Tofu, the Shiba Inu 

Tofu the Shiba Inu

Tofu at about six months with his new duds by DownDog Duds and Julius K9

A very important event that occurred last year was Tofu’s adoption. He was in a bad situation in a puppy mill, and he was offered to a rescue. I flew to Salt Lake City to pick him up from a volunteer so that he could fly home in the main cabin. He has been a wonderful brother to Riley Annabelle and now they are BFFs. 

Me and baby tofu in SLC

Meeting baby Tofu in SLC

Sad interjection- Lambeau passed away, so there will be no further updates on him. He is still greatly missed, and Tofu is not a replacement in our hearts. He is, however, the new friend that Riley needed to cope with her loss. 

Riley and Tofu

Riley (left) and Tofu

Tofu turned one in August and struggles with anxiety, but now knows how to sit, shake, high five, and lay down. He loves treats and rough housing, and dislikes car rides, the vacuum cleaner, and obeying. 

Tofu in his bow tie by Bailey and Stitch

Tofu in his bow tie by Bailey and Stitch

I can’t possibly resist his little face. Isn’t he just the cutest?! 


Tofu on the couch

Shiba Inu and cat

A Brand New Shiba Inu

lambeauI have very exciting, fluffy news! Riley Annabelle and I have welcomed a new Shiba Inu into our home. For now he is a foster dog (just like Riley was), but that is just a technicality. As long as nothing crazy happens, I will adopt him soon. His foster name is Ace. The only reason he can’t officially be adopted yet is that he came from a rescue ( and, of course, the rescue does not want to contribute to the overflowing pet population. No animal can be adopted out until they have been altered. This little boy is just three and a half months old. After he is neutered, he will be a permanent part of the family. Packers fan that I am, the new puppy’s name will be Lambeau. That is what he goes by at our house now, he is just Ace officially until he is adopted.

Here are some pictures and a video of the new baby with Riley (Riley is just over a year old). Riley is very playful, and loved Lambeau from the very second she saw him. They have had a few squabbles in the two and a half weeks he has been with us, but hardly any. They are best friends and I can tell they will be inseparable. Lambeau is much more outgoing than Riley was at this age. They are both rescues, and I got them both at three months. It’s sad to think what they went through as little tiny babies, but wonderful to see them happy.

baby picture
riding in style  regal lambeau
 Riley and Lambear



Jillian and the No Good, Very Bad Two Days 

 Alternate title: The Day I Lost My Precious Shiba Inu.

Spoiler Alert! Scroll really fast if you want to avoid…

I found her. However, it was unbelievably horrific for me. And everyone that had to be affiliated with me. The first picture is just minutes after she was found, and the second was today (three weeks later). She is back to her fluffy, healthy self. 

Here is what happened- a cautionary tale about how serious it is when a Shiba Inu gets out off leash (something no one without a dog like this doesn’t understand without seeing first hand), but also a story about how there are some amazing people in the world. 

I live in the biggest metro area in my state (Portland, Oregon, so still not anything that huge), and I went to see my sister one Sunday afternoon. My sister lives about an hour and a half away from me, in a much smaller city (it’s about 30,000 people). 

Riley was playing with my sister’s dog, and the two dogs escaped out the front door on Sunday at 1:30 pm. Two of us chased them on foot, and two chased them in an SUV. My sister understands what Shibas are like, so she knew a car would probably by needed to keep up. We were only able to catch my sister’s dog right away. She ran for about a mile, but stopped when my sister caught up and called for her. 

No such luck with Riley. Shiba Inus are very known for running and never coming back. I had been running and calling her for a mile, and I hadn’t even stopped to put on shoes. She just kept running and didn’t even think of stopping. She crossed traffic and ran into a park. None of us were able to see where she went from there. It became obvious to everyone in the park pretty quickly what we were doing. A few people had seen her and tried to direct us to where she had gone. One person lent my sister his bike. Another man helped us look all afternoon. Later that night I ran into the same man again when I was looking with my family. Right after I walked away from him he called out to me- he actually spotted her. Sadly, I was unable to catch her. She was too scared and too far away. It was pitch black at the time and we lost her quickly. This is worth noting. It now gets dark here at about 5 pm, and it was POURING rain almost the entire two days Riley was lost. So, most of the time we could barely see. We looked around the clock and were freezing and soaked most of that time. I forgot what it felt like to have dry feet. At one point I was convinced to stop at Taco Bell for food and the cashier (out of the kindness of her heart) offered me free stuff. Umm, she thought we were homeless. That’s how run down, wet, cold, and traumatized we were. Again, I would like to point out how nice people are. Even though I didn’t need or accept free food, it was nice that she cared. 

