Saturday, 25 October 2008

Karma's Diary - The Early Days


Dateline: Wednesday, 10 April 2001
I am soooooooooooo happy!!! Life is great and now I know that I am staying with mom! Since I last wrote I went back to "camp" for a couple weeks (twice) while she went to visit my American cousins and I had a great time. I told everyone else there that I was in charge and, as it turned out, every time a human came near my run they just had to speak with me so it kind of proved my point. I also was the chosen dog of a couple of the "walkers" who came to walk us kennel guys in the mornings - I remember a slight debate as to who should walk me - there were two ladies who each wanted to take me out !! hehehee oh well … by the time mom returned I was in control and although I was a little sad to leave this fiefdom where I really was top dog, I was of course happy to come home with mom where I know she is Alpha (although there are some folks in the morning parks who think I am in charge, she I and know the truth!!). I can't believe it is two years since I came to Beckenham - time has really flown. I almost have mom trained, occasionally she realises that I am beginning to rule the roost and my "I am really asleep on your bed so don't disturb me" routine no longer works! Folks in the park have been commenting on what a confident guy I am and just the other day a human said she wanted to paint my portrait..not sure if that is going to happen but it made me proud to see mom happy at the comment. My shape is good - when I go to kennels and mom goes away she bags up food for me, and treats, so that I never really lose much weight there (a little otherwise she would think I didn't miss her) and I look great! A lot of humans don't seem to realise that diet and exercise are the key to looking trim (ED NOTE:mom has years of not doing this to catch up on!!).
Oh I must tell you..a few weeks ago, mom decided that I should learn how to shake a paw and so far I have managed to convince her that I have no clue what she is doing hehehehe The best she is going to get from me is a lifting of paws on request when she is rinsing me in the bath after a muddy walk hehehehe I don't think she has realised that Shibas, well me at any rate, do NOT do tricks - they are for the rest of dog-kind!
My life is otherwise fairly routine, in the mornings we walk for at least an hour and oftentimes we meet up with my buddies, Gemma dog and Ben dog - Gemma's human also has another dog with her most days called MacAllan and he is being "walked" although as he is a German Shorthair pointer he tends to zoom around and generally be quite lollopy! Other mornings, when we don't meet up with these guys I usually make a point of letting other dogs know that the morning park is MY place and most recognise the marking/scratching statements I am making, naturally there are a few dopes who don't and I just try to ignore them. There are also some quite rude dogs who just bound up to me and stick their face in mine, a couple who even try to put a paw on me, and I am now happy to growl at them and warn them off. Mom seems to get annoyed with their humans and I have even heard her say to one of them "do you not realise how ill-mannered your dog is being" hehehe I liked that! The other human didn't seem to realise what was happening and listened to mom explain…why is it humans choose to have canine companions without trying to learn our language? After our walk and we return home, if it has been wet outside or muddy under paw, I have to have my undercarriage rinsed in the bath, and I don't really like this much although I do LOVE being towelled dry afterwards!! I make a point of bolting to mom's bed (ED NOTE: a very large towel is left on the bed when going out on wet days!) so she can cuddle me and towel me and at times like this I really do let her know how wriggly, silly and loving I can be!! I do NOT however ever let folks in public know that I can be like this…this is a private matter between mom and me. Lunch follows around about midday or so and mom eats first and then gives me my food - I do have a habit of reminding her that I am around, just in case I miss out - and I always have snax available so I know I will never be hungry (ED NOTE: Karma's idea of snax are in fact Purina ProPlan kibble!). Sometimes mom doesn't have go to out to work and then we have another brilliant walk in the afternoon, on days when she goes to work leaving me in charge, I watch Animal Planet, snooze, have a walk-in cupboard with snuggly nest to creep too if there are bad noises outside like thunder or rain against the windows, and then about the time mom is due home I get ready to greet her with all the might of a Shiba howl, running around the apartment, grabbing a rag toy or pig ear or ANYTHING with which to greet her! Hehehe our day ends with Fox Patrol (I have spoken of this before) and because of the building work next door I haven't really seen the foxes for a while but I can smell them and occasionally mom and I hear them!
What a life!!! I am now trying to learn more about the computer so occasionally will demand to sit on mom's lap while she is sitting in front of it..she seems to like it so I won't let on that I can type almost as well as she can!
OK..dats all for now folks (as the cartoons say).
Dateline: Thursday, 12 October 2000
New pictures on the website - oh well! I suppose I have to accept that mom does like finding me in odd corners but the ones of me in the parka are the limit!! She said she just wanted pics for my American cousins who sent the parka to me but…of course they are now in my Gallery!!
What's new. Oh..yes..I nearly had a heart attack a couple weeks back. I had been getting pictures in my mind from mom of kennels - you know like the rescue places I have been in before? Well..I did everything I could to be sweet and nice and cooperative but the fateful day arrived - she bagged up some food, got a blankie and my two favourite toys and…we got in the car. After a drive of about half an hour we arrived at this place - lots of dogs barking and stuff and I really maintained a Brit stiff upper lip - I was NOT going to show mom that I cared but..inside I just figured she had had enough of me, like all humans before her. So..I dragged the kennelmaid indoors without a backward glance. The kennels were fine - a lot of dogs not quite understanding why they were there, I felt like telling them that probably their humans no longer wanted them but that would have been cruel. They had such optimism. Others insisted that they had been there before but each time their humans came for them. I wasn't sure about that but..sure enough, one day later, mom arrived!!! Boy was I overjoyed to see her - I howled/grodelled and leaped around like a nutcase - I just couldn't help myself!! Mom is thinking these pics again but I suspect she will never give me up forever (ED NOTE: "mom" is going on vacation overseas and wants Karma to learn that kennels does not mean being given up so he is having a couple of short trial sessions before vacation time!!).
Mom and I have just come back from Wales where we stayed at her bro's place. I like being in Wales because I have a whole house to command - this time grandma wasn't there (ED NOTE: my mother is in hospital) so when mom and her brother weren't looking and for most of the night-times I decided to occupy grandma's bed - well…I am sure she would want me to be comfortable and my travelling bed isn't quite up to my pine bed standard!! Wales is also fun because we go on walks on the beach - I LOVE THE BEACH - although this time it was rather rainy a lot of the time so we didn't go for any really long walks! The drive down took a very long time - in fact when we stopped at first I had no idea where we were and when I stood up to stretch and look around in my crate I could see us surrounded by other cars..well, I did my usual "cute looking into middle distance" pose and am sure I attracted some attention (ED NOTE: we were stuck in a traffic jam on the M4 motorway and yes he DID attract attention!).
Life is fab though - during the summer and early autumn mom and I have increased our morning walks to nearly 2hrs and I usually get to choose where we go. As a consequence I am in great shape - I have to say that I take full advantage of this when standing still, I just know my legs look good hehehehe it also means I have so much energy that in the mornings I have now perfected the zoom from one end of a flexi-leash to the other…mom is also well trained as she appears to realise when my sniffing something is tactical and really only being done to let her walk on and then as I know the leash is nearly unwound I charge past her at full gallop - my paws really make a noise on the earth if the ground is dry ehehhe mom has even called me "ThunderPaws"!!
Mom hasn't been well a couple of times this summer and I showed her just how understanding I can be by making sure that I stayed on her bed with her almost at all times - she can be such a fidget when asleep though. I do my best to make myself heavy, as only a shape-shifting Shiba can, but even then I occasionally have to admit defeat and head for the floor or my own bed. Not that I let her know I have given up - everything, as we all know, must be done as if chosen!
What else…oh yes..there have been the most extraordinary goings on next door.
There used to be an empty old house and two houses with humans in, the humans moved out and for the past weeks these guys with the BIGGEST machines you have ever seen have been bashing the houses down - right now there is a big empty space but I gather from eavesdropping on mom's conversation with one of her neighbours there is going to be a large block of flats built there - two storeys higher than our block! I like the extra sunshine in the garden the space gives us - guess we must make the most of it!
OK..gotta go grab some zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzs I think mom is going for a rest too so I want to get the best space on her bed and pretend to be fast asleep when she gets there!!

