeps made me realize it could be crucial, she was brought to the BSF on Thursday.  Findings:  a speck on the outside, most likely dirt, a crystal-like formation inside, massing of veins in the cornea.  Did some flushing with saline solution and Mya was such a brave and nice girl! She sat still and allowed us to squirt stuff in her eyes, and allowed Dr. Farah to examine her eyes so closely that they were literally nose to nose.

Eye Infection/ Irritation
Next day, brought her to VIP upon hearing that they have a tonometer, an instrument that is used to measure pressure in the eyes.  Unfortunately, when we got there, we were told the machine is out of commission and has been sent out for repair. So it ended up as another check-up.  Dr. Marga examined her eyes and did not see any opacity to suggest cataracts, but saw the eye discharge which alarmed her because it's greenish. Had to give antibiotic eyedrops for a week.

A week after, we were able to have her eyes examined by an opthalmologist who looked at her eyes closely with human grade hi-tech opthalmic gadgets that allowed her to examine up to the optic nerve. Findings: normal!  Then she went on to examine her eye pressure by palpation. Result: Normal! 

Thank you, God, for the good news. Will still be on-guard against these just to be sure...

Some things you want to be alert about:
1.  Eye Discharge
2.  Eye Pain - manifested by sleeping more
3.  Photosensitivity
4.  Eye feels hard by palpation
5.  Cloudiness

Any of these signs need to be checked out as glaucoma can happen overnight.  Though there is no cure, there are ways to delay the progress.  Cataracts can be delayed as well, though there is such a thing as cornea or lens replacement which costs an arm and a leg. 

To all shiba inu owners, the books don't mention glaucoma as one of the breed's hereditary problems, and eye exams done to qualify sires and dams for breeding do not screen out for glaucoma, but watch out because it does happen. So far, the ones affected that I know of are in the U.S. but it is said that it is "rampant" in Japan. (according to a Japanese contact from shibasightline forum)  Please correct this if it isn't so.

Best Resource and Support Group:  shibasighline@yahoogroups.com

Mya Underfoot

Though her cat-like manner makes me think of her other than canine many times, there are things she does that remind me she's canine afterall. One I always see is her denning instinct.  Every morning, she keeps us company at breakfast and after her 2 pieces of scrambled egg, she always settles under the table and sleeps. So I'm pretty sure she's not just waiting for scraps to fall.

She has been given the name "Mya Underfoot" because she is very good at putting herself in the likeliest of places to be accidentally stepped on. But just a slight touch to the fur on her tail can send her jumping up in no time.  And then she's back again! Funny girl!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Conversations with Mya

The shibanunu is quite a good listener, but  there are some topics that she finds most engaging...

1. her harness- as in "where's your harness?"
2. her leash- as in "where's your leash?"
3. Pup Culture
4. "Walk" which I dared not to mention to avoid funny whimpering noises that might follow

PS. Don't mind the chopping noises from the background.  That's the sound of Mya's lunch being prepared.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Ladies at Morning Coffee

Weekend morning coffee made extra special with good company...

She patiently sat on her chair, looking on while I was eating my ensaymada.  But of course she was rewarded (actually, more of bribed) with small cheese shavings

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Shibanunu Meet-Greet-Walk-Play

After a year in the making, Mya finally gets to meet her first shiba inu pal, Samu.  He is also a red shiba inu and is a year older than Mya. Here are a few photos of the 2 shibas interacting.
Checking each other out

Mya inviting Samu to play: "Pounce on me!  Pounce on me!"
Samu: "Uhmmm...not today, Mya."

Mya: "Then I'll pounce on you instead!"
Mya, he's just not that into you!  :D

After a being rejected a few times, shibanunu keeps a watchful eye for any sign of play opening from Samu.  And in turn, Samu keeps a watchful eye for any sign of an impending "play-attack" from the nagging Mya.

"Don't even try."

It was a fun and tiring day for both shiba inus.  Mya got to practice adjusting her very rough play style to her playmate's preference and Samu got to see that chaos can be fun too.

Both shiba inus in Ezydog Quickfit Harness.  I think Samu is liking it.

