My precious puppy is approaching 12 years old. In March, he will celebrate that milestone. We have had him since he was 7 and half weeks old. He is a wonderful little guy, I would say he is my favorite dog of all time. I have had several dogs in my lifetime and each hold a special place in my heart, but, this one has moved in and captured it all.
Our Shugo is a Shiba Inu. Inu in Japanese means a dog. So, here, in this country, when people say they have a Shiba Inu dog, they are actually saying they have a Shiba dog dog. We love to let people know that fact.
Shugo is our Shiba. He is a character. Shiba’s are very independent dogs. They are the most cat-like dog around. They love to groom and they like to be petted on their terms. His independence fits well with our family.
He is playful and is quiet. He only barks when it is important, or if he is very playful and wants to hear himself speak. We have vaulted ceilings and there are times when he is playing around and starts to bark, only to be surprised at the loudness of his bark. He then continues, I think, to hear how loud he can make it sound.
He loves carrots, they are his treat. He will sit, shake hands, give you a high-five and a low five and a house bark (a very low bark) and gently take the carrot from your fingers. He makes me smile.
For the past few months I have noticed a change in our little guy. He is starting to feel his age. He is the equivalent of a 77-year-old man. We understand that with him. He sleeps more. He doesn’t wake up as quickly. He gets a bit grumpy if we disturb his napping. He stands up a bit slower and we can hear his bones creak with age. He still sheds a lot, and his red hair is being replaced slowly by white.
He still loves his walks and will go on them with a puppy like briskness. His eyes aren’t as sharp as they once were, so squirrels aren’t as threatened as they once were. Frogs aren’t lunged at as much. Cats are just ignored. His nose is still sharp and lately his walks are more about sniffing things out, discovering new scents.
He was never one to cuddle with you. He was too much like a cat for that, until lately. He will nuzzle up to me. Pushing his nose into the side of my leg for a good petting. He will let me know if I should continue by not moving from my side.
Thinking of aging today. I think we all start to stop and sniff the life around us. We like to have some good snuggles and close time with those we love. We like to relax and get up a bit slower. We may creak and groan and shed some hair. Our color is replaced with white. But, we are devoted to those we love. We take more time to be with them, to let them know their importance to us. We make certain our place in their hearts is permanent.
Thank you to my Shugo for showing me so much lately. DAF