Shih Tzu Day 124: Halloween for the Shih Tzus

bad start for Halloween

a shih tzu keeping an eye on a squirrel.a squirrel running along a fence.





Hal­loween for the shih tzus began with one of them throw­ing up yel­low bile. It was one of the female shih tzus, because I found it when we came down­stairs. I smelled all of their breath to see which shih tzu it was, and Flower had the bad breath. John said that didn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean that she threw up, since she could have eaten some­one else’s. Gross, but I know it could hap­pen. I don’t think that is the case, though, or else two shih tzus would have bad breath. None of the dogs acted sick, so I don’t know what caused the problem.

morn­ing shih tzu squir­rel notification

two shih tzus in black and white clothes. a shih tzu at the door wearing skull sweater





a shih tzu in polka dots and one in skull sweater. a shih tzu wearing a black and white polka dot dress with hood.





two shih tzu sisters wearing black and white polka dot dresses.a shih tzu and a trick or treater.





Candy spent a lot of time out­side this morn­ing prowl­ing the perime­ter again, look­ing for squir­rels. Every once in a while, she would bark and sum­mon the troops out­side. What’s funny is that the dogs can’t always see the squir­rel very well, so he will be run­ning one way and the shih tzus will be run­ning the other in search of him. Nigel doesn’t always join in on the squir­rel hunt. Some­times he lets the girl shih tzus do the chas­ing and he lays in the grass chew­ing on a bone.

shih tzu door greeter 

I took Nigel to PetS­mart and Petco. I dressed him in his black sweater with the skull on it for Hal­loween. He was very excited to get to go in the car. He did very well, until he saw a big dog in Petco and his dog aggres­sion came out. He started bark­ing, growl­ing and strain­ing at the leash, so I had to pick him up and carry him until the dog was in another part of the store.

two shih tzus that look like werewolves. three blurry shih tzus with weird eyes.





When I came home, I dressed up the girls. They didn’t have cos­tumes, but I dressed them all in black and white. Dot­tie and Flower wore match­ing polka dot dresses. I had returned Candy’s black and white hound­stooth dress that was too small, but I finally found a medium, so I dressed her up in that. I def­i­nitely spend too much time look­ing at dog clothes at Ross! It took me a while to catch Candy to put her dress on her, since she kept run­ning under the din­ing room table.

I knew that no one but John and me would see the girls, but I still thought it was fun. As I thought, Nigel was the door greeter, once the trick-or-treaters started arriv­ing. He ran to the door every time the door­bell rang. When the door­bell wasn’t ring­ing, he ran to to the door any­way, wait­ing for the next group of chil­dren to come along. Again, the only prob­lem we had was when a group came up that included a big dog, who waited in the dri­ve­way. Nigel showed his dog aggres­sion again, so I’m sure the par­ents were glad to be off to the next house. Well, the good news is that Nigel is great with chil­dren and small dogs, so that is still bet­ter adjusted than Joey was and the shih tzu sis­ters are.

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Shih Tzu Day 123: Four-Month Anniversary

four months with the shih tzu sisters

a black and white shih tzu in a black and white dog bed with red and white treat.I am almost a month behind on my blog. I hate to admit that, but we just cel­e­brated Thanks­giv­ing and I haven’t even cov­ered Hal­loween! Please bear with us as we try to catch up! To set the stage, it is Octo­ber 30, Sun­day morn­ing, and this is our four-month anniver­sary with the shih tzu sis­ters. I don’t think Dot­tie came upstairs until 7:15, which is a won­der­ful change from the 4:00 wakeup call I got from her when she first came to live with us.

I ran out of food for the shih tzus, so I gave them left­over chicken, rice and cream of mush­room soup for break­fast. As my friend Deb would say, it was like “doggy crack.” Flower fin­ished hers quickly and rushed over to eat Candy’s, grab­bing up a big blob before I hollered and got her to drop the stolen goods. Inside, Nigel ate his with one or two bites.

treats in a dog bed. Later, I had to rush out­side and get Nigel, because he wanted to play with the girls and they didn’t, so they were yip­ping. I know that neigh­bors don’t like yip­ping dogs, and I live in fear of an omi­nous let­ter stat­ing that the shih tzus are wak­ing peo­ple up. I was bare­foot, the grass was wet, and who knew where the smelly, brown land mines had been planted this morn­ing, but I hur­ried out before throw­ing on shoes. I am still try­ing to teach him that when a lady says no, it’s not maybe, but NO.

