I've never in my life had a pet so calm in the car as Misaki. We get in the car, she sits on Wifey's lap, and she's practically asleep before we get out of the driveway. Ruby had to pace in the back the entire time, very rarely relaxing or laying down at all. Actually, when she laid down that was a bad thing - it meant she was probably getting sick. (As always, click on the pic for a bigger version. Click again for a huge version.)
Not Misaki. She'll pop her head up on occasion, but usually is back to sleep within minutes - even on a three-hour trip to Seattle from Portland.
In Seattle her ego was properly stroked amongst the crowds at Pike Place Market. She wasn't all that thrilled with the crowds - too many feet of people who don't pay attention to where they are walking - but she managed without getting stepped on. One thing that drives her crazy is any sort of anomaly in a sidewalk, such as the metal access doors most cities have. And Seattle has a lot of them. With the crush of people by the Market she couldn't always see them coming up, so they would just appear and she'd freak out, jerking left or right - amongst the crush of people - in order to walk around it.
Checking out all the hubbub.
Ah well, everyone though she was cute. At just about every corner where we had to wait for a light people would comment on how cute she was. A few people asked to pet her, which she appreciated. It's funny, you can tell the people who love dogs by the way they pet her. They know how to do it properly and she responds to that. Others don't do it so well - more like the pats of small children - and she doesn't like it, but she tolerates it. It's almost like she knows she's there to educate the world on the virtues of Shiba-dom.
A reluctant but still willing ambassador, you might say.
Just outside of the Market, near Pike Place Fish, we pulled over to plan our attack (and this is literally how it needs to be addressed, like a battle plan, because you have to be fast and decisive in your shopping) when an young Asian man came over and asked us this, very earnestly:
"Is that an Akita?"
We responded that no, she was a Shiba. Apparently he doesn't read the blog. What I didn't expect was the impact this would have on the excited guy.
"Oh." He was literally crestfallen, like we had just ruined his day. And then he disappeared - turned on his heel and was swallowed by the Market. Wifey and I were left looking at each other, wondering why was he so disappointed.?Even Misaki looked up at us with her big brown eyes, like she was asking what did she do wrong? No pups, it's not you, it's him. Odd.
Just chillin' under the bench while Mom and Dad have dinner.
Another lady with her child made the ubiqitous fox comment, but her roughly five-year-old daughter corrected her. "No Mom, it looks like a husky!" Kudos to the child for getting in the same genus. Misaki gamely let mother and daughter pet her anyway.
Of course, someone later asked us if she was part wolf. No idea where that came from, unless it was here (those are Chinese wolf cubs).
Then another woman asked about Misaki, about her age and breed. After being told she was almost seven years old the lady then asked this, with a confused look on her face:
"Is she full grown?"
This was a real question. The lady really couldn't process that our 25-pound dog could be full grown. Um, ma'am, how many dogs do you know that are still growing at seven years old? And by growing, I mean normal growing, not getting fat. Any? No? Neither is Misaki.
Checking out the Seattle skyline.
At the northwest corner of the Market area is a park overlooking Puget Sound. The Olympic Mountains are visible off in the distance, the piers below, ferries and pleasure boats on the water, and West Seattle is close by. There was a couple sitting at one of the tables as we went over to take pictures and they both said: "Oh look, a Shiba!"
So Misaki, of course, went over to show her appreciation for someone getting it right. Now, the interesting thing here was these people knew Shibas a little bit, but also weren't sure if she was full grown. (However, upon hearing her age they did recognize her as full grown, because that's logical.) And boy, did Misaki love them. When she's super excited about something sometimes she will rub her cheeks on the ground, dropping her front legs to her side and pushing herself around with her back legs. Previously we had never seen her do this outside of our living room or the backyard, but she decided a crowded park with a concrete-and-brick ground would be a nice place to take that action outside of home. Since then she's done it multiple times, so apparently that's her new thing and she's comfortable sharing it with the world. Um, yay?
Look, Space Needle!
Outside of Market Spice (more on them and the places we visited in another post), Wifey and Misaki were going to wait while I did the shopping. A small child, no more than two (was still at the age where every step looks like it takes a serious amount of intent, yet they are still wobbly), came over to Misaki. She's very tolerant of even small children, so she resigned herself to being patted (not petted, but patted). The child came right up next to her - no idea why Dad barely gave the child going after a strange dog more than a glance - and promply acted like he fell asleep on his feet, in the middle of reaching towards Misaki. That I should have gotten a picture of.
I whispered to Wifey: "Is he narcoleptic?!"
Figuring there was no harm, I went into the store. Wifey said Dad briefly woke up and came halfway over to his child and Misaki, then decided it apparently wasn't a big deal and went back to his spot on the sidewalk. Interesting. If it was my kid, I sure wouldn't want it petting random dogs while I took a nap. Maybe that's just me. Sure, Misaki is fine with it - okay, she tolerates it - but that doesn't mean it's okay.
We decided to get a pound of Rainier cherries from one of the outdoor market vendors and the woman working the booth though Misaki was the prettiest puppy ever. Misaki wasn't even looking at her; instead she was down sniffing the bottom of the booth, looking at who knows what. Wifey picked her up so the woman could see her face and you could just tell she wanted to give Misaki a huge hug - "Isn't she just the cutest?!" - unfortunately, she had gloves on and was working with food. Maybe next time.
All in all it was a good time in Seattle for the pup. She found many new fans, got to see the sights, and walked all over the city with us. Sure, she would probably prefer a little suburbia or a mountain trail to the city, but she handles city walking better than most tourists, who usually have no idea what's going on or where they are.
And she got more of a boost with all the praise for her gorgeousness, not that her ego needed it.
MISAKI'S VIEW OF SEATTLE
This are some pics in West Seattle from Misaki's perspective.
All I see is water and big rocks way out there.
The view from where I am isn't that great - all I see are trees. What stadium?
I could get used to a walk here every day at sunset.
Tonight's sunset should be spectacular!