Monday, July 28, 2008

Real Sonofanitch

Tierce continues to be plagued with itchiness and an uncontrollable urge to claw himself to pieces. We've combatted this as best we can while we try some different remedies.

Tierce's fashionable anti-scratch-until-you-hit-an-artery wear:

The T-shirt he's wearing is there because he's scratched his chest raw:

The first sign of problems - see the bare spots around the eyes and the goop in the right eye?

Then I noticed that the hair on his left ear was thinning...

The problem is that I don't know what's causing this. My aunt up and took him to the vet (I was not pleased, because she took him there without telling me and getting some VERY necessary information. However, she apologized, so I'm gonna let it go.) The vet found that he had a yeast infection, but that doesn't tell us anything because anything from allergies to mites could cause it... in fact, she basically gave us the same advice as Tierce's "grand-breeder" did - Nizoral anti-dandruff treatment (off-the-shelf, for-humans, anti-dandruff, anti-fungal shampoo). So, $85 later, we're still no closer to a cure.

I am still strongly leaning towards Tierce's 3 year rabies shot as a cause. He was scratching before, but it was only after the shot that he really started tearing at himself. Part of me hopes that it is and that we can cure it, because it still means that his immune system is genetically sound. If it turns out that he has allergies, he probably shouldn't be bred, as allergies are a symptom of a fucked-up immune system. However, if his immune system is merely stressed, he could still be a candidate as a sire.

Part of me really hopes so, as he has an outstanding temperament, his hips and eyes should clear with no problems and his knees are stable, so far. If he passes his tests, he would be a dog that could add a lot to the Shiba breed IMO (although he's only 16 months old, so too young to seriously think of that, yet). However, I would rather that he have a manageable allergy and not be bred than watch him go through this. I won't have any part of breeding a dog that could continue a problem that Shibas are notorious for.

My trainer advised me to take Tierce off his kibble, even though we switched to GO! Natural Grain Free, and this is what I think I'm going to try. I've been having uncomfortable thoughts about feeding Tierce what basically consists of protein/meal replacement bars all his life, even if they claim to give him all his daily needs' worth of nutrition. So, I'm going to try feeding him 'real food' and see where that takes us. I'm going to be doing a lot of research into the proper nutrition of real food, so I'll probably be posting regular updates on that stuff here.

Kibble is a fairly recent invention and dogs have survived for thousands of years on non-manufactured food. However, I'm not a fan of just feeding Tierce whatever we're eating and expecting him to do well on this. I think that this is a lot like veganism - wonderfully healthy when the right foods/supplements are eaten, but horribly unhealthy when approached carelessly. So we'll see.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

WTF is in the dog food?

ANOTHER Shiba attacked by loose, uncontrolled dogs

I would be taking these people to court, if only to emphasize their responsibility for their animals. It's time dog owners took a stand and refused to allow people to threaten others with their animals, whether intentionally or through carelessness.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Itchery, part II

Tierce has been to the vet, who took samples diagnosed him with a mild yeast infection on his chest. Her advice was to shampoo him with Nizoral (anti-dandruff, anti-fungal shampoo) every other day. That, coupled with changing his food to Go! Natural Grain Free, might do the trick. In a few weeks.

Oh, yeah... while we were down at the beach the day before yesterday, Tierce stepped on a piece of glass and sliced a chunk off one of his toe pads. Now he's hopping around like Pogo-dog (his hurt foot doesn't stop him from running around) and still trying to scratch his eyes.

This has just been the best week ever.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Tierce has been scratching... Scratching... SCRATCHING! It started when the serious heat of summer began, so we were thinking that this has something to do with the heat.

We took him to the vet for his annual checkup and he got his rabies shots. The vet said that the scratching was probably an allergy or the heat and to add some fish oil and coat boosters to his food.

However, Tierce has started to scratch at his eyes! Some of the hair has been worn away... I'm hoping that this is a food allergy and a switch to GO! Grain Free will accomplish some improvement. I'm hoping that it's not demodectic mange or some other real big nasty. However, only a trip back to the vet will tell for sure.

My trainer and Shassi's breeder say it could be a reaction to the 3 yr rabies shot and to just wait for his immune system to get back up and running. I'm still worried about him. We're going to try to get him in on Saturday, but it depends on whether I can get an appointment. Otherwise, I'll probably have to take some time off of work to haul his furry ass into the office.

Wish us luck... :(

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Getting there

Me: Tierce!

Tierce: What?

