Wednesday, June 1, 2011

He Licks Us for Us

We had our first camping adventure of 2011 over Memorial Day weekend. There is so much to recount about the trip that I will break things out into at least two posts. 
"Is this your idea of fun?"

The car was packed to the max which meant Niko's usual sprawl on the entire backseat was reduced to 1/4 of it.

Remember the life vest we bought Niko a few months ago? It was finally time to test the waters, pardon the pun. The week before, we brought out the vest and did some clicker training with Niko and the vest. Every time he approached the vest, we clicked the clicker (a training device) and gave him a treat. He quickly learned that good things happen when he touched the vest with his nose or paws it. We also put the vest on him for practice runs. He didn't mind wearing it as much after a few times.

At the Thousand Islands, NY, we stayed at a waterfront campsite and brought our kayaks. We put the life vest on him and he was a little hesitant to get off his butt. We walked him around with it on and let him lounge in it.

It was funny seeing Niko in the life vest because it created rolls around his neck, making him appear to be a chubby Shiba.
We eventually put him in the kayak. Ed slowly paddled out while holding on to Niko. He relaxed a little as they floated 
away. However, when they approach shore again, Niko got anxious and made attempts to put his paws up, ready to jump ship. Unlike last year, Niko did not escape and jump into the water. If he were to jump, I was hoping he wouldn't swim away from our campsite, because across the bay in the distance was Canadian land. (Niko didn't apply for his passport yet)

We were able to do 2 trial runs with Niko. Our goal is to teach him that staying in the kayak = not getting wet. And not getting wet is Niko's only wish. We feel that this was a good start and will try to phase him into a kayak rider soon enough!
(paws on paddle ready for action or to jump?)

So, "what's with the title of this post?" you ask. Niko has an obsession with licking things dry. Mostly himself and us. Typically, if my hand or face were wet and I reach towards him, he would lick me dry. I often do it on purpose. After baths, he compulsively dries himself. What's interesting is that every time we came back from kayaking without him, he ran toward us and proceeded to sniff and then lick our wet feet and legs for several minutes.  It feels nice and we think it's funny and weird all at the same time. This habit is probably related to his aversion to water and feeling the need to make it go away. That, or he was just very thirsty.


  1. Yay camping! Were there mosquitoes? We got our first bites during that weekend, even in the city...

    Kaiju licks us dry (well, tries to until we stop him), too. Every time either one of us comes out of the shower, he comes running to lick our legs.

  2. The mosquitoes were pretty tamed with our tiki torches and citronella. It was cool at night too. We saw Kaiju in his life vest in a kayak from last year and it gave us the same great idea. Thank you.

  3. Wow, he's such a big boy now! These pics are so funny. Gotta take Suki camping =P

  4. Good idea giving him treats for touching the vest! Makes him want to do it more! And I'm sure he was licking the water off you to protect you from the evil liquid! He does love you! haha

    PS- Niko should get a Malaysian Passport!

  5. My Shiba Nomi licks me dry too, everytime my boyfriend or I step out of the shower she's waiting for us to lick our feet and legs xD