If You Don’t Want Him, I’ll Take Him


I know a dog breeder who once imported a dog from Japan.  The dog turned out not to be a great show dog so she sold him.  “He wasn’t the dog I wanted,” she said when she tried to sell him to me.  I already had three dogs and four were too many.  Now, watching the other little shiba who was imported from Japan, undoubtedly accompanied by layers of paperwork and promises and with the exchange of piles of dollars, I think of the one who wasn’t what the breeder wanted.  That dog wandered around, away from the fancy crates of the champions, in a big empty space, back and forth and back and forth with a toy in his mouth.  Not the dog she wanted.

Is Hiro not the dog the SFShibas wanted?  Did they get him home and look at him and think he wasn’t good enough for their pack? Certainly not as good as Zennie, who seemed to be a favorite of the big guy.  In recent days I’ve watched the cam more or less nonstop and I’ve seen the big guy in the frame exactly twice, briefly, and neither time did he pause in his tidying and feeding duties to touch, get near, speak to or in any way acknowledge the little tyke.  He did not pause, he did not acknowledge.  The little tyke wagged and jumped up and down and the big guy, our hero and teacher (where dogs are concerned) stiffed him.  Totally.

In human psychological terms, this might be called obliterating the dog.  As far as the owner is concerned, the dog does not exist. He is not seen, nor spoken to nor in any way acknowledged.  This owner behavior was not in any of the various rules, dicta, opprobriums, slanders or recommendations so freely distributed by him and by his gaggle of flying monkeys.  Children in the household are maybe – probably not but maybe – okay if they never ever leave the door open because then the shiba will be gone and you’ll likely never see him again.  My grandchildren have left our door open multiple times – I do let them visit me though they are children – and the shiba is sleeping in his little soft round bed six feet from me.  He’s in a patch of sunlight and his nose is tucked in.

I wasn’t supposed to get a shiba only to amuse my poodles, who are each in an easy chair in the living room.  The cult leader had much to say, all on behalf of The Dog.  Socialize times three, according to the literature.

I watched Hiro for several hours last night.  He wandered around his perimeter, he picked up a toy and dropped it, he hunted for bugs and appeared to be eating a few then gagging slightly.  His head followed a flying thing around the room.  He perched his chin on the side of his bed.  He went outside, he went back in.  He paced.  He pooped and ate it.  Nobody came.

The same thing happened today.  Only today when he ate his poop somebody must have yelled, because he looked around.  And there came the sweatpants and the big shoes, going directly to the poop, scooping it up, and then leaving.  Do not touch, do not acknowledge.  Not the dog we wanted.

For somebody like me who worshipped the room, the pups, the people who tended the pups, the view and the company, this is heartbreaking.  On the other hand, it’s just another heartbreak.  Maybe there’s some savage personal tribulation in the household.  But wait, I remember now, speculation is no good, not to be tolerated.  We should respect their privacy, preposterously, since the camera is still on the puppy in the household, while hard as I look around my own home, I do not see a camera streaming video to the world at large, or in fact to anybody at all.

The guy is still doing it his way, and his way looks like sad neglect to me.  It looks distracted and mean and cold and selfish.  Especially mean and cold.


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