Monday, September 13, 2010

Sally comes for a visit...

It's not often that Jazz gets to see Sally the Pug anymore.  For a while it was a daily occurance...then it drifted down to weekly...and now, it's sporadic.  A pipe burst the apartment where my niece & brother live, so that had to relocate everything so the complex could re-carpet.  Sally came over and spent the night.  Jazz & Sally's friendship had some bumps early on - much growling and snapping on Jazz's part and wounded pup looks on Sally's.  Over time, Jazz began to tolerate and then to play with Sally.  She's still a bit rough with Sally - even though Sally does a good job holding her own now that she's older.
Things that I noticed:
1. Pugs by nature of their smooshed nose are noisy breathers.  Sally grunts like a pig and is a bit of a barker.
2. Jazz is extremely quiet in comparison, but when Sally began barking a lot, she added in a couple of quiet woofs - just in case they were necessary.
3. Jazz only likes to play on her terms - when she wants and how she wants.  She was not fond of Sally initiating the play - I equate it to not bowing before the Queen before addressing her.
4. My bed is the most important place in the world to Jazz - she defended it from Sally while Sally slept in her crate during the night.  Kid you not, she was at the edge closest to Sally and stared down at the crate all night.
5. When Sally broke the rule about laying on my pillows, Jazz turned into a tattle tale.
6. I love the non-smell of my shiba.
7. Walking two dogs that are not used to walking together is not always a great experience but is fun to watch.
Sally has gone back home, but I was glad to get to see her for a little while.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

These are the 4 shots in sequence.

Jazz & Photography

I love to see pics of Jazz - that being said, I rarely photoshop her images.  Maybe it's because I take so many.  I recently had some downtime and took a photo that Angie Wheeler of Angie Wheeler Photography took and played with it.  Basically, I started off with the original color copy, desaturated the area at 100% around Jazz.  Then, I blurred the background quite a bit.  After this, I smudged the photo to get some cool background.  Then I dodged the highlights to bring out the green in the bench that I hadn't fully desaturated.  I like the way it turned out - very groovy to me....

Friday, August 13, 2010

Dogs & Cars

For a dog lover, I think one of the worst things you can do is to hit a dog with a car. Many times, there is truly nothing you can do other than stop and hope to find the owner.  In my 20+ years of driving, I've hit 3 dogs.  Each time, I've come away mad at the owner of the dog.  One time, it was a black puppy on a night with no moon and no lighting.  I had previously stopped at the house of the owner to give him back his puppies that were playing in the road.  When I hit this one and took his poor lifeless body back to the owner – his statement was, "One less to try and find a home for, I guess" – that has stuck with me for the last 15 years. 


Last night, I was driving home on a back road.  Due to the curves, I was only going about 30 mph when I see a dog running toward the road.  I begin to slow down and the dog turns around and heads back into the field.  As I am nearing the area where the dog was at, he's nowhere to be seen.  Then, all of sudden, the dog bolts out in front of me and I locked down the brakes.  Thank goodness no one was behind me.  The dog is pushed forward 20 or 30 feet, tumbling the entire time.  He gets up and keeps running.  I went to get out and the guy (who I assumed was his owner) yells to me, "he's okay, I'll take care of it." 


My issue is – why was your dog loose.  The county in which I live has a leash/fence law.  It's a law that goes unattended as I run into off-leash dogs all the time when I walk the Queen.  My biggest fear is Jazz getting loose – I have as many safeguards as I can to prevent it.  Protect your dog – keep it within a fence or on a leash.


Monday, August 2, 2010

It's hot...really hot

Summer is not my favorite time of year - it is simply too hot.  This summer seems hotter than it's ever been (it probably isn't).  I don't remember ever having this many 90 degree days in one (probably every summer for the last 10 years).  Add in the fact that I have a dog who doesn't like the heat or the cold or the wet...and I spend most of my weekends indoors with the Queen.  Her preference would be for me to sleep most of the day beside her, getting up to get fresh ice cubes for her water, a snack, maybe some dinner, and lay back down for a nap.
I totally get it - every time I go out the heat drains any energy I might have had....needless to say, the Queen and I anxiously await cooler temperatures so that we can be out and about a lot more...

Friday, July 30, 2010

from southern living

While not a normal posting about the Queen, this is more a note on how to treat the Queen's handler...


