Saturday, November 26, 2011

Shibasquatch No More: Trust Revoked

Last weekend we headed up to Mendocino County with some friends to a dog-friendly vacation rental on the coast. This should have been the perfect weekend.

Wild Shiba on the rugged coast
The night we drove in it was horrid weather - rain, fog, long winding roads in the dark. Bleh. We finally get to the house and Zuko immediately goes into "weird" mode - he decided he was terrified of the dog he's known all summer. Granted, she was very, very much in his face and would not leave him alone, but normally he'd just snarl at a dog being that rude. This time he decided to be terrified. (More on this new behavior in another post coming soon - looking for advice!).

The next day the weather cleared and we headed to a nice, secluded beach. Since Zuko had been so stressed I decided to let him off leash so he could burn off some energy. He's a confirmed Shibasquatch, so while I was a bit nervous because he was off his game, I knew there was only one way off the beach. It would be fine, right?

And there he goes....
I snapped the above picture just as Zuko made the turn and headed for the the beach. My hubby was up the path before I could even react and had Zuko stopped just above the beach - but not caught. Zuko bolted again and ran up to the road - at which point, any attempt to remain calm on our part ended. 

Zuko "played" in the road, causing us to put ourselves in the middle of the country highway to stop traffic. At one point, I was sure he was gone for good. All the usual tactics failed us - sit, wait, here, touch, throwing treats at him, running away from him ----- nothing worked. At this point we were frantic and we all know that heightened "energy" from humans does not help, but when your little dog is running TOWARD a car like a brainless idiot, calm and zen go right the fuck out the door. 

Finally, we came to another dirt road that met the highway and I shouted at my hubby to try running away (again) and Zuko FINALLY followed him. Relieved he was at least off the highway, we chased the little monster up the hill and into a farmer's courtyard area. Zuko's hudad decided to just sit down in the dirt and see if that calmed Zuko down a bit. And finally, finally, the little jerk came back to me for a treat, did a sit and I tackled him with more force than was probably necessary. 

The Runaway was captured. And we both wanted to hug him and shake him senseless at the same time. I guess that makes us bad people but the sheer terror of nearly losing our little dog messed up our brains too.

"Iz all lies. I was sitting here the whole time being a good dog."
So what happened to make our trusty dog run off? We have some theories about stress and the other dog driving him insane, but I'll save that for another post. Zuko has no idea what he has done, but his status as a Shibasquatch is fully revoked. 

-- Posted by Zuko's mom and the leash that will be attached to him the rest of his life


  1. So glad everyone made it through with no serious heart attacks or injuries. Zuko, you have to do what you are told and stay close to Mom and Dad!

  2. Whoa Zuko! No wonder your privileges are revoked. My heart is still pounding after reading that saga, especially the near miss. At the same time I'm wondering about shiba intelligence--you knew where the exit path was and went for it! M.

  3. Thanks guys! Zuko is currently pouting because I washed him, but he says he is really sorry for running away and thought we were just playing a game. He also says I need to get back into running shape and he was trying to help me train. His story changes every day. ;-)

  4. Zuko with an extra helping of heart attack sauce -- it's not just for breakfast anymore!

    No thanks, I think we're on a diet.

    You're lucky that everyone lived to tell! Now stay safe!