Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Puppies at 3 days old

They still look like gerbils but are starting to develop personality. One of them if you scratch behind his ears leans into you like Tama does. One of the boys trills a beautiful song while just laying there - just like if he's singing. Puppies were checked out by the vet today. Everything looks good. They've all had good weight gain since they were born and their hearts sound strong. The girl has gained the most weight. She was 11 oz. That makes her the biggest puppy in the litter right now. She might as well hold that title now because I'm sure at some point the boys will pass her right up.


Boy 1

Boy 2

Boy 3

Boy 4

Sunday, October 25, 2009

They're here!!! They're here!!!

Tama's puppies made their way into the world starting at around 1:30am this morning.

First came a boy weighing in at 9.3 oz.

And then 45 minutes later, another boy at 8.8 oz.

And then a girl! Whooo Hooo, a girl!!!! The petite little thing was 9.1 oz. Jared has already named her Treesa (not sure where he got that but I looked up the meaning and it means "late summer" so I guess that's appropriate)

And then another boy at 8.7 oz.

And finally the puppy I call BONUS, since Tama has always had 4 in a litter and he's the fifth. He weighed in at 7.6 oz.

All puppies are doing great. Tama's been sleeping between puppies. I have not. So now I'm off to bed for a few hours of shut eye!

More pics to come later but here's a preview of the happy family.


Treesa, the girl is on the far right...


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Morning Walk

This morning it was raining as it normally does in October in Seattle. I walk with a group of friends on Wednesday mornings, and as I heard the raindrops on the ceiling at 6am, I pulled the covers in a little closer and decided I wasn't going to walk in the rain. By 8:30am it was sprinkling, but not pouring like it was earlier, so I packed up myself, my raingear and Timber and headed down to Ft. Ward park for our final beach walk of the year.

And the sun came out. It was a beautiful walk! Timber went swimming, rolled in really smelly green stuff and ran like lightening across the rocks chasing the birds. He loves the beach!

By the time we got home at almost noon, it was pouring again. We were so fortunate to have a couple hours to enjoy the beach one final time this year.

Timber on our morning walk. We had a little sunshine sandwiched between rain storms so we headed to the beach.

Imagine the most disgusting smell you can think of. And that is what Timber is standing in. Good thing the groomer is coming tomorrow (didn't I already say that).

Oh look a dog walk - as he slides off of it!

The water has to be cold! Timber didn't care. Good thing the groomer is coming tomorrow.

Monday, October 05, 2009



Twelve years ago tomorrow, a little red dog made her entrance into the world. Whether it was through luck or destiny, I was fortunate that she found her way into my life at almost 5 months old. I named her Kishi. I vividly remember the day she got her name, My friend Renee and I were sitting on the patio at a restaurant in Scottsdale, her american eskimo puppy, Yuki, at her feet and Kishi at mine. We were going through a japanese dictionary looking for a name that would fit this little bundle of energy. The name Kishi just popped right out and stuck.


Yuki and Kishi became best friends. And so did Renee and I. Our puppies were our kids and we were their "soccer moms". We did many obedience classes together. Kishi played flyball, competed and titled in agility and obedience, and was a therapy dog. She was on the PETsMART demo team. She was featured on product packaging, ads, did fashion shows, and acted in tv commercials. Kishi loved to learn and loved to perform even more. Four of her best tricks were riding a skateboard, before the bulldog on YouTube made it popular, and jumping out of a box to the tune of pop goes the weasle. For years, I have called her "weasle" as a nickname because of that. Another favorite trick was getting mail from her very own mailbox and bringing it to me. And one that could please a crowd every time was Kishi playing a toy piano with music she composed on the fly.




June Wedding

She had a resume! Yes, her very own resume. Even looking over it now, I can't believe everything we did together - all the training, all the fun - those were happy times.

Page 1

Even though she was quick to learn, Kishi had a mischievous side to her. We called it Kishi-tude. Sometimes Kishi did as Kishi wanted to do. As a dog trainer, I constantly had to find ways to make her think whatever I was training was really her idea. (I've since used this technique on stubborn members of my family with great results).

My first experience with Kishi-tude was right after she came to live with us, I took her to my groomer to show her off. I was such a proud new dog mom as I unloaded my chow, who was the main reason for the visit to the groomer, and picked up Kishi and placed her on the ground. Kishi was wearing a cute new collar and leash that we had picked out the day before. In a blink of the eye, Kishi pulled backwards and slipped out of her collar and began running down the street. Screaming like a mad woman, I began the chase; flagging down traffic in a major Phoenix intersection, bringing cars to a halt, and hauling the chow on leash behind me. Kishi didn’t even pause as she headed a block and a half down the road. Finally, she ran to the first open door she could find. I followed in pursuit. She ran into the back room. I followed, “Oh, crap,” It was a restaurant. And Kishi was heading for the kitchen. I followed, the chow still hanging in behind me. The kitchen was a U-shape, and she was heading back to the main area and to the door. “Shut the door! Shut the door! Don’t let her out!” I screamed as patrons and employees looked astonished to see a crazy woman with a dog chasing a cute little puppy through a restaurant. Finally a man leaned over and handed Kishi a piece of toast, giving me a few seconds to catch up and grab her. Embarrassed with adrenaline rushing, I vowed that would be the last time, and it was off to our first training class the following week. She was challenging as a puppy, but our training classes led us to many wonderful adventures.

