Saturday, May 30, 2009

turn turn turn

I picked up the wife at Narita day before yesterday. Rainy day, got stuck in traffic from an accident on the expressway. The 'accident' was a truck pulled over on the shoulder with a flat. Everyone was just slowing down to look.

45minutes of traffic for a look at a flat tire.

I got to the airport security checkpoint. They asked if they could check my car. I said yes, so they let me through without checking. The way all the security were wearing masks they're probably more worried about bird flu than terrorism.

We've had 4 straight days of rain, and it looks like there'll be more.

I need to find a new job. Something at least remotely worth doing, and slightly interesting would be nice.

Meh, another 2 days of work and I've got 2 days off. With any luck we'll have some proper weather then and I'll head out to the mountains with Haru for some more tracking training. Haru's getting stronger and faster every day, and the past few days she's been a bit antsy at times in the house.

Yesterday I took her to the beach park nearby so she could stretch her legs. She really takes off like a bullet now.

Her guard coat has been coming in nicely, and you'll notice from the pictures her red is getting darker, and the black on her is quite pronounced. I'm not sure if it's temporary, Kai coats tend to change quite a bit as they age. I've noticed that her black guard hairs are the first to come in, with the red coming in much slower.

Her muzzle is lightening up a bit as well.

I'll try to get some shots up next post so you can see what I'm talking about.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Others

There are some notable 'others' that haven't had their pics posted yet, our felines.

Howl is our 5 year old male Persian. He grew up with 2 Jack Russell Terriers, and he ruled over them with an iron paw. He has no issues with Haru. He tolerates her antics and puts her in her place when she goes overboard.

Howl is a master of the 'ambushing-iron-paw' move. It basically involves him sitting either on the sofa or living room table feigning sleep, only to suddenly paw slap innocent passers by. One day I will have to capture it on video.

He is a no nonsense laid back dude who never caused any trouble until recently when our ginger tabby Muta started to 'come into his own'. He follows him around and whines at him. Howl spends most of his 24hours every day sleeping.

Pookie is a stray we picked up near the park around 100m from our house. My wife was walking back from the super market, and Pookie came running out to her. We had a bit of drama when she arrived as Howl was scared of her at first, and she had mites. The wife ended up having allergic reactions to them, but that cleared up when the mites were taken care of.

Pookie was probably around 2 months old when we found her, and is now around a year old. She is the most intolerant of our cats toward dogs. She's extremely attached to me as she pretty much grew up on my shoulder.

Muta is my wife's baby prince. She loooooves him. Probably more than she loves me, and she believes he's better looking. He is a nearly one year old ginger tabby that was born in a shed at a friend's house. He was pretty much abandoned by his mother, and the humans that lived in the house were planning on taking this flea infested kitty on a 'long ride'. He was the most flea infested kitten I have ever seen. There were so many fleas on him he looked sort of gray. I spent the better part of the first day with him killing hundreds of fleas.

We went through a few names with him before finally settling on Muta. He adores my wife, is pretty well behaved (but loves to charge around the house in the middle of the night with Pookie), and is getting pretty big. He is not fond of dogs. He actually seems to go out of his way to find Haru, get in her way, and puff himself up while hissing/growling. That and when she's crated he'll go sit near her crate and growl on occasion.

We had a breakthrough in that department earlier today. A poor wolf spider wandered into the house somehow, drawing the attentions of first Muta, then Pookie. They were so fixated on it, they didn't realize they were playing right next to the vicious monster hyena (who was happily chewing on a toy). When they did realize Haru was there, the spider seemed more interesting than hissing at the pup.

So, now all I need is a jar full of spiders to help my pets bond.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I got the batteries for the scale at home. Haru's weighing in at just over 9kg. All I have to say about it is NUTS!

I took her out for a good romp at our swamp this morning before I head out to work. Another beautiful breezy spring(?) day.

And the bad news: Haru can now outrun me.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Another day

Forgot to add, found out at the vet yesterday that Haru is already 8kg! I was pretty surprised to find out. Was thinking she was still around 5. Most dogs end up weighing double their weight at 4 months I think, and she's still a week away from 4 months...

