There are different schools of thought about when to get back on the horse after losing a pet. Some say do it immediately. Some say you should never get a new one because the pain is too great when you lose them. Some say you should wait until you get a sign from the heavens. All are dumb because they ignore the fact people hold their pets in different regards and process through grief at different rates. None of that is good or bad - it just is.

After we lost Ruby we weren't sure which category we would fall into. Apparently the former with a dash of a sign from the heavens (or, in our case, the internets). We knew we wanted another dog and we also knew we wanted a Shiba this time. Shibas are Japanese, like Akitas, and really look like mini Akitas. Same tail, similar colorings, same build - just a quarter of the size or so.

Well, the internets offered up this little bundle of joy, recently made available after a short career in the show ring. We had been following this relatively local breeder for awhile and Misaki's attributes were just about exactly what we wanted. She's friendly with people, tolerant of dogs (but still not the kind to want to hang out - common in Shibas like in Akitas), smart, pretty, and - we hoped - tolerant of the cats. We thought about a puppy, but decided we would rather have an adult. Misaki is six and Shibas should live to be around 14-15 years old.

At a pit stop on the way home.

At home, meeting her new toys.

Just for comparison's sake, here is a picture of Ruby and a picture of Misaki. The purple plant in the background is the same lilac.

Ruby, the Akita, at 86 pounds.

Misaki, the Shiba, at 26 pounds.

It's not a perfect comparison, but it should show Misaki is significantly smaller.

Also, and I don't know how I almost forgot this, Misaki is actually Japanese - she was born to a breeder near Mt. Aso in southern Japan on the island of Kyushu. As a puppy she came back to the U.S. with Sanshou - you can see her puppy pic on the link above. Her name means beautiful blossom in Japanese.

We've now had her for over a week and everyone seems to have adjusted nicely. The cats weren't that thrilled at first - Moochie in particular would growl and hiss at Misaki, which surprised me a bit, but he's the most sensitive of the three and really missed Ruby - but after about five days things calmed down. Now all three cats - Lilo loves that curly tail - aren't bothered by her at all.

Nap time in the sun room. Moochie is on the chair and Lilo looking out the window. Sera is on the couch to the right of this scene.

For the most part Misaki will come when she's called (she's a Shiba still, after all, so she isn't going to listen all the time no matter how long you spend training her), walks very well on a lead (though she must absolutely at all times be on the left side of the sidewalk/trail/anything else, which is amusing), travels well in the car in a crate, and will actually wait for you to go through a doorway first if you tell her to wait. Wow! Ruby did sit and down very well, but she sure didn't do that one no matter how much we tried to teach her.

Misaki loves herself a road trip.

One of the cutest things this puppy does is on walks she will not walk over any grates or anything else in the sidewalk. The funny part about this is she comes from central Oregon, in an area where there are no sidewalks. Grates I can see because they feel weird on her paws, but the access hatches for Verizon? She won't walk on them. Wifey is the same way - pure cuteness!

Another supercute thing she does is stomping. This is mostly in the morning when she's so excited to get out of her crate and go for a walk. She'll stand up and stomp her front paws in anticipation of getting out with a giant grin on her face. Maybe at some point I'll get this on video and post it...it's hilarious.

Speaking of pure cuteness...

Misaki also enjoys a good game of fetch. Now, there are probably many of you dog owners out there who don't think that's a big deal, but for a Shiba it is very, very rare. Akitas as well. Both breeds aren't the type to go for repetitive playing like that because they don't see the point (for an interesting explanation of this, rent the movie Hachi with Richard Gere, about an Akita). The fact Misaki not only will do it but likes doing it makes her pretty rare.

Bringing it back dutifully.

Trapping it like a soccer pro.

Here's a few more pictures of the new pup:

I think that's excitement...could be a yawn.

Surveying her new domain.

Nap time - breaking in a new family is hard.

Rest assured this won't be the last you see of the cute little Misaki. We plan on taking her on hikes all over this summer, so there should be plenty of pictures to go around.

Welcome to the family Misaki!


  1. What a beautiful Shiba! She's big for a Shiba girl too...Zuko weighs in at about 27 pounds and while not fat, he's big for a Shiba according to the standard.

    Zuko also will not walk on metal plates on the sidewalk, grates, metal access hatches, etc. We got him as a puppy, so not sure about this one. I tend to avoid these also because the metal plates will shift sometimes and my heels catch in the grates...but maybe it is some Shiba instinct. ;-)

  2. Yep, she is the very top end of the standard for a girl - that was another reason she didn't show as well, because she'd get in the ring and be bigger than everyone else. :)

  3. I found your blog from fuckyeahshibas on tumblr and the awesome story about the robin killer :) I recognized the name Misaki because I had just adopted an adult dog from Sanshou Shibas as well and I remembered the name from the adoption page. What a coincidence that I stumbled upon your blog and Kika's (formerly Miss Kitty) friend! Misaki sounds like she shares a lot of funny habits as Kika. She also always has to walk on the left side of the sidewalk or on the edges of paths, etc. She plays fetch too and wasn't a fan of the showring (she weighed in at 22). I look forward to hearing more stories about Misaki!

  4. Stephanie- Glad you enjoyed it! And yes, I promise, there will be more stories to come. :)

  5. aww...I didn't know her story!!! I love it, what a nice post you did!

  6. Well, Miss Awesome is most deserving. :)