Kaiju was born on November 1st last year. He spent the first 10 weeks of his life with his mom Sugar, his littermates, and the breeder Charleen in the suburban house on the Cape. It has been about 10 months since he left the place to live with us.
Last weekend, we had the pleasure of visiting Charleen with our little dude. We had been talking about this for a while so it was exciting when it was finally scheduled and confirmed!
The reunion scene was so very heart-warming. When Kaiju first saw Charleen walk towards him, he was curious but cautious. He slowly approached her and extended his neck as far as he could to sniff her toe. At the same time, he heard her voice. Then, he knew. His dangling tail sprang up to the cute curl and started wagging rapidly. After that, it was all jumping, licking, play bows, panting, and everything else you would expect from an over-joyed puppy.
We the humans were of course very happy to see her, too. She has been there for us to talk to, on the phone and via email, throughout this whole unfortunate ordeal with Kaiju. We were happy to have a chance to show her the sweet and handsome Shiba that he had become (even with the bent knee...).
Kaiju then reunited with his mom, Sugar. The last time we saw her, she was quite skinny from nursing three boys and one girl. This time, she was pudgy and smiley... (or squinty?) In short, she had the look of a "mom" and it was adorable. Sugar kept her ears flat while gently rolling around on the grass with Kaiju.
From Sugar's litter, Charleen has kept one boy for herself. He did not have a name the last time we saw him, but now he did: Hambone. He was all grown up and looked very different from our boy, especially in terms of the build. Kaiju was definitely gangly in comparison. Charleen attributed that to Kaiju's lack of physical activities for the past 6 months, and, more interestingly, to Kaiju's early neutering (at his 4th month). Apparently, neutered dogs' growth plates close more slowly than those of intact dogs, so the limbs keep growing. Kaiju's legginess was very apparent next to Hambone.
Unfortunately, we could not let them play. They would have gone at it at full intensity, and we still needed to protect Kaiju's legs. They greeted each other across the fence, and whined for each other. It was bitter sweet.
After the visit, we asked Charleen for a recommendation for a nearby beach. Kaiju had never seen the ocean before, and we were keen on showing him a real beach. The recommended beach was beautiful and wide. It was late afternoon, so there were very few people there, too. And boy, did he get excited! He dug in the sand as any dog should, and ran around with twinkling eyes.
Too bad for Kaiju. We had to cut the beach time short when we noticed him limp more than usual. His day had been action packed, and his leg wasn't in shape enough for it. When we tugged him closer and said "let's go home, Kaiju", he looked at us with the pleading eyes. Sorry, Kaiju, for being such party poopers all the time, but your safety comes first.
He slept like a baby that night. It was a very satisfying day for everyone.