An Apple, a Shiba and the Art of Compromise

I just had a re-run of the same conversation I’ve been having for twenty years.

Mum: What do you eat for breakfast.

Me: Usually a piece of fruit at the office and then an early lunch.

Mum: So you don’t eat breakfast. Breakfast kickstarts your metabolism.

Me: Scientists are debating that.

Mum: You need to eat in the morning to function properly during the day.

Me: I can’t eat first thing in the morning. Then I’d need to get up earlier.

Five minutes later …

Mum (reading something on the Internet): Apparently it’s true that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Also strengthens your teeth. Those apples in the bowl are organic.

Me: (Thinking – I could say I only really like Red and Golden Delicious. Or I could just eat the damn apple, like I do at work, and get her off my back. I mean, make her happy.)

I mean, it’s an apple. What’s the worst that could happen?


If you know anything about me, you’ll know I want a dog. Not just in a this-would-be-so-cute kind of way, but in a deep, profound there’s-a-void-in-my-soul-without-one way.

I love the big dogs. Labradors will always be my favourites, but I’d also love a Great Dane or maybe a Broholmer. My parents would rather have smaller dogs although after they had to put their last dog to sleep they said never again. My son won’t go near a small dog.

Since we’re all going to be living together when the dog enters our lives, something has to give.

I can either:

a) Refuse to get any other breed than my favourites and

ai) accept that I won’t get a dog for many many many years

aii) get the dog I want and have constant tension in the house because my father complains about how much it sheds and/or drools

b) Find another breed that we can all agree on and accept that I can probably love another dog just as much. After all, I’m nuts about Snow and she’s neither of the breeds I really want.

Enter the Shiba Inu.

One of my son’s friend’s mothers breeds them so they’ve been in his life for a while. They invited us to a dog show last autumn. It was the morning I threw my back out but there were dogs involved and hell yeah I was going.

My son loved them. He said those four magic words I’ve been waiting to hear for years: Can We Get One.

When I showed the pictures of the latest litter to my mother she went nuts. Suddenly the idea of getting a dog again was back on the table.

Size-wise it works for all of us. Not too big but not too small either. As my uncle used to say, ‘If it can fit in your purse, it’s not a damn dog.’

Considering how many times I’ve read Shogun, a Japanese dog might just be the answer. Maybe we’ll call him Toranaga. Even my dad would be on board.

shiba inu puppies

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