Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What is all this #teamshiba stuff?

I don't know how this started: It i recorded in the twitterverse somewhere, but a bunch of Shibas on Twitter have formed the Anipal World Cup team: #teamshiba. We have a logo and t-shirts even - and the proceeds go to NYC Shiba Rescue. You can buy a shirt here.

What has happened so far? We have "played" against our arch-enemies #teambasenji and #teamfox. Both are pretty much imaginary, but I hope tomorrow #teamakita actually represents. We defeated #teambasenji with a score of 3-0. #teamfox represented - but we did not go down without a fight and eventually came out victorious with a score of 5-3. Those cunning foxes tried to blend in with the Shibas but we were on to them!

How do you play? Well - when the game starts, post a picture or video of you (the Shiba) with a ball. This allows #teamshiba to either block or score. It is really up to your imagination what has happened in that photo. It doesn't have to even be a soccer ball! This is Shiba Rulz, you know! And since we all shredded and/or ate the rule book, anything goes.

Good team players also find pictures or video of the opposing team so we have some "real" competition in the game. Of course, due to Shiba Mind Control, we don't ever lose.

When does it happen?  Kickoff is usually around 9am PST and the game ends at 5pm PST. Unless there is overtime, but really - Shibas Rule. How could THAT happen?

Who is in the starting line-up? Shibas are so pawesome we don't play a "position", but our active players so far are:


Can I join in? YES!! Follow the #teamshiba tag on Twitter, post a picture of you being awesome with a ball (of any kind) and score points or block the opposing team! We do take days off, so follow the #teamshiba to know what is going on!


-- Prince Zuko

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dog-caching in Golden Gate Park

Doodez... mom is back and we had a busy weekend! They did a "sidewalk sale" yesterday and it wuz boring. See picture of me being bored:

Mom! This street sale stuff is BORING! on Twitpic

They made it up to me today tho! We went "geocaching" in Golden Gate Park! I prefer to call it dog-caching cuz itz all about ME!

Clearly I am good at it too. I found my first two caches right away. Well, dad had to actually get them for me since I don't have hands.

Geocache #1 found. I am good at this! on Twitpic

Geocache #2 found. I am so awesome! on Twitpic

And - I found the biggest, stinkiest dogs I have ever seen! Mom sayz they are really called "buffalo" but I think they are dogs 'cause they are so big and stinky. I wanted to play with them but mom said the National Park Service would not appreciate that and she was pretty sure I'd roll in their poo and then I'd have to have a bath. So I decided I'd skip that for now. 

What r THOSE? I want to play! on Twitpic

Buffalo! Seriously - want to play with them! on Twitpic

Now I sleepzzzzzz....

-- Zuko: Dog-cacher extraordinaire

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My people

In case you wuz wondering who my people are, here is a family photo. Notice how they surround me like the royalty I am?

 Prince Zuko and his

--- Posted by His Royal Highness, Prince Zuko

(P.S. by Zuko's mom: we are actually restraining him so he doesn't run off and beg the nice people for their food on patio. *Someone* needs their little ego checked me thinks...)

Friday, June 11, 2010

All I want is a coyote (or, my visit to Sutro Baths)

I had a busy week with my people and our family guests. After our trip to the wineries on Sunday, we went out to the beach on Monday! I love the beach... all that seaweed to pee on. It is so awesome.

Sutro Baths - pretty cool, huh?

Then we went someplace I haz never been - Sutro Baths! There are COYOTES out there. I'm pretty sure I wuz smelling them and I know I could take one if it tried to get me or my human but we didn't see any. Instead, there were lots of flowers. Now, I like flowers, but a coyote would have been more fun.

 Smelling the flowers (is that coyote I scent?)

Any coyotes in here? Oh - hai there birdies. Hee-hee.

-- Posted by Prince Zuko. Wille E. Coyote haz got nothin' on me!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Demon Dog in Wine Country ...

Hi everyone! It's me, Zuko. My people took me back up to wine country today and it was pawesome! I found new things to pee on (I was polite and did not pee on the grapes) and give Kendall-Jackson and Sbragia vineyards my approval for being dog-friendly!

 I approve - they let me into the tasting room!

And best of all... I got my picture taken with SNOOPY!

 My hero - Snoopy!

