In Honor of a Dog Gone Too Soon
Despite that, she was a gorgeous red Shiba Inu who always knew she was special, from the day her daddy fell under her spell and brought her home, even though he didn't really like dogs. She was born in Nebraska on December 14, 2006, and ended up in Colorado Springs, where she found us. She rode home in the back seat between Amanda and Hunter, who instantly fell in love with her. We named her Aiko, in honor of the Japanese princess. She was a spicy little puppy who teethed on all of our chair legs, table legs, and baseboards. People would stop in the street to see her and pet her and tell her how beautiful she was, and she accepted all the praise as her due. She was enrolled in training class and was the only one who didn't get a diploma, but she didn't care at all. Her main issue at training was the inability to come on command. She came when she felt like it, and no sooner. She wasn't very interested in toys, and would not fetch, but loved to race around the backyard with her tail straight up in air.
One of my favorite memories of her was when we were hiking Waldo Canyon, before the fire, and as we rounded a corner, came face to face with a group of Japanese tourists. The man in the front of the group saw her, smiled and bowed. Aiko was very honored by such a sweet gesture.
As she aged, she became hypothyroid and gained weight. She didn't like to take a walk on a leash anymore, but didn't mind strolling the streets by herself if she could manage to slip past a hastily un-closed gate or door. She was tolerant of all other animals, except her bro-fur, Winchester the boy-Shiba for whom she had no use. At the end, her best friend was a cat named Blackie Chan. They would lay together and lick each others' faces, or walk around the yard together. She loved to lay on the carpet in Hunter's room close to his heater, or in her dog bed with the cat. She loved treaties of any kind and hated taking pills and having her nails trimmed. She would get very anxious at the vet, but always wanted to go through the door to the rear to see what was going on back there. In her last year, she had a wonderful veterinarian named Dr. Kocher at Northwest Animal Hospital.
Aiko Marie Buck was one-of-a-kind, and she has left a Shiba-shaped hole in my heart.