R.I.P. Sheepa the Dog (Adopted 2005-2011)
Sheepa passed quietly away today, August 25th, 2011.  Somewhere across the Rainbow Bridge, he is off bounding through grass chasing squirrels & cats, with all the roast beef & fried chicken he can eat, never having to hide his food, never having to worry about eating too much, and no longer feeling any pain.  I love you, pal.  You were truly my greatest joy.


"Hey, what's this camera thingy doing here?"

"Mondays suck."

"Uh... I plead the fifth."

"Hey there... how ya' doin?"

"Yawwwwwwwwn.  I've got bedhead."

"Mr. McGee... don't make me angry..."

"You think Apple's gaining on Microsoft?"

"Whoa.  Too much sake for me..."

"Don't bother me... I'm eatin'!"

"Oh boy!  We're goin' to Petco!"

"Food coma."

"Linebacker Sheepa:  I have no shoulders!"

"I'm sad. <sniff> Please don't leave me at home."

"Mom & Dad say I'm from Hawaii just like them."

"This is my Teddy Bear."

"I sleep with Teddy all the time."

Sheepa stats:

  • Breed:  Pomeranian Poodle mix (with a dash of Lab Retriever)

  • Weight:  17lbs - 22lbs
    (Before adoption/after adoption)

  • Color:  White & Tan

  • Age:  13ish

  • Favorite Activity:  Eating!

Sheepa likes:

Good web sites for new adopters:

  • The Dogfood Project
    Discusses dog nutrition and what a good dog food contains

  • United Airlines Pet Policies
    United has procedures for air travel with your best friend.  Read them before flying with your dog.

    (Note:  Sheepa no longer recommends United as a carrier for your best friend.  In fact, he highly discourages it. Email Sheepa if you want to know the story.)

  • Starwood Hotels Pet Policies
    Starwood hotels, especially 'W' hotels are way cool and allow you to bring your furry friend along on your stays.

  • Vet Info for Dogs
    Dr. Mike has been answering questions about dog health for a very long time and all of his questions and answers have been written down at this site.



Welcome to the online home of

"Wuzzup, Internet peeps?"

FINAL UPDATE:  August 25th, 2011
Sheepa passed quietly away today at roughly the age of 16.  He apparently had a severe stroke stemming from what the doctor believed was a spinal legion caused by the fusion of two vertibrae, leaving him unable to eat, drink, get up, or even move much at all.  His face was in a constant state of very un-Sheepa-like agony because he was in a tremendous amount of pain, crying & whimpering even with the strongest of drugs applied.  His doctor said there was no hope for recovery due to the neurological nature of his ailment and his age. 

After a final night with our family at home, we returned to the hospital one last time.  After the initial preparatory anesthetic, his expression relaxed from the unbearable look of pain he had previously and returned to the contented look you see below.  He died in my arms at 9:35AM, finally at peace.  We had the wonderful joy of him being part of our family for 6 happy years since adopting him.   

God, I miss him so much.  I'll always love you, ol' friend.


Where did Sheepa come from?
Sheepa was a dog adopted from the Save-a-Life Adoptions in Los Angeles, CA.

He'd been in the animal shelter system for over 2 years and had been rotated through 2 different county-sponsored shelters before ending up at the no-kill Save-a-Life Foundation.  We suspect he'd "run out of time" in the state system and was forced to move to a private shelter in order to save his life.  (Los Angeles County kills animals that are in the system too long.  Note:  I'm not condemning the LA shelter system... I've met many of them and they appear to be kind sensitive people that do the best with what they've got.)

Please help save animals like Sheepa
from an meaningless & undeserved death.

Animals are euthanized everyday in Los Angeles - over 100,000 last year in Los Angeles municipalities alone.  You can help by adopting an animal or by simply supporting those that feed & care for these poor lost souls by making a tax-deductable contribution to Save-a-Life Adoptions through the button above.

How did Sheepa get adopted?

Sheepa was on the Save-a-Life Foundation web site (http://www.save-a-life.org/) and a woman called one of the owners of the shelter to have her bring Sheepa down to a local PetCo in Westwood, CA where she was supposed to come and see the poor animal. 

Sheepa had already been in the shelter system for 2 years and both his appearance and his demeanor had fallen by the way side.  He had ticks & fleas and he hadn't had a bath or a grooming in a lonnnng time.  He was already 10 years old or so and ticks had sapped his strength to the point where he just slept most of the day.  His attitude had become hardened after living with other dogs and having to have fought for his meals - some of the volunteers really didn't like him because he'd gotten so ornery.  The woman never showed up and sadly, Sheepa was kept in a closed kennel away from the rest of the dogs, sleeping quietly.

