This is Fuji, my now 4-month old Shiba Inu puppy and photo assistant (he was 2-months old in that photo).
It’s pretty funny, up until fairly recently, I’ve always identified more as a cat-person. I guess it was only natural that as I became more and more interested in owning a dog, I turned towards a Shiba Inu, a dog breed considered to be cat-like because of their size, independent nature, and obsession with keeping themselves clean. (He’s also climbing all over my laptop right now.)
I had been intrigued by Shibas ever since I read a National Geographic article on dogs. A Cornell study revealed that, genetically speaking, Shibas were surprisingly the ones more closely related to wolves, and one of the most ancient breeds of dogs. The former biologist in me gets excited about random trivia like this.
Unsurprisingly, Fuji’s a handful right now and most of my time is consumed by him. Even planning a dinner with friends requires a full day of prep to make sure that I'm thoroughly exercising him and limiting his time alone. I took most of February off for the purpose of taking care of him and getting used to taking care of a dog. I’m now slowly returning to my regular photography schedule, learning how to weave his schedule with mine.
As far as being a photo assistant, he typically stays home when I have shoots, but on some occasions I've brought him to the studio with my clients' permission (and sometimes even with my clients' requests). I'm still learning how to control his seemingly endless energy levels. Even at the veterinary clinic, people were surprised with his energy levels, which are quite non-Shiba like. But I’ll enjoy this spiritedness while I can! As the ephemeral puppy stage phases out, I’m excited to see how Fuji’s personality develops.
Physically, he's definitely changed a lot in this short time. Check out how much he's grown in the next sequence of photos!
As you might expect, this will likely not be my last post about Fuji. Until the next post, you can follow him on Instagram.
p.s. In case you’re wondering about the name—I wanted a Japanese name that would be pronounced the same in French and English, a name that my parents would pronounce properly, and as a bonus, apparently, 2-syllable names ending with vowels are great for dogs when it comes to recognition and recall. The name references both Mount Fuji and my Fujfilm camera. So there you go!