Dateline: Friday, 5 May 2000
Life goes on so well! I am sleek and healthy and full of beans! I am soooo happy! Today mom spent some time adding some new photos to my website - she took these on one of our walks at the "golf park" and although they don't really show my true form as I zoom around the park I quite like the artistic edges she has put round them! I suppose you might say that my life now is "same ole same ole" but it really is a great life! Every morning mom and I walk for about an hour (some days longer and some days, particularly when it is very wet, not so long) and then I am usually groomed - I have come to love being brushed and combed as mom seems to really take delight in keeping me looking smart. If I get wet outside, or if the ground is very muddy, when we get home I am rinsed in the bath. At first I used to be wary of the bath and really thought I was about to be bathed completely, but now I know that "rinsing" means standing in about 2" of water and having mom clean the mud off my belly and legs with a washcloth. I like this a lot, not only is the water warm, but afterwards I get to play "sharky shark" (I have written of this before) and…I usually try and run away and spring on to her bed where she finishes the last drying touches! Hehehehe I am not sure mom really likes me doing this but I am so appealing and cute that I just overwhelm her! She is almost totally trained now - in fact, I might say that she is wrapped round my dewclaw!
Most days in the park we meet up with at least a couple of humans and their dogs, which is fun because I love meeting new folks but I have to say that I find most very boring with absolutely no conversation. The young labs in particular are extremely annoying, very boisterous, prancy, drooly and determined to dominate me - I usually tolerate a little licking but then growl and jump away from them. My best friend is a GSD/doberman mix called Ben - when mom and I see him and his human in the park we always meet up and then walk round together! Otherwise there was a neat little puppy the other day (looked a little like a daughter of Ben, I must admit!) and I just had to prove to her how fast and nippy Shibas can be - she tried so hard to catch me but even on a flexi leash I could still outmanoeuvre her! Hehehehe That was fun!
Now the days are brighter and we are getting some sunshine I find my thick coat quite tiring - last year my coat was not nearly as thick as it is now and while I know that it is meant to be this way I really do get very hot! Fortunately, mom always has a bottle of water in the back of the car so that when we have finished a walk I can get a drink! In the mornings, though, I have to rush home and when we get here I try to zoom to the kitchen for some water but mom always calls me back to take my leash/collar off! One of these days I am gonna make her follow me to the kitchen but so far … she wins out! I quite like being obedient now - it really is a matter of cooperation - because I am never asked to do something that is inappropriate. For example, sitting to receive a treat is courteous, waiting at the kerbside for mom to catch up is common sense - if I didn't she might get run over! - but I really do like to go through doors first just in case there are monsters lurking (of course, if there ARE monster then mom will just have to deal with them!!).
OK enough for now!!!

Dateline: Friday, 4 February 2000
This new year is flying by - each day is full of good food, walks, play with mom and meeting folks (old acquaintances and new) who admire me and want to hang with me.
A year ago today I didn't know what was happening. Yesterday a year ago I was taken by my former humans to the rescue place full of dogs who were all asking "why am I here, what have I done" and I was assuring them that I was not like them and my humans would be back for me because I had been so loving. Today a year ago my human did arrive, in a car driven by mom (as I now know her) and I was sooooooooo happy to be proved right - I had only been placed in this sad place for a short time. Little did I know that after a short drive when my human got out of the car, without a backward glance, and mom and I began the drive home it was to a totally new life - for the umpteenth time! Now I still do
remember where I have lived before, in fact I sometimes see folks in the street who remind me, by their smell or how they stand, of humans I have been at home with and even today (mom doesn't realise this) I wonder if I am only here for a short while. My life is so wonderful now - when she is home I help mom with her work by supervising the Dyson cleaner, messing up the bed so she can see where it needs straightening, and snooping round the floors in case she has left any scraps there!! Heheheh needless to say I rarely find scraps on the floor and, frankly, I don't mind because I have PLENTY to eat!
Mom is so kind to me - only once or twice does she ever make her voice stern and speak louder to me and usually this is when I have forgotten to wait at the kerbside even though she has reminded me (often I am sooo excited at heading for a walk that my mind is full of what I am gonna do when I get to the park!!).
Otherwise, she often makes me a special liver loaf which even she doesn't eat, and this is cut into tiny pieces and taken on walks or used around the house to help me learn to "come", "sit", and "go through" (weaving through legs)!! I have balls to play with and mom lets me grab em and fling em round the house whenever I want hehehehe I do this late at night when I get impatient for her to decide to take me for the last pee at night walk cos I want to go to bed!! While she is out at work I am in charge of the house and were you here you would see me hanging out in each room, almost in turn (apart from the bathroom which is mom's place mostly) - I am especially fond of the bedroom, because when mom is out I can lie on her pillows, scrunch up the duvet around me and have TOTAL CONTROL of the place hehehehe Of course, when I hear the key in the lock I immediately zoom to the door and perform the Shiba wriggle/grodel welcome while grabbing a toy so that my grodels become squeaks!! As mom comes home late (ED NOTE: mom works an evening shift) I know she doesn't want me to make much noise! THEN…after a welcome, and mom spends some time on the computer, she plays with me and we go out for our last walk where I patrol the grounds to ensure that those wily foxes that hang out in our neighbourhood know that Karma is On Guard for the night!
Mom and I have adapted well to each other - when I look at humans with other dogs I think I am quite lucky as she doesn't seem to want me to perform…the only request she sometimes makes of me is to come back to her to greet a new human but then I put on my squishy face (wrinkling eyes and smiling) so that the new person falls immediately in love with me! In fact, I do this so well that mom has been talking with me about becoming a PAT dog (Pet as Therapy) so I can go visit a local old people's day centre once or twice a week! I do hope I can do this, then I will know for sure that mom doesn't want me ever to leave!
Anyway, this is my first annual review and I look forward to writing the next one in a year's time from the same puter!
Bye for now!

