Shih Tzu Week 39: March 22 (Day 267) — 28 (Day 273)

 Shih Tzu Day 267: March 22 (Thursday)

What’s in Nigel’s (Dottie’s?) mouth

Dottie gets a hot dog piece for coping with grooming.Dot­tie came up to me today with her Dentley’s stick in her mouth and wanted up. She is prac­tic­ing being Nigel, since he is the only one who usu­ally comes up to the couch with some­thing in his mouth and wants up. It can be a Dentley’s stick, one of my socks, a rawhide bone, a stuffed animal.

love addicts

Dot­tie is usu­ally con­tent just to sit by my side, but at times, espe­cially when Flower decides she wants love, Dot­tie wants in on the action. Today, Flower started nuz­zling my hand, and then Dot­tie did. I was try­ing to pet them both with one hand, but when­ever I lifted my hand from Flower, she would look up and move her paw, so I had to use both hands.

I love to cup Dottie’s lit­tle face in my hands. When I do, she just gazes at me. I remem­bered when none of the female shih tzus wanted me to come near them. Now, Dot­tie will even let me kiss her. Flower is actu­ally the biggest lover. I think she would like to be rubbed and pet­ted all day.

Flower had a lot of energy this evening. She was drag­ging and pulling around the red, soft dog bed that no one ever uses. My guess is she was just try­ing to tear the tag off, but she didn’t suc­ceed. A lit­tle later, when she was sit­ting on the couch, she started growl­ing. Unlike other dogs, when Flower growls, it usu­ally means she wants to be pet­ted. How­ever, she jumped down, grabbed a rawhide bone from off the floor, and pranced away towards the back door, with Candy fol­low­ing behind her.

 Shih Tzu Day 268: March 23 (Friday)

cam­era shy

I picked Candy up again today when she came up to the couch. She stayed until I tried to take her pic­ture. The pic­ture tak­ing has def­i­nitely slowed down. I took hun­dreds and hun­dreds of pic­tures last year after get­ting the shih tzus. How­ever, as things have grad­u­ally got­ten back to a new nor­mal, after tak­ing in four shih tzus, the cam­era often isn’t in the right place at the right time. Also, my attempts at find­ing a small cam­era I like to keep near me haven’t been suc­cess­ful. I heard that the iPhone took great pic­tures, and I finally got one, but I haven’t had luck get­ting any­thing more than blurry shots inside. I have to read up on what I am doing wrong.

 Shih Tzu Day 269: March 24 (Saturday)

John and I were gone most of the day, so the poor shih tzus have had to fend for them­selves. When we came home, I went upstairs to change while John gave out some treats. After a few min­utes, I heard paws on the stairs. Flower came up to get me. She wan­dered around the room sniff­ing until I went back downstairs.

Us, vaca­tion?

One of our friends was in town this week, and we went and met him for din­ner. He invited us out to Boston to see him when­ever we wanted to come. I had to smile at that. It was hard enough going out of town when we had one Yorkie. It will be nearly impos­si­ble with four shih tzus. They def­i­nitely aren’t the type of dogs that you ken­nel, and they steal don’t trust any­one but John and I, so dog sit­ters are out.

Shih Tzu Day 270: March 25 (Sunday)

new dogs

Flower after bath with Fresh n Clean Shampoo.We decided to do a lit­tle groom­ing today. Par­tially, I wanted to try out the Fresh n Clean sham­poo that came in the Royal Canin goodie bas­ket iden­ti­cal to the one we are giv­ing away, cour­tesy Royal Canin. John trimmed Nigel’s paws and face. After that, he started work­ing on Dottie’s face. I decided to help him, so I started trim­ming her body. He informed me I had used the wrong blade, so she got a very short cut. Even though it was a mis­take, we decided to do the same with Flower, since it is spring, and they don’t need long fur to keep them warm. Plus, we can go a lit­tle longer with­out groom­ing them. They look like com­pletely dif­fer­ent dogs than Nigel and Candy.

Shih Tzu Day 271: March 26 (Monday)

sassy flower

Flower was being sassy this after­noon. She sat on the edge of the couch, wag­ging her tail and wav­ing her front paws at me, like she does when she wants to be pet­ted. Then, she lay on her back against the couch gaz­ing at me, her cute lit­tle under-bite show­ing. I waited a lit­tle too long to pet her, so she started growl­ing, until I gave her what she wanted.