While John made pan­cakes later, Dot­tie rested beside me. Flower slept in a dog bed and Candy and Nigel con­tin­ued to play out­side. When all the dogs were back inside, I gave them all a red and white rawhide treat. Pretty soon, I real­ized that Nigel had rounded them all up and stowed them away in his dog bed. I redis­trib­uted them.

After that, he snug­gled up next to me and stayed there while I watched the “Right Stuff” as home­work for a writ­ing project I am work­ing on regard­ing Gen­eral Chuck Yea­ger, “sound bar­rier breaker.”

a shih tzu under a trailer with a dog treat. I don’t know what hap­pened, but while we sat there, Flower jumped up on the couch like vam­pires were chas­ing her, her eyes huge. Later, I heard Flower yip­ping at Shih Tzu Cen­tral. Nigel was no longer at my side, and I imme­di­ately said, “Nigel!” When I looked down, how­ever, only Flower and Dot­tie were in sight. I saw a red and white mini rawhide treat between them and thought that might have been the cause of con­tention. It’s highly likely that Dot­tie wasn’t able to keep hers ear­lier, since both Nigel and Flower are such thieves. But poor Nigel, since he is the shih tzu who usu­ally gets the blame for any ruckus.

dog walk­ing = exercise

I vis­ited my doc­tor this week for my annual phys­i­cal. As usual, we talked about any changes in health, etc. I brought up the sub­ject of exer­cise. My doc­tor is a bicy­clist, and last year I shared my new­found inter­est in that sport with him. I had told him that John and I had bought “beach cruiser” bikes and that I was rid­ing almost every­day, with John and I rid­ing the bike paths on the week­ends. I proudly pro­claimed that between May and Novem­ber, I put more than a thou­sand miles on my bike.

two shih tzus How­ever, I also told him that we had adopted a trio of shih tzus and that it had changed our sched­ule, and as a result, John and I weren’t get­ting that much exer­cise because we were rid­ing our bikes a lot less. I told him that, in fact, we had only man­aged a hand­ful of bicy­cle out­ings this sum­mer. I don’t think I took my bike out alone more than twice. I had got­ten in the habit of hop­ping on my bike when John left for work, but now I get up and spend time with the shih tzus before I start working.

My doc­tor also has dogs, and he asked if we took ours for walks. He was sur­prised when I said we did no dog walk­ing because the shih tzus did not like walks. I said we had to leash train the shih tzus against their will. I doubt that any­one had dog walk­ing duty at the puppy mill where the shih tzus came from, although they pos­si­bly exer­cised in a dog run.

I real­ized that I am so used to our shih tzus’ issues that I some­times for­get they aren’t “nor­mal” dogs. If their fear or dis­like of a leash — and maybe the unknown world — was the only issue, we might be fur­ther along with our dog walk­ing. How­ever, there are the groom­ing issues and the house­break­ing issues.

Look­ing back over the last four months, the shih tzus are so much bet­ter now with me in many ways, but they do still fight me when I try to get them walk­ing on a leash. John is a lot sterner, and when he has the time, he gets some results. I def­i­nitely need the shih tzus to be more com­fort­able with both of us, since to walk four dogs, I need a dog walk­ing com­pan­ion! My con­ver­sa­tion with my doc­tor made me deter­mined to try harder, and that included a Sat­ur­day dog walk.

We took Dot­tie and Nigel for a walk this after­noon. Dot­tie was shak­ing when we stopped to talk to some cul de sac neigh­bors. As I stood there, Dot­tie started walk­ing, just to get away! That was a small vic­tory, since she was walk­ing on a leash. We headed towards Wal-Mart, a block away. We climbed a small grass-covered hill and once we started walk­ing on even ground, she trot­ted along. I was sur­prised at how well she did. She got a gold star in leash walking!

Flower the couch wetter

I have deter­mined that Dot­tie is our “trem­bler,” at least at times, and Candy is our “loner.” Flower is our lit­tle “bed wet­ter” — or at least she would be, if she got up on the bed. She def­i­nitely is our “couch wet­ter.” I gave her back her couch priv­i­leges, but she is los­ing them again! She peed on the red blan­ket when we were gone on our walk.

I just don’t under­stand what causes that. I have to con­grat­u­late her for some improve­ment though. While we were out­side later, we could hear the chil­dren next door play­ing loudly. Flower’s eyes got big. She would nor­mally scam­per for the door, but she turned and looked at me instead. I told her it was OK, and she stayed where she was.