Dateline: Wednesday 29 December 1999
Nearly the end of the year and the end of this century! How odd that sounds! By the time I next get around to writing it is likely to be the year 2000! I have had a wonderful time since last writing - let me hint at "smuggling", new blankies, yummy food, a new wooden bed, snuggling with mom, checking out ALL parks in the area and you will have some idea of just how wonderful!
First…the smuggling! Hehehehe had to go to a dinner/dance that was being held at a hotel that has changed its policy on dogs, now only allowing guide dogs (OK so without me mom would be lost, but that doesn't really count!). Fortunately it was one of her friends who was running the dinner/dance and he fixed for her to have a room that bordered on the car park. We arrived at the hotel after dark, mom went and got the room key, then opened the door onto the car park to find that there was an 8' flower bed AND the car park had movement sensitive security lights so…as I greeted her with my usual "I AM HERE AND READY TO PARTY" howling, I found myself bundled up inside her raincoat and carried, protesting a little, into the room. This was a great game so I proceeded to bounce of the twin beds in the room and pronounce my satisfaction with the accommodation - hehehe this was particular fun because mom seemed to want me to keep quiet but I was so excited I just had to keep on telling her out loud how great this adventure was! Needless to say I was NOT allowed to inspect the remainder of the hotel and all I actually got was a couple of walks at dead of night before being re-smuggled out quite early the following morning. Mom's friends brought along some new folk for me to meet so I made myself especially curly/wriggly to greet them (all you Shibas know what I mean by this) but I still didn't get to check out the hotel!
Now to all the comforts I have become accustomed to. Mom clearly decided that towels were not as snuggly as blankies so bought me two new ones made of soft fluffy fleecy stuff - one of them is in my crate in the sitting room and the other on my new bed. Yes! A very special pine box bed that has its own duvet covered in green plush with my name on …mom has placed this beside her bed (which is also a pine one) so although I still usually go to sleep in my crate I move to this bed during the night so when mom wakes she can see me there. Mom has quite recently started going out in the evenings (she tells me she is going to work but I don't know quite what that means) so I try not to disturb her in the mornings although sometimes I just have to but .. she wakes after I have only let out one or two squeaks (I go to the hallway to do this), then she calls me and I come smiling and tail-wagging into her room and let her know I need to go out. She is great 'cos she gets up almost immediately so we can go to the morning park! Foodwise I have had a change of diet - the kibble I used to find boring has been changed for some that seems much more meaty (ED NOTE: mom realised that first ingredient should be meat in origin and not cereals) - and I occasionally get a raw chicken wing or thigh or drumstick which I LOVE cos I can take it to a corner and really scrunch it like I just killed it! These bones have a really good effect on my teeth so I am hoping I won't have to go to the vet for a scraping (I heard mom discussing this on the phone and she thought I didn't understand)!! Recently, after a gap of several months, I had a pig ear (ED NOTE: a seasonal treat!) but otherwise my treats are restricted to a small fish treat after the afternoon walk and after mom has left me guarding the car when she goes food shopping … oh and sometimes she just gives me a large biscuit when she goes to work but I save that to celebrate her return always!! Apart from the evenings (when I wait for mom to return from work before eating) I wait until mom has eaten something and then, just sometimes, she lets me have a little of her leftovers and then I will eat the kibble she has put out for me! I think she thinks I am being respectful but the truth of the matter is I don't want to fill myself up and then find she has something better!! Hehehehe
As far as who has won or is winning the battle of wills that all Shibas are meant to have with their humans, we don't seem to have a battle…our life is one of (mostly) cooperation but just sometimes I want to go in a particular direction and mom wants to go in another so I still just sit down and make my position clear. This doesn't necessarily mean I get to go where I want but if we are in the park mom most often lets me decide - if we are going to the post office or to mail a letter or something then I tend to find a reason to go in her direction after all!
Bathing has become OK .. at first I used to be nervous of the bath but now I know that the water will be the right temp, mom washes me well and quickly, and afterwards if I can escape I can shake EVERYWHERE until I am captured in a big fluffy towel and I just love our game of "sharky shark" where I am snuggled in a towel and with my mouth open I pretend I am wild and savage while mom towels me dry!! We play this game when we come in from a muddy walk too and mom cleans the mud off with a washcloth and then dries me too, or of course, when we have been out in the rain! I am even lifting my paws for her to dry! I like cooperating with her because I know in the long run it means she will be even more wrapped round my dew claw!
So .. I am ending this century, warm, snug, happy and well fed with plenty of exercise, a mom who loves me and a bunch of pals that I hang with in the parks in our area.
Here's to the Year 2000 and I hope you all have as happy, healthy and loving time as me!
Dateline: Tuesday, 14 September 1999
OMG I am a very poor diarist! It is a good thing that I wasn't born in the Victorian era as my inability to diarise almost every event in my life would result in my being shunned in polite society! I am HAPPY!!! I am SLEEK, I am a little CHUNKIER (hmmmmmm maybe that oughtn't to be capitalised) and I KNOW I am finally home. My life here in Beckenham is relatively routine in the nicest kind of way - I meet my pals in the parks and zoom with them a couple times a day - and I am now expert in identifying when we are about to go on trips. No longer do I get anxious that I am being left behind as Mom makes a point of moving my bed to join the baggage fairly early on .. in fact the last time we went away (last week, to Wales then Thanet then Wales again!) I stayed snoozing in my crate until the last possible moment (well, one needs beauty sleep before meeting one's public!).
We started going to class again (ED NOTE: there was a summer break) and I am with some dogs that have been practising the same stuff all the time I was relegated to puppy class. I show Mom just how focussed I can be (especially when I know she has home-made liver loaf treat in her bait pouch!) and amaze the instructor. Of course, as soon as we leave the school I revert to my top dog routine. Mom and I have come to a great understanding, in fact the other day I almost think she read MY mind .. I gotta watch this, I need to keep something in reserve otherwise my reputation as aloof and mysterious Shiba Inu might be in jeopardy!
Today we visited some of Mom's friends who have a black mix dog called Duke - he is a great dog but no match for a Shiba Inu…I mean, would YOU let another dog chomp on one of your bones? He and I played tag and I decided to show off my herding skills! didn't know we Shibas could herd? Well frankly, there is nothing we can't do it is all a question of whether we wish to or not. Some things are just inappropriate!

I am sure you are noticing a difference in my tone here, well…up to now I have been a little concerned that I am about to be moved on but now I really do believe I am here to stay so I think I can warm up my act a little. You know, become more vocal and just more in charge generally!!
Anyway, enough for now. I need to go supervise Mom in the kitchen - she is fixing her dinner but I need to be sure she savours it well enough for me (I get a teeny amount of what she eats most times!!). See ya!

Dateline: Sunday 25 July 1999
I can't believe another month has flown by. Time really goes fast here. Mom and I have continued to go the work place once a week -folks remember me and let me take over once I am there - and Mom seems to be very busy with her computer and receiving lots of packages from delivery guys (NOTE: Mom was setting up a home distributorship which failed as she was a rubbish saleswoman!). The weather has been extremely hot and the apartment where we live gets very warm during the afternoons when the sun comes round so I spend a lot of my time underneath mom's bed - this isn't as mad as it sounds - her floors are not carpeted and the bed is on high wooden legs so I have plenty of airy space around me when I am under there. I can also lurk in a position that means I can see her come outta the sitting-room so I don't miss anything! A lot of the time while Mom is on the computer she leaves the front-door slightly open so there is a draft through the place…and other times when I am panting with heat she wets a cloth and drapes it over me!! This makes me look a little like some kind of show animal but the evaporation of the water cools me down so I don't mind how I look (providing no-one else other than Mom sees me of course!!). We have visited the airfield and the inn a couple of times and this is just so cooooooool … folks there are beginning to remember me and I feel like both places are homes from home. The airfield is still a little noisy and occasionally there are too many people around so I feel a little overwhelmed.
Oh, before I forget, I must tell you that I actually felt like playing with a tennis ball the other day. Mom was on the computer and I was feeling a little frisky - well…I can't help with the 'puter stuff so there is little else I can do but snooze - so went and found one of my balls and started playing with it. Mom leaped to her feet and when I saw the look of joy on her face I realised that somehow I had done something pretty special - not quite sure what and I don't want to make her too happy or come to love her too much in case I get moved on again. Puppy class is going OK. I don't really belong there, as you know, but clearly Mom is enjoying learning the right way to suggest I sit and down and stuff. Most of the time I am very attentive to her - really going cross-eyed with concentration on the treats she hides in her hand - but to be honest all I am after is the extra treats!! The first evening we tried this I hadn't been fed (we had come from work straight to school) so I was starving and I just sat/down/sat and did everything as fast as I could just to grab treats!! Mom was laughing as she realised that my snatching the treats was so outta character for me .. but, man, I was hungry!! Last week was funny too … Mom had fed me so I wasn't really that interested in treats so I did my best to focus but there were a coupla rescue dogs in a different class that were just acting up. I couldn't work out what they were fussing about so when we did a recall I trotted straight at Mom until the last moment and then veered off to investigate these dogs. They were really stressed out and stuff! I came back to Mom who was still smiling at me - I swear she can read my mind!
Anyway .. we still walk in the morning park. Most dogs there are uninteresting but a couple of the younger ones keep trying to play with me - usually when I am "on a mission" (know what I mean) so I rarely join in. There was one dog that I have only seen twice and it was smart and cute and really on my wavelength but .. Mom and I only met it that once. The afternoon park is interesting .. there is a white Husky female that we meet occasionally and she and I say "hi" telepathically - she is not allowed to meet me (not quite sure why but she says her owner is scared she will be fierce) but as she is a very strong alpha lady I am quite happy to just show my respect from a little distance.