Me: We're going for a RIDE!

Tierce: Is that my harness?

Me: Um, no...

Tierce: Liar!

Me: Tierce!

Tierce: I hate the harness.

Me: Don't run away from me!

Tierce: I'm not coming near you, crazy woman. You want to trap me inside those straps!

Me: Come here! You need the harness to keep you safely in the trailer!

Tierce: No.


Tierce: NO.

Me: Okay, fine. I don't have the harness.

Tierce: Okaaay... so, what do you wan-

Me: HA!

Tierce: Cheater!

Me: There you go. Oh, don't look so tragic.

Tierce: Hate the harness. Hate you. Hate everything.

Me: Okay, we have to get moving... your appointment is in half an hour.

Tierce: Gonna go outside. Eat worms. Die.

Me: Okay, into the trailer!

Tierce: Hate the trailer.

Me: Okay, you're snapped in... ready to go?

Tierce: Hate, hate, hate.

Me: Hmmm... where have I seen that before?

Tierce: Don't care.

Me: Okay, here we go!

Tierce: mmm... Wind in my face!

Me: *pant* Are you sure you haven't gained any weight in the last few months?

Tierce: With that crap you feed me? No, I haven't.

Me: *gasp* That 'crap' is premium dog food. You should be grateful. Puppies are starving in Japan.

Tierce: You get pizza.

Me: That's because I WORK for pizza. Like I'm working now!

Tierce: Sulk, sulk, sulk.

Me: Well, here we are!

Tierce: Don't care. Harness evil. Will to live draining.

Me: You know what? I remember the good old days when dogs used to pull people.

Tierce: How barbaric!

Me: I actually quite like the idea. Ready to see the nice vet?

Tierce: No. Hate the vet. Hate you.

Me: Okay, there you go. No more harness.

Tierce: YAY! Oh frabjous day! The sweetness of life doth verily sing in mine veins!

Me: Calm down.

Tierce: Not calming down. Not listening. For now is the time for JOY!

Me: I brought some hamburger. And cheese...

Tierce: Cheese?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Tierce the Shiba ambassador to veterinary clinics everywhere

Vet and staff: Oh, no, another Shiba!

Tierce: Doo-de-doody-doo... hey, cheese!

Me: Yeah, the vet's office is a WONDERFUL place, isn't it?

Staff: He's friendly?!

Vet: I don't have to muzzle him?!

Tierce: I get to eat hamburger!

Me: What kind of Shibas have come in here before?

Vet and Staff: Neurotic fear-biters.

Me: Oookaaay.....

Vet: Okay, now I'm going to check him out.

Tierce: What are you doing?

Vet: Listening to your heart.

Tierce: Oh. Mmm... this is the expensive stuff from the top fridge shelf, isn't it?

Me: Yes. Don't tell Mischa; he'd flip.

Tierce: Don't worry, I won't. Yum.

Vet: Aaaaand... check your temperature...

Tierce: Hey! That's a private area!

Me: Cheese!

Tierce: Yay!

Vet: Okay, can we check your teeth?

Me: Okay, Tierce, we're going to check your teeth!

Tierce: Do I get cheese?

Me: Absolutely; just show the nice doctor your pearly whites.

Vet: Looks really good, except for the hamburger stuck between them.

Tierce: I'm working on it, okay?

Vet: Time for a shot... can you hold him?

Tierce: What's she doin-

Me: Cheese!

Tierce: Yay!

Vet: Just a little pinch...

Tierce: What's that?

Me: Cheese!

Tierce: Yay!

Vet: Okay, he's good to go. This really is the friendliest, best behaved Shiba I've ever seen.

Me: Me too. It's the magic of animal food products.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lost Shiba post

Bella is still at large: here's her new website

A lost Shiba named "Mochi" is the cause of a furor over 'Lost Dog' signs. A Pittsburgh Shiba owner was threatened with thousands of dollars in fines by an unnamed Pittsburgh Department of Public Works employee. She had put up approximately 1000 fliers in the Pittsburgh area and said that the search for Mochi was hindered by the amount of time she and friends took to take them down.

We here at TMS appreciate the efforts of people who take down fliers if a lost dog is found or a search is called off, but to force an owner to take down the only link she may have to hundreds to thousands of people who might have seen her dog is moronic.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Tierce SWAM all by himself today! He voluntarily let the water cover his back! Look at the evidence:

He defeated the giant stick:

AND... I found a pair of Shiba socks!

Oh, frabjous day...!