When I went back inside, I left the door open, since Nigel and Candy were still play­ing. After a lit­tle while, Nigel scam­pered in like a rab­bit being chased. When I looked at him, he had a red and white rawhide treat in his mouth. I think he stole it from Candy and thought she was in hot pur­suit, but she wasn’t.

My couch was soon occu­pied by Nigel, Flower and Dot­tie. Candy acted like she wanted to come up too. She wan­dered up and down on the floor, in front of the couch, look­ing up from time to time. Finally, when she got close enough, I picked her up and sat her near me.

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Shih Tzu Day 122: Ideal Shih Tzu Morning

shih tzu morn­ing miracles

two shih tzus on a couch.This was quite an ideal Sat­ur­day morn­ing. I didn’t hear Dot­tie on the stairs until 6:37. I went back to sleep and didn’t wake up until 7:10, when Candy barked that it was time to come downstairs.

John had a neck ache so he got up when I did. When I opened the door, Dot­tie and Flower started to rush in, but stopped short when they saw the Man. The shih tzu sis­ters still danced around me, but only in the hall. The Candy Com­mit­tee was wait­ing at the bot­tom of the stairs for our hand and toe bit­ing ses­sion. Dot­tie snuck a few toe bites in as well.

a female <em srcset=shih tzu on an animal print throw" width="300" height="225" />And, mir­a­cle of mir­a­cles, Flower ran over and peed on the pee pad, as if to say, “Look, Mom. I waited to show you that I could.” She prob­a­bly wants her couch priv­i­leges back. I sprayed puppy train­ing spray on the pad, so maybe it is work­ing. If so, I should have bought it earlier.

Flower, Dot­tie and Nigel waited in the kitchen for me while I put their bowls of ham­burger, rice and veg­gies and Taste of the Wild kib­ble together. No one suc­ceeded in steal­ing Candy’s food. Either she is eat­ing faster or my image in the door­way con­tin­ues to keep the other shih tzus away. Flower saun­tered over by the bowl, but didn’t do anything.

a black and white <u srcset=shih tzu on an animal print blanket." width="300" height="225" />After they ate, I let Nigel out for the kib­ble scav­enger hunt. I went in to clean up dishes from last night and none of the shih tzus instantly came to the door to be let in. Flower, Candy and Nigel all roamed around the yard. I think Dot­tie did her busi­ness and then just sat on the porch watch­ing them.

While I worked on the com­puter this morn­ing, John watched YouTube videos on his iPad. Dot­tie gave up her couch end posi­tion to Flower, I think to avoid hav­ing Flower sit by me.

a <em srcset=shih tzu with a pig ear treat in his mouth." width="300" height="225" />The most excite­ment to the morn­ing was when Nigel decided to rest in one of the girls’ dog beds, and then decided he also wanted Candy’s red and white rawhide treat. I decided not to inter­fere. She yip, yip, yipped, but even­tu­ally gave the treat up to the bully. Those things are pretty pop­u­lar. The pig ears I bought are also pop­u­lar with the shih tzu gang.

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Shih Tzu Day 121: Further Housebreaking Dilemmas

shih tzu cat alert

Candy woke us up bark­ing at 6. John went down­stairs to inves­ti­gate and said there were cats fight­ing in the back­yard. Our guard shih tzu sounded the alert about three times.

Our house­break­ing dilem­mas con­tinue. When I came down­stairs, there was a big, wet spot on John’s end of the couch. My guess is that it was Flower. I hate putting pee pads on the fur­ni­ture, but I did.

a shih tzu on a hardwood floor.When I talked to some­one at PetS­mart, he told me that we might have to just do what peo­ple do with pup­pies and ken­nel train her. I hate to do that. To be fair, I feel like I would have to only do that with Flower. I imag­ine her in her ken­nel watch­ing her shih tzu sis­ters run­ning around enjoy­ing their freedom.

I’ve con­sid­ered block­ing off our couch or putting the cush­ions up before we go to bed. I think Candy and Flower like sleep­ing on it, so that would end that. Also, we could shut them all up in shih tzu Cen­tral at night. I like to give them the free­dom to run around and to come up the stairs in the morn­ing. I’ll have to think about it more.

dog bed habits 

When the shih tzu sis­ters came to live with us as fos­ter dogs, BFF Res­cue let them bring a blue and white dog bed and a grey dog bed with them. The grey dog bed was get­ting a lit­ter tat­tered on the bot­tom, so I replaced it recently with a pink and white one. Candy nor­mally lies in the pink one, but since she also likes lying down in the cor­ner in the din­ing room, I put the grey bed over there. She has been get­ting use out of both of them.

