Shih Tzu Day 1: A New Foster Home

We aren't moving out of this corner!Delores stopped by this morn­ing to make sure the improve­ments were made in the back­yard to keep the shih tzus safe. We passed our BFF Res­cue inspec­tion. She came back about an hour and a half later, with Bar­bara and the shih tzus. We were all pleas­antly sur­prised that Flower sur­veyed her new Super­yard with­out appear­ing fright­ened. Instead, she danced around, tail wag­ging, jump­ing over Candy, who was the qui­etest one. Delores tried groom­ing her face yes­ter­day, so she might not be that happy. Dot­tie roamed around the house a lit­tle. When we opened the door to go out­side, they all fol­lowed us, and cir­cled their out­door exer­cise pen sev­eral times.

If she tries to talk to us, pretend you can't hear her.

It reminded me of scenes from Toy Story when Bar­bara and Delores left about 45 min­utes later. Dot­tie, Candy and Flower all went back to the far end of their pen and hud­dled together, as if they had never come alive.

I went to the store this after­noon to get them some chicken jerky and a water bowl. Bar­bara gave them Wag­gin’ Train they bought in large bags at Sam’s Club, but they didn’t have it at Costco, so I bought what they had. I also got a  very cute ceramic bowl from the Dol­lar Tree that said “Lap Dogs” and “Feed Me” and pic­tured tra­di­tional lap dogs. Although shih tzus top the list of pop­u­lar lap dogs, I have no idea if these lit­tle furry fel­lows will ever sit on our laps.

When I got back from shop­ping, I opened the back door and Dot­tie and Candy went out­side, but Flower wouldn’t move. I tried to give them some jerky, but none of them would take it from me. I put a few pieces on the ground, though, and some­one ate one of them. After that, Flower left the pen, strayed a few feet and then came back. Maybe she was just look­ing for a way to escape, or maybe she was look­ing for Bar­bara. I tried to utter the magic words, “Silly girls,” which Delores says makes them dance. It didn’t work.

I hoped to have bet­ter luck get­ting the girls to eat at din­ner­time. I had recently read that most dogs like ham­burger, mashed pota­toes and green beans (Joey did, but she liked most food!), so I planned to treat them with a good, home-cooked meal after John got home.

The furry crit­ters didn’t seem too fright­ened when he walked in the door. When John started cook­ing, I hoped the deli­cious smells would lure them out of their pen, but it didn’t hap­pen. Instead, I fixed them petite plates and served it to them in their play yard. Flower was the first one to eat the ham­burger, fol­lowed by Candy. How­ever, they left the pota­toes and green beans mostly untouched. Dot­tie wasn’t eat­ing at all, so I took her out of the pen, hop­ing she might eat in a dif­fer­ent loca­tion. It didn’t work.

Their stress doesn’t pre­vent them from sleep­ing, how­ever.  They appear to be sound asleep right now.

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Shih Tzu Prelude: Last Dogless Day

I called the shih tzus’ fos­ter mom today to see if I could come see them at 10. I imag­ine this might be my last visit to see them at Barbara’s house. John and I just need to make our final prepa­ra­tions tonight and then it is up to Delores to see when we take the girls home.

Candy, Flower and Dottie huddle together in their exercise pen.

I didn’t take them out to the dog run, as we have done on all past vis­its, because I was only stay­ing for a short time. Bar­bara came in and held one of the shih tzus while we were talk­ing. I was pet­ting the shih tzu and telling her that one day soon she would let me hold her and Flower would as well. Bar­bara said, “This is Flower.” I was sur­prised. I really wasn’t look­ing at the dog’s face, but just pet­ting her and not pay­ing atten­tion. She was so docile, and I am used to Flower growl­ing. Every now and then I get those glimpses of what Flower will act like once she is used to me — at least I hope so.

I have been look­ing for safety gates and exer­cise pens on Craigslist, even though Bar­bara and Delores said I could take the exer­cise pen they have. I fig­ure if I get some­thing intended for inside, we can use that one out­side some­how. I called some­one yes­ter­day on a North States Super­yard in Com­merce City. It was listed for $50. How­ever, I saw the same thing at Walmart.com for the same amount. I asked the woman if she would go lower, and she said she would take $30. John went and got it on his way home from work. We got a bet­ter deal than I thought. The play pen has six sides, and a two-sided exten­sion sells for an extra $20. I didn’t real­ize this one had the exten­sion already. I was pleased with it. It’s sturdy plas­tic instead of metal, so it looks more like a baby pen. In fact, it is made for babies. Iron­i­cally, the pet stores sell the same thing by the same com­pany under a dif­fer­ent name for nearly $100. So, I am very pleased with the purchase.