Since Flower hasn’t peed on our couch for quite a while, I put the cush­ions down on the other couch that she used to always sit on, but I think she has for­got­ten that used to be her could. She rarely goes up on it any­more. I am happy that she sits with us on the com­mu­nity couch — and that we have had dry couch cush­ions for a long time!

Shih Tzu Day 272: March 27 (Tuesday)

Nigel and the ice cube

I still need to replace Nigel’s steps, since one set broke, and he wouldn’t walk up the next set. For now, I have an old milk box on its side that I put in place in front of the couch before John comes down and needs to sit there, and then again after he leaves for work. This morn­ing I for­got to put it there, so I had to help Nigel up. When I looked down, he had an ice cube in his mouth. It was so cute. He sat it on the couch and then picked it up again once I sat him next to me. That lit­tle boy has so much character.

throw up on the throw

I left a throw on the floor last night and some­one threw up on it. My guess is that it was Candy. She wouldn’t go out to eat when her sis­ters did. Instead, she hid behind the din­ing room table. When I picked up the throw and put it in the hall to take to the base­ment later, she came out and then went out to eat. Maybe she thought she was going to get in trou­ble. I had to keep an eye on her bowl so her sis­ters and Nigel wouldn’t try to eat her food for her, since they had already eaten by the time she decided to eat.

Shih Tzu Day 273: March 28 (Wednesday)

weigh­ing in

It's hard to tell where one shih tzu ends and another begins. I weighed the dogs today. I have read dif­fer­ent answers regard­ing what shih tzus should weigh, with the range going between nine and twenty pounds, but the aver­age answer seems to be ten to six­teen pounds. If so, we’re not doing too badly. Nigel now weighs 13 pounds. I think that is a good weight for him. He only weighed 10.5 pounds in Octo­ber, but he was still recov­er­ing from pneu­mo­nia. Candy weighed 11.5 in Octo­ber and now weighs 12 pounds. I’m not as happy with Flower and Dot­tie. Flower was 14 pounds and is now 15.5. Dot­tie was 14 pounds and is 16 pounds now. Flower and Dot­tie might be within the range, but we need to work on that.

Now that the shih tzus are more com­fort­able with John and I, I think the leash train­ing will go bet­ter. My goal is to really get on this right after Easter!

Let the butt sniffing begin!I am hop­ing that our diet will ben­e­fit the shih tzus. I know that some peo­ple don’t give dogs peo­ple food, but we always have. I am try­ing to replace some of their dog treats with peo­ple food. For instance, Flower, Dot­tie, and Nigel all like cel­ery, although Candy won’t try it. I am par­tic­u­larly glad that Flower does, since it is bet­ter for her than plas­tic bot­tle caps!

We had tuna salad on a romaine leaf tonight. I left out some tuna to give them a few pieces while we ate.

Related Posts:

Shih Tzu Week 38: March 15 (Day 260) — 21 (Day 266)

Shih Tzu Day 260: March 15 (Thursday)

Tested in the U.S.

"Tested in the U.S.A"? My search to find treats for the shih tzus not made in China is exas­per­at­ing. While I was look­ing at PetS­mart to see which prod­ucts were made in China, I noticed some clever pack­ag­ing. I saw pack­ages that said “Tested in the U.S.” and “Printed in the U.S.” I don’t under­stand the impor­tance of test­ing and print­ing in the U.S., so I imag­ine the word­ing is just to trick peo­ple into think­ing the prod­ucts are made in the U.S.

I ordered some beef dog treats called Doggy Dol­lars from Costco, because they are made in the United States and had good rat­ings.  I’m a lit­tle leery, because I haven’t had much luck with beef treat prod­ucts. I am still con­fused, because I am not sure if I just need to avoid chicken jerky prod­ucts from China, or if I need to avoid oth­ers as well. That’s what is daunt­ing, since most of the treats I pick up say they are made in China.

I would like to buy U.S. prod­ucts any­way, just to sup­port U.S. com­pa­nies, but I don’t under­stand why com­pa­nies like Milo’s Kitchen, whose prod­ucts are made in China, have treats that smell good enough for peo­ple to eat, and oth­ers have prod­ucts I can hardly stand to smell.

hard boiled eggs

Since I have been back on a low-carb diet, I have been shar­ing my snacks more often with the dogs. Thank good­ness, the eggs I hard boil are from the good old U.S.A. They all love them. I did read up on giv­ing them to dogs, and found out that they are a good source of pro­tein and fat, which ben­e­fits their coat, skin, and claws.

