@PEOPLEpets: this is my dream vacation!

taro the shiba, picture at home

My name is Taro.  I am a small, red, male Shiba.


And, I love to travel.


Car rides, hikes, city treks: you name it, I love it. 

So, when @PEOPLEpets asked what my dream vacation is… I had to enter.


My dream vacation is a trip from my pack’s home in Phoenix to much cooler, much greener San Francisco.



Why do I want to go there?


  1. My family likes to travel in summer to escape the heat. I’m a Shiba with a double coat and the heat in AZ can be hard for me. I want to go some place cooler: San Francisco definitely qualifies!

  2. There are very few Shibas in Arizona. I’d like to go to a place that has lots of Shibas to meet.  This may sound funny, but I much prefer to play with other Shibas than most dogs. I’m kind of an independent dog, but I let my personality show around other Shibas. From what I’ve been told, there are thousands of Shibas in San Francisco—you can’t walk down the street without seeing one!



What would I do there?


Oh, so many things!  San Francisco is a veritable doggy paradise.  I would take my humans everywhere!



Taro on the Beach We’d go to the beach!  I love the beach!




Golden Gate BridgeWe’d see the Golden Gate Bridge (I wonder if I can mark it to tell
other dogs and humans it’s mine?








Fort Funston Photo

  We’d meet my twitter Shiba friend Zuko (@demondogsports) and we’d go to
  Fort Funston—it’s supposedly a giant off-leash doggy paradise with hills
  and beaches






Shiba (Zuko) in Wine Country

My humans would drive me to wine country to feel the cool breeze and maybe, just maybe, I could flavor the future vintages with my own scent





My humans would also drive me to the redwood forest

Stamp of Redwood ForestI could be camouflaged with my red shiba coat! 




I’d take my female human shopping:

 There’s Union SquareUnion Square Photo, San Francisco and Fillmore Street Fillmore Street Sign:
   they’re both dog-friendly!








My humans would take me to Japantown (Shibas are Japanese after all) and I’d eat
sushi!  My humans already feed me a raw diet (helps with my allergies), so my stomach
is already prepared to chow down on some salmon, tuna and kelp






Then, we’d go to the main event: the Shiba Fanciers of Northern California annual Shiba Party

Shiba Party Pic 
  I’d love to meet all those dogs and I’d probably
  win shortest shiba!







taro the shiba catches a beach sunset

Lastly, my humans and I would catch one last beach sunset before coming home. 



So, please, @PEOPLEpets: send me and my humans to San Francisco
on Southwest Airlines

our vacation would be the best Shiba vacation ever!!!



i’m ready for takeoff!


or i will be in a few hours. y’know. once my humans walk me, feed me, finish packing, etc.


but i’m super excited about my trip. you can see it in my smile:

taro shiba smiles next to the lake


and not just once, but every time i go outside:

taro shiba, big smile on the lake


also, i am excited because zuko has said that his mom will give me cheese and bacon. this is most excellent news.

taro shiba, licks his lips (but is worried about the fountain)


a big thank you to all who have wished me safe travels to san francisco. here’s hoping i fly like a champ, that the rain forecasted is but a sprinkle, and that zuko and i have a lifetime of memories in just a single weekend. that’s not too much to ask, right?


hope your weekend is fantastic. see you on the other side!



(Prince) Zuko the shiba and I were fast friends.


He’s awesome to play with, especially if the game is tug-of-war.


And I love to chase him on the beach (he’s an off-leash beach shiba!).


Here’s a pic of us together—I already can’t wait to share a rental home with him in Huntington Beach this July!


see this pic on flickr.



Some of my Twitter buddies got to hang out together in San Francisco last weekend and one of the dad’s posted some great pics on his blog!

From the left are Suki (her dad took the pics and features her on his blog all the time), Taro (who came over from Arizona and has his own blog and Twitter account), and Prince Zuko (also with his own blog and Twitter account, plus a Facebook page, and is Suki’s half-brother).

As you can see they had a pretty good time and from what I hear drew quite the attention of passers by. Well, of course they did - Shibas are awesome. Three Shibas? No human can resist.

Thanks for blogging about this, Misaki! We had an awesome time!


It’s a Zuko Shiba Hipstamatic/Retro Wednesday!


