Twiba-Interview: Tokyo

Our next guest is the babe of the Twiba community -- Tokyo!!

<S>: Shio / <T>: Tokyo

<S>: It is great to be able to interview you -- you are the first female Twiba I managed to get to interview!!!

<T>: Pawsome! I'm honored to get this exclusive interview! What would you like to know about me?

<S>: First off, is it true that you and Prince Zuko are dating? I think all the Twibas out there are dying to know the details!!

<T>: No comment. Next question, please.

<S>: Your San Diego home looks pretty sweet. It seems your pawrents and mine have similar good tastes, and also have set aside special areas for us. Can you tell us some other special features of your crib?

<T>: Well, my crib is on the 18th floor of a high-rise condo in downtown San Diego, which happens to be a very fun dog friendly city. Everyday after my morning walk, I like to stop by the concierge desk in my lobby to get a post-walk treat before heading back upstairs. David is my favorite concierge because he always gives me the biggest treats. This is probably one of the best features of living in a high-rise, extra treats!! Back upstairs, I like to spend the rest of the morning chillin on my balcony. It has comfy couches for relaxing in the warm sun. It's also a great place for me to monitor the comings-and-goings of my neighbors on their balconies.

Inside my crib, one of my favorite furniture items is something called the Pierre Paulin Orange Slice chair. Strangely, our chairs are brown and not orange. Anyway, my people say the chair wasn't originally conceived for dogs and cats, but let me tell you, this chair has a design highly suited for animal napping. Thank goodness we have two Orange Slice chairs in my  house, because my meowie brother Capone also likes to nap there. If you don't have this chair Shio, you should definitely get one for your crib.

<S>: You travel on air a lot! Can you tell us about what that is like, and how easy or difficult it is for Shibas to fly? Especially for the cross-country flights...

<T>: Oh yes, I'm a jet set shiba. I started flying with my people right away when I was not quite 6 months old. So far I've been on 12 in cabin flights, 10 of which were cross-country. I'm very comfortable in my soft carrier, so that helps keep me calm during the long flights. During the flight, I have to stay inside my carrier tucked under the seat in front of my people. I would much rather sit on the seat and look out the window, but it's not allowed. *huff*

As far as size, I would say shibas are a good size for flying in cabin up to 13 lbs. Any bigger - 14 lbs to 16 lbs - can get iffy with the airline people since shibas tend to be proportionally taller than other dogs of that weight and we don't fit under the seat space as well.

<S>: What has been your favorite destination so far?

<T>: I love going to any destination where there are other shibas of course! For the last two years, I flew to the east coast for Christmas and got to play in the snow. We don't have snow in San Diego so it was fun to play in the fluffy white stuff. I also love going to Arizona a couple times throughout the year to play with my other twiba friends, Taro, Rinji and Mika. I love running super fast, so any place where I can be leash free is a favorite for me.

<S>: You also provide a lot of good tips for humans in terms of shiba-friendly tools. What is your favorite right now?

<T>: For one, I have my own bag always packed by the front door to expedite my outings - whether it be a weekend getaway, a lunch at a city cafe or a trip to the dog park. It makes it super convenient for my people to grab my bag and be out the door. When we get to the destination, it always makes me happy to sniff "my bag" and I know all is good.

The bag I use is by Mountainsmith and while it's not marketed as a dog bag, it has a thick rubber bottom and is perfect for dogs. Inside my bag I keep a water bowl, water bottle, toys, balls, extra leash, pet wipes, bags, dryer towel, lint roller, hand wipes for my people, etc. It makes it extra easy to be a shiba on the go.

<S>: Thank you so much for spending some time here! Please come to Brooklyn soon!

<T>: Thanks for the interview Shio. I would love to come visit you! *checks map for fastest route to Brooklyn*

Photos provided by Tokyo.

Twiba-Interview: Kaiju

It is our pleasure to have Kaiju as our second Twiba-Interview guest.

<S>: Shio / <K>: Kaiju

<S>: First of all, I want to say that your website is very cool. Your pawrents have some skills! The layout is neat and the photos are GREAT!!!

<K>: Thanks! My hudad is a Web designer. He did a good job of building the website exactly as I envisioned. My humom likes taking photographs and documenting. Her pictures are definitely awesome… Besides, I'm in them, ya know!

My humans were so excited about getting me that they made the Web site way before I arrived. It made the waiting easier, I think. When I got injured, documenting the positives helped them through the tough time. For me, it's helped me make lots of awesome Shiba (redundant, I know) friends. I'm happy they work hard to maintain the site for me.

<S>: That IS pawsome. Having a Web designer hudad must be handy. Tell us a little more about your injury... We are all very glad you are now totally fine, but looking back, what do you think of the incident now? The clinic seemed so totally incompetent!!

<K>: Yah.... My humans get sad whenever they see my bent leg and worry that my knees may be hurting, but they feel fine to me. I can run, and play with other dogs. I can hike. I have no problem laying down and sleeping. I think I'm good!

