Saturday, December 11, 2010

America's Next Top Dog Model

Yes! You heard me! I, Mika the Shiba Inu, will be America's Next Top Dog Model!

On Sunday, December 5th I had a photoshoot with my hooman Auntie named Thaoie. She is a photographer! You can see her work at Thao Vu Photography. She mainly does Wedding & Engagements, but this was a special occasion! I'm so cute who can resist not snapping pictures of me?!

This was a Christmas Photo session of me, and I even wore a dress and didn't pout about it! :) That's what good models do right? Wear what they are told and pose!

Here are some of the pictures from the session! I hope you all enjoy them as much as I did posing for them!

Posing in front of the Tree

How can u not love that face?  

Back of my dress and my bushy tail

If you would like to see more, click here.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Why RAW Feeding is SAFE by Olivia Hudson

My mom was given The OC Dog newspaper to read and there was an article by Olivia Hudson, the President/CEO of OC Raw Dog, on why feeding raw is absolutely safe! I actually got to meet Olivia, she is a very nice lady and she also gave me some free frozen pumpkin to eat that she had just made and packaged! Here is her article that she wrote on why raw feeding is safe. I hope this article will help inform the pawrents of my other doggie friends.

Why RAW feeding is SAFE

I manufacture a raw pet food and have been feeding raw to my 18 dogs for over 6 years.  I have made it my personal mission to educate people about the benefits of raw feeding.  When I go to dog events or speak to people about the food, I am consistently asked the same general questions.  How is feeding raw safe?  What about raw meat and bacteria like salmonella?  Is it dangerous to feed my dog bones?  Why can't I just feed them raw chicken?  Here are my answers:

Raw feeding is a philosophy which is based on what wild dogs, coyotes, wolves, lions, panthers, etc. would eat in the wild.  There are some people who follow a "like the wild prey model" of feeding using a large variety of different protein sources like beef, pork, deer, fish, and chicken to feed their animals.  This hunting philosophy may be easy to visualize with a coyote, wolf, large German shepherd or Rottweiler but may not be as easy with  Pomeranian or Chihuahua.  Regardless of size, on the inside they are all the same. Same type of teeth, esophagus, stomach, and intestines.  They are all built to eat raw.

The number one question I am asked is "what about Salmonella?"  The bacteria we are inundated with as the source of countless recalls.  The first line of defense against salmonella is biologically inherent in all dogs and cats- The Stomach.  When a dog starts to eat, the pancreas releases a chemical in the stomach to lower the pH balance of the stomach which breaks down the food.  When a dog ingests food, the pH of the stomach plummets to a level between 1 and 2.  At a pH level of 2, salmonella bacteria cannot survive.  When the dogs pH level reaches 1, the dog's stomach roughly equals a 0.4% solution of hydrochloric acid, an acid so corrosive it would burn holes in your skin.  People on the other hand cannot tolerate salmonella because our pH level never goes below 5. This is why we cannot eat raw meat and need to take precautions like cooking to kill the bacteria.

The second line of defense against the bacteria found in raw food is - The Intestinal Tract.  The average length of the intestinal tract in a dog is a meager 16-36 inches compared to an average person's intestinal tract which can measure up to 30 feet in length.  On average it takes a person 24-48 hours to digest their meals.  Allowing whatever bacteria present to fester and multiply.  A dog can completely digest its raw food in under 8 hours - a time frame which does not allow the salmonella bacteria to grow. FYI, a commerical kibble can be digested between 12-18 hours but has known to take up to 24 hours.

The concern regarding salmonella is not on behalf of the dog or cat but on behalf of the caretaker.  Safe handling instructions are labeled on most reputable commercial raw foods.  I urge you to read and follow them just like you were handling raw meat for your family.  Recently the FDA has gotten involved in the regulations of dog food. Go to and search "salmonella in animal feed" to see all the comments and new regulations the FDA is considering.

Another issue regarding raw feeding is the bones and if they are safe for dogs.  It is NEVER safe to feed cooked bones to dogs or cats.  When you cook meat wtih the bone the moisture from the bone is transferred to the meat making the meat more tender and juicy.  After your delicious dinner is cooked, the bone is dry and brittle bones which can splinter and cause severe intestinal damage.  Dogs and cats have the ability to break, chew and digest raw bones.  Subsequently, bones are a natural source of calcium and phosphorus.  Not to mention nature's tooth brush.  Obvious precautions need to be taken when feeding raw bones if your dog or cat is a "swallower" not a chewer. Use common sense.  If you think your dog is too small to chew a large beef bone, then they probably are and opt for a smaller less dense bone like a chicken or turkey neck.