Zuko was on a park path near the ruins of the San Francisco bathing pools. He and I were walking around, gaining new territory for our kingdom with each mark.


Think he’s tired? He might have been. We had just finished running around the beach.


see this photo on flickr.



during my trip to san francisco, we spent quite a bit of time in the car.


above, you can see a pic of me listening to zuko’s mom as she talks about the city (also on flickr).


we had to drive up to novato for the northern california shiba party, but we got rained out. 


here’s a pic of me, very unhappy that i’m so wet and so cold.


taro, very unhappy about being rained out

(see my earlier post about being rained out or see this photo on flickr)



after a while though, i was just happy to be on a car ride.


this is a pic my human tra took of kai & i, hanging out in the backseat. 


taro & kai in the back seat, chilling

(on flickr)



but zuko is the ultimate heart stealer on car rides! look at this pic of him pretending to be camera shy!


zuko, camera shy in the car

(on flickr)



and what about those adorable eyes? how can you not give him treats every two seconds for being that adorable?


zuko, looking absolutely adorable on a car ride

(on flickr)



we drove alone on the last day, but i sure was tired. see how i was inventing new and creative ways to sleep?


taro sleeps standing up in the car

(on flickr)



taro shiba, sleeping with his head on tra's leg

(on flickr)



more to come from my vacation later this week. you can see what’s already available online in my flickr set: san francisco.



it’s a taro shiba advertisement for lastolite & for jonathan fleming photography!


as i reblogged from misaki’s world last week, when i was in san francisco with zuko we met up with a very famous shiba named suki. suki’s famous for being beautiful and for being a wonderful shiba model for her human dad’s awesome photography. 


if you’ve never seen it before, you really must see the 52 weeks of suki set on flickr. it’s superb.


we asked jonathan to take photos of all the shibas together, which he did, along with lots of help from his wife, bridget. the photoshoot, however, made for a very busy morning and early afternoon.


our schedule:

  • ~10am, the three shiba packs met up coffee at philz coffee in SOMA (kai’s best pic of the trip was probably this one, taken at philz)
  • cara rose, another very talented photographer, joined us, along with her friend melissa. jonathan and cara begin to take pics at this point.
  • walk along mission creek park to a dog park, where we shibas ran a bit and sniffed a bit.
  • walk back along the creek, stop for photoshoot in SOMA.
  • wrap up SOMA shoot, cara & melissa leave (but not before melissa says goodbye to me and goodbye to zuko!). the rest of us head over to the japanese peace plaza for more shots.
  • after photos in the japanese peace plaza, walk to lunch/very late brunch together [the photo at top was taken while waiting for the humans’ food to arrive].
  • back to japantown to say goodbye, part ways.


busy day, right?


well, jonathan did a wonderful job of documenting the whole experience in this blog entry, which is an absolute must-read/must-see. dozens of shiba pics and a great telling of how many humans it took to get good shots. it also includes this stunning picture of me:

jonathan fleming pic of taro the shiba in japantown peace plaza



so, getting back to the taro shiba advertisement…


jonathan had lots of equipment, including some lastolite equipment that work with his flash (i think; all that equipment is kind of confusing). and, with all his skill, if he trusts lastolite, then i am happy to pose for a couple of shots for that brand.


here’s an additional shot:

taro shiba poses with lastolite equipment

(see the three taro shiba lastolite ad pics on flickr: 1, 2, & 3)



you may notice that i don’t have a pic of me posing with a jonathan fleming logo, which is a usual staple of my taro shiba ad series. instead of the usual visual, i just want to gush about my experience with him and then provide you with links to back it up. 


my endorsement of jonathan:

jonathan is an awesome photographer with a great eye, real talent, and plenty of patience when it comes to working with shibas (his wife, bridget, does too!). he takes great photos of non-shibas, as well. to see for yourself, follow links at the bottom of this post to his blog, website and flickr. so, if you’re in the bay area and need photos of your dog or anything else, jonathan’s the person to contact.


jonathan has set up a gallery of shots on his photography website (with more to come as they’re done being processed). please go check it out. they’re amazing and available for purchase. to see these photos…

  • Click this link.
  • On his website, click “Gallery.”
  • Then, click “Photoshoot: Taro & Zuko.”


i hope you enjoyed these photos and enjoyed getting to know a bit more of what i did in san francisco. 


here are some additional shots that you may enjoy:


stay tuned… more from my trip to san francisco is yet to come!


