Life in Japan

First Visit to a Pet Shelter in Japan

3 February 2015

Lately, we have been thinking more seriously about getting a pet and decided to visit an open event that a pet shelter was holding.

It’s actually my first visit to a shelter (not just in Japan, but ever) and I wasn’t really sure what to expect.

When we arrived at the shelter, I was surprised to find that it was a 2-storey house!

Pictures taken off shelter’s website

Such a cosy place for the animals living here! This shelter houses both dogs and cats, and there is an attached area for dogs to play and run around, which is really nice!

The moment we opened the main door, we couldn’t even see the floor because the area was literally packed with pairs upon pairs of shoes haha.

As we headed to the main area, the door to the living room opened and we were hit with a blast of “doggy smells”. We had to wait outside the door because it was so crowded and everyone had to register themselves before seeing the animals.

While waiting, I almost couldn’t breathe. I thought it was because I was a noob (I never owned a pet before) but when I glanced over at Fu, his face was scrunched up as he leaned away from the door. Ah, so it’s not just me!

After entering the area, I don’t notice the smell anymore though.

I wanted to see Ayame-chan most of all, because… she’s a Shiba! I loooove Shibas and it’s my first time interacting with one! So excited!

But turns out Ayame-chan is…

… terrified of people :(

This was her default pose. She just stood frozen at the same spot in her cage, as if someone casted Petrificus Totalus on her.

She was unresponsive and remained unmoving despite our calls and actions, but jumped when a loud noise occurred elsewhere in the room.

After spending some time Ayame-chan to no avail, I wandered outside to meet the other dogs while Fu stayed behind to coax her.

Dog run area

That fat boy near the air conditioners is only 3 months old!

I heard from the volunteers that Ayame is very timid, but she has a best friend called Soramame. She absolutely adores Soramame, so I got an idea!

I brought… er, brought makes me sound like I’m an expert at handling dogs, which I absolutely am not, so it’s more like I lured Soramame over to the door which Ayame was facing. I made excited hand actions and pointed to Soramame hoping it will bring Ayame out of her cage lol. I don’t even know if dogs can make the connection. Maybe Ayame just thinks that there’s a mad woman is jumping about and gesturing insanely outside the door. But just try la!

Soramame quickly got bored and left, but!!! A few seconds later, Ayame slowly got up and STEPPED OUT OF THE CAGE!!!


“Whacchu doin’, friend? C’mon out and play!”

But ok la, I’ll give Fu some credit too. He spent a long time inside letting Ayame get used to his presence!

This Ayame though, once she got out, she completely ignored us! We ran after her to take photos but kena frozen rock treatment from her again.

Fu looks like he’s grandly posing beside the president but Ayame froze in place again

Ayame: Hmph.

Twins with  -_-

YA OK. I GET THE IDEA. Don’t take photos with you already ok?

But can take OF you, right? :D

Ayame is such an ice queen! But damn, I have to say… Shiba is undeniably good looking!!!

Even Fu fell in love with Shiba! He also commented that Shibas really are very clean dogs, after he witnessed Ayame neatly side-stepping a puddle of pee another dog left behind. He said his old dog “very stupid one, she’ll just walk into the pee and not even realize it”.

Seems like Ayame is not fated for us, but the good thing is that we got to (sorta) interact with a Shiba! Shibas are also not as big or heavy as we thought they would be, which is good news to us.

I’m also glad I got to check out the shelter because I was considering volunteering at a shelter :) The only thing is that I live very far away from all the shelters I know of, so we will have to see how it goes.

All in all, very happy to have met them today! (including Ayame who spent her time either ignoring us or giving us the stink eye)


List of animals looking for homes


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