Sunday, September 25, 2011

Belmont Twin Pines: Adventure

Somehow even in a small city park, I can lose the trail. I am not really sure how I do this, but Zuko and I get lost  and / or end off the path when hiking all the time. Luckily the Shiba Inu is a mountain breed originally and Zuko loves climbing hills, rocks and whatever. Usually he's at the top waiting for my on my pathetic two-legs to catch up with his superiorness.

It was raining a bit in the Bay Area today so we went to Twin Pines in Belmont. It is less exposed and more covered, but very small. There is a creek area and this is where I lost the trail.

Let's go! 
We crossed the makeshift bridge and came up the other side - and there was no trail. Oops. We blundered through and found it again. We kept going - and what would be a hike with Zuko without finding some random oddity? We found ruins of a building at the end of the path.

These fall colors help me camouflage, right? Oh - and there are ruins here. 
We did manage to safely find our way back to the car. ;-)  But given our natural "tendencies" when hiking, our upcoming Yosemite trip should be very... um, interesting....

-- Posted by Prince Zuko's "the road less traveled" humom. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Off-leash Rant: Continued


And again today...we were in a park, I hear someone yelling "Tilly! Get down from there. Tilly! Get over here!". And so on. I'm thinking someone has a very out of control kid. Then I see the first dog up above us on the trail - a big one. (Of course). Then I see another one and a man. I yell up "My dog isn't friendly on-leash". The guy gives me a horrible look and starts to leash up one of the dogs and I hear him say to someone "it's HER dog". Meaning me and Zuko.

By this point the first dog has already gotten very close to us but the path sort of split so you could go around a big rocky section on either side. So we take the other path and as we climb I see a woman...and another dog. Yup. These folks had three big dogs that were off leash and under no voice control whatsoever.  After we passed the couple and got to the trail above them, I hear them start up again "Tilly! Max!" and so on. They had unleashed the two dogs as soon as I passed. The first dog never got leashed, just kept going.

So. These people spent their whole hike yelling at their dogs (to no result) and disturbing the peace of the park and most assuredly not cleaning up any messes their dogs made. This clearly frustrated them, if their body language and facial expressions were any reflection of how their morning had went. And I had to position MY dog as the Bad Dog just to get them to do the right thing.

I. Am. So. Pissed.

-- Posted by Prince Zuko's annoyed mom who promises the next post will be happier with cute pictures of Zuko!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

It's Time for Another Rant: Off-leash Dogs

::::Begin Rant:::::

I've blogged a fair bit about Zuko's on-leash growly behavior with some dogs and at Shibapalooza I started to get to the bottom of it (face-sniffing and rudeness). In general on our walks, things have been fine this summer.

The Prince
Gratuitous cute photo of Zuko

While Zuko is a confirmed Shibasquatch at a lake near our house and at the beach, he is on leash all other times. Recently on a walk back up from the lake, two very large dogs come bounding down the trail. These dogs were big - as in at least 70 pounds each. Zuko was on leash and there were no other humans in sight nor could I hear any walking / talking on the path up ahead.

Of course the dogs run up to Zuko. OF COURSE. I immediately get between him and the dogs, turning my back to them and moving to keep them away from Zuko (and watching Zuko's reaction). The dogs would not leave off and I had to keep this going for a couple of minutes before they lost interest and took off for the last leg of the path to the lake. Please note: still no other humans in sight / sound.

We walk on. A ways up the path I see two guys with leashes draped around the necks. I asked them if they had lost two big black dogs because they were down at the lake. The guys looked at me like I was speaking gibberish, grunted something and continued their conversation and their nice morning stroll to the lake. At the pace they were proceeding, they would arrive at the lake about 7-10 minutes after their dogs.

A lot can happen in ten minutes. I was furious, but I was also clear-headed enough to know that if I confronted them, it would make no difference.

The other recent incident was with a golden retriever. After big adventures on the beach, Zuko and I were coming to the top of the sand stairs. An off-leash golden was standing above us on the stairs in the "I challenge you" stance (as I call it, here it is called the "dominant" posture): tail slightly up, making eye-contact, stiff-legged posture. We had to pass him to get to the parking lot and of course - face sniffing happened. I tried to relax and ease Zuko away but I wasn't fast enough and massive snarling started on both sides and the golden began lunging and barking. I got between them (the owner is meanwhile calling his dog from down the stairs - no effect at all) and I even felt teeth on the back MY leg during all of this. Luckily I was in jeans and it wasn't even enough to leave a mark or bruise -- but the owner is damn lucky there wasn't more to it than that.