Favorite Part of the Day... Walk-walk!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

First Shiba Inu Encounter

The shiba inu paw-rents took so long in planning Mya and Samu's "playdate".  About a year in the making?  But like what usually happens when it comes to human adults organizing coffee-dates or let's-catch-up-dates, this one happened when it was quite unplanned.

What was unexpected too, was the aloofness of both parties toward each other.  At least, that was how it was relayed to me. Rear-sniffing here and there, some circling, and that was it.  I was probably being silly, half-expecting a reaction like those in the cartoons when they would see another one of their species for the first time.

Getting a good sniff... a real good sniff!

But for now, it's good...no scream...no growl... Let's see what happens tomorrow.  Mya has been kind of the "life of the party", always taunting other dogs to play, while from an outsider's point of view, Samu is of the reserved character, at least in the beginning.  Like a traditional dignified Japanese man.  Then Mya would be a... geisha?  Let's see if this girl can bring out the playfulness in the serious pal.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Respectable Elizabethan Nunu-Collar

A much needed surprise upgrade! A kind soul took pity on the impoverished look of Mya's old lamp-shade collar and gave her a new one which fit her perfectly. No need for home-made extensions anymore.  Good bye to daily masking tape re-touches! Yes, I can sleep better now as Mya will not wake me up in the middle of the night anymore with her shiba shake sound aggravated by e-collar extensions flapping. Dr. Leo is curing the canine hot spots gone not so wild, as well as the humans' sleep deprivation.  Check out the before and after shots.

Mya seems to know she looked sad in the old collar.
 And she also seems to know she looks much better now.

Unrelated to the topic...Here's a simple pre-walk photo. Enjoying the lowered sofa- no legs for now while renovation is on-going.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Shiba Inu Puppy-Pangs

Shibanunu's furmom has been getting the shiba inu puppy pangs for months now and this is not helping!


I blame you, shiba inu puppy cam!

I have been watching these little cute critters for a month now and can't keep my browser off them for too long.  One day they are like "6-blind-mice" and the next day they are walking around and pouncing on each other.

I want a black and tan shiba inu brofur for Mya!  (ahem... actually, for me! )

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Going Raw, Organic, Species Appropriate, Natural, Holistic

Being the furmom of shibanunu and having faced her kidney trouble, among others, has driven me to embark on an overwhelming endeavor of removing as much toxins and chemicals from her and the home. It's very harsh on the wallet, but hopefully, it will pay off in the long run. 

The Checklist-
1.  Waterbowls don't get washed by regular detergent.  Gotta be Messy Bessy.
2.  Water at home isn't from the tap.  Gotta be filtered, purified, or distilled.
3.  Washcloths and doggy beds don't get washed by regular detergent.  It gets washed by Charlie's no-residue soap.
4.  Floors don't get mopped with commercial floor cleaners.  It's only mopped with water and vinegar solution, which also replaces Lysol for disinfecting purposes.
5.  Food has been shifted from kibbles (which purist rawfeeders call krapple), to home-cooked, to Prey Model Raw or S.A.R.F. (Species Appropriate Raw Food) to Compromised S.A.R.F. modified for kidney health and a lazy eater.

Othe Items In To-Do List:
1.  Withdraw spot-on anti-tick and flea prevention and replace with Diatomaceous Earth (kills insects and worms) and other natural insect repellants.
---Note:  Is it better to give Revolution which is an all in one spot on for ticks, fleas and heartworm or use Diatomaceous Earth for the parasites, but give Heartguard as a separate Heartworm prevention?
---Or how about the natural remedies from Wolf Creek Ranch?http://wolfcreekranch1.tripod.com/defaq.html
There is another site offering DE and other natural products, worth checking out:
There's much reading and researching to do, specially when it's nearing the time for booster shots.  There's also a great amount of talk regarding titer testing and how they should be acceptable as a replacement for booster shots.  But last I heard is that even titer testing isn't quite accurate in pin-pointing immunity.
On a lighter note, this is one cool site with ballistic canine equipment. Check out the storm lights. Way cool! http://www.k9storm.com/cataloguenew01.html. And this is just cute and funny stuff but I'm sure their products are functional too! http://www.doggles.com/

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Shiba Inu Rock Portrait

Nope, this isn't the famous shiba inu puppycam with 1 pup left.  Mya's rock portrait from MyPetHusky Club from Malaysia has arrived. This is an original rock portrait from artist Suzi Chua.  www.suzichua.com

My Rock Mya Portrait- Pocket Mya!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Pest-Control Services, Begone!

