Monday, November 26, 2012

Love thy Beach

Maggie at Montara Beach.
Turning into one of those lazy bloggers that only update once a month....
Maggie would like everyone to know that her owners took advantage of the spectacular fall weather we've been having here in SF Bay up until this week.... now it feels like winter has finally arrived. We had many fun days at Fort Funston this year and it was a milestone for Maggie in that she can get into the ocean (or any water hole). She's even been pinched by a dungeness crab and learned her lesson!

Random photo of jellyfish taken at California Academy of Sciences.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Neglected Blog

Maggie is a bit disappointed that her owner has neglected to update her blog for weeks. It's because her owner discovered the wonderful tool that is Instagram and keeps posting there. She has been having lots of fun this month, since we have relatives staying from out of town and she gets to come along too! So far, we've been to Fort Funston, Twin Peaks, The Haight, Pt.Isabel, Berkeley, Land's End and Golden Gate Park. It's so great that Maggie can come to all these places with us and some stores are even dog-friendly! We are hoping to squeeze in some day trips out of the city as well.
More to come.... (p.s. sorry to those who prefer the term "pet guardians" to "owners"!)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Indian summer in SF

It was 2 days long. lol
So we rushed to the nearest watering hole so that Maggie could have some splash!

Maggie loves the water but she still doesn't know that she can swim....

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fur trap

Does your lint trap ever look like this?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Innercity Adventure

Thanks to the wonderful geology of San Francisco, there are spots you can take your dog on mini-hikes that will please even the most bored Shiba.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Not going home

Maggie refuses to go home after a whole hour at the park.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Maggie in WILD mode @ FF

Does your Shiba lie in wait to ambush on other dogs? Maggie loves to do this!

Maggie's favorite place in the world (we think).

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fourth Furmination

This summer and still shedding strong...
How do you all Shiba owners keep your sanity?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Beach dog

There's no doubt in my mind that Maggie was a marine animal in her former life. Maybe a seal or an otter (even though she's scared to swim in deep water). She just loves the beach more than anywhere else!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The don't leave me at home look

Mobile entry

It makes sense to go mobile. Don't want to fall behind this mobile age...

This was parked at Esprit park last night on our walk.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Maggie gets teased

The queen of manipulation

Maggie always lets us know:

 When she's having the time of her life at the beach or;

When she's at home bored out of her mind.

I always give in to her expressions and end up taking her somewhere fun or giving her a treat. 
Dogs have got it down.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Summer Camping

This past weekend we camped with Maggie at Lake Chabot Regional Park in Castro Valley, CA.
It was a beautiful place with lush green trees and Eucalyptus everywhere. It was a perfect getaway; not too far or too close to the city.

Maggie volunteered to keep watch around our campground. She was extremely vigilant the whole time and woofed at other campers and at wild turkeys roaming in the area. It seems that everytime we are out camping, Maggie cannot relax like she does at home. We think that she didn't even enjoy her barbequed chicken because she was so busy keeping watch.

"Must keep watch at all times."

We also went on a long hike along the lake. It was a hot day so it was difficult for Maggie to keep up with us. Somehow she managed to do the whole hike which was about a total of 6 miles.

Hiking around Lake Chabot

The next day, we decided to go on a row boat (like the time in Yosemite) at the lake. Maggie was pretty much scared the whole time, sitting on our laps shaking and panting uncontrollably. She gladly got off the boat as soon as we embarked.... I guess it's not the same as playing around the shore.

"What an ordeal. I'm never getting back on that boat again."
It was a short but a fun camping trip, and Maggie is now glad to be home. I'm sure we'll do this again next year or maybe even sooner. Minus the boat ride.

All tuckered out.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Homemade Dog Food

Lately I have been thinking of ways to make meal time a little more interesting for Maggie. Being a Shiba, she seems to get bored easily. I usually feed her kibble in the morning and raw at night. She seems to be doing very well on this diet, but she always has this look on her face like, "Is that it?"

Today I decided to make some home made treats. She usually gets dry, crunchy things like cheese biscuits and jerky-type snacks. I found many dog biscuit recipes online but they all call for flour and some kind of oil, both of which dogs do not need in their diet. I decided to concoct my own recipe with ingredients at hand.

I took some freeze-dried chicken giblets and dried cheese and ground them to a relatively fine powder in the food processor. To that I mixed about a 1/4 c. of Sojos (dehydrated vegetable mix), an egg, a bit of water and a bit of soy powder. And then I just formed them into little discs and baked them off for about 15 min. Voila!

The consistency turned out to be not like a cookie or biscuit, but rather a hard, dense muffin. lol.
I'm not sure how particular dogs are about mouthfeel, but this treat is wheat-free, all-natural, high-protein, and probably delicious! You can add your own flavoring or supplements too, if your dog needs them.

Maggie practicing her "WAIT".
If you think about how short a dog's life is, you want your dog to enjoy life like the rest of us. Eating is definitely up there on the list of dog's life's pleasures. 
I will post more recipes as I (and Maggie) try them out.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pet Peeves (with regarding to dogs)

I have a few pet peeves that I would like to share. I'm sure many of you share the same peeves as I do. It's more like a rant, actually.

1. Dog owners not picking up poop. Let's face it. If you're going to have a dog, the poop pickup is part of owning a dog. No exception.
(except maybe if your dog poop is really runny and decides to do it in a bunch of tall grass)
 I can't stand how every corner of San Francisco is littered with dog poop. (some human too!!)

