Shih Tzu Day 32: The Shih Tzu Sisters Scatter

John causes the shih tzu sis­ters to scatter

I decided to bring Dot­tie upstairs with us, away from her shih tzu sis­ters, for a few min­utes at bed­time last night. I closed the doors so she couldn’t run out, and I just talked to her. John said, “Do you think she’s going to answer?” because I talk to them constantly.

Life looks much better without a quesy tummy.When I got into bed, I put Dot­tie between us. She stayed on the peo­ple bed for about twenty min­utes before she finally lay down. I could tell that her head was still up though, so she wasn’t com­pletely relaxed. I turned over and set her on the other side for a few more min­utes, and then I put her down on the floor and opened the door. She ran into the hall, but then she just sat there wag­ging her tail. I’m not sure if she went down­stairs or not after I went back to sleep. I’m think­ing about get­ting a dog bed to put upstairs and see if any of the shih tzu sis­ters give it a try.

The furry alarm clocks went off at 5:30, which was way too early, since we stayed up late. John was research­ing tools on his iPad, and I was work­ing with pic­tures and updat­ing my blog.

Who says puppy mill moms can't become fluffy puppies? Again, I tried to ignore the shih tzu sis­ters, but they kept com­ing back until I dragged myself out of bed at 6. John was read­ing the instruc­tions for the cam­era we just bought, so he couldn’t help me get the bowls together, as he some­times does. It took longer than usual, espe­cially since Flower kept bark­ing while I was try­ing to get every­thing together, so I kept stop­ping to go to the door and tell her to be quiet. I know she needs some dis­ci­pline. We’re get­ting to that point. Inch by inch.

Our exper­i­ment with Dot­tie yes­ter­day resulted in the shih tzus still act­ing afraid of John this morn­ing. I think Dot­tie and Candy would have for­got­ten it, and maybe even has, but Flower has gone back to bark­ing con­stantly at him. The result is that they all scat­ter when­ever he gets near them in any way.

John and I went out for pizza after church, so we were gone for a few hours. When we got home, to try to get the shih tzus a lit­tle more com­fort­able with John again, he passed out the treats. It seemed to help.

they’re alive

It has been very hot, and the swamp cooler doesn’t seem to be doing its job. That might be why the girls have been on their beds in their cor­ner so much this after­noon. How­ever, at one point, all the ani­mals came alive. I don’t know who hit the switch. Shiloh jumped up on our couch, and Flower jumped up on her couch, bring­ing one of the Angry Bird toys with her. Dot­tie had been next to me, but she jumped down on the floor. Candy stayed behind at Shih tzu Central.


John took a bike ride, with Shiloh on a leash. Shiloh did very well. When they came back, we sat out­side in the twi­light. Flower barked a lit­tle, but not much. They all wan­dered around the gar­den or sat on the porch. They all came in but Candy, so John went and picked her up. He held her and stroked her for a few min­utes. She didn’t seem to mind.

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Shih Tzu Day 31: One-Month Anniversary With the Shih Tzu Sisters

Look Mom! Don't we look like a two-headed shih tzu?

one month with the shih tzu sisters

It is the one-month anniver­sary of when the shih tzu sis­ters came to live with us as our fos­ter dogs. John and I went out to a diner for break­fast and then went to Best Buy, in search of a small cam­era that will take videos. I want to cap­ture the danc­ing shih tzu sis­ters and their feisty behav­ior with Shiloh, plus I don’t want to do any fur­ther train­ing with any of them with­out doc­u­ment­ing it. We can also start tak­ing videos of the chil­dren and grand­chil­dren when they visit.

Some days it is so boring here!I intended to get a Nikon, but chose a Canon instead, know­ing I have two weeks to decide if I want to keep it. We also went to Wal-Mart to buy some dif­fer­ent Milo’s Kitchen treats. PetS­mart has been run­ning a spe­cial that if you buy three bags of a cer­tain size of Milo’s Kitchen, Pup-Peroni or Milk Bone prod­ucts you get a bag free. I fig­ured out that would be approx­i­mately $60 for four of the size bags I buy; at Wal-Mart’s prices, if I buy four of the 18 to 20 oz. bags, at reg­u­lar price, it’s less than $50. I bought the chicken jerky, which is a sta­ple in our house, as well as chicken meat­balls and beef jerky pieces.

We gave the girls a sam­pling of the two new treats and, of course, they loved them. John com­mented that it smelled good enough for us to eat. I agree that Milo’s has some good-smelling dog treats.

Chi­nese Food for the Chi­nese Dogs

John and I had Chi­nese food and wine. He joked that since they were Chi­nese dogs, they’d prob­a­bly like the food. Although the Mon­go­lian beef would have been too spicy, they prob­a­bly would have loved the sweet and sour chicken, but I didn’t give them any. I did give them a cou­ple of noo­dles from the com­bi­na­tion lo mein, which they loved.