Oooooooooops Mom has finished her housework and wants the puter - I'd better scoot back to my crate and pretend I wasn't online!! Hehehehe See ya :)

Dateline: Saturday, 26 June 1999
June has been a busy month and mom and I have been away quite a bit. She has also been working in an office and taken me with her so I have so many new experiences to speak about. The airfield is becoming a more familiar place - since my lil bed is now taken down to the clubhouse and folks there are used to finding me hanging in it under one of the desks AND I am getting accustomed to the sound of aircraft starting up within a few feet of me (admittedly the other side of the clubhouse wall) it is not such a bad place after all. Folk at the airfield all seem to like me (well, to be honest, folks everywhere seem to like me) and all come over to make a fuss. Some of the time it gets a little too much so I just don't bother posing and looking extra noble/cute - it doesn't seem to make a difference though, I still get people coming to stroke me and children hugging me! The office, now, that is a different matter. Within a few moments of walking into the building (not much bigger than a house really) I had the situation all summed up. There was a space provided for my blankie, mom brought my water bowl and some of my kibble (in a bowl) so I was all set. At first she kept my flexi pegged under her chair so I could roam around but be tied to her, but after I proved that I was very cool with the situation she unhooked the leash and now I can go where I please. She is obviously very cautious about my lurking near the front and back doors - she should surely realise that I can hear traffic on the road outside of the front door and I am not gonna go there (I also hear dogs walking by on leashes, most seem quite fed up so I send out a "I'm in here and I'm in charge of this building" thought message as they go by, I think a lot are envious of my freedom to be me!). This morning we have not gone to the office and mom has been using the washing machine and stuff .. I am wondering if we are going to the airfield again - it is nearly a week since we were last there. I really love where we stay when we go there. It is an old inn, apparently the oldest part of it dates back about 500 years, and the bar area has really heavy beams decorated with horse brasses. The best part, though, is the village green just down the road from the inn - within three minutes of getting outta bed I can be zooming round the green and as there are some almost-secret little paths round the edge of the green I am snooping and sniffing to my heart's content! Mom is funny, however. She will only run with me once we are out of sight of the road so as soon as we get onto the green I pretend it is very urgent for me to run and find a poop spot!! Hehehe she doesn't realise I am just wanting folks to see how funny she looks running!! Well why should I be the only one to be entertained this way!! I love her to pieces and am beginning to realise that the memories I have of other homes are just that - now and again we do something that makes me wonder what is happening (like this morning, mom collected a packet from the post office and the place where we had to go reminded me of the vets, so I got a little worried that something bad was gonna happen) but mom sense this and speaks to me in a reassuring voice. I understand more of her words than I let on -but I just like to hear the way she speaks with me so try and get her to say things more than once! Anyway, I can hear her coming back - I think she is going to do some ironing now as she has set up that metal table again! OK .. bye for now.
Dateline: Friday, 4 June 1999
Life is grand! We have been back home now (with no roadtrips or staying away from home) since I last wrote and we have fallen into a great routine. In the mornings, I am usually just thinking of waking when I hear mom stir and go for a shower and as soon as I hear the sound of the power-shower motor I know that the day is beginning. When she returns to the bedroom I sometimes pretend to have slept through it so I can do that cute waking up thing she seems to love - you know, stretching, smiling, looking appealing and wagging tail - and other times I am waiting in the hallway for her and I begin to leap and hop around, grodelling and generally telling her how excited I am we are going out (just in case she is thinking of doing something else first before we go for the walk!). The morning park is fine now - I still don't like the sound of the kids screeching on the swings in the play zone but mom and I have walked past it and mom has kept the leash short and I have felt secure beside her. She has got me a tennis ball !! YAY!! Now this I can really play with - I usually indulge her with about 5 minutes of total Shiba antics with it, pouncing, grabbing, tossing in air, chasing and generally being mischievous .. I sometimes let her get it from me but other times I like to just run and toss it (of course, making sure she is watching and admiring me!). Then we return home for my yummies. Mom doesn't eat breakfast most morning but makes her self some pink milk (NOTE: Slimfast) and once she has done this and started drinking it she will serve my meal .. this I sometimes scarf but other times I eat delicately …just depends on my mood. Then I have to snooze and during this time mom does house stuff and makes phone calls and sometimes sits on the puter. Soon it is lunchtime and although it is not really my time to be fed again, when mom makes her meal I make a point of being beside her - supervision in the kitchen is a must and also if I don't watch her eating she might use her fingers!! LOL She usually leaves a small piece of meat or cheese or something for me on her plate and then either feeds it to me by hand or puts it in my bowl (which has been washed by now, of course!). After lunch she usually does more stuff before our afternoon walk. If I don't see her moving by 3pm I again go to wherever she is and give her a reminder .. she is very good, though, and I don't often have to do this. I can always tell when we are about to go out, even if she hasn't said anything to me as she sprays herself with some CK1 perfume - that is a sure fire way of knowing she is on her way out and at this time of day I always go with her. The afternoon walks are fun as I am never completely sure where we are going - we mostly go in the motor car (and I know my way to the garage now when she says "motor car"…she loves it when I immediately turn right out of the main door) and as we set out I just have to start telling her how excited I am. I also try to communicate my preference for the day but somehow she doesn't always understand. In the afternoons we seem to be out for a long time so I have started zooming around so mom gets tired and then I can pretend to be as full of energy at the end of our time out as I was at the beginning - I can see that she is sometimes red in the face, especially if I have been zooming at top speed!! It is such fun! Oh and before I forget, I think we might be starting school soon - I, of course, have done this obedience stuff before but mom seems to think we need to do it - as we went out last night to a dog place (NOTE: Beckenham Dog Training Club, KC approved) and although we hung with the puppies to start with we didn't do a class but just watched - everyone thought I was waaaaaaaaay cute and although I was a little overwhelmed by all the big dogs and noise and stuff I managed to appear cool and confident to all except mom!! OK .. enough for now. I suspect mom and I might be off on another trip soon as I saw her looking kind of thoughtful at my going-away bag … I will let you know!

Dateline: Sunday 23 May 1999
Since last writing I have been back to the beach and met up again with the beach gang - Brindle, the French Bordeaux dog is such fun and when we met up, much to his owner's annoyance I think, he raced across the beach to greet me! The other dogs are kind of stupid but nice so I just hang with them without giving them too much attention - they all love my mom though! I have also made a big roadtrip to Wales - mom, NMM and I all went there and stayed in a house with a guy who seems very like mom (NOTE: this is mom's brother!). At first I thought I might be left there so I did my best to be fun but I was too stressed by the sounds of sheep in the next door field and the thought that I wasn't staying with mom. While we were in Wales we found a couple of amazingly big and empty beaches - only one other dog in sight in the distance - and mom and I raced around like anything! Fortunately, she always has a water bowl and water in a bottle for me so I never go thirsty .. running around the beach is really thirsty work! We also explored a park and some woods and in the mornings walked on some grass near the sheep - I really don't like them .. there is something so scary about their voices and I just don't understand what they are saying! We met a rottweiler who was afraid of me and two more dogs who tried to mount me - I know I am cute but surely they can tell I am a guy!!
Now we are home again - I became so excited when mom and I got near to Beckenham that I just couldn't stop myself from squeeking and yaroo-ing to let her know how happy I was to be home!! As soon as mom took the bags in she and I went for a walk around the and I made sure I checked out all the markings left during my week's absence and left plenty of my own to tell everyone I am baaack!! It is weird, I only ever see one other dog in my neighbourhood (my downstairs GSD pal, Hoffa) but I know there are a few as I can smell them! Yesterday evening, after our return, we went to the morning park but I really don't like it later in the day - there are too many people cycling, playing ball and shouting .. it really worries me. Mom knows I am not happy so she walks pretty close to me when we reach the zone near the play area and for the first time in a while I was kind of OK. She only had to carry me a little way (of course, no one realises the reason why I am being carried as I hold myself regally as if I am always carried!!).
Today was fun - we went walking quite early in the morning after I had woken mom. She had slept later than usual so I jumped on the bed .. she was very happy to see me but got all mushy so I just snorted and returned to my own bed on the floor..sometimes all this affection scares me as it reminds me of the love I have given and had in the past and yet humans have chosen to give me up so although I am beginning to love mom I really don't want to feel the same hurt again. I don't believe she will give me up but then I never believed anyone else would either. Maybe one day I can be confident!
This morning I managed to spit out my anti-histamine pill and for the first time mom didn't notice .. I had pretended to swallow the morsel containing the pill really fast so when her back was turned, fixing my breakfast, I quietly spat it out underneath the washing machine!! This has meant that I have been sneezing a little bit today but I feel so much more alive .. I might try to do the same tomorrow but I saw mom wiping up the powder from the floor after she had trodden on the pill so I expect her to be more watchful .. rats!! Anyway, I have just eaten my evening meal - mom put some of the juice from her roast chicken on my meat and so I ate it all!! She has also started eating her main meal before feeding me in the evening (she doesn't eat morning food and I have realised this now) .. I think someone has told her that this will make me respect her more (I know it makes me drool watching her eat and knowing I have to wait) but she is already Alpha mom to me!!

