surfs up

surfs up
Posted by on Aug 19 2013

Sun, surf and sand are a dog’s best friends — just ask Shintaro, whose daily trips to Baker Beach and Fort Funston in San Francisco would make any pup bounce with joy.

But even coastal fun can take its toll on a dog’s delicate ears. After a sandy romp with fellow four-legged friends, Shintaro’s parents noticed a sticky substance in his ears and an unpleasant smell coming from them. A trip to the vet revealed that Shintaro had otitis externa — an inflammation of the external ear canal.

Ear drops helped clear up the sticky situation in no time, but the problem re-appeared six weeks later.“Luckily, it was easy to treat both times,” recalls Steven, whose previous Bernese, Benkei, “was a big eater, full of mischief” causing Steven to deal with numerous foreign body ingestions and large vet bills, without insurance.

Ear problems aside, Shintaro still tunes in when it comes to commands. Just as his name indicates (Shintaro means “true boy” in Japanese, the language he’s trained in), “he’s a very good boy,” Steven says proudly. “You just have to tell him what to do and off he goes” — a compliment this beach-loving hound can now hear loud and clear.

pet parents
maki ishii and steven sowash

unexpected tail
$140 for treatment of otitis externa

lives in
san francisco, ca