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 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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