I really try not to think about that day. I don't want to hold grudges. I know that they didn't mean to hurt me. Just sometimes, though, when I see something suspicious, I can't help remembering that pain and just want to get AWAY. I just hope that someone reads my story, and is extra careful when handling Shiba puppies. If that prevents it from happening again, then I'm happy. But yah… it was totally incompetent… I guess that's why they have that saying 'She's only human'. Makes total sense, doesn't it?

<S>: BOL! *High paw!*

<K>: He he! To tell you the truth, I don't remember all the details of the incident itself. One moment I was in the arms of the technician, and the next, I was crying on the floor, in pain. I do remember the surgeries and the stays at the bigger hospital more clearly. It was so scary with all those strangers and noisy metal equipments. I also remember that my surgeon loved me… she was very sweet. When I cried (well, the humans called it screaming but whatever) because I was so scared while laying on the X-ray table, she came back to hold me and pet me for 10 minutes until I felt better.

For small things like routine visits and quick checkups, we still go to the same clinic where the accident happened. The vet's handling of the incident has been, for most part, appropriate. The only thing that bothers us to this day is seeing the same technician still working there. Unfortunately, between my humans, there is only one moving crate, and this clinic is the only one in walking distance. Until the humans figure out something else, I think we're sticking with this place. For anything that is not routine, my humans will insist on going to the big hospital.

<S>: Makes a lot of sense. You are very brave.

<K>: Brave... that's a word I don't hear very often to describe me. BOL! I know my humans would love me to be that...

<S>: How have your humans helped you become more outgoing? By the way, I understand how you feel. We Shibas are too superior to "socialize" with everybody... Not sure why it is such a big deal...

<K>: Wait, who said I wasn't outgoing! I love my fellow dogs! I'm pretty happy at dog parks. It's where I'm most outgoing, I think. I even go straight up to big dogs and ask them to play with me. Most of them are very nice, although when they run over me and I roll, my humans get nervous about my knees snapping.

On the other hand, strange humans are not to be trusted. I don't want those people to come near me. I prefer to come to them, you know? Some people are ok though. They just need to earn my respect first. Playing with me is the key to my heart… if you smell ok. I think it's best to take a cautious whiff before deciding.

Anyway, my humans have been really focusing on letting me decide things for myself, and they try not to push me too hard (though the definition of 'too hard' is highly debatable!). When people ask if they could touch me, my humans have been saying "no", way more often than before. Sometimes they even stand between me and the adoring crowd to protect me. I haven't had to walk in commercial areas in a long time, and they always watch the state of my tail so they can get me out of bad situations quickly. They are like my Secret Service.

They also take me to really fun places like woods, lakes, and dog parks as often as they can. Oh, and I take some nasty tasting meds that my humans cleverly hide in treats. I still don't like routine walks, though. I worry a lot about noisy and moving things, and I give my humans a hard time by sitting down and pulling back. I even refuse to look at where we are going. Really, I just don't see the point. Walks are overrated and too stressful for everybody involved.

So, you see, I'm working hard at campaigning an idea here. I say, just eliminate all the routine walks, and stick to driving to dog parks, state parks, and my grandhumans' backyard! ...but you know, I'm still honing my mind control skills.

<S>: Agree! I hate the routine walks too. As you know, I protest all the time!

<K>: I know! My humans find your protests so endearing and hilarious. When I protest, though, they don't find it funny at all. Not fair!

<S>: I am very jealous that you seem to go everywhere (the city, the beach, canoeing, hiking...). Camping seems very awesome -- can you tell us other Twibas more about what camping with the humans is like?

<K>: Yeah…it's pretty awesome, though it's not always with JUST my humans… I feel like they always have a bunch of other people around, which totally cramps my style… Can't it just be US!? But besides that part… I like sleeping in the tent with my humans… We all get to cuddle really close.

And then there's the nature. That is the best! I have endless things to examine and study. Everything smells so interesting out there, and the pinecones feel extra good to chew on! There are no cars, no weird things that make stupid noises, like horns, or rolling bag things. Its super quiet. Just trees moving in the wind… like it's supposed to be. And even when I'm in the tent, I can smell everything outside. It's pretty wild.

Another awesome thing about camping is all of the random food that falls into my mouth. I get bits of sausages, bacon, some grilled meat!... things I'm never allowed to eat at home.

In a way, maybe my mind control IS working.  I think they take me to all those quiet pretty nature places because that's where I'm happiest. This means they plan their activities around me (well, except when they go out in town by themselves, which I think they should stop). I win!

<S>: You like to cuddle!? Whoa!!

<K>: You don't? I don't cuddle them too often, but when they cuddle me, I like it.

So, are you and your humans going camping any time soon?

<S>: My pawrents are not so big on camping, but when we go to new places like Newport, Maine, I get very excited.

<K>: I've been to Newport! Just the Cliff Walk and the beach, though. And the water was cold. I liked it!

<S>: Let's talk about the water -- what is up with the swimming?! I have never seen a Shiba swim!?!?

<K>: He he. I get asked this question a lot. I started swimming as part of my knee surgery rehab. Everyone said I wouldn't be able to do it, cuz i'm a shiba. That talk made me want to prove everyone wrong! The truth is, I don't love it or anything. Don't get me wrong, Water is really cool. I like having it around. I just wish it weren't so wet! My favorite part of swimming is that moment I get out of the water. I shake myself off, and I'm just so happy to be out of there!

