The Shiba Inu

Ponta At Home

Ponta waiting to eat dinner Ponta resting on the bed Ponta in front of a large pile of his own fur

At home, Ponta is a very content dog with a very structured life. Every morning, he wakes up at around 9 a.m., just around the time for his morning walk. He comes home for an afternoon of sleepng, playing, and following his mama around everywhere. At 4 p.m., it's time for his afternoon walk, after which comes Ponta's favorite time of the day: dinner! After dinner, it's time for some more resting, until his papa comes home. Ponta rushes down the stairs, excited because he thought papa would never come back! After playing with papa, he gets to watch his owners eat dinner. Usually, they will have some treats for him; it's Ponta's job to do some neat tricks to earn them. After that, Ponta settles down for a nice nap before his midnight walk with papa, after which it's time to go to bed.

When he sleeps, Ponta also dreams a lot. Here is a sound he often makes when he's dreaming (direct link to MP3 file):

There are certain rules Ponta has to follow. For example, certain places in the house are "Ponkin" (ポン禁): the kitchen, Sachi's home office (which has to be kept clean for visitors), and the bedroom—though it's only off-limits when Ponta is shedding... which is most of the time! Pont's favorite time of the year is late Fall when he's not shedding, and can sleep with mama and papa. Ponta also understands that he must be as clean as possible in the house. That means no tracking dirt in from the outside! When Ponta comes home from a walk or other adventure, he has to wait in the genkan until he gets his paws cleaned. He follows this rule very well, always patiently waiting until after the cleaning for the "OK" to go into the house. He also understands that he must get permission to eat any food that appears. Even if food gets dropped into his feeding bowl, Ponta will sit and only look at it, waiting for the "OK!" which means it's OK to eat the treat.

Ponta' being a Shiba Inu, has one natural trait which can cause problems: shedding! Shiba Inus are famous for their shedding. For most of the year, they leave behind a trail of fur. Their fur comes in two layers: a normal over-coat, and a rich, soft undercoat. The undercoat is incredibly thich, and helps keep Ponta dry even when he's out in the rain; just a quick shake every few minutes, and he doesn't even need a raincoat.

However, that natural coat is constantly being replaced. If it is not brushed, loose fur simply sits and waits until there gets to be so much that it falls out in huge chunks. This is called "blowing the coat." Ponta never gets to this stage, however, because he gets brushed with a special undercoat brush every few days. So much fur comes out that his papa likes to say, "At the end of the year, we can make a completely new dog with all this fur!"

One of his owners' fondest memories is of the time Ponta was a puppy, just a sweet, cute little ball of fur who had suddenly dropped into our home and our lives. Below is a video of Ponta very soon after he arrived and became part of our family.

There is one last thing Ponta loves to do: the Shiba Crazy. Sometimes called the "Shiba 500" by Shiba Inu owners, this is when a Shiba gets an unexpected burst of energy and starts running around the house like a crazy dog. Below is a video showing a younger Ponta acting like a speeding maniac.

Finally, here is Ponta having a conversation with me at home. Note that most of the conversation is help in "Dog," but at the end, Ponta speaks a bit of English.