Dateline: Sunday 9 May 1999
Hmmmm this is getting silly - almost only one entry each month. Oh well, I have been very busy again with many trips to the coast (staying in the bed & breakfast again - that is FUN!!), meeting up with my beach gang buddies (I think I am now an honorary member), trying to overcome my fears of folks shouting and whistles blowing (with this last, I managed to stop myself creeping to the hallway last night while watching TV .. it was scary but I didn't run this time!). I am also becoming accustomed to mom packing things up and I am beginning to understand that I am not being left behind or taken away again. Now and again I get real worried, though, by noise or people or something but mom seems to understand. I also have a new part to my presence on the internet - if you go to Karma's Picture Gallery you will see a range of pics of me doing different things, at the moment it is some taken when I first arrived here in Beckenham (oh and mom also has a link to some pics of where I live on her main page). Living here is very different from what I had sort-of got used to .. I suppose the main difference is the fact that I really need to sit and wait at kerbsides for mom to give me permission to cross the road and .. she has this wonderfully long leash that we race around the park with .. she has started letting the leash go long as we go downstairs in the flats so I can zoom to the main door and wait for her there - sometimes in the mornings her legs don't seem to work so well to start with and I think she knows I don't want to amble downstairs (especially when it is a brilliantly sunny or breezy day outside!!). Part of me is a little puzzled by my new life - I love all the walks and getting outdoors but when we are at home mom doesn't seem to mind if I move from my crate to the hallway to the bedroom (I don't go on her bed any more, though) and she never stands over me and makes me sit or stand of lie down .. she never ever seems to get angry with me either. There have been one or two occasions where I could feel her frustration but she has always only told me off or made me do something and the next moment she is back to normal, so unlike the other humans I have been with. I do have to admit that I get a little jealous when we are out and other dogs come rushing up to her .. they all seem to like her and I just have to remind her occasionally that I am her dog, no one else is gonna take my place! Mom also leaves things out for me but I really don't like playing very much - when I was younger and in other places I always got very excited and then got told off so I am very careful about not playing any more! thing I can't stop myself from doing, though, is when we drive to the golf-park for my afternoon walk - I just have to yarooooooooo and whistle and let mom know how much I am looking forward to checking out my territory there. I occasionally see dogs that are OK to say "hi" to but on the whole they are older and a little boring. I had thought today that we might see my little Shiba friend again (she is a terrible nuisance, however cute, as she will persist in ambushing me at every opportunity - I feel quite harassed when I am with her but I have to admit to liking her company as her brain does work in the same way as mine!) but we didn't. I really want to go back to the beach - I think mom took some pictures there the other day so you will soon see just how wonderful it is on the North East Kent coast and you will understand how I go all dreamy at memories of my days racing on the beach, checking out all piles of seaweed and "killing" cod-egg cases!! There is something about the beach that just makes me go loony!! Now we are home again mom seems to think that I will continue eating my usual food but I am right now making a point of NOT eating my food until she has eaten and given me some tidbits (I have to see her take them from her plate and put them in my bowl) but occasionally this means I get very hungry - my food is put out for me at the normal time but I need to show mom that I am made of sterner stuff and will not give in to eating it until she gives me some of what she has! To be honest, I am never that hungry but I know she worries when I don't appear to be eating as normal! A little while ago she brushed me with the Slicka rake - I do so like that - somehow it seems to massage my skin as well as grab up the odd loose hair although I suspect that the palmpin thing she uses might be more effective! Right now I can smell something cooking in the oven - lamb if I am not mistaken - so there is no way that I am going to relent and eat any of my tripe mix meat (I keep the kibble for when I need a snack!).
OK, guess I'd better let mom get back online. See you again soon!

Dateline: Sunday, 11 April 1999
I really am not a consistent diarist but this is truly NOT my fault! My mom and NMM and I have made several more trips to the coast - I think NMM had to see some people - and then about two weeks ago mom spilled some liquid from a cup into her laptop computer and this kind of destroyed it so I have had to remember all that we have done since last writing.Our schedule of morning walks at the 'Rec and afternoon at the golf course is now an established routine and it is only occasionally that we have missed these. Usually we miss them only because we have been making car journeys with NMM and so mom has walked me where she can. It is fun finding new places and new smells, although I do like to come home again and catch up with my buddies in the parks. Most of the dogs I meet are kind of stupid but there are some that are real fun to play with - they seem to understand me is what I guess I mean! I have also met a small Shiba - she was cuuute with soft apricot fur and called Mia. We have met twice, the first time we just zoomed like idiots round in circles because I was so pleased to find another Shiba in the park and the second time I realised that Mia is, right now, just limited to zooming and very simple conversation (Editors Note: Mia is a 4-month old Shiba Inu and Karma is, of course, a four-year old!). In the mornings we sometimes meet a lady who is owned by a Staffie called Kitchie - the dog seems to like trying to jump up at mom but I make sure I stand by just in case mom needs my help - and there is a brown-spotted Dalmatian and a Lab both of which tend to rush up and away. I can confirm that Lhasa Apsos are fun, but very stick in the mud, while Border Collies have weirdly fixated personalities (two I meet only pay attention to a ball in their companion's hand!!). There are also a couple of mutts that haven't realised that just because I am neutered I am still ALL male so occasionally I have to growl warnings when I notice them trying to be more friendly than I wish. I have made one particular friend though, called Duke, and mom and I visit his home occasionally - mom just chats but this means Duke and I can run riot through the house and the garden. The other day Duke was being rather silly so I just sat and observed him from the patio - I know I must have looked especially cute doing this as mom and her friend both commented on my posture! It is good now and again for others to realise just how special a Shiba is. Mom has tried some different foods out on me but we have settled on a little kibble plus meat with tripe … it is certainly giving me energy. As good practice, I still leave some of each meal to show mom that I have room for her leftovers (it works most times!!) and as mom now gives me only a little of her food mixed with my "remains" (I think she doesn't realise I have noticed, but I must allow her the occasional Trojan victory) I think we have got the balance right. The vet, who we had to visit again as I was still coughing/wheezing, says I am now the right weight and admired my glossy coat. Oh, and in case some of you think I am not sensitive enough, it is now a matter of record that I am an "atopic dog" and am on a course of low-dose antihistamines to stop my allergic reactions!!! Apparently only the most intelligent and sensitive of dogs are affected this way!Last night mom was packing a bag of my things, so I thought that perhaps I was being sent away again but so far this morning I have eaten as usual and we went to our morning park. NMM has been tidying her things and putting them away and I think something is "up" but I am not quite sure what. Unusually mom put the car away after our morning walk so I suppose I should just wait and see … mom is behaving normally otherwise so I guess I shouldn't be concerned. (Editors' Note: NMM is due to be admitted to hospital later today so arrangements are being made for this). Mom is showering (I zoooomed more than usual in the park this morning, hehehe) and I think I might go loll in my crate again - mom got me a new piece of vetbed which she has put on the floor so I know I don't have to stay in my crate but somehow I feel safe here (mom always leaves the door open) and of course my reserve supplies of pig ear are also here!!See ya!

