Shiba Inu Puppy Cam

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The Shiba Inu Puppy Cam (also known as Puppy Cam or variations) is a website that featured a live-streamed webcam trained on the puppy-pen for six newborn Shiba Inu dogs born on October 7, 2008. It became an Internet phenomenon.[1][2] There have been four further litters.

Background[edit]

The live webcam was set up on Ustream in October 2008 by a San Francisco, California, couple to monitor their Shiba Inu puppies while they were at work.[3] The live streaming website showed the puppies interacting with each other in a variety of ways: sleeping, playing with toys, tearing up wee pads, and snuggling with their mother, Kika.[4] Links to the site spread virally. By October 13, 2008, three million viewers had spent 1.2 million hours watching the puppies via the Internet.[3] As of July 2012 the Shiba Inu Puppy Cam streaming page on Ustream has received over 60 million views.

The six puppies (three females: Autumn, Ayumi, and Amaya and three males: Aki, Akoni, and Ando) were identified mainly by their different-colored collars. This litter became known as "The Shiba Six" as well as "The A-Team", referring to the fact that they were Kika's first litter. The list of countries from which people watched the live webcast of the puppy cam from all around the globe grew to 74 countries in total with this first litter.

By December 7, 2008, Autumn, Akoni, and Ando had been adopted by new owners. Two other pups, Aki and Amaya, went to their new homes later that month around Christmas time. The couple kept one pup from this litter, Ayumi, and the camera continued functioning so that viewers were able to watch her interact with the other three adult Shibas in the house. The dogs' owners remain anonymous.

Second litter[edit]

Kika's second litter of puppies were born on January 16, 2010. They are referred to as the "B-team" of puppies to mark the 2nd litter. There were a total of two female and three male Shibas. Two of the three males are cream-colored, the rest of the pups red. The puppies in birth order are the girls: Bella and Beni-Bara, and the boys: Bonsai, Bento (cream), and Byakko (cream).

By March 21, 2010, all five puppies of the second litter were adopted.

Third litter[edit]

On April 14, 2011, over fifteen hundred viewers tuned in to see Kika's third and final litter. As in the original litter there are six puppies, three of each sex. Unlike the previous two litters, the "C Team" sire was a black-and-tan Shiba; however, despite the sire's color, all the puppies are red.

The C Team puppies are, in order of birth: Chozen, aka "Zen" (boy); Chame (boy); Chisaki, aka "Saki" (girl); Charlotte (girl); Chiyoko, aka "Yo-Yo" (girl); and Chikara (boy). The last boy pup, Chikara, has the highest birth weight of any of the pups at 11 ounces.

Fourth litter[edit]

The fourth litter of puppies was born on May 21, 2012, to Ayumi (who was retained from the "A-Team" litter). They were sired by a red Shiba named GCH CH Kobushi Justa Draco Rosso AOM. They are referred to as the "D-team" of puppies to mark the 4th litter. There were a total of three female and two male Shiba puppies. One of the three females is cream-colored; the rest are red.

The names of the D Team are as follows: Daiichi (boy, blue collar); Dango (boy, green collar); Dosha (girl, pink collar); Daisuki (girl, purple collar); and Dakota (girl, no collar, cream).

Fifth litter[edit]

The fifth litter of puppies was born on August 21, 2013 (the second litter born to Ayumi from the "A-Team" litter). They are referred to as the "E-team" of puppies to mark the 5th litter. There were a total of three red female puppies (Eiko, pink collar; Eisha, purple collar; and Ember, red collar) and two cream-colored males (Enoki, green collar; and Edo, blue collar).

Fundraising efforts[edit]

The owners created a calendar in 2009 showing the various pups from the first litter on each month. Shortly afterward they created a mousepad and a number of greeting cards, which also featured images of the pups. Donations from the calendar are being sent to various Shiba Inu Rescue organizations around the United States, and that year the amount totaled over $6,000.[5] In their 2010 calendar, the couple included their other Shibas, Yuuki (the eldest, a red female) and Haru (black and tan male) as well as pictures of the now adult Shiba Six, courtesy of their owners. As with the previous year's calendar, proceeds from the sale were donated to Shiba Inu rescue organizations around the US.[5]

From April to November 2009, regular viewers of the Puppy Cam (who call themselves Shibaholics) collectively donated $11,172 to Shiba Inu Rescue Resources of America in honor of the SFShiba family.[5]

The Summer 2009 issue of the Shiba E-News had an article on the Puppy Cam and the fundraising efforts of its followers on behalf of the Shiba rescue organizations supported by SIRRA.