Sent to you by LJ via Google Reader:


via Blue-Eyed Bride by Blue-Eyed Bride on 7/29/10

A few days ago I was going through all of the magazines in my house and tearing out things I liked. Recipes, home decor, articles. And then I filed them all away in page protectors and put them in binders.

I think I threw away about 35 magazines. I try to do this every year, but I always like to hang onto the issues of Southern Living magazine. When I was flipping through the magazines I found this great article and knew that Hudson would need to see it someday. Because someday he'll take a girl out for pizza and a movie. And someday he'll take a girl as his date to a football game– hopefully an SEC football game. And I want him to have an idea of what she may be expecting from him.

I thought I'd share it with all of you to share with your sons and daughters, if you haven't already.

If you're not a southerner you may not appreciate it the way I do, but I like it enough to put it on my blog. I like chivalry. I like to think of myself as independent, sure, but I also like chivalry. And I want my son to treat his future wife, girlfriends, dates, and friends the way that we've always been taught that a man should treat a lady. Especially in the South where traditions don't die easily.

15 Ways to Charm Her

Southern Living, July 2009

By Amy Bickers

"Want to impress a Southern girl? Just think "What would my grandfather have done?"

Number one: We still expect you to give up your seat for a lady. On a bus, at a bar, on a train. . . we don't care where you are. Unless you are at a restaurant and the only lady in sight is the one taking your order, stand up. Now.

On a recent Friday night at a bustling restaurant bar, two friends and I waited for our table to be called. The barstools were occupied so we stood patiently, sipping wine and chatting about the workweek. When a couple nearby stood up, another woman – who had been there less time than we had – swooped in, reaching across us to put her purse on the stool. This isn't the worst part. It's what happened next: Her male companion then slid onto the other barstool.

Hang on while I do a geography check. Are we not in the South? If ladies are waiting for a seat and you have a Y chromosome, do you sit down? No, sir. No, you do not.

We know modern life is confusing. The roles of men and women have evolved over the years. As Pink once sang, "Shorty got a job, Shorty got a car, Shorty can pay her own rent."

But come on, let's keep some things old-school. My late grandfather- he of the East Texas upbringing, U.S. Navy captain status, and Cary Grant good looks – would never have allowed a woman to stand while he sat. And if you want a Southern woman to love you, neither will you. So, men, here's a short list of things Southern girls still expect from you.

We still expect you to…

  1. Stand up for a lady. Actually, this doesn't just involve chairs.
  2. Know that the SEC has the best football TEAMS IN THE NATION. Big 12 fan? Hmm, perhaps you should keep walking.
  3. Kill bugs. Delta Burke as Southern belle Suzanne Sugarbaker on Designing Women said, ". . .Ya know, when men use Women's Liberation as an excuse not to kill bugs for you. Oh, I just hate that! I don't care what anybody says, I think the man should have to kill the bug!"
  4. Hold doors open.  This goes for elevator doors too.
  5. Fix things or build stuff. I once watched in awe as my stepfather built a front porch on the house he shares with my mother. He knew just what to do, cutting every notch, hammering every nail. The project was complete by sunset.
  6. Wear boots occaisionally. Not the fancy, l-paid-$l,000-for-these kind. We're talking about slightly mud-crusted, I-could-have-just-come-in-from-the-field boots.
  7. Take off your hat inside.
  8. Grill stuff.
  9. Call us. If you want to ask us out, don't text and don't e-mail. Pick up the phone and use your voice.
  10. Stand when we come back to the dinner table. "Just a little half-stand is enough to make me melt," my friend Stephanie says.
  11. Pull out chairs. Wait, that's not all. Scoot them back in before we hit the floor.
  12. Pay the tab on the first few dates. "If you ask me out, you pay," Stephanie says. "If I ask you out, you should still pay." Listen, guys, it's just simpler this way.
  13. Don't show up in a wrinkled, untucked shirt. Care about your appearance but not too much. Don't smell better than we do. Don't use mousse or gel. You shouldn't look like you spend more time in front of the mirror than we do.
  14. Never get in bar fights. Patrick Swayze might look cool in Road House, but in reality, bar fights are stupid and embarrassing. You don't look tough. You look like an idiot.
  15. Know how to mix our favorite cocktail JUST THE WAY WE LIKE IT. Fix your favorite too. Sit down on the porch (it's okay if you didn't build it), tell us how your day went, and we'll tell you about ours.

We'll leave the long list to the girl who falls in love with you.


Things you can do from here:


Friday, July 16, 2010

Lost your dog?

