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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