Summer and Fall came and went in a blur, it had been an amazing and eventful half a year full of hikes, outings and friends. As Mac gets older, there is a very noticeable decrease in activity level (he is 9 1/2 now) and I have adjusted our outings to match his output. One sad news that I have yet to share with the readers of this blog is that Mac finally lost the sight in his left eye due to Glaucoma early this year, I will write more in-depth on that topic in a later entry as it is still a tough thing to talk about, it is also one of the reasons I stepped away from blogging for awhile. Right now I am observing his remaining good eye very carefully, anything out of the ordinary and we are off to the vet for an eye pressure check and exam.
On a happier front, Mac has finally embraced his dog bed of 3 years and stared sleeping in it regularly. His morning ritual would involve pulling out the top padding and swinging it (and spreading it’s fillings) around, so a replacement may be imminent. You can be sure I would be doing a review on that replacement!
For my friends not sharing updates on blogs, how have the last half a year been treating you and your pup?
It has been awhile since the last post, the site was hacked by spambot but it is finally back in commission. A lot has happened since May, most important being that Glaucoma finally claimed Macâ€™s left eye. Or maybe Mac has been without sight for awhile already but it was never clearly diagnosed until our trip to UPenn in August.
In August I took Mac to UPennâ€™s vet department and met up with Sandie & Tom from Rodel Shiba, they were bringing some of their dogs there for preventative checkups. We consulted the highly acclaimed Ophthalmologist Dr. Gustavo Aguirre and it was determined then that Mac is definitely blind in his left eye and we should focus on comfort and preventative to his still perfect right eye.
For awhile we have always questioned just how much sight Mac has left in his left eye as we have received different answers from different vets, unfortunately now we know. The good news though is that as long as eye pressure is kept in check (currently still being managed by daily eye-drops), the lack of sight in one eye really did not affect Mac much. He is still trail blazing on hikes like nobodyâ€™s business.
In the past months we have went on numerous hikes, had friendsâ€™ dogs and even a kitten staying over, and have sampled many, many new food and treats (yes, Mac definitely gets spoiled now!). I canâ€™t wait to start sharing these new stories with you guys!
I never made the connection until I read the comment of one of my earliest YouTube video of Mac:
I love how Shibas express theirï»¿ displeasure with the current situation by sneezing. LOL!
Now that I think about it that makes perfect sense... I have the [bad] habit of letting Mac get tiny bite size piece of whatever I am eating, after which he would sit around waiting for more. When he realizes there would be no more hand-out he would snort / sneeze as he slowly walks
away. Not wanting to fall into anthropomorphism and a bit too snotty to believe, I never thought much of it but now it is confirmed - Mac you snob!
PS - Lots of interesting canine body language insight in the comment section of the YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fmLdZWHhWA
The past few days had been interesting to say the least. On top of losing power for 5 days, Sumo stayed with us for the entire duration of the power outage - it definitely made things a lot more challenging and less comfortable, but I would like to think that Sumo and Mac came away with a stronger bond as a direct result.
Our typical day started around 6:30am, as soon as I open Sumo's crate in the basement (it was cooler downstairs) he would blast up to the first floor with Mac wagging his tail greeting him at the top of the stairs. I would then open the sliding doors to my deck and watch as both of them disappear under the deck to relief themselves. Soon they would both come bouncing back into the house for their morning play session that would last a good 10 - 15 minutes before they had to stop to cool off. That was usually when I would sneak away for a quick breakfast and a [cold] shower.
Each day when I come home from work, I would find Mac hanging out in the basement near Sumo's crate keeping him company. As soon as I open the crate to let Sumo out the events in the morning would repeat itself all over again. The only difference is after they play, they would settle in their respective spot in the living room and contently chew their toy or stare off into space.
When Sumo first came he was pretty energetic and inquisitive, which led to a few aggressive growls from M
ac to set boundaries; but by the 3rd day, they were completely comfortable with each other and followed each other all over the house. It even surprised me how much Mac let Sumo gets away with near the end of his stay - Sumo was pouncing on Mac's back repeatedly and that has always been a huge no-no for Mac. We also had a little initial issue with Sumo barking at any neighborhood activity he saw out the windows, but a few stern "No!" quickly corrected the issue, He is a very smart dog that picks things up very quickly - or maybe I was just used to my Shiba's well known stubbornness?
