Since our senior Shiba, Brandy, passed away in May 2010, Snickers and Secret have been “a couple Shibas” instead of part of a “pack of Shibas.” I’ve been thinking lately how nice it would be to have three Shiba Inu in the house again. I had puppy fever for awhile and was seriously considering getting on the waiting list for a future Hi-Jinx puppy (if Pat would have me, of course). I had this idea of what the “perfect third” would be for Snick and Seeky. I imagined an energetic playmate for Snickers and a sweet snuggle buddy to keep Secret company when Snick and I are at work, at schools or on trips together. We fostered, but nothing stuck. I got over puppy fever. I decided I can’t afford a third dog right now. Then, suddenly, there was an email in my inbox about a young Shiba mix in a Knoxville, TN, shelter. When I first checked out the shelter’s website and saw how nice it was, I thought she’d be fine there until adopted, but then I looked at their posted statistics (intake/reclaimed/adoptions/euthanasia/etc. I couldn’t stand it. Long story short, a few days later we drove 7 hours to Knoxville, adopted Suzuki, and drove 7 hours home – all in one day!
During the drive up there I had some misgivings about the fact that I was adopting her instead of pulling her for rescue. What if she wasn’t the right dog for us? I decided that saving her was all that mattered and if she wasn’t our perfect third, then I’d contact the shelter to get permission to adopt her out to someone else. None of that mattered when we met her though. Somehow, I knew from the moment she ran into the play area (where I was waiting with Snickers) that she was part of our family. She was so skittish… she wouldn’t come close enough to be petted. She was afraid of us, so Snickers just sat by my leg and waited her out. Eventually, she came close enough for some petting and sniffing. After we went inside again, she was less nervous and let us hold her and pet her. She came into the shelter as a stray, so we know nothing about her past. Somehow though, I just knew.
That was a week ago today. I couldn’t be happier with how it’s working out and she’s definitely here to stay forever. The shelter had her listed as an 11 month old Shiba mix, but she’s way younger – 7 or 8 months maybe; I’ll have a better idea how old she is when she grows into her feet and ears. She’s a purebred Shiba for sure. She’s probably a puppy mill Shiba, although, she’s in her awkward stage right now, so my less-practiced eye can’t really judge her quality yet. (not that I really care, but it’s interesting).
Zuki and Snickers play LIKE CRAZY 2 or 3 times a day. It’s the most fun I’ve seen Snickers have since before we moved out of Manhattan. Zuki is SMART! She learned to respect Snickers in less than 48 hours. She stays back, away from the grownup dogs, when I prepare their meals and she waits nicely for her bowl. She learned after ONE smack down that trying to steal a toy from Snickers was A Very Bad Idea. LOL. Amazingly, that’s the ONLY time that Snick has felt the need to pin her down. She and Snick have adjusted their play to each other and they have a great time. I’m really amazed by how easy it has been to integrate her into the pack. Secret and Zuki leave each other alone for the most part. Secret tolerates her better than any fosters we’ve had, so I’m hoping once Zuki matures and calms down, that they’ll be great buddies.