I have lost a dog before in my life and it is very scary!  These days it is easier to get the info out about your dogs.  Here's a few suggestions:
1. Do not panic! Begin making a flyer that includes clear picture of dog, name of dog, height/weight/breed description. Make sure there is info on how to contact you - a reward is optional - people who are going to help will help regardless of a reward.
2. Call local shelters, animal control, rescues, and vets
3. Visit local shelters, animal control, rescues, and vets with flyer
4. Post it on local community boards, social networking sites, etc.
5. Make sure the microchip info is up to date - old phone numbers & emails make it difficult to track you down.
6. Get out there and look - your dog recognizes your voice.
7. Place an ad in the newspaper.
8. Contact the shelters, animal control, rescues, and vets again - they have different schedules and they may not be posting the info for everyone to find.

A new idea that I've just come across is this:
I don't know what the cost is, but you fill in the info and then can have postcards sent out to people within your zip code with your dog's pic on it - what a neat service.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A blog I truly enjoy!

Our Shibal Inu blog just tickles me. I love the cards and they are now available on etsy - very cool.


Sent to you by LJ via Google Reader:


via Our Shibal Inu by gina on 7/15/10

(click to view larger image)


Things you can do from here:


Saturday, July 3, 2010

I should have known better...

I spend a ton of time being concerned with Jazz's well-being.  I spend a ton of money on harnesses, collars, and leashes.  Today, I gave Jazz a bath.  She does really well with them so that wasn't a problem.  She dried off and I thought it would be a good time to brush her out since she has been shedding so much.  I decided to put her on just a collar to make it easier to brush. I grab the brush, put her on the leash, and head outside.  We walk over to my Adirondack chair and I sit down.  I go to brush Jazz and she is not at the end of the leash.  Her collar is, but she isn't.  Jazz is walking along the driveway being all frisky.  She has on no collar, no leash, nothing.  I immediately get up and run toward the door saying a word that means go to a specific space in the house.  She trots right behind me and to her spot.  I put on a harness and take her back out for brushing.  All's well that ends well, I guess.  Needless to say, I was a little freaked.  Neighbors will be wondering when I got a second job shearing sheep as there are little balls of fluff everywhere.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thunderstorms, Lightning, and Shakes, oh my!

Jazz has issues with three loud noises - thunderstorms, fireworks, and guns.  We've been working on de-sensitizing her on this, but the biggest problem arises due to the inability to predict thunderstorms and hunters.  Fireworks are relatively easy to prepare for - usually the 4th of July & New Year's Eve.  It's easy to dose Jazz with melatonin on those days.  Hunting is easier than thunderstorms and I make sure she's dosed on opening & closing weekends.  Living in the South means unpredictable thunderstorms.  It also means you can have a little bit of thunder everyday. 
Last night, we had a loud thunderstorm come through.  Jazz crawled up into my bed, just trembling.  With most dogs, I'd recommend never to cuddle as it only reinforces the behaviour you are trying to get rid of - but with Jazz, it's different.  In about 3 minutes, she'd stopped trembling completely.  The thunder was still rolling on and about - she was calmly curled up next to me and didn't jump once.  She had no melatonin in her whatsoever.  2.5 years ago - Jazz would have trembled at every roll of thunder and kept trembling for an hour or so after.  Now, she trembles at the start - I equate to a human jumping at being startled, but then she calms down.  She calms quicker if I am home, but as long as there is a human in the house - she's good.  Luckily for her, she is very rarely left alone.
She slept the entire night curled up next to me - a rarity of sorts.  She tends to start off adjacent to me and move to the foot of the bed or onto her ottoman.  While my desensitization to loud stimuli isn't complete, we have definitely made improvements!

Friday, June 25, 2010


Jazz is relatively easy to groom.  Every two weeks, we go to PetSmart to get her nails ground.  Jazz doesn't walk on much asphalt or concrete to naturally file them down.  In fact, when we lived on a road where we could walk on it, Jazz walked in the grass.  She would walk on the road if there was mud or water on the side of the road, but then quickly get back off the road.


Shedding is pretty easy.  We vacuum a lot.  When it is her time to molt, we use the Furminator.  We get enough hair to create another dog.  One has to be careful with the Furminator because it is easy to over-brush and thin the hair too much.  The moment I finish vacuuming, additional dust balls of hair show up – I don't know where they hide until after I finish vacuuming, but they are really good at it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Summer is here!