Below is a short video compilation of Sumo and Mac with their typical play style, we will miss having Sumo around for sure!
Apologize for the lack of update last week - the hosting provider of this blog was compromised and all the sites were redirecting users to inappropriate websites, so all my energy had been put towards cleaning up. The good news is the site is now squeaky clean and back to our regular programing!
Today is Mac's 7th birthday! This old bird has been with me for 2.5 years now and it may be a strange thing to say after 2.5 years, but I feel like we had another break through in our relationship recently:
Started two weeks ago, Mac began sleepin
g by my feet whenever I work on my computer and I would use him as a foot rest. This is a big deal, because I always wanted a nice and warm foot rest. He used to stay outside the room whenever I am on my computer so this was a nice surprise.
Another thing Mac started doing is trying to communicate with me more with gesture. Somehow he picked up the ability to use "snout flick" to indicate what he wants. For example, if he needs to go to the yard to pee, he would run to the sliding door and anxiously flick his snout towards the door. Or, when we are on walks and I was ready to go home and started towards the house, he would stop and start flicking his snout down the trail. I would laugh and do another lap with him.
Mac you are quite the character and I am glad that we are still learning more about each other every day. Happy birthday!
While I get ready for work eac
h morning, I would let Mac into the yard and Stinkie out onto his perch to enjoy the morning sun a little bit. On paper it sounds nice, but these guys do not appreciate nature - they both want to come back into the house / into the cage asap. Sigh.
Do you and your pets have a morning ritual?
Been trying t
o test my new 35mm camera lens with Mac but he would not sit still, but I finally had a break full. In order for him to slow down, I would play an intense game of fetch with him for 15 minutes, then he would just park himself and let me take as many pictures as I want. Guess we will have a lot more games of fetch in the future!
We kick off the Thanksgiving weekend by having Mac breaking into CZ's stash of edamame. We have to give him credit for carefully opening each husk and only eating the beans...
On Thanksgiving nights, teenagers like to wait in line at major stores where they would be rewarded with bargains for their patience; Mac did his own Black Friday shopping at my parents' Thanksgiving dinner as well.
Initially Mac was blocked off from the rest of the house because some family members may be allergic, but somehow he made it out of confinement and since nobody seems to have any issue with him, we let him have the free run of the house with Bones the Toy Pluto.
Next thing we know, mom was hooking Mac up with some turkey...
After tasting victory, Mac went from person to person and shopped food - he was banking.
My grandmother constantly praised Mac as an extremely obedient and great dog, now I know why!!
What's Thanksgiving weekend without a little Black Friday shopping? Swung by PetCo and picked up some badly needed wet-wipes! No real bargains this year, but I already have a batch of order coming from Dogs.com.
After the nice Thanksgiving meals, we need to work off the fat! So we met up with Tracy & Lucky and went for our usual Great Falls hike. Cannot believe the temperature is still in the mid 60s after Thanksgiving, is the world really ending?
After a satisfying hike we settled onto our deck and for a nice little outdoor lunch. Stinkie the White Bellied Caique graced us with his presence on his royal branch!
Just when we thought the weekend was over, friends called and to the dog park we went! As usual, Mac was a jerk for the first 10 minutes until he pooped, then he played on and off for about an hour before we called it a day. Now he is curled up, ready to call it a night!
We had an engaging and satisfying weekend, We hope you and your family also took advantage of the holiday and great weather!
They were not kidding when they bred Shibas to be bush hunting dogs.
Before a visit to the dog park this weekend we decided to walk Mac around the neighboring park, after a quick walk we sat down at the benches with row of trees and low bushes behind us. Among them was a foraging chipmunk.
As we sat there and chatted, Mac took an interest in the chipmunk and started chasing it on his retracting leash, flushing it from left to right and back a few times. Thinking there is absolutely no way he could get the chipmunk since the bushes were so thick and the chipmunk was incredibly fast, we just watched him amuse himself for the next 10 seconds, he probably did the flushing 4 times.
It was fun and game until Mac actually got the chipmunk and laid it on the ground in front of him! %#@$
Needless to say, we felt super horrible and unfortunately with a puncture wound on its side the chipmunk did not make it. Who would have thought Mac could catch something as fast as a chipmunk dodging in bushes? Super effective hunter but very unfortunate victim. With special apology to the chipmunk, I will have to pay special attention to wild lifes from now on!