Thursday, April 27, 2017

Japan Life List-Have Picture Taken with a Shiba Inu

Shortly after my admiration of Japan started I added the Shiba Inu to my list of favorite dog breeds. It would be joining the short list with the Corgi, Irish Setter, and Australian Shepard. 

The Shiba Inu (Shiba dog) is pretty much the Labrador Retriever of Japan. Everywhere you look, they are there, much to the pleasure of my heart and eyes. 

I quickly added this item to my Japan life list because I wanted to be able to actually interact with one of these dogs. Sadly, I didn't know anyone who had one and since Japanese people aren't overtly friendly I wasn't quite sure how this was going to happen. I thought that during my parents' visit, having a build in camera person and a wing man for courage I might somehow finally get this opportunity. 

It took seven months but it was worth the wait. During our day trip to Shirakawa Village I came upon some of the friendliest Japanese people I've met, and of course their Shiba Inu, Happy. 

I thought I spotted the dog out of the corner of my eye. In mid-stride and mid-sentence I had to cut dad off to say, "please follow me over here for a second, I need to do something."

I made a B-line toward the dog and as I approached I quickly noticed the small pup was wearing a USA sweatshirt. Are you kidding me?! This was destiny! Full grown, it was one of the smallest shiba's I'd seen, which made it all that more adorable. I started with the tiniest bit of Japanese I knew. Inu kuawii desu! "Your dog is cute." I asked his name in English and they proceeded to explain that his name meant "happy" in English and that day was his birthday! Dad was within earshot and I didn't think he was fully understanding how big this moment was for me, but I roped him in and asked them if I could take a picture. 

The woman gave me treat after treat to feed to Happy as she showed me how he could sit and shake. They taught me these simple commands. You could tell how much they adored that dog and were happy to share their pride and joy with me. It was something that I couldn't quit talking about for at least a couple of hours. 

I had a similar experience in Morocco when I met some monkeys.