Dateline: Monday, 9 March 1999
Well .. so much has happened in the past few days that I just haven't had a moment to write up my diary! All the telephone calls seem to have been connected with the arrival in my new-moms apartment of her mom. The day after I last wrote my new-mom and I made a roadtrip (about 1.5hrs drive) to the seaside where we met this older human - at first I thought I was being sent away again and this made me feel sad, but only for a moment! Then we all three went to visit some friends of the older human who loved me and let me run in their garden (on the end of a flexileash of course) and then let me take centre-stage in their sitting-room. New-mom and I spent three nights in a strange place - we had a room and bathroom all to ourselves and this was where I ate and slept, but new-mom and this older human ate their meals away from me (this meant I couldn't taste the seafood of East Kent THIS time). While we stayed at this place we were about 100yards from the seashore so new-mom and I would walk along the beach and the seafront each morning and evening for at least half an hour both times!! No-one had ever told me how big seagulls are…at one point I tried to ignore three giant birds that were sitting on the wall beside the path we were on but my nerve broke and I just had to sniff at some seaweed and let new-mom get between me and them!! I don't think she realised what I was doing. I LIKE the seaside .. so many new smells and some wonderfully weird brain-looking white seaweed .. it was very reminiscent of something but I just can't figure out what! Then after a few days the older human, who I have come to like a lot as I have found out she is my new-mom's-mom ("NMM"), my new-mom and I returned to our apartment. New-mom has given her bedroom to the older human which is GREAT as it means I am able to sneak on to the bed whenever I want and only the other night I left a pig ear on the end of the bed before bedtime but new-mom found out and removed it … I need to be a little more careful otherwise new-mom will realise that I am beginning to twist NMM around my dewclaw! Since being back new-mom (NM) has been very busy - she always seems to be washing or ironing or cooking but what is really terrific is she makes a point of taking me for three walks a day. Our morning walk is always to Beckenham Recreation Ground and I am beginning to meet up with the same dogs and their companions - although all are nice, only a couple are fun to be with and when we meet them NM lets me play tag and sniff as much as I need. In the afternoon park there are more bigger dogs - yesterday a huge GSD really liked me but I was a little intimidated, to be honest, and then I met a younger GSD and a terrier who were playing together and let me join in. It has been quite wet and rainy for the past few days so once I am back in the car NM rubs me down with a towel (even though she is still getting wet) and I just have to wriggle around and play-mouth .. I just LOVE being rubbed! Because I got so dirty I was bathed the other day and this was fun … I managed to shake myself a little before NM got me wrapped in a giant towel (have I told you that my towels are all dark green?) but because the bathroom is all tiled it was easy for NM to dry the walls and floor. We then played tag around the apartment … me letting NM catch me as I do so love being snuggled in a towel! NM has also bought me a new ball, smaller than the others, and this is great to play with! NM is really learning what I like (although I have noticed she seems to be cutting back on my rations a little … I guess it is because I have been putting on some weight!). Anyway, enough for now … I need to snooze a little before our afternoon zoooooom around the golf course!

Dateline: Sunday, 21 February 1999 / 1850hrs GMT
My life is settling into a routine, a late morning start, then a walk in the morning park followed by breakfast, a rest, then another walk at the afternoon park/golf-course, dinner, a last-thing-at-night walk and sleep! Since I last wrote my kennel cough seems to have returned and I spent most of Friday night sneezing/coughing and gagging so on Saturday new-mom took me back to the office where I get stuck by needles and…sure enough, even though the Australian guy wasn't there (I like him, I have decided) the woman who was there stuck me and then gave new-mom some packets for me. I have kept my eyes open for her opening/using these packets but so far haven't noticed anything .. maybe they weren't for me after all. The weather has been sunny until today when it was grey, windy and rainy and I had to assume the bold Siberian-husky stance as we marched round the golf course. New-mom has been on the telephone a lot, sometimes laughing and enjoying herself and other times looking worried again. I hope it is nothing to do with me. I am being very good and letting her brush me and dry me when we come in from walks although I am a little suspicious that she might even be thinking of bathing me so I am pretending to be scared of the bathroom!! I am also being very gentle whenever she hand feeds me so she will want to never let me go from her. When we are out I am keeping an eye out for my last caretakers, I do miss them even though my new life gives me all the attention I could desire. New-mom has also been making sure that I sit when asked and although I really want her to like me I do have to remind her from time to time that I have a mind of my own. When I disobeyed her this morning, really wanting to go in a different direction in the park, and she walked towards me, clearly cross, I cowered, fully expecting to be hit as I used to be, but instead she just picked me up and walked with me in the direction she preferred!! What a turn round … after a few steps I tried to sit up and look dignified, in case someone was looking (NOTE: at all times a Shiba should assume a pose that is worthy of its breed) and then she put me down so I continued in the direction she had chosen as if it were now my choice. Yuuuuuum, I can smell something good being cooked in the kitchen, usually I now get a taste of it after new-mom has eaten and I am happy to wait for it .. my dry kibble is soooooo boring and so long as I am unwell I get the impression that I will be spoiled with moist food too!! Oh, by the way, new-mom has assembled an equally large crate in the car with vetbed and my car rug so that now whenever we are going out I also have my space and while this means I cannot investigate any shopping she puts in the car it does mean that I am once more in my own domain. OK .. enough … I need to snooze and not appear to be waiting for food!!

Dateline: Thursday, 18 February 1999 / 1300hrs GMT
It seems a very long time since I was moved from my last home… and I am feeling so relaxed now I have my own crate to hang in whenever I want. Yesterday we went to the golf-course park again and I was so full of energy I made my new mom zoom all over the place - taking in at least 6 holes as well as our usual trot beside the path (where only slow-coaches and small humans in carriages are usually found!! In the evening I was happily snoozing just after I wrote up my diary when suddenly I felt a change in atmosphere. I don't know why but I just had to get my mom out of the apartment so I proceeded to the hallway, prancing back into the sitting room where she was watching television and then prancing back out again. Fortunately she is quick on the uptake and knew that I was asking to go out .. when we got downstairs I discovered it was raining but I just wanted to put as much distance between me and the apartment…something was in the air and we had to take a time out…I almost ran down the road and when she realised I didn't physically need to be outside she tried bringing me home so I just had to keep sitting down. I could tell she was becoming slightly worried and slightly cross but she just picked me up and brought me back to some grass where I took forever sniffing, making her think I needed to poop (I didn't) .. and finally we walked home..there was still something in the atmosphere so I took as long as possible to walk upstairs and sure enough when we got in there was a beeping from the answerphone. My mom listened to the message and then made a phone call - there was clearly something not right but I kept very quiet and pretended to be asleep in my crate - I don't want to leave here…I LIKE IT HERE!! After my mom was on the telephone she poured herself a red drink and watched some television and made a fuss of me and then didn't eat anything until very late … although she did remember that I love cooked kidney. We went out for a late night walk (not far) and I found myself a slightly less public poop place .. I must make a point of ensuring we go there again tonight. The park this morning was fun, I re-met a rather aloof elderly spaniel who I saw yesterday, whose owner clearly thinks I am cute - I put up with a little fuss as it seems to please my mom and then sat down at the end of my flexileash, making it clear that I was bored and would have rather been somewhere else. There were also two guys laying grass so I made sure I christened some of it and then permitted them to ruffle my ears and chat to me … they seemed nice and one of them mentioned the geese/duck park (Kelsey Park) as being a good place to go. Mom has just had lunch and she is such a sweetie that I decided not to sit beside her but to come out of my crate and lie on the rug in the middle of the room so she could know that I would like some titbits afterwards but I no longer need worry about being fed. Sure enough, she put down a small bowl of something for me - some of which smelled like her food and some was something else (I left this…does she think she can fool me??!!). After I came and thanked her and let her pet me while I wagged my tail and ::yawn:: please excuse me, I really do need to snooze again as I am sure we will be out again in an hour or so!!