2. Dogs sticking their head out of a car in motion. It looks truly fun for the dog, but it can be quite dangerous for both the dog and the driver. Cell phone drivers also drive me nuts, but you're not really doing your dog a favor by putting it in danger. If you must, have someone in the passenger seat restrain the dog while it sticks its head out the window. Simple.

3. Dog owners getting sooo upset after a bit of scuffle at the dog park. Another fact of life. Dogs get into arguments, just like humans. If you are so upset by even the slightest possibility that another dog may attack your dog, keep it out of dog parks. Dogs that attack other dogs must be controlled but that is not to say that your dog may become aggressive if instigated by another dog. I know, because Maggie gets a little feisty when a dog she doesn't like attempts to dominate her.

4. "Dog Biscuits" sold at Petco. There are doggie treat bars near the cash register at Petco that sell human cookies made to look like they are for dogs. I read the ingredients list and it contains everything that a creme cookie for humans would. Sugar, flour, butter, etc. It's like they decided to take some old cookies that people didn't buy and sell it to dogs. Not cool. I can assure you this is the way to foster obese pets. Don't even think about buying them!! (unless you're going to eat them)
I'm not even going to start with all the other "junk" pet foods that these stores have to offer.

5. People that bring dogs into stores that are clearly not for pets and those who have bogus "service dog" dogs. It really irks me to see people with their chihuahuas inside Safeway or Walgreen's. Your dog does not belong in these places. It isn't really their fault that they were able to get a "service dog" status for their chihuahuas or shi tzus, but you know it's BS and they know it too. Don't abuse privileges for people that actually need dogs to live their lives.

Maggie says: "Follow the Rules."

I believe people do not have the right to own dogs if they cannot follow such simple rules. And if you can't even follow these rules, I say don't even think about having kids!!!
This is not really directed to the reader (you), but I hope that one day people will grow a brain and realize this since I see so much of this going on everyday, everywhere.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Happy pups

Maggie and ChiChi are Esprit Park regulars.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Maggie's 4th of July

How was everyone's 4th of July? Maggie and family spent it at Del Valle Regional Park near Livermore, CA. It was close to 30 degrees hotter than what we are used to in SF and it actually felt like summer!! This was a perfect place for Maggie since the water was shallow and warm enough for her to splash around in.

 For Maggie, the main fun was diving into the Lake after a grueling hike under the sun in the arid valley. This time, we didn't even have to coax her into the lake; she just went trotting into the water on her own. She had so much fun fetching the ball and even swimming a little bit. She seems to be a bit weary swimming in the deeper waters, but she now knows she can swim! (and use her tail as a keel)

"Should I get those ducks or the ball...?"

"Who knew playing in the water would be this much fun?!"

Maggie resting in the shade after a swim.
Dogs are so much fun to be with outdoors in the summertime, wouldn't you agree?

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Maggie on the lookout

Shiba books

I needed to stop myself before I bought an entire collection of Shiba Inu books and magazines in Japan. There is a monthly magazine called "Shi-ba" where Shiba Inus from all over Japan are featured, including one that have been made famous on blogs and youtube.

The comic books are about the Shiba Inu's everyday life and their little nuances. It makes me laugh because everything in the book is about Maggie.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Shibas in Japan

In the Land of the Shibas, you see them more frequently as you would a Lab or Golden Retriever here in the U.S. Everytime we encountered a Shiba I made sure to take pictures and pose with them when possible.

A few interesting facts came to my attention about Japanese Shibas:
- many are unkempt and tied to their house
- they are kept as watchdogs outside
- some are very friendly while others are very guarded
- puppies in petshops can cost up to $1600

I'm sure that there are plenty indoor, well-groomed Shibas as well, but it seems that overall the Japanese actually keep Shiba Inus to guard their houses. Good to see that they are still useful to society!

Another surprising thing was that in Japan, they have breed-specific dry dog food. I found one for Shibas but could not bring it with me because it was in a big bag.

Treats from Japan

Just yesterday, we (the owners) came back from a 10-day trip to the Land of rising Shibas (a.k.a. Japan). Maggie was not able to come with us to see her modern-day cousins, but she did get some yummy treats and boy did she love them! We found cheese and chicken flavored "furikake" that can be sprinkled on top of your ordinary kibble and turned into a delicious meal!

We assumed that, since food in Japan is so damn delicious, so are dog food. They must be chock-full of umami.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Shiba meetup fail

This weekend we took Maggie to Shiba Inu Party 2012 in  Novato, Ca. This was our first Shiba meetup, and we had heard that this was the biggest on the west (read it somewhere online so please don't quote me) so we were pretty excited. Knowing how playful she is with Goji, her white Shiba friend, we thought that Maggie would be delighted to play with other Shibas....

Unfortunately, Maggie wouldn't let any Shiba near her and she bared teeth at any dog that came by. It didn't help that this was at a leash-only dog park. (Maggie can be somewhat leash-aggressive)
We just ended up observing all the Shibas from afar and not participating.

Tora: let's play!!!  Maggie: I don't think so.
Maggie: "please get me out of here..."
All the other Shibas having fun.

So in the end, we ended up taking Maggie to the beach where she had the most fun retrieving tennis balls. *sigh* I guess we will attempt another meetup next time where it's off-leash. On another note, Maggie has been getting some serious play time at the beach. Every time we go, she becomes more brave and goes farther into the ocean.

Maggie: "I much prefer this."