Even More Links! roundup:


UPDATE: zuko already got some prints in the mail!


zuko the shiba: fun on the beach


in this very special post, i’m sharing pics of my big shiba bro (in spirit), zuko the shiba.


my human, tra, took these pics while zuko and i romped on ocean beach in san francisco. zuko’s very photogenic so tra was able to capture some very memorable shots.


more pics:


and, now, the 9 best photos we took of zuko the shiba on the beach:


zuko & kai

zuko the shiba & kai

(on flickr)


zuko runs out into the water

zuko the shiba gets in the water, just before realizing it's not a great idea

(on flickr)


zuko regrets going out into the ocean, runs away from an oncoming wave

zuko the shiba runs away from a wave

(on flickr)


zuko the shiba, running gracefully on the ocean’s edge

zuko the shiba, graceful on the ocean's edge

(on flickr)


zuko and his human dad

zuko the shiba & his human dad

(on flickr)


zuko the shiba, running back to his dad, but stopping for a sniff first

zuko runs back to sniff kelp and see his human dad

(on flickr)


zuko investigates a surfer carrying his board, briefly barks at him

zuko the shiba, barking at a surfer carrying his board

(on flickr)


zuko and his human mom, running on the beach together

zuko and his human mom, running on the beach

(on flickr)


a flying prince zuko the shiba!

flying zuko the shiba, running on the beach

(on flickr)



hope you enjoyed these. you can see all of the beach photos from my trip to visit zuko the shiba in san francisco over in this flickr set.


faces of zuko the shiba

recently, the ridiculously talented cara of cara rose photos (who zuko and i met during our photo shoot with jonathan and his shiba suki) posted this photo of zuko on flickr: [can only be seen on flickr, but trust me it’s worth it!]


quick and important notes on cara and her awesome photgraphy:


flickr users should really follow cara’s work on flickr. her username is tumbleweed.in.eden


this is cara’s website: cara rose photos


cara also maintains a blog. it has a great collection photo entries.


recently on that blog, she posted photos of suki, zuko and i. you should read about it by going here.


she took those during the first half of our san francisco photoshoot. some of the images are amazing, and the last one in that blog post makes my humans grin incessantly. 


if my humans and i ever make it out to kansas, you can absolutely bet that we’ll be asking cara for a photo session.



so, the aforementioned wonderful shot cara took of zuko’s mug inspired kai and i to look through our own photos of zuko’s face. below is a collection of some of our not-yet-shared photos of zuko’s killer smile and hyper-expressive eyes.


zuko jogging in his backyard

(on flickr)


zuko saying hi to kai, expecting a treat

(on flickr)


zuko chews on a treat, gets pet

(on flickr)


zuko's adorable mug

(on flickr)


zuko, closed eye pic

(on flickr)


zuko looks at the camera for a treat

(on flickr)



want to see more of our best pics of zuko’s face? try these two blog entries:


round-up of more taro & zuko photos

i’m going to see zuko again on thursday when we’ll share a house rental in huntington beach. we’ll see lots of other shibas, too, and my humans will have their cameras out constantly.


realizing i’ll have a huge influx of new photos to share, i’ve decided to share a handful of unreleased photos of me, zuko, & our respective packs. enjoy!


in sutro heights

taro sniffs zuko's human mom's face

(on flickr)


zuko's human mom & taro

(on flickr)


taro gets some love from zuko's human mom

(on flickr)


pic with zuko, kai, and zuko's human mom

(on flickr)



in alamo square

taro shiba and zuko shiba in alamo square 2

(on flickr)


taro shiba and zuko shiba in alamo square

(on flickr)


zuko on a walk in alamo square

(on flickr)


zuko and taro, sniffing the same grass

(on flickr)


zuko checks out san francisco's alamo square shoe garden

(on flickr)


zuko looks through the (grass) salad bar

(on flickr)


taro the shiba & zuko the shiba sniff a rock in alamo square

(on flickr)


 more photos can be seen in this flickr set.