Week 1 with Goo Goo

Tired GG

We're into week #3 with Goo Goo so I'm behind on our fostering updates. The only thing I want to do lately is lounge around with my Shibas. Overall, fostering has been a great experience. It took us a very long time to take the leap to open up our place to another dog especially with one whom we have little information on the history of. However, knowing that we would be saving a life made the decision much easier. Goo Goo came to us on Friday, 10/21 and we didn't know what to expect at all. We knew her name, that she was 11 months old, a black and tan female, and held in our email inbox a picture of her beautiful face. Word on the Shiba block was that she enjoyed being held like a baby. Everything else would be a surprise. And a surprise it was. We met outside a Brooklyn dog run and at 15 lbs, Goo Goo had a much tinier frame than I expected. Her fur was coarse and dry. She had a bald spot on the base of her tail where fleas decided to nest once upon a time. One thing that was hard to miss was that she was violently shaking with fear. She had just been spayed the day before and was terrified though her large brown eyes still held a doe-like innocence to her whole being.

The first night was spent trying to hide under any dark place that she could crawl under. This included pulling her out from under parked cars after she wedged herself next to the tire. We did everything we could to avoid carrying her so that we wouldn't pull on the stitches on her swollen abdomen. She was too afraid to eat. She was too afraid to pee or poop. She finally found quiet solace in our crate that was covered to give her the cave-like zen she craved. The only time her eyes lit up that night was when I presented Shio's meatloaf to her and she hungrily gobbled it up as if she hadn't eaten for days. That was the beginning of my bonding experience with her. Shio followed her around but kept a respectable distance away from her. Our hearts wept for her on that first night.

The second day, we brought her out to Long Island so that she could be in a place that mimicked her old suburban environment. She was still swollen and sore from her surgery but made the journey with us. Her whole fragile being stole the hearts of Kaiju's hudad and his human grandparents during our #twiba meet up. We rejoiced when she crouched down and peed in Kaiju's backyard. Her tail lifted into a fallen question mark shape unlike the last 24 hours where it hung limp from fear. Then she spent the rest of the day hiding under couches and cars again. Small steps.

On the third day, we spent time sitting outside with her so she would get used to the new outdoor noises that she would experience. She peed and pooped once each. We did a little dance to celebrate. She still hid in her crate but was more curious about her new environment. Slow and steady progress for this girl. Shio patiently waited outside her crate each morning for her to emerge - he's a champ.

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Fast forward to the one week point, she was still scared while outside but noticeably less. She was very curious about her surroundings and had regular bathroom breaks. She let dogs sniff her and sniffed in return. Her stitches were almost fully healed and we went for our first vet visit. The vet praised her for being a great Shiba and gave her many treats. She started replying to Shio's desperate attempts to get her to play with play bows and chomping at his face. He loved it so much and could barely contain himself. She was excited to be fed, ate treats from anyone at the dog run, and wanted to be outside of her crate all the time to spend time with us in the living room. She even picked out a favorite spot on the couch to sleep in. Each time she saw me walking up towards her at the top of the stairs, she flattened her ears and jumped up to give me excited puppy kisses all over my face. It was a real transformation in just one week. Everything from here on forward was just to sit back and continue to watch her blossom. Oh, and she LOVES to be held like a baby, just like they said she would.

All this progress was made in just ONE week.

So far, this is an experience that I wouldn't trade for the world.

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.