Her mom is just over 10kg, and pop is just under 20. Hmmmm must buy new batteries for the scale here at home.

Oh, for all you who don't know how to count in grams, 8kg=17.6lb

So many things to add to the 'must buy' list. Need to pick up a new gate to section off the cat area so she stops trying to treat herself to kitty brownies. Need to get her rabies shots done next month, also have to register her with the local council this week. Need to get her registered at the Kaiken Aigokai as well. Microchip is on the list, GPS collar is on the list, there's actually a lot of other hunting related expenses as well.

Meh, I don't have kids, and all my hobbies are damn cheap (since most of them involve running around in the middle of nowhere), it'll all work out.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Vet

So today Haru went to meet the Vet. Time for her last round of shots, a stool sample, and to pick up her first batch of heartworm meds.

She did great, and I mean amazing at the Vet. Very calm and relaxed, got some treats from the nurses, wasn't bothered by the physical or the shots. After we were done she sat beside me in the waiting room. It was an excellent first visit.

Everything went well till we got home. Haru's experiencing an allergic reaction to the vaccination. I've never had a dog (or cat) that reacted to shots before. Her left eye swelled up, and she seems to be itchy all over. Poor thing. I called the vet, and as long as it doesn't get any worse it's just a wait and see.

I've always been against over medicating, pampering, vaccinating, all that sort of thing. I've been on the fence about vaccinating. I've seen some of the reports showing that it's unnecessary and possibly even harmful to over vaccinate pets. As far as Haru goes, I decided I'd at least do this first round of vaccinations. I probably won't be vaccinating her again, after seeing her reaction to it. Time to do some more research.

Seeing as I'm in the mountains a lot, I'll have to figure out what exactly I HAVE to keep her up to date on, and work with the vet to give her just the minimum.

Well well, on an entirely different front, Haru seems to be confused about where to pee now. She won't crap inside, but now she won't pee outside. She tried to pee on the bed last night, and this morning, on the flooring in the bedroom. She tried to do it again tonight but I stopped her and took her outside. She wouldn't pee, so I crated her, and within 5 minutes she had peed in her crate. So another walk outside, and she's now in her crate again.

Ahhh the joys of toilet training. It's frustrating seeing as she was almost perfect in her toilet routine for the first 20 days she's been here. I guess the bit of upheaval with the wife being gone may have thrown her off a bit.

Sometimes I wonder why people get so caught up in the puppy cuteness. Yes puppies are cute, but to me the best part of living with a dog is once they've grown up. Meh, time to curl up on the couch with puppy for a beer and a movie methinks.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I did manage to spend the afternoon out and about with Haru. First we went to our favorite marsh for a walk, and as expected, Haru decided to play in the mud. She also managed to inadvertently flush some ducks which shocked her and sent her running back toward me.

We worked on her recall at the marsh, she's doing great by the way. After that we headed down to the beach park to find some canine buddies to socialize with.

As expected, we ran into a lot of dogs, and Haru's getting much better about the whole thing. She made friends with a Rottie today, he was a very handsome albeit small Rott named Chibi. Now if only we could find some real play buddies to run around with.

At the marsh Haru gets to run around off leash. At the beach park she runs around on a 18m leash.

Well she's thoroughly tuckered out now, sleeping soundly under my chair.

Fiddling with the blog

Thanks for the comment on the banner, Rina.

I got bored last night when I got home and decided to fiddle with the blog layout a bit.
I'm in the middle of 3 days off (which NEVER happens), so I'm enjoying it immensely. It's also convenient because my wife's not around for the next week and a half, so I can try to keep Haru from going nuts alone all day.

The wife's decided to take a holiday... in Australia. I haven't even been back to Oz since I moved over here nearly 10 years ago.

Well the first and second day she was gone Haru peed in her crate. I can't blame her for not being able to hold it the entire time I'm at work. I'm annoyed I wasn't able to work something better out for her, but it's only those first two days that she'll be alone all day like that.

