Bandit (the red one) died on October 19, 2009 at the ripe old age of 17 and Guin (the white one) died on December 1, 2008 at the age of 15 (see photo at the right). I miss them both dearly.
They're Shiba Inus, a Japanese breed of dog. They're loads of fun and are way too intelligent (at least Bandit is -- he knows his right from his left, can show his teeth and smile) both of them can dance and both of them sleep a lot. They also do "crazy dog" -- they put their ears back and race from room to room in the house, do circles, bark a lot (and very loudly) and run some more. Bandit also has his little "treasures." He likes to steal things and take them under the bed, then mock growl when we take them away. He's a silly dog. Here's a photo of him when we brought him home on September 14, 1992. Go ahead and say, "Awwwww, how cute!"

  • You asked for it, you got it - new photos of Bandit and Guin from Fall/Winter 2000.
  • Guin is a cover girl! She was on the cover of the September/October 1999 issue of Good Dog! Magazine as a puppy with another photo of her "all grown up" accompanying the article I wrote about Shibas. See more below!
  • "Breed Buyers Guide: The Shiba Inu" on page 12
  • "Healthy Shibas" on page 13
  • "Shopping For Shibas" on page 14
  • By popular demand, even more photos of Bandit and Guin!
  • More photos of Bandit and Guin (they're worth it, trust me!)
  • Read more about Shibas by J.A. Hitchcock (Bandit and Guin's mom) in Shibas USA
    • Summer 1999 issue - "St. Johns Wort Saved My Shibas"
    • Fall 1999 Issue - "Why Shibas Shouldn't Eat Grass"
  • Read about Shibas in Dog Fancy's May 1999 issue!
  • Read Bandit & Guin's Dreambook!
    Sign Bandit & Guin's Dreambook!


    Guin liked to go to my late husband Chris' computer room and bother him on the weekends. She stuck her butt up in the air and placed her front paws on the ground like she was bowing, growled at Chris and jumped around, then did it again until he got up to chase her. She also liked to play "hiney bugs" with Chris at night . . . on the bed. The two of them made quite a racket and upset Bandit and me. This is a subject better left unsaid (grin).

    My late husband and I loved our dogs. A lot. We didn't have children and didn't plan on having any -- I always told people I was married to a kid! But seriously, our dogs were our "kids." We didn't dress them up in baby clothes or anything like that (we might have been weird, but we were not *that* weird). So, an interesting thing happened a while back. I wrote a commentary about it and you can read it at Compute Me! - "Pets and Children."

    Shibas make odd sounds, unlike other dogs (or at least we think so!). I call one of these sounds the Taun-taun, after that horse/dog thing the characters ride in the movie "The Empire Strikes Back." Listen for yourself -- just hit the play > button and hear what Bandit had to say.

    NOTE: To get the best results, you should listen to the audio using Netscape's RealAudio plug-in, available at the RealAudio site. Download the free "RealPlayer." Please do not ask to have the .wav files e-mailed to you -- the last time I did this, I was overwhelmed with requests.

    Now listen to Guin - and yes, this is really a dog making these sounds. This is what she did when Chris played "hiney bugs" with her.

    To learn more about Shibas, read on or go to this web site: Rodel Shibas

    The Shiba has been a native breed of Japan since primitive times. The word "shiba" originally referred to something small and in this case, a small dog. Shibas lived mainly in the mountains facing the Sea of Japan and were used as hunting dogs for small game and birds. There were very slight differences in Shibas, depending on where they were bred and raised in Japan.

    After 1868, there was crossbreeding of the Shiba with English Setters and Pointers and it got to a point where pure Shibas became rare. By 1928, the government of Japan became concerned with preserving the Shiba breed and pure Shibas were searched for to begin a breeding program. The breed standard was unified in 1934 and in 1937 the Shiba was designated a national monument of Japan.

    Shibas are generally small, up to 16.5" in height, well-balanced with well-developed bones and muscles. The Japanese call them "action-quick, free and beautiful." They are faithful, intelligent and alert at all times, making for a good watchdog (size doesn't matter with these guys!). Although they do shed, the majority comes off in "molts" twice a year, giving them a raggedy look. The most popular colors are sesame (equal mixture of white and black hairs); black sesame (more black than white hairs); red sesame (red with black hairs); red and white (like my Bandit) and black and tan; although white/cream colors are now accepted by both the JKC (Japan Kennel Club) and AKC for show/breeding.

    Guin was registered with the JKC and her real (Japanese) name was Shirayuki Hime, which translates to Princess Snow White. Her father was a JKC Champion and all his offspring also had "royal" names. Bandit had a Japanese name, too -- Tsurugiyama, which means little wrestler (and he was!). Bandit was considered pet quality, but thought he was king of the house. Although Shibas are not off-leash dogs, we have a huge fenced-in yard they loved to play and race around in. They chasee each other around in the yard and the house and yes, they were spoiled rotten. They loved to cuddle, were small enough to fit in your lap, but big enough to rough-house with. We wouldn't trade them for the world!

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