A Shiba as CEO 

Merrily Weisbord & Kim Kachanoff: Dogs with Jobs Since the year 2000 the Canadian production company Cineflix has produced a series entitled "Dogs with Jobs", which is now broadcast throughout Europe including Germany. In this series extraordinary working dogs and their owners are presented in separate episodes. The dogs featured are rescue dogs, police dogs, therapy dogs, guard dogs, dogs from show business and so on. All kinds of breeds, including crossbreeds with special capabilities are represented, for instance a dog which plays the piano. Until now more than 50 episodes have been broadcasted. The idea for this series came from Merrily Weisbord and her daughter Kim Kachanoff who is a veterinarian. These two ladies have also published an excellent book based on this series, available at Amazon (see picture).

One of the episodes from this series is about the Shiba Sammie. Sammie inspired his owner Debra Svicki in 1998 to open up a pet shop in Toronto, Canada stocking different products for dogs and cats: the Kennel Cafe (www: click logo below). Shiba Sammie acts in this shop not only as a mascot and eye-catcher in the shop window – he is rather the CEO, the "Canine Executive Officer". One of his jobs is to test newly arrived products. His favourites are treats – quite in contrast to the new winter collection. In the evening the quadruped rests from his "straining" job whilst Debra checks the orders for the next day.

Sammie & Debra Svicki Sammie in the shop window Sammie after business

Well worth seeing in the episode about the Shiba Sammie is on the one hand the sovereign, "cool" manner in which he acts as business manager. In this respect Sammie is a typical representative of his breed. But really fascinating is to experience the great pleasure Sammie gives his owner and the strong love she feels for him. Debra Svicki tells how the happiness and contentment which Sammie transports has changed her life: she gave up her career as music director of a popular radio station and since then has concentrated on health and wellness. So the Kennel Cafe is not just another shop for industrial dog products but a place offering natural, organic and ecologically-friendly products and foodstuffs. Beyond that it is a meeting point for various activities with dogs and cats, in short, it is a location eradiating the three Shiba's characteristics – harmony (kan'i), friendliness (ryosei) and naturalness (soboku).

Kennel Cafe: 295 Roncesvalles Ave. in Toronto, Canada Kennel Cafe: 295 Roncesvalles Ave. in Toronto, Canada


© Dr. Holger Funk 2005