So you might be thinking, since raw is safe and bones are good then why can't I just give my dog an extra chicken thigh with his kibble.  You can and I recommend it.  But you will not be taking advantage of all the benefits raw has to offer.  If you really want to see a significant improvement in your dog, I challenge you to feed your dog or cat raw for 30 days.  Dr. Beckie Williams, a Veterinarian at Yorba Regional Animal Hospital (and my personal favorite) "encourages people to feed commercial raw food because it is balanced.  Too many people's idea of raw food is chicken and oatmeal and they don't pay any attention to the vitamin and mineral requirements.  A major cause of fertility failure is feeding an unbalanced raw diet."

As I mentioned earlier there are people who do very well with raw feeding based of the prey model.  If you are new to raw but don't think you can afford a commercially available raw product there are books which help educate how to make your own raw food at home, websites dedicated to the right ingredients, co-ops developed to making bulk meat available to anyone, and online communities to help support the philosophy and lifestyle of RAW FEEDING.

I understand raw is not for every dog owner but I believe raw is a "better choice" diet for most dogs and cats.
Olivia Hudson, OC RAW DOG

I hope that article was somewhat informative for you doggie and kitty pawrents who was ever curious about raw feeding. Just a little note that Olivia didn't mention in her article about bones is that dogs and cats shouldn't be given weight-bearing bones to eat. It is too hard and can crack the teeth. If you pawrents want more information a good place to start would be the dogster forums. They have an entire section dedicated to Raw Diet.

To end this blog post, here are some pictures of me munching on a chicken drumstick last week!
I like to start from the smaller end first!

Munch, munch on the bones!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


How many of you get to sit as the co-pilot when your pawrents are driving? If I'm lucky I get to! It depends how far the drive is. Sometimes they put me in the backseat where my view isn't that great! But I love the front seat cuz I can see everyone and everything that we are zooming by! Every now and then when both pawrents are in the car, one will let me sit with them as the co-pilot and I get to stick my head out the window. I loves it! Now, most of the time when I am sitting co-pilot I use my shiba mind control to make them drive me to the pet store, dog park, or to visit one of my furry friends! It works 80% of the time. Guess I am not a Shiba Master yet!

Co-pilot in Mom's car

Hi-jacking the car to go to the pet store!
Making sure iz safe to back up

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Ever since I could remember, I would always love to play with any of my toys and then give it to my pawrents, then I take off running to a spot in hopes they will throw it to that spot so I could CATCH it! I would always miss though! Lately, I've been catching my toys more often in my mouth! I guess it's kind of cheating because a lot of my toys are BIG! Making it easier for me to see them and try to catch it in my mouth!

I hear of talks about getting me something they call a frisbee so I can try catching that. Not sure what a frisbee is, but I sure am excited to try catching it someday!

Here's a few clips of me catching my yellow sheep. Excuse the poor camera skills. My mom doesn't know how to throw my sheep and keep the camera still!

Mika catching her toy from Julie Vu on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

OC Raw Dog

I've been eating pre-made raw for a while now. My pawrents put me on it cuz they think it will be better for me than kibble. Of course I love the pre-made raw! I would eat it over kibble any day of the week! I've eaten Bravo!, Primal, and OC Raw Dog. I cannot say which one is my favorite because they are all so delicious! I only ate Bravo! for 2 weeks, before my pawrents got Primal. They tried Primal for about a month, and this lady named Carrie who my pawrents always buys my food and treats from gave my mom samples of OC Raw Dog. Ever since then I've been an OC Raw Dog!

According to OC Raw Dog, here are 10 reasons why a Dog should be a RAW DOG!
  • No More Messy Poop Pick Up
  • Significantly Smaller Stools
  • No More Room Clearing Farts
  • All Natural
  • Chemical Free
  • Preservative Free
  • No Animal By-Products
  • Dogs Love It
  • Human Grade Fresh Meat & Vegitables
  • Dogs Eating How Nature Intended

OC Raw Dog is also a local company. They are based very close to where I live and my pawrents decided to switch me to their food to support their business. Not only that, with the money they save from switching me to OC Raw Dog they have more money to buy me treats and toys! Yay! The other week I saw my mom calculating how much my pawrents have saved each month by switching me. Comparing Primals' chicken formula to OC Raw Dog's chicken formula my pawrents save about $22 a month on my food! My mom hasn't calculated other formulas yet, but she says the price Primal charges for formula other than Chicken & Beef is a bit pricey compared to OC Raw Dog's. Of course Primal has more selection, but OC Raw Dog is just as good and we are supporting smaller and local business! Plus, it's yummy and that's all that matters to me!

