When I tell people that I have 5 dogs they are usually quite surprised.
How did I end up with 5 dogs you ask?
It started 3 years ago, while I was still living in Japan. During Christmas I got presented my with my first Shiba Inu : Koyuki.
At that point I didn’t know much about the Shiba Inu breed. I grew up with dogs and I daydreamed about eventually, one beautiful day having an Alaskan Malamute, Samoyed or Siberian Husky as a companion.
I was very surprised when I received my little black and tan ‘wolf’ into my hands. At that time I had no idea how much of an impact she would have on my life…
The Shiba Inu is an ancient japanese dog breed, and it is the closest relative to the wolf when it comes to dogs, however the Shiba Inu is not just a dog – it is a character.
Shiba Inus are quite intelligent, and an owner can expect to go through many negotiations with their Shiba every day. Known for being stubborn. They won’t follow you blindly. If you want your Shiba to jump in circles or play dead you need a compelling reason, an explanation if you will, beforehand why exactly it makes sense to do so, usually the most compelling reason is food related. 😉 However they can also be very sensitive and kind. If I’m feeling a bit blue Koyuki will notice and come to me and ‘demand’ cuddles.
At this point you are probably thinking… oh god, five Shiba Inus!? Isn’t one already quite a handful?
When I was 11 years old I was diagnosed with Aspberger’s syndrome, “a developmental disorder characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests.” according to Wikipedia. Social situations can be very scary to us and are usually quite taxing mentally and are a source of anxiety. It isn’t surprising then that most ‘aspies‘ tend to prefer being alone over taking part in activities with others. As a child I would rather stay at home and paint or do something creative rather than interact with other children.
Everything changed when Koyuki came into my life. For a Shiba she is quite the opposite from what you would expect from a Shiba. She is a very open and extremely social Shiba Inu. She is not reserved towards anyone, and is always open to greet everyone and anyone. Taking her for walks outside resulted in me interacting regularly and more with people around me (in Japanese at that point! :)), before I had just kind of ignored them. Koyuki opened me up, not only did she improve my social life but my work life as well. I was always a fighter who would never give up on an idea I had, but she made me an ‘open fighter’ and now I am working in a leading position in my field. Working internationally and always open to new challenges, whatever and wherever they might be.
This still doesn’t explain why I have 5 dogs…! I could never have imagined creating as strong a connection to a living creature as I did with my first Shiba. When I got to know my boyfriend, partner and best friend, Sindri (who is Icelandic) I learned that Iceland didn’t have any Shibas yet and that the people of Iceland have not had the chance to meet this lovely breed which changed my life so immensely. I decided that I would make it a goal of mine to introduce this breed to Iceland and to share this lovely breed with the people of Iceland. So I decided to become a Shiba Inu breeder.
Koyukis first litter, from left to right: Snati who will be living in Sauðárkrókur , Iceland – Lumen who is living in Lommedalen , Norway – Matheuz living in Lillehammer , Norway and Kuroteru who is living with Norways first breeder of the Shiba Inu in Bergen , Norway.