Interesting development: I feed Haru in a small x-pen with a tray underneath so she doesn't make a mess. I have a couple toilet sheets down in there too to soak up spilled water. She's decided the back end of the pen makes a nice toilet. So now when she's loose in the house, if at any time she needs to do her business between walks, she just heads there. Very nice.

Haru's been doing well, been getting more active and athletic by the day. She's still frustrated the cats won't play with her, but she now redirects toward me when they run off. Am working on her whining when I leave the house, and being more excited about walks around the neighborhood.

Will get some more pics and video up here in a bit. It's a beautiful day today so once I'm done with some shopping I'll head out with Haru for some fresh air.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


So, I'd never watched Ginga Densetsu Weed. I'm not really a big fan of anime, though I am partial to Ghibli stuff.

Today I had a Sunday off, which never happens, so I took Haru out for some socialization. She tries to avoid other dogs at all costs, her hair stands on end and she just wants to head the other way.

The other day I broke her in introducing her to Marimo, and the Lab we met out of the pack in the mountains she did alright with as well.

There's a large beachside park nearby where just about every Sunday they have various frisbee dog groups training their dogs or having competitions. Most of the dogs there are herding dogs, so there's a lot of barking going on. Not the best of weather today, overcast and very windy. Not raining though, so we headed out.

When we got out of the car we could already hear the dogs barking. Haru was a little nervous, but today she was actually interested in going toward the barking. We stayed at the edge of the field for a while, and she edged as close as she was comfortable with and sat down in the grass. I sat down there as well chucking her treats and playing a little bit. She went into a 'down' and we were sitting there for the better part of an hour before her tail finally went up, and she started walking around taking in all the scents.

By this time the frisbee training was in full swing, and Haru started getting very interested in the dogs and frisbees flying around. She still didn't want to get too close though, and moved away whenever someone walking a dog came close. There was an older dog tied up to a tree, and after watching him for around 30minutes, Haru actually pulled me over to say hello. He was very well mannered and just gave a few sniffs and sat back down. After that she started looking for dogs to say hello to, and actually played with a little white Spitz.

We went for a walk around the rest of the park, and came back to the frisbee area at the end. Haru was fine with the whole scene, played with some more dogs, so on that positive note we headed home. I wouldn't venture so far as to say she's totally comfortable with other dogs, but we made a lot of headway today in just 3 hours and a bag of treats.

She's doing great in the car now. Doesn't seem to be getting sick, and waits in the car very well. She has decided that she wants to be a lap dog, in the car and in my office at home as well. She surprised me tonight leaping up into my lap to give me the full frontal lick attack.

Anyway, tonight after crating her I ran out of things to do and came across Ginga Densetsu Weed on Youtube. I got sucked in watching them, and just finished episode 13. It's time for bed now. I will say though that they're kind of fun. If you're a dog lover/anime lover you'll probably enjoy it.

Friday, May 15, 2009


So I took Haru south today, to the area where I do most of my hunting. It was a beautiful sunny day with a cool breeze.

I wasn't sure how Haru would react to the great outdoors, was worried she might just hightail it back to the car. My fears were unfounded. Thousands of years of instincts kicked in, and she was happily romping through the spring greenery, sniffing everything, tasting a lot of things, and chasing every butterfly that flew by.

She actually surprised me by how much stamina and athleticism she already has. Around the house she still seems a little puppy clumsy, pretty much what you'd expect from a 3 month old. But today there were quite a few spots I was surprised she could climb. I thought I might need to carry her, but she just went bounding on up.

Now on the photo front, I did not fare so well. A couple months ago my cats tried to destroy my camera, and managed to damage the lens where it connects to the camera (that and I can now hear a frightening rattling sound when I shake my camera). Well the lens is loosening up even more now so that half the time I want to take a picture I get an error message saying I have no lens attached. Time to get it fixed. Anyway, I got a few pics at least.

