Pet owners are a little crazy, we know that. Still, after some research and hearing some recommendations on Twitter from other Shiba owners, we decided to get Misaki an EzyDog QuickFit harness. Harnesses are suppose to put less strain on the dog's neck than a regular collar and leash, especially if you have a dog with a mind of its own (meaning: a Shiba).
Other Shibas can't be wrong, right? Check out Tokyo with her harness in San Diego, Prince Zuko wearing his in Yosemite Park, Phineas pimped out on the sidewalk in Jersey, and Kuri hiking in Hawaii. All of them proudly wear their EzyDog harnesses and their owners love them because they are, well, easy to put on and make the dog easier to control.
But ordering wasn't easy. We wanted the pink camouflage, which apparently meant a special order. We could have ordered it ourselves, but a store we stopped by to see if they had the color offered to order it for us. That saved us $5 in shipping so we said sure. They told us 1-2 weeks. Three weeks, a phone call, and an email later, it finally showed up. Rrrr.
Anyway, we brought it home, got it adjusted, and put it on Misaki in the house. She seemed okay with it.
Of course, upon further review, this is the look she gives us when we put anything on her. It's the "I can't believe I let you do this" look. By the way, anytime I see her sitting like this, Paul Wall's Sittin' Sideways pops into my head.
It was rainy that day, so we just took a couple pics and took off the harness. On Sunday it was a beautiful, chilly, clear, fall day, so we got the harness on her and took her outside. At first she didn't want to leave the house, but we didn't think anything of it. We managed to get her off the porch.
And then down a stair, where she didn't want to go any further. This is her "what the eff do you think you are doing to me?" look.
After some cajoling (and tugging) we got her all the front steps.
And there she sat, as annoyed as a dog can be.
We tried a little more cajoling and tugging, but she resisted.
And then she tried eating the leash, which doesn't bother her in the least with her regular collar.
She sat again and refused to look at us. There was no chance in hell she was going for a walk in the harness.
We have read stories about Shibas who refuse to walk on leash, throwing themselves onto the ground and whining, but they were always kind of funny in an "I'm glad that's not me" kind of way. Misaki has always loved loved loved going for walks and she gets excited every time we get out her leash.
But not with the harness. At least she doesn't whine, but that would be beneath her anyway. She'll just huff at us and give us condescending looks until we give in to her desires.
And, of course, we finally did. I took the harness back in the house and exchanged it for her collar, and she proceeded to go for a walk like everything was fine.
I'm obviously a little annoyed, after waiting all that time and dropping $29 on the harness, but what can I do? I have a theory here. Misaki has never worn a harness of any kind, just a collar. I think she feels completely restricted with having the band of fabric now running behind her front legs. I have no idea what she thinks is going on with it, but she sure doesn't approve. What's funny is her son that we have met, Aizu, also refuses to wear a harness and when his parents make him wear it, he just mopes around.
What I think we are going to try is giving her treats when we put it on and let her wear it in the house, perhaps building up to another attempt at walking on the leash. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears (or eyes I suppose, since this is a blog and all).
Misaki may have won this round, this battle, but we'll break her yet. What? Just ignore that sound of a dog laughing in the background...