I love dogs. My family loves dogs. We adore them to the point that we’ve adopted 7 dogs so whenever I see a random street dog doing dog things, I have this urge to just bring them home and take care of them forever, hopefully not dognapping them in the process.
It should come as no surprise that I’m a fan of shiba inus and the doge meme. I once had a folder full of shiba pictures to destress at work, and was gifted a doge meme bag. So when we chanced upon a mameshiba cafe, I ran like a mad-man and dashed up to the counter and to the lady I said “SAN-NIN DESU!”
Unflinching and ever-polite, the proprietor lady explained the rules to us: no flash photography, no holding, no picking up of the dogs, etc. She instructed us to come back at a set time with the receipt as their cafe can only hold up a maximum of 10 people every 30 minutes.
When the time came, we went back and were finally welcomed in. The ground floor was already occupied with 5 shibas and 5 customers, so we were prodded to go upstairs. Up we went, then I died.
Welp, I want to stay here forever. The staff member there directed us to the vending machine for the drinks inclusive of the ticket, which we thanked her for and completely forgot as we set down at one of the tables to meet the new loves of our lives. Priorities.
One of the dogs named Shibata did a number 2 on the tatami, so the staff member immediately placed her in one of the crates at the side to let her further relieve herself, then placed her back with the others. As that was happening, I sat beside Jiro, a black mameshiba with the sweetest temperament. We had the most stimulating exchange.
Me: Aww hi Jiro!
Jiro: – stares at me –
Me: AHH WIDDWE BABY!
Jiro: – tentatively sniffing my hand & licking –
Me: Yes, you are the goodest girl, you are BEST girl!
Jiro: – kisses me –
Me: I WOULD DIE FOR YOU, JIRO-CHAN.
Soon, another couple came in so now each dog had a human “customer”. Unluckily for them, our furry friends seemed to be more comfortable with us as we met them earlier and they could probably smell our dogs back home on us.
Kinako, another red-coated mameshiba, took a shine on my mom as she just laid down beside her and allowed my mom to rub her belly. Meanwhile, my brother was just happy to sit, observe and take non-stop pictures of each fluff.
Thirty minutes quickly passed so we had to bid our new friends goodbye. Feeling absolutely refreshed with smiles on our faces, we descended down the stairs and left the cafe.
Pure joy at what price
Unlike normal shibas, mameshibas are miniature versions of them, hence the added mame (bean) to the breed name. They were bred to be that size and according to MyFirstShiba, they’re not recognized by official Shiba associations, meaning that “those who breed Mame Shiba Inus often don’t care about health or temperament considerations.”
This is controversial with many Shiba lovers because it promotes the runt of the litter as something that it is not. The runt could be the one with health issues and other weaknesses.How to Train the Dog – Mini Shiba Inu
I did find one Japanese site that specializes in breeding mameshibas. With the help of Google Translate, it seems like they have a lot of precautions and meetups with a potential owner beforehand but I can’t be too sure. Lastly, it turns out that this cafe has many other branches, and seems to also be partnered with owl cafes, which is a total no-no.
Our experience in this particular mameshiba cafe was pleasant. The dogs were relaxed minus a few outliers which may be chalked up to individual personality. Shibas are known to be quite temperamental and spunky as a breed, so I’m guessing some of the mameshibas may have inherited that trait. Space-wise, this Kyoto cafe was roomy since instead of fitting all 10 guests + 10 dogs, they divided it up between both floors so there’s no overcrowding. I did, however, see a vlog of the Harajuku branch and it looked tight and utterly cramped.
In conclusion, I don’t know what to feel. I’m not sure if pointing out the location of this cafe is a good idea as well, just in case these puppies are bred simply for business. I can only hope that they didn’t come from puppy mills, have no health issues and wish them all happy, fullfilling lives. We don’t deserve dogs 😭