Well, summer is here - but that doesn't change much when it comes to schedules. The Queen sleeps in a little more during the week. I wish that I was independently wealthy and could be home more. Our electric bill rises dramatically to keep the indoors at the temperature that Jazz likes. Other than that, time keeps marching on and we keep chugging along.

We had a great trip to NC and a wonderful visit with friends. Jazz's photo shoot with Angie Wheeler was awesome! The pics were wonderful and I am still trying to figure out which ones to print. I hear there are plans for a forum NY meetup ( soon - already trying to figure out how I can meet as many forum members as possible and see a bit of the area. It's been a long time since I was in NY.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Travelling with the Queen...

Travelling with Queen Jazz is easier than one might think. She curls up and sleeps the whole way - only waking when the car has come to a complete stop. This pic was taken on our return from Raeford as we made a quick stop at Wal-mart to pick up a few essentials. This weekend, we'll be putting on some miles - 370 to Raeford, NC, 162 to York, SC and then back home to the ATL. We have crates, pillows, blankets, food, water, treats, bowls, leashes, collars, harnesses, poo bags, and more. Always take more than you'll need when it comes to your pet - especially food & water. There's no guarantee that you'll find the specialty food you feed in a small town.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The internet & Jazz…

Years ago when I first got on the information super-highway, I never thought it would be what it is right now. A resource for finding information - sure, keeping in touch with email - great, making friends with people I’d never met because we had the same kind of dog - umm, no. In fact, until a couple of years ago, I would have thought you a little crazy to suggest it. I had a beautiful husky that passed away in 2003 and I was looking for another dog. I found the Shiba and was in love. After I found Jazz, I heard about a site called and found out that there were groups of people with the same type dog that met at local dog parks….so, I tried it out. From there, a couple of friends introduced me to a forum that was just about Japanese dogs. I found hundreds of people willing to share their experiences about their dog and to help out other people just getting involved in the breeds.

This forum has helped me with food choices, training choices, and behavior choices. They’ve consoled me when things didn’t work out and encouraged me to keep trying. They’ve helped a member get a great start on her business. In 10 days, I’m going to be meeting up with several of them after a drive of 6 hours to get there. Last year, I drove to PA for a meetup. Several of my friends drove to WI (some 20 hours for a couple) to meetup with other forum members. I’m thankful for the people God has placed in my life…even if it is through the internet. Jazz has benefitted from it, too - without the internet, I never would have found her breeder and been able to bring her home.

My challenge for dog owners is to look for those forums - they can help out, but be aware, not all forums are created equal. Find those meetup groups, get to know people…after all, we only have a short time on this little planet.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Rotating Food

I have found that many people do not consider the ingredients in the dog food that they buy for their dog. In fact, many look for the cheapest food out there. I’m hoping I can help convince you to look a little closer at the food you feed your pet.

Jazz has issues with grain - specifically, corn. When I got her, she had very little fur on her front paws. She came to me on Eukanuba Sensitive Skin. I began talking with many of my Shiba friends about the fact that her feet weren’t getting any better. The first thing mentioned to me was that Jazz might have a corn allergy. I began doing some research and found out that there are several lines of Shibas that have developed this allergy. I looked at the ingredients of what I had been feeding and while there was not any corn, she was still scratching and her feet looked awful. The formulation might work for dogs just diagnosed, but Jazz’s paws were callused.

I wanted something with a bit more protein.
Eukanuba Sensitive Skin ( :
Nutrient (percent)
Crude Protein not less than 23.00 %
Crude Fat not less than 13.00 %
Crude Fiber not more than 5.00 %
Moisture not more than 10.00 %
Vitamin E not less than 140 IU/kg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids not less than 2.0 %*
Omega-3 Fatty Acids not less than 0.4 %*

After research & recommendations, I decided to try Solid Gold, Barking at the Moon (
Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein, min 41%
Crude Fat, min 20%
Crude Fiber, max 4%
Moisture, max 10%

The first thing I noticed was Jazz ate her food so fast! She really, really liked it. Based on recommendations from some great shiba pals, I also decided to begin a food rotation. The main reason is because of protein levels. I’ve also noticed that most dogs get “bored” eating the same thing day in and day out.