In November 2009, the American Kennel Club Gazette featured an article on the continued efforts of the puppy cam fans as significant contributors to SIRRA.[6]

Shortly afterward, the Winter 2009 edition of Shiba World magazine featured an article on the Shibaholics, their donations to Shiba Rescue and their being ringside at the 2009 Nationals dog show in Clemmons, North Carolina.[7]

As of 2013, an estimated total of almost $30,000 had been raised for Shiba rescue organizations in connection with the Shiba Inu Puppy Cam.

Media attention[edit]

Not two days after the pups were born, the first news articles about the "B" team started appearing. One of the first was on a Los Angeles NBC affiliate's website.[8] Cute Overload,[9] where many people first learned of the original pups in October 2008, again featured the pups on their website. The sites Gawker.com[10] and Mashable.com[11] also featured the pups. Before their one-week birthday, national attention to the puppies grew as they appeared on PeoplePets.com[12] as well as the Bay Area Blog of The New York Times.[13] A few days later the puppies were in the national spotlight again in the L.A. Unleashed section of the Los Angeles Times.[14]

On November 14, 2008, NBC Nightly News broadcast a live feed of the camera to its national TV audience.[15] On November 15, 2008, The Today Show interviewed the founders of Ustream about the puppies.[16] On November 18, 2008, CNN coverage played several clips from the feed.[17] Bill O'Reilly used footage from the camera as representative of the overall trend of popular animal videos on the Internet.[18] On December 11, 2008, Jeff Horwich of Minnesota Public Radio posted a song written about the puppy cam.[19] Other major broadcast networks, including MSNBC and ABC, have also broadcast the feed. The puppies have been featured in magazines including Time, People, Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, and online sites like boingboing, dlisted and Gawker.

In April 2009, the Shiba Inu Puppy Cam was nominated for a Webby Award in the Viral category,[20] and won the People’s Voice Award. According to UStream, the Puppy Cam triumphed over nearly 10,000 entries from more than 60 countries.[21]

In December 2010, Kika and her litter were featured on Animal Planet's Dogs 101 Shiba Inu segment, where the phenomenon of the puppy cam was noted.

In the animated cartoon The Mighty B! episode "Awww-esome!", the puppy cam's webcast was parodied as a "Puppy Net", and all the show's characters were hooked on watching it.

The Shiba Inu Puppy Cam was cited in the introduction of Cesar Millan's 2009 book, How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond, in which Cesar notes that he was "impressed".

In 2012 the couple turned down offers from Ricky Lake and Anderson Cooper to appear on their TV shows.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jemima Kiss (2008-11-13). "Puppy cam: the latest internet sensation". The Guardian. 
  2. ^ Adam Abramson (2008-11-13). "Live puppy cam ... the best Web site ever". New York Newsday. 
  3. ^ a b Carol Vinzant (2008-11-13). "Meet the Six Stars of The Puppy Cam". People. 
  4. ^ Kate Pickert (2008-11-11). "Puppycam: For When You're Sick of Politics". Time. 
  5. ^ a b c Shiba Inu Puppy Cam
  6. ^ Shiba Inu Puppy Cam Fans to the Rescue, American Kennel Club Gazette November 2009 Issue.
  7. ^ Three Cheers for the Shibaholics!!!, Shiba World, Winter 2009, p. 53. Subscription required.
  8. ^ "Cuteness Strikes Back: Shiba Inu Puppycam Returns". NBC Los Angeles. 2010-01-18. 
  9. ^ Pull up the La-Z-Boy and grab your popcorn
  10. ^ Puppy Cam: The Second Generation Has Arrived
  11. ^ The Shiba Inu Puppies Are Back
  12. ^ : The Puppy Cam Returns with a New Litter
  13. ^ The Shiba Inu Puppy Cam: Reassuring Squeaks in Uncertain Times", The Bay Area Blog, The New York Times, 22 January 2010
  14. ^ "Just this once, your afternoon adorable: Live puppy cam shows shiba inu litter, again", Los Angeles Times, 21 January 2010.
  15. ^ "Puppy Cam takes Web by storm". NBC Nightly News. 2008-11-14. 
  16. ^ "'Puppy cam' spreads across internet". The Today Show. 2008-11-15. 
  17. ^ "Puppy Watch". CNN. 2008-11-18. 
  18. ^ The O'Reilly Factor. Fox News. 3 December 2008.
  19. ^ "Awwww, The Puppycam Song, Minnesota Public Radio
  20. ^ Shiba Inu Puppy Cam is finalist for The Webby Awards!, Announcement on The Ustream.tv blog.
  21. ^ Shiba Inu Puppy Cam Wins People’s Voice Webby Award

External links[edit]