My pawrents says if any of you doggies or doggie pawrents are in Southern California to check out OC Raw Dog!

Me enjoying my OC Raw Dog, Chicken & Produce formula for dinner!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Making them Proud

My pawrents were dreading taking me to Obedience Level 1 graduation, which happened on October 9.  They were afraid I wasn't going to want to show that I've learned anything these past 5 weeks going to class.  OH WERE THEY SURPRISED!  I showed them that I could listen!  Of course it's cause they had some food with them that they never let me had before!  So I had to be on my best behavior so I would get the yummy food. I think my pawrents called them "hot dogs".  I get hot sometimes, but I don't think I'm as tasty as the "hot dog".  Must find the secret in the hot dog!  Anyway, I was on my best behavior and passed with an A+.

Proof of my A+
After everydog took their graduation test we played Doggy Jeopardy.  If my little shiba mind remembers correctly the categories were: Sit, Down, Stay with Movement, Stay with Distractions, and Tricks.  Guess who got the most points in Doggy Jeopardy?  YES!  Yours truly!  My pawrents praised and praised me for being such a good girl, and of course gave me some more hot dogs!  Not only that, I got a prize for winning Doggy Jeopardy!  The trainer gave me a Bullystick! HURRAY!

My dad doing jumping jacks, while I "stay" for Doggy Jeopardy
I will be returning in 5 weeks to take Obedience Level 2.  Sometimes I overhear my pawrents talking to each other, wondering if I'm ready for it yet.  I guess I will just have to surprise them again, won't I?

Saturday, October 16, 2010



Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Guard Puppy

Apparently I have a guard dog on duty! There have been nights where Mika has heard a noise she is not used to, so she gives her "a-rufffff" grunt and if she still feels uneasy she will sometimes bark. Once she settles down she still does her "a-ruffff" for a bit. However, there have been nights when she still feels uneasy and she will start her patrol of the bedroom. Mika will walk from one side of the room to the other for about 5-10 minutes before she settles down and goes back onto my bed and back to sleep.

During the day if I am studying or doing homework she will also bark when she hears someone coming up the stairs. It's as if she knows my bedroom is only for her and I to share and when she hears footsteps coming up she alerts me, which she doesn't have to since my stairs are so loud and creaky it's hard not to hear someone coming up haha. When she is home alone though, I have her in her ex-pen, she has never barked at me or given her "a-rufff" at me when I come home. She is only on duty when I am here with her.

It makes me happy to know that she is trying to protect me by alerting me.

 My little guard puppy

Monday, August 23, 2010

Achy Gums

I went to Vegas this past weekend with my family. Kevin went as well, so we left Mika with his mom. On the drive back I was talking to him about how Mika hasn't lost any of her needle sharp puppy teeth yet. I voiced my concern about her being a late bloomer and being so tiny compared to other shibas around her age. Well after being gone for the weekend, Mika jumped all over me, I could tell she missed me. I could also tell that she was being a bit mouthier than usual. I sat down for a bit and played tug & fetch with her. That's when I noticed one of her puppy teeth on her bottom row was missing! Dead center! It was gone! I thought I was seeing things. I told Kevin and he looked at it and yup, it was gone. I also notice that her top ones are getting a bit loose now as well. Needless to say, she is in super teething mode and is mouthing at me and chewing at anything she can get her mouth on. I tried giving her a frozen washcloth, but she does not seem interested in it. Time to break out the kong and frozen yogurt again! I wish I could use peanut butter, but Mika still despises the taste of peanut butter.

Wish us luck that all of her teeth come out properly so we won't have to get them pulled.

This picture you can see that she is missing a tooth dead center!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Staring through the Window

Each time I go to the mall, I tell myself not to go into the puppy/dog stores. But what do I end up doing? Going into those stores. Then I leave the store feeling sad and having my heart break knowing those pups behind the windows are most likely from puppy mills. I walk in feeling so disgusted and wanting to see if there are any shibas behind those windows and a sigh of relief comes over me when I don't see any, but still I cry a bit inside seeing the other puppies who are there. I get angry when I hear people wanting to purchase these pups. I want to pull them aside and educate them on puppy mills and where most of those pups probably came from. I want to save them the heartache of possibly having an ill puppy down the line.