I posted an ad on Craigslist (and some friends placed ads other places, and in general helped me advertise that Riley was lost). I got a text from someone who runs a Facebook group for the area, just for lost pets. She quickly added me and I posted our story. Riley’s dad posted a reward, and people started looking. Complete strangers came to help, some from different towns. They searched for hours. At the time I thought it was for the money, but in the end I offered money to all who helped and not one person took it. We needed the help desperately. Every second was living horror and guilt, convinced we would never find her and she was hurt, cold, and/or hungry. 

We looked for Riley for almost two full days with very little food or sleep. This community was amazing, and all of my tips came from there. Sightings of Riley were only thing that gave us hope (and she traveled several miles. Without them we may have never located her). Tuesday morning I was so discouraged and couldn’t get out of bed or stop crying. I was so afraid I would never see her again after Sunday and Monday of searching and not feeling any closer. She is also scared of almost all people, so I knew there were only three people that might be able to grab her.  I was making flyers when my other sister messaged me (from Kansas! Helping long distance!) that Riley had been spotted again. We saw the location and took off. Several people were searching the area. My friend and I turned down a side street at about 8:30 am. He slammed on the brakes and cried out because he saw her. His doors lock automatically and he was trying to open my door and so was I!! I jumped out and she took off. He sped ahead and stopped ahead of where she was. I had her leash, favorite toy, and treats. She ran from him toward me, but was still skiddish. I lured her with her ball. I grabbed at her three times until I had her.
We had a group hug and were in total shock. I fed her a turkey strip treat. She seemed unhurt, but was filthy and lost almost three pounds. Riley seemed just as shocked as we were. She was so happy when she got food, water, and felt safe. She slept for four days straight. The vet examined her and she had a few cuts on her paw pads, but nothing major. I have a step tracker and I walked/ran over 50,000 steps while Riley was lost- roughly translating to 25 miles. Much of the time I was on a bike, and some of the time I was in a car. That time isn’t even counted in the 25 miles. I can only imagine how much ground Riley covered. 

Besides that I never want my dog out of my sight again, I thanked that Facebook group and community SO MUCH for their help. I would never have expected all of the love, help, and prayers from total strangers. One helper cried when I called to tell her we found Riley. Again, a total stranger that just loves animals and wanted to help. Sometimes from trauma comes beauty and love… And that I guess is the circle of life? 

I will have an upcoming post about how to keep a Shiba Inu inside and safe. It’s an ongoing battle, like wrestling a fish. I swear. 

Happy thanksgiving, all of you in the USA!

💛 Jillian 

Riley the Shiba’s First Birthday 

August 31st was Riley’s first birthday. I can’t believe she is already one! She got a few presents and has been having so much fun playing with her new toys.

I forced her to wear the new dress that I bought her, and she actually tolerated it pretty well.

Riley having a little snack from her pile of loot, and Kuma looking on in jealousy.

Sitting like a good girl

Sleepy one year old!
sleepy Shiba

Does anyone else celebrate their pets’ birthdays? I just can’t help it, she’s so precious.

❤ Jillian

Adopting Riley: Shiba Puppy Princess

Riley BelleOn Friday the 16th, our adoption of a very special puppy was complete. We were lucky enough to be chosen to foster and then adopt her from Shibas4Life, a Shiba Inu rescue in Oregon.

Excerpts from Shibas4Life:

“On November 1, 2014, eight puppies were sold at auction. If we didn’t take them they would have been raised to breed their entire life; or, worse, euthanized. On November 4th we were blessed with eight beautiful puppies (with the help of Midwest Shiba Inu Rescue), and now (January 16th) we are blessed with eight wonderful families.”