The next on the rotation was Innova Evo, Small Red Bites.
Crude Protein (min) 42%
Crude Fat (min) 22%
Crude Fiber (max) 2.5%
Moisture (max) 10%
Linoleic Acid (Omega-6 Fatty Acids) (min) 1.2%
Carbohydrates NFE (max) 15%
Vitamin E (min) 300 IU/kg
Vitamin C (min) 500 mg/kg
Omega-3 Fatty Acids (min) 0.4%
Docosahexaenoic Acid (min) 0.1%
Total Microorganisms (min) 90,000,000 CFU/lb

Calorie Content: 4,370 kcal/kg 527 kcal/cup

Small Red Bites are a staple on our rotation for a couple of reasons: Jazz always eats her Evo and it is easy to find local to me. We now rotate one bag of Evo in-between every other bag.

In the early days of rotation, I also picked up Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance. This was predominately due to it being a lot more accessible. At the publication of this blogpost, I could not get the website to come up so that I could provide the nutrition information.

Jazz was not as fond of the Natural Balance Dry Food, so I took it off of rotation. She loves the rolls and we use those as training treats because we can cut them up into smaller pieces.

The next brand that we use sparingly is Merrick’s Before Grain Buffalo. Jazz adores this, but it is not easy for me to find it local. When I drive into the city, I swing by one of the places that sells it.
Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein (Not Less Than) 32.0%
Crude Fat (Not Less Than) 15.0%
Crude Fiber (Not More Than) 3.0%
Moisture (Not More Than) 11.0%
Calorie Content:3581 kcal/kg (calculated)
One pound provides 1625 kcal of metabolizable energy (calculated). One cup (100 grams) provides 383 calories. (Caloric content calculated using Modified Atwater Method).

Our most recent addition to Jazz’s rotation is Earthborn Holistic’s Primitive Natural. This is carried by my closest supply store, so I am thrilled Jazz likes this. In addition, if you send your UPC’s to them, they plant trees. It’s a neat marketing gimmick and I send in my UPC’s - currently, they’ve planted 32,800 trees. Everytime, I have going in to my local store to buy this brand, there’s been a coupon attached to it.

Crude Protein, not less than 38.00%
Crude Fat, not less than 20.00%
Crude Fiber, not more than 2.50%
Moisture, not more than 10.00%
Vitamin E, not less than 200 IU/kg
Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), not less than 0.10%*
Omega-6 Fatty Acids, not less than 3.30%*
Omega-3 Fatty Acids, not less than 0.55%*
L-Carnitine, not less than 15 mg/kg*
*Not recognized as an essential ingredient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.
5184 kilo-calories per kg 717 kilo-calories per cup

We have also tried out Acana’s Pacifica - Jazz liked it, but I haven’t found a great local provider yet. We are still on the lookout for a consistent provider.

We tried Jazz on Orijen 6-fish, but chose not to continue because of the gaseous emissions from Jazz. It was unbearable and since she sleeps in my bedroom, it was simply easier to stop feeding her this than wear a gas mask to bed every night during the rotation.
Crude Protein (min) 40.0%
Crude Fat (min) 18.0%
Crude Fiber (max) 3.0%
Moisture (max.) 10.0%
Calcium (min.) 1.5%
Calcium (max.) 1.7%
Phosphorus (min.) 1.2%
Phosphorus (max.) 1.4%
*Omega-6 (min.) 3.0%
*Omega-3 (min.) 1.2%
*DHA 0.7%
*EPA 0.3%
*Carbohydrate (max.) 20.0%
*Glucosamine (min.) 1200 mg/kg
*Chondroitin (min.) 900 mg/kg
Microorganisms (min.) 120M cfu/kg

Well, this is what makes up Jazz’s rotation - what do you do?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bark & Giggle Boutique

When Jazz and I are out and about, I get asked all the time about her collars, leashes, and harnesses. All of Jazz's collars & leashes come from Bark & Giggle Boutique ( - if you can't find a fabric that you are just dying to have on the site (which is very hard to do!!), Pam will be happy to assist you in finding the perfect fabric. Her harnesses were by Puppia and they have done well, but Bark & Giggle has come out with a new Custom-Fit Harness that we'll be picking up this weekend. Jazz's was done in a custom fabric and ties in several of her new collars & leashes. Another friend of mine does the embroidery on her harness so that all know who the queen is. In addition, we have a dog park bag from Bark & Giggle that holds all the stuff we need at the dog park and we'll soon be purchasing one of the slings from Pam. We currently have a sling, but it is not near the quality of a B&G item!

Some may think this is blatant advertising for a company and I guess it is, but when I like a product, I want to make sure everyone knows it!! Next blog article will be about Jazz's food rotation and why I choose the foods that I do. In addition, I want to support small, local owned business that make an impact.