We had a great time today tracking boar mostly. Haru got all excited scenting something, so I let her lead for awhile. Turns out she was on a boar trail which we ended up following for most of the day. Late in the afternoon we ran into an old gentleman looking for wild mountain vegetables who apparently owns most of the area I hunt in. He was only to happy to have someone keeping the boar in check, but unfortunately didn't want to pose for a picture.

The area I hunt in has a large cattle farm (ranch?), and they have a pack of dogs that live there off leash. I found this out the 'fun' way last hunting season when a pack of dogs came charging down a hill toward me. One of their dogs is a Lab mix, and he runs with the pack, but is the quintessential Lab. The other dogs are Nihonken mutts it looks like, and are pretty territorial/wary, but not vicious or dangerous I've found. Just do a lot of barking. The Lab is friendly as hell, and ended up hunting with me for most of the day. It was pretty hard to get him to stop following me.

Well today we were in the general area, and I figured we might run into the pack at some point. We eventually saw them as I was driving to a different spot to check on my pheasant spot. Haru started barking at them, so I pulled over to say hi. The more wary dogs stood back barking, but 3 of the braver pups including the Lab came over. Haru was not happy at first, and hightailed it back to the jeep, 3 is just too many. She was quite happy with the Lab, he's very well behaved, and pretty much doesn't care about other dogs and just loves on people.

All in all a grand day w/o any mishaps, and I am now downing a proper beer while trying to post. Hope everyone reading this had as wonderful a day!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


So out of the blue a friend of mine called me last night at around 9. He'd asked ages ago if I could pet sit his dog. She's a very well behaved laid back pup. Kind of a contradiction of sorts seeing as she's a Pom.

Well I said sure, so Marimo stayed over here at our place last night and all day today. Haru exhibited her usual interest/unsureness for around 5 seconds, then realized canine friends are fun.

Like I said, Marimo is very well behaved, and actually doesn't play very much. She's patient though, and allowed Haru to do her Tigger impersonation. When Haru went over the top she would correct her. All in all an excellent first play date for a pup.

And now the great news. I didn't take any pictures or video. Truth be told I was just being lazy. I promise to make it up tomorrow as Haru and I are heading to the mountains for my day off.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Beach

So today we made the 3 hour drive to hang out with my youngest brother and his family. His two little girls are growing so fast, I was afraid I'd been missing too much of it.

We decided to head out to the beach. Was a beautiful sunny day today, but a bit on the windy side. Haru did great with the girls, and everyone else we met today. The other day some of our other nieces and nephews dropped by and Haru did well at first, but got excited and started charging around the house at the end.

Today went much better. Katie and Kristina had been waiting all morning for the puppy and were very well behaved with her. Haru gave them a few licks here and there, and of course stole their shovel numerous times.

A Lab showed up and Haru was interested, but stayed close to us giving him a few warning barks. I really need to set up some play dates for her.

All in all, a great day. On the way back we even made a pit stop at one of my hunting spots to let her get out and sniff. She got really excited when we found some boar tracks. Haru seems to be getting over her car sickness which is great.

We just got home, and while the humans are all tuckered out, the canine and felines here are definitely not. Here's a few pics from today.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Rain and more rain

So it's been raining a lot the past couple of days. Not so much fun for puppy owners. Haru thinks it's great fun to try and run away when you dry her off, and attacking the towel is also amusing.

Well quick updates. Haru peed in the house. I jumped in the shower, and while I was gone she peed in the 'genkan' in front of the door. Not a big deal, guess when you gotta go, you gotta go.
She has also started to show signs of being frustrated that the cats won't play with her. She play bows and whines at them, but it's a no go. Even Howl gets annoyed when she starts bowing/bouncing around doing her best impression of Tigger.

The big news around here is that I've finally gotten my lazy ass to track down a clicker and figure out what all the buzz is. Short story is, I'm impressed.

The longer version is I was thinking Haru might be a bit of a handful to teach 'traditional' tricks/manners. I had a much easier time with all my past pups, with even the JRT's seeming easy compared to Haru. She's much more intelligent and attentive than any dog I've ever trained, she's just obviously deciding IF she actually WANTS to do what I'm asking her to.