In the past 6 months I've seen at least six shiba inu puppies in the pet stores. Every time I've seen one, they looked so lethargic. Today, I went to go pickup a bag of free Natura pet food from a coupon that's going around on the internet. I didn't realize the store I was going to, to pick up the food also sold puppies there. I felt relieved because I didn't see any shiba pups there, or so I thought, until I walked towards the back. There were "new arrivals" who couldn't come out to play just yet. In one cage was a red female shiba pup cuddling next to a female pug. After a while the pug woke up and tried to get the shiba to wake up. The shiba had a plastic tag around it's neck for identification and the pug was tugging at it. Lifting the shiba up from a sleeping position to a sitting position. Still the shiba just opened her eyes, looked at the pug and plopped back down to sleep. I walked out of the store, not looking back, because if I did I would have wanted to take that little girl home with me. I knew I couldn't, because then I'd be supporting the one thing I want to get rid of, the puppy mills.

I pray that one day, everyone will be educated on purchasing puppies, so they can learn where their companions come from and put an end to the puppy mills, so we can have healthier and happier puppies.

Monday, July 26, 2010

It's Potty Time!

I've been blessed with the fact that Mika has had very few accidents. I think she's had more accidents at my friend's house than my own. Lately, I've been leaving her ex-pen open at night, so she can roam around and do whatever she likes. Most of the time she hops into bed with me. Sometimes, she just stays in her ex-pen and goes to bed and wakes me up in the morning when she's ready to get up.

Last night, I was very exhausted and let her out earlier than usual for her last potty of the night before bed time. She woke me up at 2am to tell me she really had to go, because when I let her out earlier before we went to bed, she only went #1. This time she had to go #2. I'm so glad she didn't go anywhere else in my bedroom, but instead woke me up to tell me she needed out.

I wonder if I am putting too much trust in her that she is now fully potty trained? Am I giving her too much freedom? So far she's proven to me that she knows where she needs to go and the place where she eliminates is not in the house, but out in the backyard. I guess I will have to wait and see if she has an accident in the middle of the night. Let's hope she doesn't though! =)

Friday, July 16, 2010


"It's Mine!" is what I usually hear from my 3 1/2 year old niece who believes anything and everything that she wants is hers and is not yours. Same is true for a lot of dogs, especially shibas. I am lucky that Mika has been very good about her toys and food. However, she is still a puppy and I don't know if she will start to have resource guarding issues.

Lately, I've been taking Mika to the dog park so she can socialize with other dogs and people. She has been doing great. There is one thing I don't necessarily like about the dog park and can't seem to figure out why it's allowed. Toys, balls, frisbees. Why are owners allowed to bring in dog toys into the dog park? That may sound like a stupid question and I realize it is a dog park and many owners would like to play fetch with their dog at the park. That isn't always what goes on though. Many people bring toys to keep their dogs occupied. Yes their dog does end up being occupied. The dog is busy guarding the toy making sure no other dog gets close enough to take the toy away. I see it so often and I see so many dogs get into fights over a ball or frisbee. Just yesterday when I was at the dog park a little girl was playing with another dog and threw her frisbee to play fetch. Her dog who saw this got very possessive over the frisbee and almost attacked the other dog. When the girl went down to try to get the frisbee from her dog to throw it again, the dog snapped and growled at her. Then there was an incident where there was another dog guarding a ball that wasn't even his from everyone else. Mika saw this dog and wanted to play with him, she had no interest at all in the toy, but she wanted to play with every dog she saw and since this dog didn't want to play he wasn't very friendly to her. Before the dog locked his eyes on the toy he was running around with Mika and they were having a good time.

The atmosphere and attitudes change when toys are involved and fights usually break out and someone's play time at the dog park comes to an end earlier than expected.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Back to Basics

"Why would you feed your dog that?" is what I hear a lot when someone asks me what I'm planning to feed Mika. Mainly my family, asking me what she's eating, asking if I feed her dog food. Well, isn't most human food dog food anyway? Many people (and myself included at one point) didn't realize that dog food wasn't actually made until the 1930's when they had to find something else to do with the food that was rejected to be used and sold on the market for us 2 legged beings.

So what exactly am I feeding Mika? Right now she is still on kibble. She currently eats California Naturals No Grain formula to test for allergies. Her eyes do not tear as often, but I still have to wipe them a few times a day. This morning she got her first pre-made raw turkey patty (see pictures below).

