Thursday, May 31, 2012

Then and Now

The top photo is Kai at eight weeks old, and the bottom was taken just the other day, at 5 1/2 months old.  He's changed so much!  Kai is a handsome little man now.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Shibas Make Good Pillows

Kai is so proud now that he's big enough to get up on the bed all by himself!  I've been letting him out of the crate early in the morning so that he can have some snuggle time at the foot of the bed with us before the day begins.

The other day, he decided that my pillow looked more comfy than the foot of the bed.

Molly wasn't so sure about having the Shiba on the bed.  When Kai was smaller, only Molly got to sleep on the bed with us.

Chris discovered that Shibas make good pillows.  That is, until the Shiba wakes up...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Yap Yap Yap Yap

ice cube for the teething pup
I guess Kai is going through a barking phase... he's been a lot more vocal lately.  He barks if a strange cat is in the yard, he barks at Molly, he barks if he sees people with dogs walk by the house, he barks at the neighbor when he's in his backyard... etc.  If it moves, it's worth barking at, as far as Kai is concerned.

Yesterday was borderline ridiculous!  First he was barking his head off after I got home from work.  I went outside to see what he was barking at, and he was staring at the fence.  His little body was shaking (anger?  fear?  I don't know!).  I couldn't even figure out what the hell he was barking at for a while... I thought maybe there was a cat, or even a skunk, on the other side of the fence, but I didn't hear any movement.  I finally realized that there was a small lizard hunkering down right by the fence.  The poor lizard was missing part of his tail (I don't know if Kai ate it or not...) and was definitely alive, but sitting very still, trying to camouflage himself.  Kai didn't want to actually get near the lizard... he stayed a couple of feet away.  But he would not stop barking, even after I tried to hide the lizard by putting some bricks in front of it.  I took Kai inside twice, and both times he ran right back to the lizard as soon as I let him back out.  Finally, I had to lock the pet door for about 20 minutes.  I guess that gave the lizard enough time to make his escape, because when Kai finally got to go back outside, Mr. Lizard was gone.  Whew. 

A few hours later, Kai was having another barking fit in the backyard.  This time, it was over a dragonfly... the dragonfly looked like it was pretty much dead.  But Kai wasn't convinced.  I tried to hide the dragonfly by putting an upturned bucket over it, and distracting Kai, and he eventually decided to stop barking.

About a half hour after that, Kai started barking his head off... AGAIN... this time in the spare bedroom.  I assumed he was barking at Molly, but when I went in there, Kai was by himself.  I was like "wtf are you barking at NOW?!" and then I saw it... it was something very scary... a Q-tip.  Yes, ladies and gentleman, my dog was barking his head off at a Q-tip that somehow had fallen out of the trash and was lying on the floor.  Chris and I laughed so hard we were both crying.

Poor Kai is still teething... I saw some blood spots on his stuffed shark the other day, and he sometimes doesn't want to eat.  But he seems to be doing okay with it overall.  He has his vet appointment to be neutered in a few weeks, and the vet said that any remaining baby teeth could be popped out at that time.  I can't believe he's going to be six months old soon!  Time flies!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Five Months Old!

lounging puppy
Kai had his five month vet visit to get his rabies shot and check on his, um, balls.  Unfortunately, one testicle still hasn't descended, but we went ahead and made an appointment for his neutering, which will be in mid-June.  The vet said that there is a chance that the testicle could descend on its own by then, although usually they both have already done so by five months.  If it doesn't come down by surgery time, Kai can still be neutered, but the surgery may be more involved, depending on how far up the testicle is.  Kai hasn't had any health issues at all so far... in fact, he's quite a sturdy, robust little guy, so I hope that this won't be too much of an issue.

I've been so busy with a demanding gig schedule over the last month (eight performances a week, in addition to still working my regular full-time job) that I haven't had as much time to spend with Kai as I would have liked.  His puppy class is over now, and we still try to take him out when we can, but it hasn't been as much as before.  Poor little Kai.  As soon as my gig is over (after this week) I really want to work more with him.  He has been really great, but he has a couple of issues we definitely need to address.  The big one is Kai's fear/hatred of putting anything on:  collar, harness, leash, all make him do the Shiba scream, BIG time.  I think it might actually be more traumatic for me than for him, but he clearly doesn't like the process.  I've tried a couple different types of harnesses, thinking that maybe he just didn't like the feeling of a collar around his neck, but the harnesses are even more difficult to put on him.  And FORGET about trying to adjust a harness once it's on him!  He will tantrum all over the place.

Other issues that we need to work on are:  leash skills (he can walk on a leash, but he pulls.  I think/hope that once we start properly working on leash training, he'll get this one down quickly) and mouthing.  He STILL wants to mouth people when they pet him.  He has a very gentle mouth, and I don't mind if he gently mouths my hand, but I want to cut the habit because I don't think everyone who pets him would want him nomming on them!  Especially kids.  There was a girl at the gym the other week who really wanted to pet Kai, but I had to be careful in letting her because I didn't want her to think that Kai was going to bite her.

The gig has been a great experience (I normally wouldn't be able to accept a gig with such a demanding schedule, and have been so lucky in that my boss at work and my boyfriend have both been really helpful in managing everything) but I will be glad to return to normal life soon!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Camping With Kai

Camping Master
Kai experienced his first camping trip with a group of our friends, and he had a blast!  We went to Sunset State Beach.  There were 10 people and two other dogs for Kai to play with.  I wasn't sure how he would do, having to be on a lead all weekend, since he still doesn't really have any leash skills yet and sometimes will tantrum on a leash.  But he did great.  We had him on a 20' lead, so that was long enough for him to run around camp and play with everyone and still keep him secure.  We put his crate under one side of our tent's rain fly, draped a blanket over it,  and he was cozy in there at night.  He had so much fun at the beach, digging lots of holes and throwing sand everywhere.  It was such a nice, relaxing vacation for everyone!

Kai with his new friend Bailey

Attempting to dig back to Japan with Dylan's help

Kai had no problem taking the only chair on the beach

happy puppy

frolicking on the beach

catching some shade

curled up by the campfire