I was really amazed once I actually took the time to read about 'clicking', and understood the basic premise. For all the non doggy people out there a clicker is a little gadget that looks like a piece of junk and makes a clicking noise when you press it. I won't try to explain the whole 'method' but basically you use the clicker to tell the dog when it's done something you wanted it to (marking the behavior). If you really want to know what it's all about.

Anyway, I got Haru on the clicker last night and it's been amazing. Have her sitting in front of people when she wants attention instead of jumping up on them, taught her to retrieve instead of running off with toys and leaving them, and I even taught her the big no-no... 'sit'. I was told not to teach her sit if I was going to show her. But hell, I'm addicted to sit. Came in handy today when she was covered in mud and preparing to run through the house. I just said the magic word, and she stopped mid lunge and sat. We're working on house, down, and up at the moment. Will try and get some video in the next few days uploaded.

Haru had a few slight issues I noticed from her first day here. She didn't like to be picked up, a bit of slight separation anxiety, she didn't like being touched very much, and she doesn't like leaving her 'territory'. A lot of these 'issues' I figured were just puppy-in-a-new-environment sort of stuff, and my wife and I have done what we can to help her relax and get used to things. She's now fine about being picked up, happy to be touched (by people she chooses), and is crate trained (mandatory 5 secs of whining before immediately falling asleep).

The one stickler at the moment is that she's not comfortable leaving our property. If I take her places in the car she's absolutely fine, but walking away from the house she's not excited about. I was amazed at her sense of direction. She's only been here a few days and from pretty much any given point in the neighborhood she knows which direction home is, and tries to take off running toward it whenever she gets spooked. Basically Haru get's spooked by other dogs. It's time for some socialization. She's only seen other Kai, and none outside her 'pack'. There are a lot of dogs in the neighborhood, and she's pretty much okay with walking around till she hears or sees another dog. Then, she's like Lassie trying to get home.

So, I've got my homework cut out for me at the moment.

Haru is growing bigger by the day, it's quite noticeable actually. I'm going to start her hunting training this week, introducing her to some scents and tracking. I've got the whole timeline figured out, and we should be ready to roll by the time hunting season rolls around this year. I've promised some pheasant to a few friends of mine for thanksgiving, but what I'm really looking forward to is the boar. Should know within the next few months if she's cut out for big game or not. I've always wanted to train a dog for SAR, so maybe I'll get into that sometime as well.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

More from today

Well Haru has settled down a bit tonight, but most of the day she wasn't very happy with the cats. Every time they'd make any noise around the house she'd start growling.

It all started when she was napping under my chair while I was working on the computer. Pookie decided to strategically knock a few items off the desk onto Haru. Now I know it's far fetched, but I have to say it looked pretty suspicious.

Haru freaked out and ran off to the bedroom where my wife was. After that the growling started. Looks like she's over it now, cause when I got home from work the canine/feline truce was back in effect.

She did however have her first accident in the house. Unfortunately, I have to again give credit where credit is due. I really shouldn't complain about my dear wife's inability to figure out what makes animals tick, but sometimes I'm in awe.

I mentioned we needed to get Haru used to walking on leash a bit better, and not just let her run around on the property when she goes out to do her business. So a couple hours later while I'm at work, my wife takes her out. Of course little princess Haru was unhappy about being on leash and decided not to do anything. My wife brought her back inside, and when a little while later heard Haru whining and stomping around in the kitchen, thought that she was just making a racket.

A few minutes later there was a nice turd sitting in front of the fridge.

I gave my wife a hard time about it. She probably didn't deserve it. Since I'm at work most of the time she's been taking care of Haru, and even pampers me when I get home. I don't think she knows this blog address, but baby if you are reading this, thank you for everything.

The picture in this post is one I took last month of the Sakura at night being illuminated by a ballpark down the street from my house.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mobile treat dispenser

So yesterday I introduced Haru to the vacuum cleaner. It was her third day here, so I figured she'd be okay. I've been trying to keep her out of sensory overload with the new surroundings and all.