Dateline: Wednesday, 17 February 1999 / 180hrs GMT
I am feeling so much better - this new mom of mine is a miracle worker .. well .. to be honest I think the fact that the vet stuck me with a needle again yesterday may also be helping but the attention, hand-feeding, delicious cuisine and fresh air three times a day is working wonders. What was a little insulting at the vet's yesterday was the fact that as he approached with the needle I let out a scream that should have curdled his blood but instead he just laughed…stroked me…and then stuck me!! Because I am feeling much better today, I made a point of looking way cute for several people in the afternoon park - this morning I was the only dog braving the breezes at the morning park (that reminds me, I wonder when we are going back to the pretty park with ducks and geese). Oh .. and this morning, the cheek of it still takes my breath away (not just kennel cough anymore) a SQUIRREL .. a measly grey squirrel at that.. slithered down a tree almost beside me and as I sat there totally astonished at its audacity it ran past me, a mere few feet away (easily reachable on my 5m flexileash) and by the time I got my act together it had zipped up a neighbouring tree!! Amazing. All I can say is "watch out, squirrel, I will be back"!! This afternoon, because I had my bounce back with only the occasional gasp for breath or cough I was zooming all over the park and this time we took in three holes of the golf course … it was funny to see my new mom running with me and getting out of breath so quickly.. maybe she has kennel cough!! I am having such fun!! What else is new, ah yes, yesterday a package arrived which made my new mom very happy and I just assumed it was something for her but .. imagine my surprise when she was totally delighted to unpack a new slicker rake and a palmpin brush for me!! I recognised both of these from my early days and was so pleased to feel them against my fur and skin both yesterday and today … I really hated that needle-sharp thing that used to be used on me. THEN .. more packages this morning, and after a little huffing and puffing and wondering, my new mom assembled a huge crate so right now I am crunching on a pig ear in my own home that has brown vet bedding on the bottom - of course my small green towel is in with me and the larger one is just outside (the door is open and I still have freedom of the apartment but now I have my own space too!!) so when I wish to just hang in the sitting-room and not watch my mom through the wire walls I can loll on the towel as before. My bed (which frankly was too small for me to stretch in) is now in the main bedroom so it is clear that there are spaces just for me here now which I like very much. My mom has put out dry kibble for me again but I can smell something else delicious in preparation in the kitchen so I think I will not eat kibble until mom eats and perhaps she will hand feed me something afterwards like she did when I was so unwell. A few moments ago I had a genuine tickle in my throat and had to gasp for breath so I made the most of this to make sure she realises I am still a little weak!! Now, if you will excuse me, I will go back to my pig ear

Dateline: Monday, 15 February 1999
Well .. I am getting better although the weekend was no fun as every time I tried to walk outside for more than a few steps I found myself grabbing breaths again .. it is quite scary trying to catch breath but my companion is very good at waking at any time during the night when I needed comforting. I am wondering now if I am here because I have been sick and I will go back to my other people once I am better … it is most confusing. Today we made a small walk in the morning and this afternoon went to a park where my companion didn't let me greet any other dogs … I only wheezed once but I got the feeling that perhaps I might be going back to my other people so wanted to return to the car as soon as possible. When we got here I found that things were the same as before and there is no sign of my other people. Sleeping for the past two hours, just changing position and keeping an ear out for new sounds, means that I just woke to see if I was back but…my new companion is still within sight so I suppose I am not moving today. There is a very tall and narrow table standing in the middle of the room and some cloth hanging from it .. my companion is clearly being busy with something and I can hear the washing machine starting a spin cycle. Oh, by the way, I have found that pig ears are delicious!! Not that I have one right now but over the weekend, while I was being fed by hand juicy pieces of chicken/turkey/kidney/beef (not all at the same time) I was given a pig ear and while I haven't totally destroyed it I have taken it to my bed so that I can snack on it when I feel like it. I am not very thirsty at the moment and am avoiding scrunchy food - I tried some kibble earlier today but nearly choked on it…I am still not feeling well … something tells me that yet again I have been sent away from home but if I am going to be staying here then my new mom is a real softy (although won't let me be too obstinate!!). Maybe if I go to sleep again I will find that this has been a dream and I will soon wake up…I am so snoozy today too … zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Dateline: Thursday, 11 February 1999 / 1830hrs GMT
What a day! Having enjoyed my late evening walk last night (although the ground was getting frosty by the time we went out) somehow my sneezing got worse during the night. I began by sleeping in my bed in the bedroom but I just couldn't rest so moved myself onto the couch in the sitting room (I could tell I was disturbing my companion) and I began to feel very sorry for myself. This morning I was still feeling rough and when my companion invited me to jump on to her bed (after she had made her first cup of coffee) I hopped up and curled up at the bottom…she is so kind to me but I am not feeling right. Later she showered and I moved myself to her seat on the couch where she sits when on the 'puter … and although I accepted her putting on my collar/leash by the time we got outside I was feeling so worn out that even though I would have liked to inspect my usual marks I was too breathless and was firm in insisting that we returned home. Most of my day was spent on my bed .. on the floor .. in the hallway .. in a cool corner of the kitchen (when I began to feel warm) and at one point my companion left me alone and went out … I had barely noticed her going (being preoccupied with a programme on television) and I wondered if I had missed her saying a goodbye to me. Her quiet disappearance was slightly worrying but everything she has done so far has been good and honourable so that I didn't give it too much thought - in fact I was still not feeling well so frankly didn't care too much. However when I heard her key in the door I leaped to my feet in my usual way and when I tried to give her a joyous welcome I found myself just wheezing at her like an old guy … she was clearly worried, although I could tell she liked me coming to greet her! She then made a couple of phone calls and we were soon on our way out in the car - I hadn't wanted to go out but she was insistent and .. we visited this guy in an office where he checked me over and then attacked me with two needles!! Needless (or do I mean needles) to say I let the neighbourhood know that I was being assaulted. Afterwards he rubbed my head and spoke to me in a kindly fashion but I made it clear that I wanted OFF the table NOW!! Right now my food is waiting for me in the kitchen but I am just not hungry .. there is plenty of water there too but I am just feeling fragile. My companion is being sweet coming to visit me in the hallway (where I am ensuring she cannot leave without my knowing again!!) from time to time but really not getting in my face. There is a neat smell coming from the kitchen .. hmmm…maybe if I look a little sad for myself by the time she starts her meal she might share something of this with me!! (NOTE: remember to walk slowly and sadly into the room when she starts her meal later on).