Peo­ple food no-nos for dogs

I have been check­ing a lot online about what dogs can and can’t eat. I just ran across a slide show on Web MD that gives foods that are dan­ger­ous for dogs. They include avo­cado; alco­hol; onions and gar­lic; caf­feine (such as cof­fee and tea); grapes and raisins;  milk and other dairy prod­ucts (this is con­fus­ing, since I have been told yogurt is good for dogs, and I have given it to my shih tzus with­out bad effects??); macadamia nuts; candy and gum; choco­late; fat trim­mings and bones (I have heard that you can give them bones that have not yet been cooked?); per­sim­mons, peaches, and plums; raw eggs; raw meat and fish; salty foods (like chips and pret­zels); sug­ary foods and drinks; yeast dough; peo­ple med­i­cine, and items from the kitchen pantry. Web MD rec­om­mends treat­ing dogs with lean meats; fruits like apples, oranges, bananas, and water­melon; veg­eta­bles like car­rots, green beans, cucum­ber slices, zuc­chini sticks (mine love jicama), and plain baked potato (not raw); and cooked white rice and pasta.

Shih Tzu Day 261: March 16 (Friday)

dog step DILEMMA

I bought Nigel wooden dog steps at Ross or TX Maxx before Christ­mas, but they aren’t very sturdy. One of the grand­chil­dren stepped on them and broke a step dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son, and John fixed it, but I recently real­ized that Nigel was act­ing ten­ta­tive when he stepped on the bot­tom step. I inves­ti­gated and found out it was bro­ken again. This time, I decided to look for new steps. I got online and saw that Bed, Bath and Beyond had some Ani­mal Planet wooden steps that looked pretty as well as func­tional. It looked like the only store that had them though was Cherry Creek, which is a lit­tle fur­ther than the one I usu­ally go to. I made the jaunt to get them. How­ever, once I set them up, Nigel wouldn’t go up them. My guess is because they are taller than the other steps, and a lit­tle wider. I’ll keep them a few days and see what hap­pens. If Nigel won’t go up them, the other shih tzus def­i­nitely won’t.

angels’ eyes

I have been giv­ing Flower and Dot­tie Angels’ Eyes for their tear stains. Flower’s were much more notice­able, because of her col­or­ing. I think it really helped her. I started giv­ing Dot­tie the pow­der about two months after I started giv­ing it to Flower, but I haven’t noticed as much of a change. I am now out, and since it is costly to give it to both of them, I think I will hold off on order­ing it again and see how they do with­out it.

Bud­dig Turkey Time

Candy came up to the couch at noon, wag­ging her cute lit­tle head from side to side, sig­nal­ing that it was time for lunch. I started giv­ing them Bud­dig turkey when I started giv­ing Flower Angels’ Eyes, because she wouldn’t eat it on her food. When I am at King Soop­ers, I usu­ally buy their Kroger brand, but I just found out that it has about 25 per­cent more sodium, so I will stick to Bud­dig from now on.

Shih Tzu Day 262: March 17 (Saturday)

sav­ing $$ on train­ing pads

I didn’t have to put down a new train­ing pad this morn­ing, because the one I put down last night was still dry. It is so nice to not have to change them as often as I had to before. I feel like we are get­ting some­where, and we are sav­ing money!

Bully sticks, bully dog

A few months ago I bought an econ­omy size bag of Big Bark All Nat­ural Steer Sticks because I was told they are softer than bully sticks and the shih tzus might like them bet­ter.   I still had some left, although I couldn’t remem­ber why. Usu­ally if the shih tzus like some­thing, I don’t have any left­overs. This morn­ing I passed some out. Nigel instantly turned into a lit­tle bully. If any­one came near him, he got a mur­der­ous look in his eyes and started growl­ing. He also tried to steal them from the other shih tzus. I think that was why I stopped pass­ing them out. I gath­ered them back up and put them away, so Nigel would get back to his nor­mal, sweet self.

 Shih Tzu Day 263: March 18 (Sunday)

Cute lit­tle Candy

Candy seems to come up to the couch more often. Her fur is kind of long and she looks like a lit­tle bear, so I have been call­ing her Candy Bear. John picks her up and holds her for a cou­ple of min­utes at least each morning.

She has so much char­ac­ter. I wish I could catch a pic­ture of her when she is out­side play­ing by her­self. She was hop­ping and bop­ping around by the gate ear­lier, with an imag­i­nary friend, I guess. It was adorable.

