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!
Suki is Mac's litter mate from Rodel Shibas 5 years ago and they probably haven't seen each other for a year. Her owner and I got in touch on Facebook and decided to meet up at our local dog park this morning to reunite the siblings and see if they remember each other.
And what a great morning it was!
I arrived there first and things were a little dicey -- I kept Mac on the leash and walked right into the dog park's grass section. As expected a group of 4 big dogs came right up to him and start sniffing him and as soon as that happened, Mac started protesting loudly. Unable to make him stop, I just turned around and walked right back out to the gravel section of the dog park with no dog, sigh.
I hung out with Mac on the gravel side of the park and worked on his non-existent recall skills. Once Suki and her owners arrived Mac obviously remembered her and ran right up to her with wagging tail. Suki's owners are very friendly out-going people around my age so we got along well! We hung out and chatted while the dogs did their things. Later Suki went over to the grass section to check out the other dogs while Mac and I hung out with one of Suki's owners at the gravel side -- here was when I got a lot of great tips, especially one of the most valuable one below regarding the growling issue:
"Have you tried walking Mac into the park without him being on a leash?
So we walked to the other side with Mac off leash... brilliant! No issue at all! It has been me all along! *facepalm*
Keeping Mac on leash while surrounded by dogs must have triggered something (maybe restricting his ability to "flight" or maybe my nervous energy was transferred to him?), but Mac did fantastic after that - running around all over the place with the dogs and tried to get Suki to play while she was sitting there tanning!
Suki and Mac got along beautifully, at first a bit quiet but as soon as we went back to the gravel section it was on! Cue growling and rough plays!
My friend also brought Buck the Golden Retrier along to join us mid-way through, he of course spent no time getting into the mix of things and started wrestling with other dogs!
I was a great morning out and since we all live close by, I am sure we will meet up again, right? 😉
4) Yoda (4 months old male Boston Terrier) â€“ Right off the bat Mac was annoyed because Yoda was very high energy and wanted nothing but to get right up to Mac and play with him. It was becoming clear that Mac prefers calm dog that respects his boundaries and let the socialization goes at his own pace. Sensing this, among Macâ€™s non-stop growling, we kept Yoda and Mac separate and hope the scent and sight will let them slowly accept each other over time. Physical contact will have to come in the future, but we went for a nice walk together to cap off the day.
5) Buck (male Golden Retriever) â€“ My very knowledgeable friend brought his Golden Retriever over to visit Mac. I have known Buck for quite awhile and he is a very sweet dog but Mac apparently disagrees. He would growl non-stop and actually bark at Buck. Prior to this, he has never barked once. In fact, Mac barked non-stop and followed Buck all over the house as Buck set out to explore. We waited to see if the dogs can sort things out among them. Later on we went on a walk together and things were a lot better; however, as soon as we got back into the house the barking would resume. Near the end it did get a little better, but Mac definitely reacted most strongly towards Buck compared to other dogs he has metâ€¦ probably because Buck just ignored Mac and continued to walk all over the house.
My goal is to continue introducing Mac to different dogs my friends have as well as others we come across. I figure the more dogs and people I expose Mac to, the more chances he would have practicing socialization. I also need to learn when is the right time to step in and redirect his growling. It would be great if one day growling would not be the only way he knows how to say â€œHello!â€
Mac came to me from Sandie of Rodel Shibas.
Mac is a 5 year-old Shiba Inu with a very calm and sweet temperament, he won awards at dog shows and fathered two litters of pups along the way. His claim to fame is that he is the sire of the #1 Shiba Inu sire of the USA according to Sandie! All these are great, but the best thing about Mac is the sweet disposition and how gentle he is towards people.
Yes, people. Mac is a bit suspicious when it comes to other dogs.
Sandie warned me about the potential of Mac not getting along with other dogs and quite frankly I was expecting worse. At the moment, when a dog would approach Mac regardless of breed, sex, or size, he would growl. However it is usually short lived and he never lashed out. So far Mac has met a few of my friendsâ€™ dogs and there are some he hit it off right away, and others that he just didnâ€™t want to have anything to do with. I noticed that Mac tends to do well with calmer dogs, especially ones that give him his space initially. In future dog introduction, I plan on trying to just get both dogs to sit and get used to each others' smell first before moving closer.
â€¦I need to teach Mac how to Sit.
It wasnâ€™t easy finding the breed of dog I want to live with.
Sheltie is smart and obedient but may be a bit barky; Pug has the fun personality but has breathing issue; Beagle is playful but too energetic; Golden Retriever is gentle and loyal but Is too big; Shiba Inu is independent but often headstrong and not recommended for first time dog owners.
It seems like with every breed, there is always a â€œThey are great, BUTâ€¦â€ so it boils down to which short coming bothers you least and which individual dog you connect most with.
I am a first time dog owner and I just moved to an end unit townhouse bordering a big open grass field and a dense forest with a little creek running through it â€“ a great spot for a companion dog in my mind, so I started my dog search journey.Â First I narrowed down the age, do I want a puppy or an adult?Â I decided on adopting an adult because I will be away at work for 10 hours a day.Â People could drop by and take the dog out, but I would not count on it. Â I need an independent dog that does not mind as much being alone and can ideally hold his pee and poop.Â Puppies are cute, but friends
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