Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hiking with the pup

Let's go already!
Zuko loves going hiking with me - the more uphill the better too. He knows when we are about to go hiking and he will circle and circle me. One day, he finally just gave up (with a huff) and sat by the door watching me to get ready.

The Bay Area has tons of hiking, though not all allow dogs (even on leash) and we are working our way through  many new (to us trails). However, with the dry season approaching, there are now also some big risks on the trails.

Poison Oak
"Leaves of three, leave it be". Try explaining that to a Shiba. Dogs can be effected by it, but can also pass the oil to their people - and we react much more strongly. 

Foxtail - not of the cute ShibaFox variety
Then there are foxtails. These are all over in the Bay Area and as they dry out, they can be deadly to dogs. They rapidly embed in the skin and typically need to be removed by a vet. There is risk of them getting in a dog's nose and causing major surgery, even death. Shibas' have such thick fur, that Zuko seems to have some protection from these. I have found a foxtail on him but it hadn't managed to work it's way through the masses of Shiba fur to his skin. Meanwhile, I've had one work through the netting in my running shoe and hurt like hell. 


And then there are the thistles. These are also wildly abundant and common. They don't seem to pose much risk for dogs unless they frolic in them or try to eat them. The bigger issue is for the humans. Zuko tends to like to pee on them. 

Zuko has gotten solid enough at recall that there are times I wonder if I could hike with him off-leash. Here is the scenario that stops me: 1) Zuko gets the zoomies in field of foxtails then 2) runs through a big patch of poison oak only to 3) get stuck in a patch of thistles. I have to dive in and save him then 1) head to the hospital to get a cortisone shot for the poison oak and 2) have a foxtail dug out of my leg and 3) get antibiotics for the infected thistle scratches I have. Meanwhile, Zuko is having a good nap on my bed and shedding on my pillow. 

-- Posted by Zuko's sarcastic mom

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I met a kitty last night on my pack walk. Not a stinky kitty (skunk) but a real kitty. This one was happy to see me and play "chase" and "hiss and growl" with me. That is how kitties how love, right?

-- Posted by Prince Zuko (why iz mom laughing at me?)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Shibapalooza and Twiba Meet-up

Shiba mind control is an amazing thing. Zuko has been working on me for months to plan a trip for Shibapalooza in SoCal.

"All that Shiba mind control really wore me out!"
And now it is happening. Of course, I know nothing about SoCal so I'm gonna need some help here.

First things first:
Where is Shibapalooza? I have joined the meet-up group but I am pending approval. This is the info I have currently:

Anaheim, CA 92807 - USA
Saturday, July 16 at 10:00 AM

Here is my big concern: Zuko is reactive with other Shibas on-leash and word has it Shibapalooza is usually held in a park and no off-leash. After he meets a Shiba off-leash, the issue is over and they proceed to just ignore each other. So I am hoping the #Twibas going to Shibapalooza can meet-up before (or the day after) and relax and hang out a bit. Taro the Shiba also suggested getting together and renting a portable dog run for the event. 

Huntington Beach has been suggested as a good place to meet up and Shorebreak Hotel was suggested as a possible place to stay but I am thinking a tad bit more budget conscious since gas prices seem to be going up and up!

So - all you West Coast Twibas who want to meet-up - let's figure it out! Twiba Meet-up 2011 (the West Coast version).