Shih Tzu Day 264: March 19 (Monday)

Christ­mas in March

Flower waits to be petted.I am not sure where they are hid­ing them, but every once and awhile, one of the shih tzus gets out one of the flat Christ­mas rawhide bones I got from Petco in Decem­ber and starts chew­ing on it. Today it was Flower who ran by me as if she was sneak­ing one into Shih Tzu Cen­tral, and then sat chew­ing on it for quite a while. I am not sure why, but it makes me smile when they chew so loudly. I guess it is because they seem to be hav­ing so much fun when they do that.

royal canin doggy day spa giveaway

Our Royal Canin Doggy Day Spa Gift Pack giveaway will start April 1.I got an email today from Joe at Royal Canin. He invited me to do a Doggy Day Spa give­away of their new x-small adult dog food, with some other pet care prod­ucts, val­ued at $80. For doing it, the shih tzus would get the same gift, so I said I would be happy to do it. This will be our first give­away, so I am excited. We will start the con­test April 1 and it will last three weeks. I’ll announce on April 1 how the win­ner will be chosen.

Shih Tzu Day 265: March 20 (Tuesday)

Magic Mesh time?

Candy has been in her apart­ment most of the day. The weather is warm enough on some days now that I could keep the back door open, so they can come in and out when they want, but I already had a vis­it­ing bee — or fly. Not sure which. I saw that Bed, Bath and Beyond now car­ries the Magic Mesh cur­tain, so I think I will try it. I remem­ber what a kick I got last fall when the com­mer­cial would come on; dogs would bark, and the shih tzus would dash to the door, think­ing they had vis­i­tors, I guess. I think it was a mem­ory from either their puppy mill days, or their fos­ter home before we got them.

Shih Tzu Day 266: March 21 (Wednesday)

Candy Kisses

Candy came and put her paws up on the couch twice today. I always assume she just wants food, because in the past, when she has come up and I have reached for her, she has run away. How­ever, she seems a lit­tle more approach­able these days. This time I reached for her very slowly, and she didn’t back away, so I picked her up. She sat there while I pet­ted her, for prob­a­bly ten min­utes, until John drove up. As soon as she heard the truck, she jumped down and ran to the door to wait for him. She did her twisty dance, wag­ging her butt one way and her head the other, with all paws com­ing off the floor. I really need to catch that on video some day.

Doggy Dol­lars Arrival

My Made in the U.S.A. Doggy Dol­lars arrived today from Costco. The shih tzus weren’t eager to take them, but they did, and I think all of them ate theirs. I wish they had been a big­ger hit, espe­cially since I had to buy two big bags of them.

Foot warmer

Nigel loves to sit on a blanket in front of my feet - or on my feet. After John got home, Candy sat on his lap for about 15 min­utes get­ting love. Ear­lier, Dot­tie let him give her a face rub for a while. One of the blan­kets had fallen on the floor, and my feet were on it. Nigel sat on my feet while John held Candy.

Related Posts:

Shih Tzu Week 37: March 8 (Day 253) — 14 (Day 259)

Shih Tzu Day 253: March 8 (Thursday)

Nigel fights me over a sock he's claimed.My three lit­tle fol­low­ers — Nigel, Dot­tie, and Flower — fol­lowed me up and down the stairs this morn­ing while I tried to orga­nize the spare room. Later on, the youngest shih tzu kids spent some­time out­side sit­ting on the porch or play­ing, while Dot­tie kept Mom com­pany on the couch.

I’m not sure why, but while I was on the phone this after, Dot­tie went off on Flower. I heard this snarling and growl­ing, and looked over to see her doing what I call her “two-headed mean mon­ster rou­tine.” It usu­ally has some­thing to do with pos­ses­sive­ness. Flower stands up to her some­times, but today, she ran back to Shih Tzu Cen­tral until Dot­tie got back to normal.

Shih Tzu Day 254: March 9 (Friday)

All is calm on the Shih Tzu Front.

Shih Tzu Day 255: March 10 (Saturday)

Flower can't wait to get her morning chew stick.We were gone quite a while today. I have been orga­niz­ing the kitchen, the spare room, my file sys­tem, etc., so I was look­ing for con­tain­ers, and John needed a new Nuvi for week. I always feel bad when we have to leave the dogs for too many hours. They are always so excited when we get home.

Shih Tzu Day 256: March 11 (Sunday)

Candy “knocked” to get in this morn­ing, which is very rare. Flower stayed out­side ear­lier for a while with her. She was sniff­ing around the grass, includ­ing around the fence. I am always cau­tious when they are too fix­ated with one area. I have these fears of some­one throw­ing some­thing poi­soned into our yard. It doesn’t help that I just read about the guy that had video­taped him­self tor­ment­ing his dogs. I don’t under­stand peo­ple like that at all.

