We have two dogs. Both are single minded and obstinate which makes it a real treat when I need to walk them by myself. They are shiba inus, a primitive but wickedly smart Japanese breed who can reason and adapt to various situations. While they are not large dogs (think Akita but shrink them to 25 pounds) they are stubborn and if they choose not to walk the way you want to go….you are out of luck. Unless you want to carry one or just give in and go the direction they want.
This morning I drove them to the park because they will walk more cooperatively together there. It’s the easiest thing to do when Doug is out of town.
We get to the park, which is near a lake, and Kobe decides he’s not walking. He is afraid of gun fire and recently there have been duck hunters on the lake. Today I don’t hear any gun shots but he decides there is danger. So he refuses to walk.
He sits down trembling while Aja is pulling for all she’s worth is the opposite direction. I stand, crucifixion style, a shiba at the taunt end of each leash while I try and coax Kobe to me. I can’t pull Aja’s leash as she is wearing a regular collar and she can slip it….and then run off laughing.
Finally I get hold of Kobe and hoist his trembling 22 pounds onto my hip. I walk Aja and carry Kobe. It’s imperative Aja has opportunity to do her business because she refused to go out all day yesterday. In fairness, it did rain a lot yesterday. Roughly every 30 feet or so I put Kobe down in case he wants to walk and do his business. Finally he is cool to walk. We walk happily for 10 minutes.
It starts to spit rain now and Aja doesn’t want any more of this nonsense. She wants to get her princess feet off the wet pavement and into the warm car. While Kobe is scared of gun fire he has no problem with rain. Now he wants to walk and she is sitting stubbornly, somehow making her 30 pounds seem like 100.
But I have a trick! She loves to chase sticks so I kick one in the direction I need to go; she’s up and moving along with Kobe. We are close to the turn off for the parking lot so both are moving at a good speed.
We beat the rain…not by much but still – we are on the way home.
I love them awful and I will most certainly need counseling when they die. They are NOT for a first time dog owner….please…..trust me on this. Because of their nature I think that’s why there are so many in rescue. People get frustrated. Plus they are door bolters and get away (which is another reason they are in rescue). That’s how we ended up with our two devils.
You can tell when you look into their slanted eyes that they are listening to you, evaluating the rewards of doing what you offer or planning their next move. This being said, understand our shibas are sweet and loving and I wouldn’t do without them. They are, hands down, the smartest dogs we have ever been fortunate enough to “own” but they are a challenge at times.