Dateline: Tuesday, 9 February 1999 / 1930hrs GMT
Well .. so much has happened since I last wrote. Plenty of zooming in Beckenham Place Park (although I have developed a kind of sneeze that is most annoying) in the afternoons, some inspection of flowers trying to grow in the local park and some avoidance of potentially angry geese, swans and ducks in Kelsey Park!! My stomach is now back to normal, although for the past two days I could have eaten more (my new companion spoke with someone this afternoon and then gave me more to eat tonight so I am seem-snoozing to let it digest!!). I don't like this sneezing - this afternoon as I started airplane-zooming I became very out of breath BUT as the vet this morning said I seemed healthy I suppose I must just rest and eat and sleep and exercise in moderation. Since I wrote on Sunday I have also attended some obedience classes where puppies were learning how to sit and retrieve and, fortunately, I wasn't expected to join in. It was bad enough that I had to accept the flattery of several highly excitable young lady puppies (actually, Minnie a toy West Highland White terrier was rather sweet)!! After about 50 minutes of this I just couldn't take any more of their illogical exuberance and managed to convince my companion to take me home. As we came home I could see stuff blowing in the wind and although we stopped for me to check some marks on our way indoors I made sure that I was taken out last thing at night so I could really perfect my Siberian-husky-sled-dog performance…leaning into the wind, closing my eyes against the stuff (called snow, I believe) and dragging my companion behind me! Now this morning was a totally different experience … starting out with a car ride (unusual for mornings) I was given a short grass walk and then we crossed the road to a room where there were many quiet and boring creatures, mostly in cages or baskets, and THEN, oh the indignity, my companion persuaded me to let a very large woman inspect me and I MEAN inspect me!! Of course I just had to warn all the creatures in the outer room of what was happening and screamed as loudly as I could while trying to bite this woman … my companion was reassuring and I buried my head in her neck for comfort (pretending to be savage of course, one has the Shiba reputation to maintain!). Boy was I glad to get out of there! So .. quite a lot to contend with! Right now, though, I am warm and cosy and my tartan blankie has been washed and I am snuggling into it .. keeping an ear out for the actions of my companion in case I miss something or she tries to leave me. After eating this evening she let me sit up beside her and she held my bone-treat so I could gnaw at it … she had mentioned on the telephone that I hadn't really started chewing anything and that my teeth would need cleaning so I have begun to chew!!Oh well … I have to admit that this is a neat place to be .. plenty of food, warmth, an obedient companion … maybe I will begin to relax a little and become more mischievous (the occasional chewing of leash or investigation of shopping bags is a mere bagatelle compared with my full mischief potential!).Dateline: Sunday 7 February 1999 / 1300hrs GMTDear diary (I read somewhere that is how one is meant to write in a journal)…this morning sees me resting gently having had a great time yesterday UNTIL a few hours after I ate my dinner (with a little more stew gravy) and I was sick. For those of you who know how fastidious we Shiba's are you can imagine my total embarrassment at vomiting INDOORS … then again while I was out for my last walk at night … then again in the early hours of this morning. My new owner (I am beginning to think I will not see my other people again which is very saddening) was very concerned .. woke as soon as I started coughing early this morning and was there to comfort me when I was sick. She made a telephone call and immediately afterwards removed my water - this kind of puzzled me as I really wanted to drink all of it but now, Sunday lunchtime, I am feeling a lot better. I stayed on the smart green towel that matches my leashes all night but when I heard my friend first move to the bathroom and go back to bed this morning I went into her room.. tail wagging ... responding to her patting the bed with a flying leap and came and lay alongside her on top of the duvet...turning on my back a couple of times to let her stroke my tummy before snoozing (she really cares for me!). She has let me have half a dozen kibbles and a very little water and I am feeling OK - not 100% but OK - and when she made her brunch the smell of cooking bacon was delicious to scent!!Yesterday was fun - remember I said my companion was fiddling with a flexileash? Well we went again to the park I had visited first, which is a great place as it is a public golf course aswell as park and everyone (subject to flying golfballs) can walk everywhere. During the course of our time there (which I foreshortened as it started to rain) was to zoom uphill to the end of the 5m flexi and then zoom straight back in the other direction doing airplane ears!!! I even got my companion trying to jog beside me a little - poor thing, I am really going to have to get her in shape!!OK .. more snoozing is called for as I want to be relaxed and ready for zooming later on … but first I need to let the few kibbles and water digest!!

Dateline: 6 February 1999 / 1300hrs GMT
Well ... where did I leave matters yesterday.. ah yes .. I was trying not to salivate too much at the scent of stew cooking in the kitchen. Having resolved to get some stew-gravy on my kibble I was very well behaved when the lady who has been looking after me for a few days sat down to eat her supper. Afterwards I made sure I was near her when she was washing the dishes and ... HURRAH ... she put two spoons of the gravy over the kibble I had casually left in my bowl!! After supper we watched some television - in my opinion I really think elephants are overrated they are all grey unlike Shibas that have many colours (although humans say we only have three). Before going to sleep we went for a walk to christen my smart new green leash and collar and because it was so comfortable I almost forgot to Shiba shake! When I realised I hadn't shaken we were nearly home so I decided (after sneaking a look at the lady beside me) to cough and sneeze and then shake all over ... I think I saw something of a concerned expression on her face (NOTE: remember to try the cough sneeze thing again just in case she is getting complacent with how well I am behaving!!).This morning we didn't get up THAT early and when we did go out it was on the new leash again - I feel very smart and managed to perfect a good leaning fact as it was a little windy I tried to model myself on a wild husky pulling a sled in the far ears were back and I just couldn't help grinning! The lady is making me come back to her and then sit patiently at the side of roads but she didn't seem to appreciate that the ground was a little too cold and slightly damp for me and that on occasion I am driven to smell and re-smell posts irrespective of their proximity to the kerbside!We visited another toy and food shop - this time there was some live food in crates and some humans were buying it .. most peculiar, I thought humans didn't eat hamsters...and why such a big crate for it if they are just going to chase and kill it when they get home. I didn't have a chance to inspect the hamster too closely as my companion was trying to see what toys/balls might take my interest. I assumed an expression of total indifference to toys and proceeded to sniff out some bones and pig ears. On the way back to where I am staying I met with the two human friends I made on Thursday night and as they approached I showed them my delight in meeting them again and grodelled as loudly as I could. While I was being stroked and greeted I just had to try a scream to see the look on their was funny to see how other humans not even close to us on the main road turned to look!! (NOTE: make sure to scream in public places for best effect).Now we are home I can see one of those coloured balls that contain treats on the floor but I will only choose to inspect it when I am good and ready. Right now I need another snooze .. all this fresh air and excitement is quite overwhelming and I have noticed that the lady keeps fiddling with something that appears to be an extending leash...that will be fund to zoom around on in the park later on.Bye for now.

Dateline: 5 February 1999 / 1930hrs GMT
My real name is Skiandu Knight Dragon but I am known as Akarma or "Karma" for short - it is easier for humans to say I understand - and this is my diary. I do hope you enjoy reading it!!I am a four-year-old black/tan Japanese Shiba Inu. Born in Aberystwyth, Wales, on 2 October 1994 I surprised everyone by being born while my litter-mom was in a car stopped at traffic lights!! Even the police assisted at my birth. This must tell you just how special a guy I am. I was registered with the Kennel Club (registration number u4952402u04) as my dad is Ch. Skiandu Simply the Best and my mom Skiandu Lady Hawke. In November 1994 I was sold to the Blake family to be a show dog and I was doing well until the mom/dad split up and in 1995 I was sent to rescue where I was castrated, thus ending my show career - this also meant that I might tend towards chunkiness so I have watched my diet every since. I was soon rehomed in London but my new mom/dad were killed in a car crash in 1996 and I was returned to my breeder, Ros Reynolds-Parnham, who found me a home in 1997 with Tony and Chris Knight. Here I learned some K9 obedience and permanently wore a heavy leather collar and was walked on a choke chain - not really Shiba style but I sure learned my manners as well as perfecting the Shiba shake (a choke chain makes an incredible noise when the 'shake is whole-body!!). I stayed with Tony and Chris until 1 February 1999 when I mistook a mat on the floor for something comfy for me instead of something for their squawling new human and they "threw me out" to rescue even though I had spent 1998 helping my dad recover from the after effects of chemotherapy. Fortunately, Ros and the Shiba UK team found out about my being put into rescue, unwound the rescue and after a long car ride I arrived in Beckenham so…here I am!.I think this might be a new permanent home but as I used to be sent to friends of my old owners for some days at a time I am not quite sure. This new person is in bad need of Shiba-training, but she is clearly very kind and judging by the smell from the kitchen tonight is a good cook (I am planning on making sure I get some of the stew-gravy on my kibble!!) and has bought me a new smart dark green half-choke collar to be worn outdoors only, a matching leash for street walking and a green flexileash for the park AND I have already made friends with some dogs in the park whose owners thought I was waaaaaaay coooool ! OK .. I had better stop writing otherwise this new friend might be annoyed that I am "hogging" the Internet!!!

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