Kobe became part of my life as a puppy in January 2003. I did not plan to get a dog, but decided spontaneously one day to go buy a Shiba Inu. It was the best decision I have ever made; my life would not be the same without him.
Kobe grew into a moody, independent dog who enjoys long periods of solitary meditation, punctuated by chewing on his toes or waving his butt in the air while barking sharply. His likes include hamburgers, walking around and crying while holding “special” toys in his teeth, rearranging the covers on the bed to best suit his needs, celebrating each poop with a festive dance, and the hairdryer. He dislikes oral hygiene, nail clipping, rain, most table scraps, and crunchy dog treats. He holds a special place in my heart, being the first dog I had after roughly 18 years of wishing I could get a dog instead of another bird or lizard.
Since Kobe is now 15 years and not excited about long road trips around America, he still lives in Virginia with Andrew. The two enjoy short walks, frequent poops, binge-watching Netflix, and McDonald’s hamburgers. Kobe is a terrible pen pal but I can smell his breath from across the country, so that counts for something.
Scout (commonly referred to as Scoot or Scooty) joined our family in March 2009, but it feels like he has always been here. The same age as Kobe, he spent the first six years of his life bouncing between several owners, until his last owner gave him away for free on Craigslist. I paid $350 for him.
In November of 2009, Scout went blind in one eye due to a combination of glaucoma and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. In November of 2011, the glaucoma got the better of his remaining eye and by the end of 2011, he was completely blind. He has adjusted relatively well, but is wary of this upcoming November.
Scout enjoys walking very slowly, licking the floor, putting on excess weight, losing excessive amounts of fur, and receiving any sort of affection. He does not enjoy trips in the car, and shows his displeasure by vomiting and pooping on the seats and carpeting. Despite his quirks, I love him immensely and cannot understand why anyone would give Scout away. He is a keeper.
In June 2015 at the age of nearly 13, Scout died, which is horrible and shitty and the first time I’ve been confronted with losing a dog. Now I like to think he’s haunting us, because it makes me less sad to imagine little ghost Scout licking the floor like he always did.
Tanner joined the family shortly thereafter because my condo didn’t look crappy enough and I needed somebody to systematically chew holes in the carpets and walls. He’s wonderful and hugely enthusiastic about everything (it’s the morning! it’s the evening! it’s now! HOORAY!) but has some behavioral issues.
Life with him is like a circus, but with no tent because he is terrified of tents and no music because music scares him and no clowns because who the hell isn’t afraid of clowns?
Tanner spent first part of the 2016 traveling around the country with me, but then met a family in Redlands, CA and has hardly left since. He stayed with them originally while I was racing the Redlands Bicycle Classic, but quickly came to call their place home. While I miss him all the time, he is so happy there and gets to explore their big yard, go on hikes and runs, and spend his days with his best friend Chip.