I do recognize that I'm a good swimmer, and also that it's a really good exercise. Plus my humans get so happy when I swim! There are a lot of things I won't do for them… so it's good to give them something to feel good about once in a while.

<S>: As much as I secretly love my humans, I am not about to go swimming for them... Hehe...

Thanks for doing this interview my friend. Maybe we can play together some time since you are on the east coast as well!!

<K>: Yah! I can't do cities, but it sounds like a meetup somewhere on LI is a possibility. I can't wait...

Thanks for inviting me to the interview. I'm super honored!

Photos provided by Kaiju.

Twiba-Interview: Prince Zuko

We are starting a new (hopefully to become a) series on our blog: Twiba-Interviews, whereby Shio will interview some of his Twiba friends and feature them on his blog. For those that don't know, a Twiba is a Shiba who tweets! First up, we have Prince Zuko, a Twiba celebrity.

<S>: Shio / <Z>: Prince Zuko

<S>: First of all, it is an honor that you have agreed to be interviewed. How did you become a Prince anyway?

<Z>: Well, all Shibas iz Royalty! But I wuz named after a master firebender, Prince Zuko, from the cartoon Avatar the Last Airbender. My hoomans thought my red coat indicated I might have a firey nature.

<S>: That is pawsome. I was named after ramen, and the fact that I was licking salt off my dad's hand when they went to pick me up... What about your blog? Why did you have your humans start it?

<Z>: BOL! Ramen! My blog - I wuz jealous of my Shiba friends having a blog! I started out on Twitter and the first blogs I found wuz Snick the Dog's and yours! After that I noticed more Shiba blogs and thought it wuz only fair that my hoomans blog about my awesomeness too!! Humom says other Shiba blogs helped her stay sane when I wuz a puppy and she wanted to maybe help some other people along the way. I haz no idea what this means. The blog is about me being awesome. Period.

<S>: Agreed! I don't understand why humans find it weird that we are not like other dogs. Of course we are not! We are BETTER.

<Z>: I totally agree! High-paw!

<S>: What is it like being royalty in San Francisco? Where do you hang out?

<Z>: Iz ruff being royalty in a big city - everywhere I go, the pupperazzi find me! People take my picture all the time and try to pet me. *huff*. I no like random strangers trying to pet me so I back away from them - do not touch the royal fur! My hudad has a saying "everyone luvs Zuko" because so many people tell him how awesome I am. Sometimes peeple call me "pretty" which is rude.

I luv going to Ft. Funston dog beach and chasing things and getting super dirty. I also like to hang wif my hoomans at the outside cafes cuz they give me nommy treats for being adorable. We go shopping too because the stores here are nice to dogs and usually have treats. We go to this one store that sells cooking stuff and the ladies there LUV me and talk about me all the time.

<S>: Oh wow. Sounds like San Francisco stores are a bit more dog-friendly than NY. Humans here try to do the same thing to me - always trying to pet my head. NO WAY.

<Z>: I agree! Don't touch my head. Or my feet. On my "slower" days, I also really enjoy baking in the sun and sleeping on humom's pillow.

<S>: Me too me too! Except I bake indoors so I don't have to be out in the NY heat. YUCK! Tell me about hiking with your mom. I don't enjoy walking so much... What makes it fun for you?

<Z>: Hiking iz the one place there aren't many pupperazzi - so I can just be a dog and not a celeb. Plus, I really like sniffing new things and then pee-ing on them. I luv climbing and there are LOTS of hills. My humom also needs me to guard her from rabbits, coyotes and mountain bikers so I haz to go and protect her. Sometimes she gets us lost and I get really worn out. That isn't so great. *huff*

<S>: Hmmm... Maybe I need to try hiking some time. Generally, I get bored really quick and I lay on the ground and protest! That is, unless I am allowed off-leash. A lot of humans ask my parents how I could be trusted off-leash. I see that you have also achieved Shibaquatch status. What tips do you have for other shibas who are not yet freed from their oppressive humans?

<Z>: My hoomans will only let me off leash in open areas (where they can always see me) like the beach or at a lake by our howse.  I haz spent YEARS training my hoomans to hand over turkey pepperoni or cheeze when I come back to them and look cute. Iz about trust - the more you come back, the more they will trust you and RELAX and not be all worried that you are going to disappear or get in trouble.  Humom says my "radius" from her is bigger than she likes, but she haz learned that I will not go past my comfort zone. It just happens to be well past her comfort zone. *huff* Hoomans really over think these things sometimes.

<S>: I know! They worry and start chasing me while I'm off-leash, and then I run away just to scare them a bit. Hee hee... It is a fun game (but they don't like it).

<Z>: I play same game! But then my hoomans starting running AWAY from me. And being a mighty Shiba hunter, I now chase them.

<S>: Anything else you want to say to address your loyal subjects?

<Z>: Twibas rule.

<S>: Agreed! Thanks so much for doing the interview!

Photos provided by Prince Zuko.