“Our special gift this year is knowing that they will never be a part of the commercial breeding system that treats animals like products, through the pain and suffering of neglect and abuse.”

Baby Riley As I mentioned in Kuma’s adoption post, I love Shiba Inus. Really, all animals, but my Shibas are very special to me. J used to work from home, and Kuma was lucky enough to have him around all the time. When J took a new job, Kuma was really lonely. I started looking for a new dog to keep him company, but ran into a lot of dead ends. My preference was a rescue, but I knew that a good match for Kuma was our first priority. I had Denise at Shibas4Life on the lookout for me, but no one came up. We even fostered a wonderful Shiba female, but she wasn’t a good match for our family.

Riley was rescued from a puppy mill. The state took all of the dogs and put them up for auction in Missouri. Thankfully, Shiba rescues across the country found out and bought the dogs. The dogs that went to Shibas4Life got immediate vet care, their own room and play yard, and a lot of love. Shibas4Life searched for the perfect homes for the pups, and one of them was mine! The picture of Riley in the green chair is one I saw before I met her. She was so tiny, even an extra small collar was huge on her. She is growing like crazy. At just shy of five months, she is about 11 pounds. I am guessing she will get to be around 18-20 pounds fully grown.

Sleepy RileyNow she will spend her life lounging in the house, playing with Kuma in her own backyard, and visiting the park. She will never be hungry, cold, or over bred. She may be forced to root for the Packers, but I think she’s learning to like them. I do not yet know where all of her siblings are going, but I know that at least one that she arrived with (not from her litter) will be close enough to visit occasionally. Next summer she will go to the Shibas4Life picnic and be reunited with some of her siblings from her litter.

Next up for Riley is tackling obedience school. I signed her up at Wonder Puppy and I think she will be a master. J has already taught her how to sit!

Anyone else doing puppy training?


Adopting Kuma: Super Shiba Inu

Kuma in Sun RiverKuma is a rare color (cream, not an official AKC color) of a fairly rare breed (Shiba Inu), and we get questions about him almost every time we walk him. He gets two walks a day, so it’s quite often! He is an amazing dog, but we do try to warn people that are captivated by his stuffed animal like appearance that Shibas can be TROUBLE.

I found out about Shibas maybe 10-12 years ago, and wanted one even after researching how difficult they can be. They have cat like personalities. While very smart and easy to train, follow through is a different story. Kuma can sit, come, play hide and seek, jump through a hoop, shake, and many other things. However, if he doesn’t see a treat (and it had better be a good one), he will do none of those things. When he was younger, he escaped a few times. This is a Shiba owner’s nightmare. A Shiba does not come back when free. They run for miles and jump into traffic. Chasing a ball at the park is a pipe dream. It is just not safe at all. These little foxes cannot be trusted. I have Googled “where to buy a dog catcher’s net”. I kid you not.

Kuma and JIt’s all worth it. Seven and a half years ago I was still dog-less, and finally got the okay to go look at a Shiba. I had seen Kuma available at the local Shiba Inu rescue, Shibas4Life. I’m not sure what exactly my husband (boyfriend at the time) was thinking, because I’m pretty sure he didn’t want a dog. When we met Kuma, this standoffish dog crawled right into his lap. The president of the rescue said she had never seen anything like that happen before. The rescue required us to go home and think it over, but we ended up deciding he had to come home with us. Kuma has J wrapped around his little paw.

I love that we got him through a rescue. We still talk about how we can’t believe anyone would give up such a perfect dog, and how lucky we got. Shibas4Life has been an amazing resource. They have answered every question I’ve ever had along the way, and that has gone a long way towards making our little fluffbear the dog he is today. Shibas are precocious and loyal, and Kuma is the best dog I could ever hope for!

Kuma and TommyI have known many Shibas that my cat didn’t approve of, but he and Kuma were good friends. Shibas can be great with cats.

He is also doing well with the puppy that we are fostering. It took him a while to warm up, but now I think he is enjoying having a young playmate.

If you want to talk about Shibas or Shiba rescue, let me know!