But sometimes her Kishi-tude bit me in the butt, in flyball, she ran as the small dog on the team and she was able to use a small tennis ball in the box. On one run, she ran to the box, but the box loader had put the wrong sized ball in the box. It popped out and she caught it just fine. But then she spit it out and re-popped the box. When nothing came out, exasperated by the inability of the boxloader to get it right, she ran behind the boxloader and pick out a small ball out of the bucket of balls and finished the heat. Now by then we had already lost, but the crowd roared that this little dog was so particular about her tennis ball.

Another Kishi-tude moment. One agility run, she ran the course clean other than a slight pause at the top of the A-frame to check out her kingdom, and then 3 jumps in a row from the finish line, she sat... and sat... and refused to move no matter how much I tried to encourage her to finish. When the whistle blew to designate that time was up, she jumped up and finished the course to the hoots and hollers of the bystanders. I went out and got a border collie after that.

Renee reminded me the other night how at one agility trial in Tucson, She had run a gambler's run with Kishi. She started to run the obstacles in the beginning sequence in which you make up your own course trying to score a certain number of points. But then Kishi took a detour to the edge of the arena to check out the horses that were outside. Renee got her back on track and she completed a pretty difficult gamble right as the final whistle blew. After all that, she was one point (she only needed to go over one more jump in the opening sequence) from a qualifying run.


So maybe agility wasn't her strong suit. But when I look back at all the competitions we were in, I don't remember the clean runs and qualifying legs. I remember the moments of Kishi-tude. That is what makes me laugh now. It's her spirit and unusual personality that I will always remember. I can look back and laugh at myself and how this 20 pound dog knew not only how to please me, but how to push my buttons!

Talking to Renee the other night, she also reminded me of the night in the hotel where Kishi stood in front of a floor to ceiling mirror, spending the entire night admiring herself. She'd turn and look at her tail, she'd cock her head to the side. She'd move away and then come back and stare at herself a little more. We laughed and laughed over Kishi's vanity - true to her princess form.


At almost 3 years old, I took Kishi in for a set of vaccinations. A couple days later she was red and itchy all over her body. She never recovered from the allergies and over the years the medications that she received to make her comfortable have taken a toll on the poor little girl. Throughout the years, she has suffered with auto-immune diseases, hypothyroidism, hair loss, infections, yeast problems, cataracts and glaucoma.

Her performance days screeched to a halt when the allergies took over. No one could enjoy watching a smelly, bald and sometimes very itchy dog, although she still loved to do her "tricks" for whoever I could trap into watching her at the house. Kishi has spent the last few years battling her ailments. The last few months she has spent most of her days and nights asleep in her bed under my desk with very little energy to do much more than that.

Without Kishi, I would not be who I am or where I am today. She made me a better dog trainer. She made me fall in love with the shiba inu breed. She introduced me to dog sports which have become such a major part of my life. She has been my canine soulmate for the past 12 years, and an integral part of my family.


I call my kennel name Kishi in memory of a great dog with spirit, attitude, and drive. But it will also be a reminder of what I don't want in my lines. I don't want ANYONE to ever have to battle the health problems that Kishi has suffered. She was dealt a bad health card - whether it was genetic or a bad batch of vaccines with all the meds to follow. I want to do what I can to prevent others from having to go through what we have with Kishi the past 9 years.

Kishi-10 years

The japanese meaning for the name Kishi is "Long and Happy Life". And I want to believe that Kishi indeed had a long and happy life with me. Today, one day short of her 12th birthday, I had to say goodbye to my dear girl, Kishi.

This is by far one of the hardest days of my life - right up there with losing my father over a year ago and losing Farley, my 10 year old aussie, to cancer. Twice a day when the time rolls around that for the past 9 years I have given her medicine and eyedrops, I won't know what to do. But really, I will miss her every minute of every day, all the rest of my life. Rest in Peace my dear Kishi. Finally, you are out of pain.


Friday, October 02, 2009

Want to guess how many puppies?

So animal communicator, Tracey Ann, said that she thinks there are 7 puppies this time. WOW - 7. Tama does look bigger than last time.

I still think there are 4, because that is what she has had in the past two litters.

And Valerie thinks 5.

Any other guesses? Here's her photos. Remember, she still has 23 days to go in these photos.