Jiro is an almost-six year old, red Shiba Inu who will be celebrating his fourth Gotcha Day in August.
His person is Nicole. She and I “met” online through our shared interests of Shibas and Shiba rescue. I’m happy that Nicole wanted to share with us about her relationship with Jiro and how he has changed her life for the better.
How Jiro came into my life isn’t all that special but I’ll share anyway. When I was a kid I was in love with Huskies, I always wanted one. When I was finally able to have a dog of my own, I was in my last year of college and no longer living with roomates, I knew it was the perfect time. I also knew I wouldn’t be able to have a Husky still. I knew they didn’t do well in apartments and while I had time to devote, I didn’t think I had enough time to properly exercise a Husky knowing what high energy dogs they were. I knew I wanted a spitz type dog, so I starting looking around not knowing what would be a good fit. That’s when my husband (then boyfriend) suggested Shiba Inu because of friend of his (Erin) had 3 of them. The more and more I read and researched the more I realized they were perfect for me. Pretty much everything I was looking for in a dog (smart, loyal but not overly clingy, clean, a spitz, primitive). Then one day we ran into Erin out with Kitsune, and I was sold. Turns out she was looking to rehome Jiro because he and Kitsune weren’t the best of buddies. She found Jiro in the local Animal Shelter by accident when she was there with her boyfriend looking for a dog for him. It was his (Jiro’s) last day, despite wearing a collar with tags; the owner wouldn’t come for him. Since she knew about Shibas, she paid to adopt him with the intent of finding him a good home. A year later she still had him; when I expressed interest in Shibas she asked if I wanted Jiro and the rest, as they say, is history.
Jiro stands out because he’s just so extraordinary. I’ve never had a dog quite like him. I feel so much more bonded with him than any other dog I’ve had prior. Sometimes I think he knows me better than I know myself.
I have learned a great deal in order to better care for him through research and talking with others. When I first got him, I fed Kibbles ‘n Bits because I thought it was a good food; the dogs in the commercials are always so happy, so it must be good. Now I know better. Thanks to Jiro, I found my niche in the rescue world and in turn have met a great many wonderful people. I am more confident now, thanks to doing homechecks and talking with random people about the Shiba breed and breeding practices in general. I’ve met some friends I now see on a weekly basis.
Jiro very much embodies what a the Shiba spirit should be. He is bold and confident in every move he makes. I always joke that he’s strutting his stuff every time we walk outside. He’s friendly-ish with strangers when we’re out and about, usually very gentle and calm. Never jumping or overly excited. But if a stranger comes into our house he is sure to tell them off and lay down the rules upon their arrival. He’s fine with them after a few minutes. He is very much the hunter and protector, he’s always alert to the surroundings and enjoys hunting down bugs in the house and creatures we may encounter on walks (he chases as much as his leash will let him). He’s a mama’s boy, always has to be near me or touching me. He mopes and sulks when I’m not home and will even sleep outside the bathroom door when I’m showering. I have been known to fall asleep using him as a pillow or curled up next to him. He often curls up in my lap in the evenings when I’m watching tv. In short we’re pretty attached to each other.