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Shih Tzu Prelude: Past, Present & Future?

We were get­ting ready to do the work we need to do to get ready for the shih tzus when Kelsey and Todd, the new­ly­weds who live next door, came over. They brought us a bot­tle of wine for water­ing their plants while they were gone, and we ended up spend­ing some time talk­ing about their wed­ding and look­ing at pic­tures of the wed­ding and recep­tion on Facebook.

We told them about find­ing Rosie on the bike path, return­ing her to her owner and our upcom­ing fos­ter­ing and pos­si­ble adop­tion of Candy, Flower and Dot­tie. I have to admit that I have some wor­ries. Will these three shih tzus ever be as sweet, adorable and lov­ing as Rosie had already become when she went back home — only two days after we found her?

Although John and I haven’t pro­gressed as far on the home improve­ments as we need to, I wrote Delores to tell her we would be ready for inspec­tion Thurs­day. I know July 4 is a scary time for dogs, so I am hop­ing they have a few days to set­tle in before the noise begins.

Delores said that a cou­ple of peo­ple have called about Candy. That’s under­stand­able. This lit­tle shih tzu has such a sweet face. When she told me that, though, I thought, “They haven’t met her, so they prob­a­bly don’t know that they are in for some work.” Just hope it’s reward­ing work!

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Shih Tzu Prelude: Preparing for the Foster Doggies

John and I didn’t have much time to pre­pare for the shih tzus over the week­end. Our grand­daugh­ter Evita spent the night to cel­e­brate her upcom­ing birth­day. Sun­day, after church, my step­son, Gabe; his girl­friend, Crys­tal; and her daugh­ter, Avi; as well as Leti­cia and her five chil­dren came over to eat and swim.

We did get to Mur­docks, though, and bought two exer­cise pens to put together as one and put up in the back­yard. We pulled weeds when John got home and mea­sured where the exer­cise pens would go. I am anx­ious to get the fur chil­dren home. I hope every­thing works out.

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Shih Tzu Prelude: Flower’s Carefree Side

Vis­i­ta­tion Continues

I went to see my poten­tial fos­ter daugh­ters this morn­ing. I am not get­ting far with Flower. That lit­tle shih tzu began growl­ing instantly. Dot­tie seemed a lit­tle friend­lier. She did let me hold her, but she won’t make eye con­tact. When I tried to sit in their pen, Flower began bark­ing and imme­di­ately rushed to sit in front of Candy. I think that Candy would prob­a­bly adjust more quickly if Flower wasn’t try­ing to pro­tect her.

I star­tled the dogs by rat­tling one of the bags of dog treats, and Dot­tie jumped off my lap and ran to hud­dle with the oth­ers. I finally con­vinced her and then Flower to take some chicken jerky. Candy had to ven­ture out a lit­tle to get some from my hand, and I picked her up. I could tell she didn’t like it, because she leaned away from me, but she did let me scratch her ears and pet her for a while.

Once they went out­side, Dot­tie and Candy ran up to me repeat­edly for a treat. Flower finally came over. The most hope came from the fact that Flower jumped up and down excit­edly near Bar­bara when she came out­side. I take that to mean that one day she might be excited and happy around us, instead of growl­ing and bark­ing and scared.

Bar­bara said that they were gone quite a bit over the week­end, so the dogs weren’t that happy with them.

I am hop­ing to take the dogs home by July 4, so we need to hurry up and get the needed work done. We have to pro­vide them a dog run or exer­cise pen and make sure they can’t get under the porch. We also have to put up some­thing over the bot­tom of the fence, such as chicken wire, so they can’t get out. Then, if we put the exer­cise pen in the liv­ing room, we need to fig­ure out how to herd them from the pen and out the back door. I think we can pull the couch out and make a walk­way so that they walk behind the couch into the kitchen to go outside.

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