Sheepa, in the kennel we found him at Oct 2nd, 2005

Sheepa was an unholy MESS on Day 1.

My wife and I looked at the animals every weekend.  I stumbled upon Sheepa who was looking quite pitiful in his kennel in the back.  He looked like a sheepdog of sorts and as a result, the folks at the shelter called him, "Sheepa".  He was clearly not the "showcase" of the bunch - there were Pomeranians, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds.  We took him for a walk, pet him, and he just kind of slowly ambled along, looking at the ground, dragging his shaggy dirty fur coat along as he lumbered across the grass.  When it was time to go home around 6PM, we put him back into his cage and just as we closed the door of the kennel... he closed the deal on me:  He stuck his neck out quickly, gave me a big lick on the cheek, then retracted back into his cage and collapsed back to sleep.

He said, "Thank you."

Sheepa licks everyone he likes.

Sheepa looks & behaves much better these days..

I walked home with tears in my eyes but by 8PM that night, I turned to my wife who was cooking in the kitchen and said, "Honey - I'm going to go get the sheep dog."  She couldn't believe I wanted to get the dog being that we had a 2 bedroom condo, but we went anyway. 

How did we adopt Sheepa?

To adopt him we:

  • Adoption Paperwork
    We filled out the Save-a-Life adoption paperwork & paid adoption fee for vaccinations, care, etc.

  • Pet Supplies
    We bought some basic supplies 
    (Dog food, some snacks, a leash, a couple dog dishes, & a doggie bed)

...and home we went.  When we got settled in, we found we had a few more things to take care of, like:

  • Shots
    He got a Rabies shot & a Bordatella shot
    (The latter is kinda like a dog flushot which is necessary to allow the dog to stay at most kennels)  We went to the Overland Veterinary Clinic to see Dr. Louis Schwartz who is a very kind man.

  • Grooming
    We paid for grooming at the local PetCo 
    (Thank you Angelica from Petco for the work you did for him... we know he was a all-day job!  You're doin' God's work!)

  • License
    We got a Los Angeles city dog license, 'cause it's the law.

(And for the record - for the spay & neuter psychos out there - Sheepa was already fixed day 1.  Y'know, certain spay & neuter advocates really need to tone down the rhetoric.  It wouldn't hurt for all Animal advocates to take a Sales 101 course and learn how to be positive advocates for their causes, like what Best Friends does, instead of negative crusaders.  A word of advice to all of you spay & neutering zero-tolerance crusaders:  It does your cause absolutely no good to alienate people.)

That was a year ago.  He required a lot of grooming (a full shaving actually), a flea dip, training and patience, and a lot of love.  He's very well-housetrained, he doesn't bite, he rarely barks (unless he's gotta "go outside"), and he's a great companion.  Not to mention the ladies love him.  What a hound.

I characterize only a few things in my life as having been "some of the best moves I've ever made".  Going to a major university, getting a job with my current employer, buying property - right before the housing boom, getting married to my wife... these are 4 of the best things I've ever done. 

Getting Sheepa is the fifth.  We love you, pal.

UPDATE:  August 22nd, 2008

We finally did something that we've been intending on doing for years:  We had Sheepa's DNA tested!  That's right - we got a swab and took a DNA sample by wiping his cheek, and sent it to http://www.canineheritage.com/ to be analyzed for breed typing and guess what?

It turns out that Sheepa is a POMERANIAN POODLE (with a bit of labrador
retriever)!  This of course makes complete sense when you consider that he's always smiling with his tongue hanging out, he's incredibly "licky", and yaps at dogs bigger than him.  God bless our beloved Pom-Poodle!

What's Sheepa like?

  • SOFT:  Sheepa is very soft.  Like most shelter dogs, his coat was horrifically tattered, matted, and dirty.  We shaved him completely to get rid of the old fur and once he got healthy his fur was as soft as a sheepskin.

  • OLD:  Sheepa is old.  He's not as young as he looks and is usually mistaken for being a young pup.  For example, he can't run very fast.  It took over 4 months to even see him "gallop" once.  Most of the time he just "walked quickly".  We attribute his lack of speed to his age and what we believe is an injury to his hind legs from a past incident.  He can't "beg" nor can he jump much at all... he's just generally weak in his hind legs.

  • PAW SENSITIVE:  Sheepa hates people touching his paws, particularly his hind paws.  Again, we think something happened in a past life that has made him very sensitive about his paws.  While he lets me handle his paws these days, he will bite anyone else that attempts to reach for them unless he's "shaking hands" or "high fiving" someone.

