Emi's April Update

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It's been over 6 months since Emi first arrived into our home as a foster! I can't believe how quickly time flies. First and foremost, the most important achievement so far in my eyes, is that Emi has finally gotten used to Josh's presence and now adores him. It took a very long time for her to trust him but in April she finally allowed him to be a part of her life. It took a lot of treats and playing fetch in our living room but she will now go up to Josh and cuddle up next to him. In return, Josh has allowed her to fully enter his heart and watching him sing personalized songs to her is priceless!

Shio and Emi's relationship is just as strong as ever. In the 6 months that Emi's been here they've really only had 4 significant arguments. The last one was from March and it was a result of Shio's insistance that both marrow bones were his and Emi wasn't allowed to have one. We've remediated that situation simply by separating the two of them when we give them chew treats.

The biggest problem we have right now is Emi's hesitation when outdoors. She still hasn't gotten accustomed to all the passersby in our neighborhood and is still very skittish when she hears loud noises which is unfortunate because there's constant construction around here. We've started to take her on walks away from the dog run because she's gotten incredibly comfortable there and we want to expand her horizons to build her confidence. We still hire a dog walker twice a week to take the pups around the neighborhood and work on their fears. Our dog walker told us that while with him, she's gotten comfortable enough to let a little girl pet her! Otherwise, when I take her out, it's like the movie '50 First Dates' where Emi needs to readjust and realize that she's been down this path before.

We've tried to fatten her up but Emi remains steady at 15.5 lbs. She is very muscular from running and jumping around all day at home but she's just a very slender gal. Her face has lightened up a little more and there's a little more light in her eyes. She doesn't play with other dogs besides Shio and would rather chase squeaky balls around a park.

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?

Freedom for Shio

The first thing you see when you walk into our apartment is Shio's wire crate sitting the living room. You could only imagine my surprise when I opened the door on Friday evening after a long day of work and saw the door wide open with no Shio inside! Where was Shio?!  I took a couple of steps in and saw Shio hanging out on the couch in the middle of a glorious mess he created during the afternoon. He saw me and instantly ran over to greet me and let me know how proud he was of the interior re-decorating he did that day. Turns out that the replacement dogwalker I used that day decided not to put Shio back into the crate when they came back from their afternoon walk.

After surveying the damage, we found that we lost one throw pillow, two separate corners of a wall and several different spots on the floor to teething. Needless to say, J and I were not happy campers and will not be using that dogwalker again... ever.

On the up side, Shio has excellent bladder control.