The Sheebs

Trixie and Wasabi at a local dog park.
August 2011
Since this blog is named in their honor, it seems fitting to have an entire page dedicated to my two Shiba Inu dogs, Trixie and Wasabi.  DH and I adopted them on January 31st, 2010, and our lives have never been the same since!

The day after we brought home our babies!
We adopted them from a small dog rescue group, called Tiny Paws Small Dog Rescue, based out of Union Grove, WI.  They were saved along with 10 other shiba puppies from a puppy mill somewhere down south (we've heard both Illinois and Missouri).  The explanation we were given is that because this breed is not very common in the US yet (they weren't introduced to the States until the G.I.'s came back from Japan after WWII and brought them back with them), most puppy mills only breed them for show in order to make money.  There must be something about these two that are not "show" standard and so the puppy mill was going to euthanize them.  However, they look perfect to us, and aside from some Giardia brought with them from the Mill/Foster Home, they have been very healthy little doggies!


Trixie came to us with the name Sheila. Yep, you heard me right, Sheila the Shiba.  We promptly renamed her (before even bringing her home with us) and now Trixie's full name is Beatrix Beldon, named after the main character in one of my favorite book series as a child, Trixie Beldon.  

She has also earned many nicknames in the time she's been with us, including: Trix, Trixie Bell, Bell Bell, Trixica, Trixasourus Rex, "T" and T-Dawg.

Trixie is a very confident 19lb female.  She can hold her own with her much bigger brother, and can outrun most of the large dogs at the dog park.  When she was younger, she used to have an issue with food aggression toward other dogs, but she has fortunately grown out of that and now only needs to be monitored when high-prize items such as pig's-ears are around.

She is very playful and loves playing rough with her brother...though he probably plays a little bit more rough with her than she'd like.  She is always very excited to meet other new dogs, and once they've greeted, she typically is game for a round or two of chase (usually she get's to be the one chased since she is so small and fast).  After a short while, she normally likes to just sit back and watch everybody else play while she soaks in warm sun.

Trixie is very food-motivated and is usually pretty quick to pick up new tricks.  She can sit, lay down (this one needs work though), dance (also needs practice), shake, "guess which hand," wait, stop (needs work), and "watch me" (where you hold a treat to the side of your head and don't give it to them until they look you in the eye).  She has never really gotten how to "roll over" and has no recall whatsoever... unless you say the name of her favorite food, "cheese," and if she thinks you're not bluffing, then she'll come if she's in the mood.

Trixie is very independent, she is fiercely loyal to her Mommy and Daddy and likes to know where they are at all times.  If one of us leaves, she starts crying and shrieking... and you haven't heard screaming until you've heard the infamous "Shiba Scream."  When it's all four of us just hanging out at home, however, she prefers to do her own thing and find a comfy dog bed to relax in by herself.  Her favorite place to be is in our living room window seat where she can keep an eye on the neighborhood.

She is a very good girl who will normally sit politely for a good brushing and comes when called to go outside.  However, she does not, under any circumstances want her nails trimmed!  She came to us with no dew claws and I think the puppy mill removed them in some inhumane way, causing her to have life-long phobias about having her paws handled, and we now have to sedate her and take her to the vet to get them done.


Wasabi came to us with the name Sully, given to him by the rescue group we adopted him from.  We knew if we ever got one of these gorgeous Japenese Dogs we'd have to name it after one of our favorite foods, Sushi.  So the name Wasabi was chosen for our male before were even ready to adopt!

Wasabi's full name is Captain Wasabi... but once we met him and brought him home, the full name never really seemed to fit him so it didn't stick and he just goes by Wasabi.  His nicknames include: Sabi, Sobbers, Wobbers, Wobby, Wobert, Woberstiltskin, Bubba, Bugaboo, Bug, Buggie, Mubasi, "W", C-Dub, and Dubya.

Wasabi is a 29lb male.  Though large, he is rather insecure (which may be due to his tragic beginnings in a puppy mill or simply part of his natural personality).  He has no problem playing with... and picking on his little sister, but when meeting new dogs he can be very unpredictable.  If he meets any dog that he perceives to be vulnerable in any way (elderly, young, weak/submissive), he goes into warning/attack mode.

It started with young males, between the ages of 6 months to 2 years, but now it's gotten to the point where we can't find any rhyme or reason to his madness.  He'll be perfectly fine playing with a new dog for about 5 minutes, then it will look at him the wrong way, and he'll start growling, showing his teeth, and even snapping at it!  There is a small dog park in the apartment complex where we live, and we no longer let Wasabi off-leash in there if there are dogs we don't know playing.  We rarely go to large dog parks anymore because of his unpredictability now.  Guess it's all the more reason to get DH and myself some more exercise by taking him for long walks to get his energy out....and buy a house with a private fenced in yard sometime sooner rather than later!

Wasabi can do all the tricks that Trixie can do (sit, lay down, dance, shake, "guess which hand," wait, stop, and "watch me."  

He is also much better at roll over than his sister too!  He is a very sweet little boy and is much more affectionate than his sister, always cuddling up to his Mommy and Daddy, and sleeping with us every single night.

Finally, he would like everyone to know that he is very good at catching bugs and if there are any sewer drains that need to be sniffed, he's the right man, eh hem, dog for the job!