How Far We’ve Come

When we first brought the girls home, they spent a lot of time hud­dled together in their pen. We will never know why they were so afraid, but I know that is com­mon in puppy mill dogs. They still hud­dle together in the cor­ner, but not as often and usu­ally not out of fear. I think it’s com­fort­ing, and they like each other.

Maybe I'll be more comfortable in this position.

Now, how­ever, they basi­cally just have a divider, behind which they can feel secure, when they need to, but they can exit it quickly as well. This after­noon is a good exam­ple of how far we’ve come. At one point, Flower was on her couch, Candy was on her chair and Dot­tie was next to me. Dot­tie seemed con­tent and sleepy. Candy and Flower looked bored.

Dot­tie sat beside me for quite a while. Flower spent a lit­tle time flirt­ing with Shiloh. While I was writ­ing that in my dog jour­nal, she ran up and jumped up on the couch, as if she knew I was writ­ing about her.

Flower sat with me and Dot­tie on the couch for a while. They were sit­ting one on either side, until Flower jumped over by Dottie.

Later, Flower was lying on her couch. She made me laugh because she had her chin on the front edge of it, and her face was so scrunched up. Then I looked at Candy on the chair, and she looked the same way. Flower got so bored with life that she ignored the fact that John was on the couch next to me and came up and rubbed against my feet, and then put her paws up on the couch, before lying down at the edge of the carpet.

Shiloh, aka Rover, lounged in his ken­nel for a while. I’m not sure what was going on over there, maybe a fly invad­ing his space (he hates flies!), but he growled and scared the bajee­bers out of Flower, caus­ing her to jump down from her perch on the couch.

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Shih Tzu Day 31: Leash Training with the Comfy Control Harness

I'm not budging from this spot.

leash train­ing for Dottie

John woke up at 4:30 this morn­ing and took Shiloh down­stairs. I thought the shih tzus would come pranc­ing up the stairs, but he was very quiet and they didn’t rus­tle. How­ever, the shih tzu sis­ters did come up to get me at their usual time of 5:30. I tried to ignore them, but it’s dif­fi­cult to ignore so much cute, even that early in the morn­ing. I finally got up and took them out­side. Then, I had mercy on them and fed them early too.

When we came inside, I sat Candy on the couch with me, and Flower jumped up too. As is the usual case lately, Candy didn’t fight me, but as soon I let her, she jumped down. Flower, how­ever, sat in the cor­ner of the couch and let me pet her. She didn’t leave until I stopped giv­ing her all my attention.

Shiloh chose to sit in Dottie’s cho­sen spot, on the right side of me, so I had to help Dot­tie up to the other side of me, where John usu­ally sits. She tried to sit on my lap, but I think it’s uncom­fort­able for her when I am stretch­ing my arms out to type (my lap­top sits on a TV din­ner stand) so I moved her back to where I had set her down earlier.

Whatever you think you're doing, it's not working.

I decided it was time to do a lit­tle leash train­ing and I chose Dot­tie as the guinea pig.

I got her in the Comfy Con­trol har­ness and we took her out­side into the exer­cise area for our leash train­ing ses­sion. I asked John if I needed to give her a treat, but he thought we were just teach­ing her typ­i­cal behav­ior and that she didn’t need one. I’m not sure I agree with that.

Giving me one of my favorite treats won't make up for what you did.Maybe the treat would have been in order if we had suc­ceeded in our leash train­ing ses­sion, but that didn’t hap­pen. She didn’t shake, but she didn’t walk either. She sat down, stiff­ened up and wouldn’t move. John tried to encour­age her by tug­ging on the leash while call­ing her name, but he ended up drag­ging her a few inches. He tried to lift her up on all fours, but her back legs froze. Flower and Candy came out­side to see what was hap­pen­ing and started bark­ing, believ­ing that John was try­ing to hurt her.

This morning was exhausting. We decided to take Dot­tie out to the front yard to con­tinue the leash train­ing where her sis­ters couldn’t try to defend her, but we didn’t have results there either. It’s obvi­ous that I have to do a lit­tle research on how to get a fear­ful dog to walk while on a leash, so I will be doing Google searches and view­ing YouTube videos on the sub­ject before we try any leash train­ing again.

Dot­tie seemed remark­ably calm 30 min­utes later. I gave her one of her favorite treats, Canyon Creek Ranch apple and chicken wraps, for her trou­bles. The other girls calmed down too, but it was a step back in their rela­tion­ship with John. It’s pos­si­ble that I need to do the leash train­ing, with him coach­ing, since they trust me more. I have just always looked at him as the dog trainer, but these girls obvi­ously aren’t Joey, or the other dogs John has had.

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Shih Tzu Day 30: In Hiding

Hid­ing from Mom and Dad

The girls woke me up at 5:30, like clock­work. When I finally got up and went into the bath­room, Dot­tie rubbed very hard against my leg. I’m not sure what that means. I assume she just wanted to be close to me.

What's the name of this Flower? Hey, that's my name!