  • HARD OF HEARING:  Sheepa is nearly completely deaf.  Sadly, something happened in his past that has made him very hard of hearing.  He's completely deaf in his right ear we believe and he can hear somewhat in his left ear.  He can hear loud noises like very loud clapping (which is how we call him) but he can't hear whistling or voices.  All commands issued to him, like sit, lie down, roll over, shake, etc. are given through sign language and hand gestures.

  • FAT:  Sheepa is fat.   Well, sort of.  He came to us as 17.5lbs and is now 21lbs.  He's got a belly of sorts and lies around the house like a big living "speedbump".  (Which is his nickname)  He really enjoys sleeping on the carpet which is funny because he's the exact color of the carpet in our condo.  Some days he's a little hard to find because he "blends in".  We get the feeling he thinks it's a lot more comfortable than the dirt he used to sleep on at the shelter.

  • POOR EYESIGHT: Sheepa can't see very well - his eyes are cloudy.  He can see movement and he can see things close up but very often he will miss a thrown ball because he didn't see it actually get thrown.  He really has to see the actual movement of an object to track it down.  He doesn't have a very good sense of smell either making it hard for him to track down thrown objects like his teddy bear unless he actually sees the movement.

  • AFFECTIONATE:  Sheepa is VERY affectionate and he's constantly got an expression on his fact that says, "I've very happy to see you!"  He licks Anne's legs endlessly and will "kiss/lick" on command if you bend over and point to your cheek.  He really likes people and will roll over on his back to let you rub his belly.

  • NO GREENIES!:  Sheepa, although he loves them, is allergic to Greenies.  For those unfamiliar with Greenies, Greenies are a green dog chew that is kind of like a big "sucker" for dogs that most dogs absolutely love.  (I've heard it said that when dogs "cross the rainbow bridge", they go to place where there's an unlimited quantity of bellyrubs and Greenies.)  They're apparently very tasty however they make Sheepa barf so we can't give him any.  Instead we give him Dingo Dynostix which are rawhide with chicken inside of them.  One Dynostix can tie him up for 2 hours... it's like giving a kid a GameBoy.

  • EXPRESSIVE:  Sheepa, as you can see in the photos is very expressive.  He smiles, laughs, frowns, makes sad faces, looks sleepy, gets excited, etc.

  • GROUCHY:   Sheepa gets grouchy - dare I say it, he cops an attitude sometimes.  He will constantly push the boundaries of what he is and isn't supposed to do.  For example, he knows he's not supposed to go down the hall to the bedrooms but we catch him sneaking down there every so often and he runs back when he sees he's been caught.  He then if he gets scolded, he putters around.  Sometimes he'll act out by scratching the carpet, which he knows he's not supposed to do.  Also he'll snap at you if you think you're there to do anything other than pet him.

  • WHINY:  Sheepa whines.  Ohhhhhh boy, does he whine.  When he thinks he's being left alone and he's feeling insecure, he starts to whine softly but if we're in a foreign place (like if we're on a trip) and we leave him somewhere just for a moment, he whines VERY VERY LOUDLY.  It's as loud as a bark and as high pitched as a tire screeching to a halt.

  • SAKE:  We've discovered (accidentally) that Sheepa likes Japanese sake.  We only give him a tiny dish - it's a soy sauce holder for sushi actually - with a little sake in it.  He laps it up for the most part but we've noticed that he doesn't like Fuutsushu, which is generally low brow, poorly crafted sake.  He's more of a "Junmai Ginjoshu" or Junmai Daiginjoshu" dog which are more refined.  Who knew that our dog was a sake snob?

  • TRICKS:  Sheepa knows tricks!  He can sit, stay, lie down, shake hands, "high-five", & fetch.  Recently, we've taught him to "up", as in put his paws "up" on our knees or on a table on command.  His crowd pleaser "party trick" is "roll over" which Mommy taught him using a bucket of chicken nibbles.  (Sheepa will do anything for chicken nibbles.) 

...more to come...

Sheepa says 'Bye'!

eMail Sheepa!

Attention: Sheepa has a new email address! 

(The rat finks at his original ISP kept deleting his email account so he now has a permanent MSN.COM address which he'll have forever and ever! 
Be aware however that Sheepa is just a dog so he doesn't read email very quickly or very frequently for that matter.  So please be patient.)

Sheepa thanks you for visiting his web site and hopes you come again soon.


Content & photos Copyright 2011 Kurt Shintaku, All Rights Reserved.
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