She is very food driven and gets excited when she sees me get her food ready for her, but today when she smelled that raw turkey patty, she went nuts! I could barely get her to calm down to get her food in her bowl. I hope to keep her on a raw diet since I firmly believe that raw is the best diet I can give to her if I want her to live a longer life. I also want to keep her on kibble since there will be times in the future where I may need to go somewhere and cannot take her with me. Having her on a half kibble, half raw diet will be beneficial for when I may need my family to feed her if I end up not being able to feed her.

So I feed her some raw, what's wrong with that? Before the 1930's how else did dogs get their food?

Friday, July 2, 2010


My mommy went to go get something her and all her friends call "boba", and when she was gone one of my DogFathers gave me my first bullystick! IT IS THE BEST THING EVAR!!! I love it and I can't get enough of it! My mom says my breath smells terrible when I chew on my stick, but it is the bestest delicious smell I've experienced in these past 11 weeks of my life!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New Menu

When I got Mika, she had really teary eyes. Took her to the vet the next day and the vet said she's fine there's nothing wrong, that the tears are most likely from stress from traveling. It's been over a week now and she's still teary eyed and I'm having to wipe them constantly. The breeder fed her Eukanuba before and I was feeding her Wellness Just for Puppy. Took her to this very nice pet boutique shop and talked to the owner and she suggested I get a small bag of California Naturals No Grain Formula to test for allergies in the food. Going to see how it goes this week with her and see if those tears clear up. I just feel bad for changing her diet again. Wish us luck! Hopefully we can get down to the bottom of what's causing her to tear! I hope it's just allergies and not an airborne disease.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Mika mentioned how she didn't like the taste of peanut butter earlier. That is a real disappointment. I was hoping that she would like it so that it would keep her busy longer, especially if it's frozen pb. However, she goes nuts for frozen yogurt & blueberries. She gets tired of trying to lick it and work to get it out when it isn't at the tip anymore. I usually have to push it towards the bottom to get it. If not she lets it sit there for a while and plays with her other toys to let it melt so she can continue licking it.

I purchased some Stella & Chewy's carnivore Crunch Beef Treats to train her with. So far it's going well and she also loves these treats. She doesn't care much for the Zuke's mini naturals salmon treats. She understands her name, but like most shibas, she doesn't always listen when she is being called. A mind of their own. Mika has also learned how to sit. Currently working on the "lay down". It is a bit tougher as she won't stay still for too long. I may just put the "lay down" on hold for a bit, and work on a "sit-stay" with her since she loves the treats she's getting currently, I want to see how long I can get her to "stay" for.

Well, time to research more treats to give to her for training!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Introducing me!

I guess my name is Mika. That's what the lady who is presumed to be my mom calls me. I don't always come when she calls me that though. Why should I? She should come to me, not me to her. She's been depriving me of my morning meals! She doesn't feed me when I wake up in the morning. She mutters something about it being 4 o'clock in the morning and that I should sleep for a few more hours. She has some issues, clearly it is 7 in the morning when I get up not 4. Silly lady can't even tell time. I do remember her talking to some of her friends about how she's trying to get me adjusted to West Coast time. What the heck is all that talk about? Time shouldn't be the issue here, because everything revolves around me and therefore she should feed me when I wake up in the morning regardless of what time it is!

Yesterday my mom took me on a trip to many different places. I mainly just slept the whole way there. We went to some store called Whole Petz. The lady there gave me some delicious treats! I couldn't get enough of them. I wish my mom would give me some of that! She mentioned to the lady how she was going to stop by the supermarket afterwards to pick up some peanut butter and yogurt to freeze for me to have as a treat. Let me tell you, that peanut butter thing is not to my liking at all! She tried to get me to lick the spoon that had the mix of peanut butter and yogurt on it last night. Of course I walked away and ignored her for a while since she tried to make me eat something disgusting. Again this afternoon, she pulls something very cold out of the freezer and gives it to me. I like that it was cold, but then I sniffed it some more and realized it was the blasted mixture of peanut butter and yogurt. How dare she still try to feed it to me! Just because it's frozen doesn't mean I will like it! The nerve of her! She did say tonight she is going to try something new for me, something like mixing blueberries and the yogurt instead. I do like those blueberries! She gave me a few earlier as treats and it was deeeeeeeeelicious! Now that's the kind of stuff I like, not any of that peanut butter junk! I heard my distant corgi cousin Zoey doesn't like peanut butter either. That Zoey has good taste buds! I do know that my other so called cousins Venus and Kuma love peanut butter. Maybe I can get my mom to give them that horrid, sticky cream!

I am kind of sleepy now! I will let you all know how the yogurt and blueberries go! I hope it isn't as bad as the peanut butter!