I am going to refrain from giv­ing the kids many treats today, because Dot­tie still has diar­rhea. I feel bad because she also still seems fear­ful of me, after I impa­tiently pulled her the few inches towards the train­ing pad yes­ter­day. I ended up using the sides of the exer­cise pen to make a fence between the liv­ing room and the din­ing room, so they couldn’t run and hide under the din­ing room table. They tend to do that when they get scared, and Dot­tie has been doing it a lot. Candy and Flower hide there often as well.

Play­ing Nice with Mom

When I'm in the garden, I forget I don't feel good.I left the house for a few hours to meet a friend for lunch. When I got back, the girls were all very play­ful. Candy played with the orange dog off and on. When I held her and then released her, she didn’t go right back to her pen. Nei­ther did Flower.

Shiloh found a way to get up on a din­ing room chair. That is another rea­son to block off that area. The table is full of clut­ter, and I have the treat box there. I for­got to close it ear­lier, and I think that might have been his tar­get when he got up on the chair. When I shut the con­tainer, every­one thought it was open­ing, dropped what they were doing and came running.

They did their wild dog impres­sion, where they all rush towards me at once, Dot­tie and Flower wag­ging their tails, Candy attempt­ing to move hers and Flower bob­bing her head from side to side.

The high­lights of the after­noon included watch­ing Shiloh try­ing to dom­i­nate Flower, and watch­ing her sass him back. After John got home, Flower jumped on the couch with Dot­tie and me, while he sat beside me, for the first time. It helped that he was eat­ing Bugles, and he offered her a few.

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Shih Tzu Day 29: Black and White Dogs, Black and White Dreams

Candy, help me! He's out of control.

Dream­ing in Black and White

You did too lead me on, Flower.John got up at 4:30 a.m. with a headache, sig­nal­ing all the dogs to come and try to lure me out of bed an hour ear­lier than usual. I lay in bed lazily, try­ing to ignore them, but gave up and hung my hand over the side for them to play with. Of course, Shiloh jumped in clum­sily, so I had to keep try­ing to get him to play gently.

You're not the only one who is Angry, Bird!Since I didn’t get up right away, Shiloh jumped back up on the bed to get in a few extra winks, and the girls migrated back down­stairs. I thought I wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep and planned on get­ting up at 5:30, but then I fell back asleep and had a really weird dream about black and white dogs, black and white ham­sters, black and white cats. It reminded me of a line from the movie, Sen­tinel: Black and white cake; black and white cat.

Flower For­gets to Be Distant

What did you want me to do with this thing?Flower for­got to play hard to get when I picked her up this time. Ear­lier she ran from me, and when I caught her and held her, she leaned away from me. A few hours later, I picked her up from the dog bed and she didn’t fight me at all. She didn’t lean against me, but she didn’t lean away from me. I rewarded her with lots of kisses, but I know she would have pre­ferred treats.

Later, she let me pet her for sev­eral min­utes out­side and played at my feet when we came back inside. When Dot­tie and I were sit­ting on the couch this after­noon, Flower jumped up tMom says I look like Candice Bergen. Do you see the resemblance?o sit with us. It’s prob­a­bly because Bru­tus, Shiloh’s name for today, is mak­ing weird growl­ing noises.  I just love it when Flower comes up and puts her paws on the couch, stretches, and looks at me all loopy.How can I look like Candy Bergen and like a rabbit?

Candy might be tak­ing her sister’s lead. She doesn’t try to escape so much when I approach her. She usu­ally just sits still. I picked her up and held her twice today for a cou­ple of min­utes each time.


Sorry I'm not trying to be cute today. My tummy is upset.I’m used to pick­ing up the kind of poop that’s easy to pick up, but today was a dif­fer­ent story. Some­body must have an upset stom­ach. Today wasn’t ham­burger day, but it’s pos­si­ble it could be effects from yes­ter­day. This morn­ing, John also hand-fed them from the Fromm salmon sam­ple package.

Later in the day, I caught Dot­tie poop­ing next to the train­ing pad, and the tex­ture iden­ti­fied her as the dog with the upset tummy. I picked it up and pointed to the train­ing pad, ask­ing her to please do her busi­ness there. About an hour later, she went back to the same spot, squat­ted and pooped before I could get to her. When I got to the spot, I firmly asked her to use the train­ing pad. I tried to catch her by the col­lar to sit her on the pad, but she pulled away and I tugged back, say­ing a lit­tle impa­tiently, “Dot­tie, use the pad!” and plac­ing her on it. The poor lit­tle thing cow­ered before me. I guess when a doggy has an upset tummy isn’t the right time to train them where to poop.

What's wrong with Dottie, Mommy? I picked her up and held her, pet­ting her tummy. All after­noon, when­ever I approached her, she cow­ered down or ran and hid under the table. I felt very guilty for show­ing my impa­tience and being too force­ful. I have to get on John’s iPad and start read­ing the “Fear­ful Dog” book to get some help on what to do in sit­u­a­tions like this.

I tried to be very care­ful with what all the dogs ate today, to avoid any more instances.

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