The thing about having a furkid with kidney and allergy issues is that you have to be paranoid about what she ingests and what she sniffs- as these could get into her bloodstream and cause problems.

Last year, I asked our condo pest control service provider to give me a list of all the chemicals they use to fumigate as I wanted to have our veterinarian check if these are safe.  They replied with a letter assuring me that what they use is safe (though they provided no basis, and no list of chemicals) and told me that they only apply it where it can not be reached.  It has been  years since our last fumigation. Why?  Because shibanunu loves to sniff out all nooks and crannies with gusto! 

Drain-sniffing is one of her pastimes.

And so is chewing her foot when I'm not looking
Quirky little nunu!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Warm Blanket and Purple Ears

This is what contentment looks like during a warm summer day.  (AC and soft microfiber blanket required.)
Huggable Peaceful Puppy- NOT!

Today, I actually considered not having her walked as her purple ears may catch too much attention from the neighbors...But who cares?  Not this little girl!

Mya and Her Purple Ears from Using Her Eardrops

Monday, February 28, 2011

They're So Bad and Yet So Good!

When your dog develops allergies, you need to know what the allergen is, in order to avoid exposure (if at all possible) and thereby avoid the symptoms.  Unfortunately, it's not an easy task.  Figuring out whether an allergy is food-related or environment-related can be like... chasing after one's tail.

These are the chews that Mya misses the most since we have become uber strict with what she ingests. 

Mya:  "I will sit/ stay forever for another chunk of this treat!"

Mya:  "I don't mind being left all alone, as long as I have my Beef Hides".
Oh Greenies, my Greenies
I miss you so...
I can tell that you're in my cabinet
Because your scent makes me look whenever you're near
You lie in the dark with my Raw Hide pack
I can't take my mind off you though it's been so long
When will they ever open my cabinet?
So I can sniff you, and devour you,
My most awesome favoritest treats.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Summer Is Here

On days like this, I am very unsure about the weather- so nice and cool in the mornings and yet it becomes so hot and humid in the afternoons.  Summer is here again.  Not yet at its height, but definitely peeking around the corner.

The shibabunu has been enjoying her spot on this sofa in the room she has branded "hers", but the summer heat will soon take back this room as it progressively becomes unbearably hot, baking against the afternoon sun.  But one thing hsa to be said... This makes a pretty cool photo opportunity.

"I'm in my room, and I'm on my throne"

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Mya's Feathered Visitor

There are some days when life throws something so unexpected.  Today, this surprise came by flying to our living room window.  What a  fearless (and just as clueless) pigeon this was.  He had no idea of the intense prey drive this shiba creature staring from the other side of the window has.  He had no idea that a few months back, we had to pry off a poor maya bird out of Mya's mouth to help it escape from this shiba huntress.  She had captured the maya bird when it mistakenly flew into our living room.

Today, this relatively big and healthy-looking pigeon's visit was a good few seconds of excitement. We were just astounded by its curiosity when it stayed around and even tried to stick its head in.  Mya was just as curious herself.  No barking was involved.  Just that alert curious stance that usually precedes chasing prey.  (usually in the form of leaves flying in the wind or other much smaller birds)

"Hello there! Can you teach me how to dance 'Doing Croo-croo Pigeon'?"

"Yes...closer...that's it...closer until I can grab your neck..."

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Calling Other Shiba Inus in Manila!

Wanted:  Shiba Inu Playmates

A Tired Dog is a Happy Dog

So I guess this is a very happy dog!

This is a Dog-tired furkid.  Not surprising after defending her champion status in many weight divisions.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mya's Caricature

My posting of this artwork is months delayed, but it still is something to smile about.  Much thanks to Dane Romley, canine caricature artist, for meticulously drawing up the Shiba Nunu's prize portrait.  Thank you to Pup Culture for organizing the Halloween Party and the games, and for judging Mya as Longest Stay winner!

"I know I'm foxy but you can't catch me!"