Again I stayed between the two and herded Zuko away from the situation. After calling the dog's name (Rusty) about 15 times, the owner got the dog's attention and Rusty took off.

Zuko's Shiba friend Sinjin has had recent issues with random dogs attacking him and drawing blood. I don't really understanding humans NEEDING to allow their dogs off-leash at all times, but if you NEED to allow your dog to run around to fulfill some inner need of your own for freedom, then do it responsively. Make sure your dog responds to your commands. Otherwise, you are a lawsuit waiting to happen. I happen to know a VERY good lawyer - she's a Twiba mom too. :-)

::::End of Rant::::

-- Posted by Zuko's mom

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Shio the Rock Star

My Twiba friend, Shio, is like a total rock-star. He's been a guest star in Shibal Inu comics lately and has been known to stage a lay-down / sit-in protest wif firefighters. He also totally rocked out at Sephora one day. (Humom says this iz still the funniest video she's ever seen).

So - imagine my surprise when he wanted to interview ME for his blog! Like, wow!

You can get the full story here. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Exciting Day at the Beach

Zuko loves the beach. I love the beach because he can run and be a little monster off-leash (a.k.a. a Shibasquatch) and he gets very, very tired. Depending on the day, we may go to Ocean beach in San Francisco or stay a little more south and go to the Ft. Funston dog beach. Ft. Funston requires that I am in a mood for a work-out - the sand stairs back to the parking lot are a killer.

View about 1/4 the way down the sand stairs. Notice how tiny the beach looks?

Normally the beach has a fair number of dogs running around, but on this day we arrived and there was no one on the beach. Except....the wildlife.

Zuko likes to chase the seagulls (he believes them to be pterodactyls) and they always fly away from him. This time though, there was something new:

Will you be my friend?

I was pretty amazed - Zuko approached the Cormorant very carefully and was allowed to sniff its tail feathers. Not kidding. I didn't get a photo of him that close because I was busy hurrying over to shoo him away so he didn't get his eyes pecked out. The bird did not like me and would disappear into the water as I got closer. Zuko nearly braved a few big waves to follow his new friend into the ocean and thankfully thought better of it. 

We moved on and suddenly Zuko turned around and ran back. The Cormorant was back on the sand again. (Insert visions of a Shiba being attached by a bird with a hooked beak). The bird again tolerated Zuko but left when I got closer. Zuko got more sniffs in and really seemed to think this bird was going to play with him. 

Zuko shows his warrior stance
We can play now?

FINALLY I get him to move on down the beach. He chased some seagulls and ran around, peed on everything and wore himself out. We headed back to the sand stairs and Zuko ran up on a crab in the surf. The crab, on its back, was waving legs and claws everywhere and Zuko rushed right up to it. Thankfully I was close and got him away from it but I was now having visions of Zuko lifting his head with a Shiba Scream and a crab dangling from his nose. 

No leash. No photoshop.
What's that over there? More dangerous stuff? I'm on it!!
We move on...oh geez, there is the Cormorant again! Shit ... I managed to get a leash on Zuko and once I did he spotted ANOTHER crab flailing around in the surf and charged for it. This time I managed to get a photo: 

Can I play wif this? It's moving!
Will YOU play with me??
By this point my nerves were done and I still had to face the sand stairs. Awesome. Even Zuko was dragging a bit on the way back up the stairs. Ha!

Tired pup
-- Posted by Prince Zuko's frazzled mom 

Friday, September 9, 2011

I iz #Shibaquatch

Breaking news! I, Prince Zuko, iz the mysterious Shibasquatch that haz been seen on the beaches of San Francisco this summer!

Want more proof?

Here is my hudad trying to catch me when I iz off-leash. I am too fast for him tho.

And what iz this? I come running back to my humom! (She had turkey pepperoni - seriously, that stuff is GOOD).

-- Posted by Prince Zuko, #Shibasquatch

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Touring the SF Bay Area

My hudad's sister wuz in town this past weekend and we did the tour of San Francisco! Auntie wuz biten by a dog when she wuz a little kid, so she wuz kind of scared of me at first but I'm just so darn cute she came around!

It iz August here, so it iz very cold and foggy here!

Golden Gate Bridge. See it? Through the THICK fog! BOL

This fog bores me.

At the beach cliffs in Half Moon Bay. WHAT IZ DOWN THERE??

Iz horses down there! They look smaller this time. 

At the Palace of Fine Arts, I met a swan. I iz sure he wuz scared of me.

Been a long day! I iz tired. Can't even keep my tail curled up!
-- Posted by Prince Zuko, SF Tours Inc.