Our Communities and a Lost Dog Named Lili

I'm truly amazed every day by our Shiba community and our neighborhood. Last week, I was able to witness the power of their connectivity first hand. On Wednesday evening, during dinner with a Shiba friend she told that Lili, a Shiba in our neighborhood, had been missing since Tuesday. A few hours after I returned home, I started receiving multiple emails, Facebook notifications and tweets about Lili. Our local blog also announced Lili's disappearance and multiple "Missing dog" flyers went up.

Thursday morning came and Shio, Emi and I got ready to go out. Instead of our usual routine, I decided that we would go on a mission to find Lili. It is not always that a Shiba in our area goes missing and I was determined to partake in the search for her safe return! We walked for hours around the neighborhood and asked many neighbors about Lili. I would point to Shio and say, "She looks like him, only more petite. Please help us." Most of them would respond and say that they had already seen Lili's flyers. Dogwalkers who have clients in our neighborhood were all already notified via their network through text messages. Our friend on Twitter messaged us to tell us that he saw Lili a few hours before so we headed to the his sighting area. It was a hustling and bustling area with a lot of traffic, office buildings and students. We walked for a few blocks but it became to overwhelming for Emi, who is still timid, and it was difficult to navigate with two dogs. I turned around and started heading home when I was stopped by a couple who rushed over to me. They were Lili's owners and were outside frantically searching for her. It made my heart break to see how much they missed her but I was happy to see that they were so committed to finding her. I took our dogs home and dropped them off and went back out on foot to look some more by myself. I had no luck and finally give up.

When I returned home after a long day, I started getting emails and tweets to announce that Lili had been found! We all rejoiced and did a little happy dance. The best part? The owners sent an email to me to express their heartfelt thanks. That brought tears to my eyes.

At the end of the day, we are only as good as our communities and we need to assist each other when the occasion calls for a helping hand. I'm so proud to be a part of ours.

Thanks, Lili for uniting us all but let's not run away anymore, okay?

Re-Training Shio

We never used to worry about Shio running out the front door into the street. Was it because we're bad dog owners? Nope. It's because he would have to run out the front door, down the hallway, wait for the elevator, ride the elevator to the lobby, run out the building's front door and then get to the street. In case you're wondering, yes, potty training was very difficult! Now that we moved and have a front door that leads to the street we are very careful about teaching Shio sit-stay before charging out the door. In this new place, we also gained an unfenced back yard. This would've been a dream if we had an area dedicated for Shio to run around in but we've been training him not to run out when the door is open to the back because it's not fenced. He's not allowed to run out for squirrels, birds or even a toy that accidentally rolls out the door.

We  have neighbors that live upstairs and often here them walking around their hardwood floors. Shio is slowly adjusting to the sounds although he does have his freak out moments where he goes into a barking fit if he hears our neighbor's door slam shut. Every once in a while, he can hear voices upstairs and has been on edge about that.

We also have the mail man, UPS/USPS/FedEx package deliveries that come through our front door. We had the luxury of a doorman accepting all of this for us previously but now we're on our own. So far, Shio hates all of them.

On the up side, we've made a new Shiba 8 month old friend name Boozer from the dog run. They play and fight like brothers! They also dig like Shibas and have created many ditches in the dog run in their attempts to get back to save their friends in Japan.


Where Brooklyn At?

"Where Brooklyn at? Where Brooklyn at?" 'Cause Shio just moved and he's trying to figure out where he's at.

Okay so it's ridiculous to quote Biggie when we moved to downtown Brooklyn... a fairly safe neighborhood with lots of loved dogs. It's been 3 weeks since we moved to our new dwelling and a much longer period of time for anticipating the move. Five months, to be exact. Luckily, we saw that Jenna and Snickers were moving and asked Jenna for some advice on helping Shio adjust to his new home. Coupled with Jenna's and our own techniques, it seems that we've achieved a smooth transition from old home to new home for Shio.

Here's what we did:

1. Labeled our "Open Immediately" boxes clearly. They included our everyday necessities, kitchen spoils, and most importantly, Shio's toys, beds and bowls. We set up his belongings as soon as we finished moving so that he would feel at ease to see familiar items in new surroundings.

2. Found a pet sitter for moving day. It's amazing to me that families will "forget" their pets during the move. How can you forget? Making sure that Shio had a proper sitter the day of was one of our priorities. We have wonderful friends whom live down the block from us and they were happy to watch Shio for the day. And Shio was happy to be with his buddies for the day. And we were happy to have Shio out of the way for the day. Talk about win-win-win.

3. Visited the new neighborhood with Shio before the move. We schlepped to Brooklyn with Shio a couple of times to allow him to sniff and mark his new neighborhood. After we moved, Shio was already familiar with the area and knew how to walk straight to the dog run from our new place!

4. Keep dirty bedsheets. At first, we weren't sure if Jenna was messing with us and wanted us to be the stinky new people on the block (jk), but she gave us some solid advice on keeping our scent on our bedsheets. When we moved, the first thing we unpacked were our sheets and put them on the bed. The first thing Shio did was jump on our bed, sniff around in circles and plop down on the bed. Just to let everyone know, we did wash them as week before we moved so we wouldn't be too dirty.

5. Keep the same routines. 9am potty & breakfast. 5pm potty & dinner. 10pm potty. That's all there is to it!

Hope this was helpful for anyone that's moving.

In the meantime, we're going to keep working on adjusting to our new surroundings.

It's a whole new world out here. :)