Flower con­tin­ues to spend some of the time in the blue dog bed and an equal amount of time “behind” the dog bed, rest­ing her head on it. I’m not sure why she does that. Maybe she just feels “safe” behind it?

will the shih tzu sis­ters be lap dogs?

two shih tzus in conversation.When I inter­act with the shih tzus, I some­times think of Delores at BFF say­ing that they will get in our laps at some point. I have seri­ous doubts about that. They seem per­fectly con­tent at arm’s length. Nigel, on the other hand, likes to cud­dle up next to me, which makes it hard to work. He def­i­nitely wants to be a lap dog. He climbed up on my lap today, and sur­pris­ingly, the way he was lay­ing, I could actu­ally reach the key­board, so I let him stay there a while.

false alarm

I’m not sure what was going on out­side this after­noon, but the shih tzus heard a noise and they all ran to the front door, I guess think­ing it was the Treat Man. Candy was shak­ing her tail feather. About ten min­utes later, they heard it again, and Flower, Candy and Nigel ran to the door together. It was so cute.

some­thing even more disgusting

So, there might be some­thing more dis­gust­ing than your shih tzu pee­ing on the couch — your shih tzu poop­ing on it. Yes, I know. Gross. But Flower man­aged to do it today, and since she wouldn’t clean it up, I had too. Since the spot had to dry off, there wasn’t much dog prop­erty. Dot­tie sat with me after the clean-up job. Candy lay on the floor, watch­ing us. Nigel was chew­ing on a treat con­tently in his dog bed, and Flower sat next to the bed, watch­ing him.

While I was watch­ing her, I was notic­ing how much her eye­lashes have grown back. I’m not sure if they were both­er­ing her eyes, so I think I will let them grow back for a while. She is such a cute lit­tle May­belline baby again. I call her Mar­i­lyn, but I know Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe didn’t poop and pee on couches and carpets!

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Shih Tzu Day 120: Wild Shih Tzu Banshees

break­fast twist for the shih tzus

a shih tzu lounging on a couch.The shih tzus got a twist on their break­fast food this morn­ing. I nor­mally mix together rice, ground beef (or ground chicken or turkey) and frozen veg­eta­bles. I have wanted to try Sadie Shih Tzu’s home­made dog food recipe, but I still haven’t gath­ered all the ingre­di­ents at once. I did com­pro­mise though. We bought veal, turkey and ground beef and mixed them together. Then, instead of the nor­mal veg­eta­bles (car­rots, corn, green green beans and peas), I used more of a fall mix, which included squash, baby car­rots and zuc­chini. They all seemed to like it. Of course, they had their kib­ble too.

a shih tzu next to a stuffed elephant. Nigel is still the most adven­tur­ous when it comes to food, mean­ing I think he will eat any­thing. John had toasted and but­ter and bananas for break­fast, and he shared the banana. I tried to give Flower some banana, but she dropped it out of her mouth and Nigel grabbed it up and ate it. Nigel also grabbed up a car­rot that fell off the floor. The girls hadn’t tried a raw car­rot before, but John put one in front of Flower and she chewed on it a lit­tle and took a bite.

wild shih tzu banshees

I gave the shih tzus some­thing to chew on a lit­tle later. I could hear Nigel chomp­ing away from his posi­tion on one side of the couch and Dot­tie and Flower on the other side. After that, I had to aban­don the chil­dren for sev­eral hours, because I went to meet a for­mer coworker for lunch way across town.

a shih tzu on a dog bed.The three youngest shih tzus were a lit­tle ram­bunc­tious after I got back this after­noon. Candy and Flower were wild shih tzu ban­shees run­ning up and down across the floor, scuf­fling with each other. Nigel was run­ning up and down too, but I think he was mainly try­ing to join in. It must have been wild shih tzu girls day, because they mainly ignored him. It’s very hard to tell when they are really irri­tated with each other some­times or just play fight­ing. I don’t under­stand how all of that wild shih tzu face bit­ing doesn’t result in injury.

After their fren­zied play, Nigel, Candy and Flower sprawled out on the floor in front of me, in a sort of line. It was about time for John to get home, so they could have been lis­ten­ing for sounds, or their play just plain tuck­ered them out.

Nigel sat on John’s lap all night. He sneezed about ten times in a row. I’m very con­scious of that, since he had pneu­mo­nia when he got here.

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