--- Posted by the other Red Baron: Zuko

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Weird people in the park

Living in San Francisco, it is pretty easy to get use to "weird". In fact, the sheer diversity of weird in SF is amazing! It can be an endless source of amusement and frustration.

As a pup, Zuko had the advantage of being socialized early (and often) with weirdness. Hippies, neo-hippies, homeless people, teenagers who looked homeless but were not, drunk people staggering around, people wearing strange hats, strange costumes or no costume at all (or clothing for that matter). Wheelchairs and scooters, bicycles with ribbons flying on them, people speaking every language under the sun, people speaking in tongues, tourists in shorts when it is 55 degrees...and so on.

In SF, "weird" is our normal. So Zuko tends to roll with the flow with most things, though skateboarders still bug him for some reason. In general though, he will not freak out if someone goes by on a bicycle wearing wings, a tutu and goggles. That is normal weird. What is NOT normal is when their body language doesn't make sense. I have a huge amount of respect for a dog's ability to pick up on "weird" body language - when a person's actions are inconsistent with normal behavior patterns. I've mentioned to my husband that I trust Zuko's sense on these things wholly and completely - if he is suspicious, I am suspicious. If we are walking, we will avoid that person, take another route and be extra alert.

Today was a perfect example of this: we were doing an early morning walk in "Zuko's park" and he was happily pee-ing on everything around and updating his "Zuko wuz here" postings on every tree and shrub. An older lady was shuffling up the hill towards us, sorta trying to jog, but really shuffling. Zuko was on leash and other than noting she was there, neither of us paid her attention. Suddenly, she stops, cringes against the park wall and starts saying "no, no, no, no, no". Ok - another person in SF talking to themselves, nothing new there. We keep going.

Suddenly her cringing body language got Zuko's attention though and he stops about 6 feet from her and stares. She cringes more and starts to SCREAM. Obviously, this is outside the norm, so Zuko goes on alert and barks at her. He's still on leash and I have full control of him and I say to the woman "he's on leash, chill out" and she screams LOUDER. So Zuko and I continue on but he's still on alert and keeps looking back to see if the crazy lady comes after us.

Another example: my husband took Zuko into work one day and a lady came over to his cube area and saw Zuko laying there in the aisle. He was leashed up 'cause the LAST thing you want to do is chase your dog through a cube farm and Zuko would totally love it. This lady suddenly pushed herself to the wall and "creeped" toward Zuko. She said she was joking, but the body language set him off - he started barking at her.

My point in all this? Had the woman just shuffled on, keeping her distance, Zuko would never have noticed her. The other lady displayed "unusual" behavior. Both of them showed body language that drew his attention and the lady in the park - her reactions to his attention confirmed his belief that something was "wrong" with her. Their behavior put him on "alert" which includes giving them a warning bark or two.

I realize some folks have had VERY negative experiences with dogs and I respect that. What is so fascinating to me is how little body awareness we have as humans, and how much dogs are fully aware of body language. Both of these women probably believe their fear of dogs was confirmed by these instances, but in reality, their body behavior brought on Zuko's behavior. I don't subscribe to everything Cesar Millan says about dog training, but his discussions on energy and keeping your body calm are spot on. I try to remember this when Zuko misbehaves and to check what signals I'm sending.  And as I mentioned - I trust his instincts on people 100%. If he is suspicious, I am suspicious.

As for the people who pull dramatic dog-fear body language weirdness - whatever. My dog doesn't want to be around them and I don't either.

Good little Guard Dog!

 I'm watching you!

-- Posted by Zuko's mom

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I graduated!

From a harness to just a collar on walks. I'm such a good dog that my people decided I could handle it now. They didn't go with a plain collar tho - they got me one of these. Yeah, I know - if I'm a bad dog it will tighten a bit around my neck so I can't wiggle my way out of it. Hee-hee... I did that once when I was a puppy. Dad took me for a walk and I slipped my collar. Boy that was fun! I played with all the dogs in the park and stayed one step ahead of him the whole time. Then I had to go potty and he caught me. :-(

Anyway, I'm all grown up now and not bad like that anymore (hee-hee). Next up: maybe they will let me off leash at the beach??

Here's a picture of me sporting my new collar. I think red looks good on me, don't you?

-- Posted by Prince Zuko (when am I old enough to be King Zuko?)