A few of my past dogs have had issues with the cleaner, so I wanted to get it right this time.

I basically pulled a page out of hunting dog gunfire training and started with vacuum cleaner at the far end of the house, and Haru at the other end playing with my wife. She perked up at the sound at first, but once she was ignoring it, I moved a little closer and so forth. Finally I got about halfway through the apartment, shut if off, and called her over while dropping treats around the cleaner as I was moving it around. We worked our way up to where I could have the cleaner running and she was following me looking for treats.

Shazzzam, the vacuum cleaner is now a mobile treat dispenser (in Haru's mind anyway).

Yesterday we had our first couple of 'situations' with Haru. I left for work, and the wife decided to go out for the afternoon. I feel safe that she's not reading this blog at the moment, so I can go on with this post...

Instead of crating Haru, my wife put her in her little play/eating pen. It's just a small pen with no top, and any dog other than a chihuahua could probably climb out if so inclined. Naturally Haru got out, and proceeded to punish my wife for her slip up by trotting to the other end of the house and chewing on her shoes. Apparently nothing else in the house was touched, and no accidents.

I was frustrated, but not with Haru *wink wink. We had a Newfie mix years ago, a terrific dog with love for everyone and everything. One day he ate my wife's favorite shoes, and she never forgave him. She has been paranoid ever since that her shoes are 'in danger' every time we get a new dog.

Situation number 2: our 3 cats.

Our Persian, Howl, grew up with 2 JRT's, so a little Kai pup is not phasing him at all. Haru has been great with the cats, giving them their space, not trying to chase or play with them.

However, the same cannot be said for Muta and Pookie. They were both picked up as stray kittens, and maybe it's some stray cat gene that tells them dogs are the enemy, but they hate dogs. They're used to having the run of the house, so this raises issues when they're trying to hang around me, and so is Haru. There's a lot of hissing and scrambling to get out of Haru's path, while Haru just looks up at me with a look in her eyes that cries, 'What's wrong with these guys?'

Last night after I got home for work I took Haru out for a short walk. We got back inside and she was still a bit excited. She's figured out how to jump on the sofa, and it's now her favorite vantage point for surveying the apartment. She hopped up and nearly landed on Pookie curled up in the corner. Pookie hissed and ran, Haru stopped and looked at the cat for a moment, jumped off the couch and started sprinting in circles around the house.

It was pretty late at night so I tried to get her to calm down, but she was totally in another place. It looked like her excited state plus the cat running might have set off her chase instinct, but she didn't know what to chase. She finally calmed down and I got her to bed, but I'm hoping this doesn't signal the start of a canine vs. feline war.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Good news

Looks like the pup I posted about last week has found a home. Mac just entered his trial period so fingers crossed!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

New Kai addition

Yesterday my nearly 2 year search for the 'right' Kai pup finally ended. To be precise the search ended when I met Inoue-san and his Kai, but I finally picked up my Kai pup yesterday.

It was a 3 hour round trip that ended up taking a fair bit longer as she got a little car sick on the way. But here she is, none the worse for wear, an absolutely gorgeous aka-tora Kai out of Inoue-so in Saitama.

I've been around the Japanese breeds a lot over the past couple years, but I just realized yesterday that I hadn't been around very many puppies at all. It was amusing, and still is, to see all that Nihonken attitude packed in puppy size. I absolutely adore her already, and my wife agrees that she's the best puppy we've had to date.

She's wary, but inquisitive and not at all shy. She loves people, a bit iffy on non Kai dogs at the moment. I think they're all foreign to her as the only other dogs she's ever seen are Kai. She's been great with our 3 cats, giving them their space and pretty much just walks up to sniff and then she's done. Not much interest there though the cats are acting like it's the end of the world.

I've promised to show her at the Kai Ken Aigokai Tenrankai in October, so that should be interesting. She's a 'beeru-bin' (beer bottle) red which is pretty rare, and as she gets older the brindling should get even more defined.

She's our beautiful little wild thing and her name is Haru.