Shih Tzu Day 257: March 12 (Monday)

John was very proud of Flower this evening. She came and stood in front of John, star­ing at him, and he assumed she might need to go out and go potty. When he opened the door, she ran out and pooped. I was a proud mommy too.

It has been so nice lately. I very rarely smell that urine aroma waft­ing through the air. When they don’t go out­side, for exam­ple, when I don’t get up early enough, they pee on the train­ing pad. As soon as I see it, I fold it up, stick it up in a plas­tic gro­cery bag, tie the ends and either put it in the train­ing pad trash can, or throw it in the trash in the garage, and out down a new one. It is also very nice that I spend a lot less money on train­ing pads these days.

Shih Tzu Day 258: March 13 (Tuesday)

I gave the dogs jicama and they all seemed to like it. I have also been giv­ing them hard boiled eggs and cel­ery, which are sta­ples of our recent low-carb diet. Every time I attempt to give them some­thing new, I check to see if it’s accept­able. I was sur­prised to find out that they shouldn’t have avo­ca­dos. I thought they would be good for them. I did give Flower and Dot­tie a bite before I read that I shouldn’t, and they liked it. I am a lit­tle con­fused about dairy prod­ucts. I have read that they shouldn’t have dairy prod­ucts because they don’t have an enzyme needed to digest them, but then I have also been told to give them yogurt for their diges­tive sys­tems. So, for now, when I have it, I will give them a lit­tle yogurt.

I have stopped com­pletely giv­ing the dogs some of the other chicken jerky made in China, but I have still been giv­ing them the Dentley’s chew sticks. They like them so much. I know it’s a high­light of their morn­ing. I only saw one neg­a­tive com­ment about Dentley’s online, so I am cross­ing my fin­gers. But I will try to find some­thing else. Sadie Shih Tzu’s mom sent us a recipe for home­made dog treats, so I will try that. How­ever, noth­ing seems to replace a good chew stick when it comes to my shih tzu tribe!

Shih Tzu Day 259: March 14 (Wednesday)

Flower climbs on Dottie to get to her perch on the couch arm.Today I gave Flower and Nigel cel­ery and broc­coli. They gob­bled down the broc­coli. Nigel ate the cel­ery, but Flower chewed on it and then left it lying around. Dot­tie and Candy wouldn’t try it.

John was deliv­er­ing in the area, so he came home for lunch. The shih tzus heard the big truck in the cul de sac and started bark­ing crazily. They def­i­nitely are good guard dogs, though I don’t think they could pro­tect me much. They would give me time to call some­one for help or find a weapon with which to defend myself.

I gave the shih tzus some yogurt when he was here. They all love it.

Related Posts:

Shih Tzu Week 36: March 1 (Day 247) — March 7 (Day 252)

Shih Tzu Day 246: March 1 (Thursday)

Stop clean­ing!

Flower lounging in a dog bed. I have been busy clean­ing house. I’m not sure where I got the energy. I cleaned the liv­ing room, kitchen, and bath­room today. The female shih tzus don’t like it when I clean, for a few rea­sons. One, if I am clean­ing, I am not sit­ting in my place on the couch, with my lap­top before me. They really don’t seem to like change. Plus, when I am mov­ing around and not sit­ting, they seem ner­vous. Some­times Flower fol­lows me around, but usu­ally, they stay inside Shih Tzu Cen­tral and watch me. Then, when I do sit down, Nigel, Dot­tie, and Flower are imme­di­ately there. Nigel climbs up his stairs, Flower jumps up, and Dot­tie waits for me to help her up.

Shih Tzu Day 247: March 2 (Friday)

China Aware­ness

In the past, I wanted to praise some of the dog food and dog treat com­pa­nies who pro­duce our shih tzus’ favorite prod­ucts. How­ever, I have to back up and say it appears I have been wrong in prais­ing some of the com­pa­nies. One of my won­der­ful read­ers wrote and men­tioned that she thought some of the treats I feed the dogs are on the list of treats from China to be wary of, since, accord­ing to the Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion, they are treats that may have caused kid­ney fail­ure, liver dis­ease or Fan­coni syn­drome, in dogs in the U.S. and Canada. Ironic for us, since the shih tzu orig­i­nated in China!

From what I have read, includ­ing at, it is mainly chicken jerky pet treats — my dogs’ favorite treat — that appear to be caus­ing ill­nesses in canines. Sorry to say, out of more than 600 com­plaints by pet own­ers and vet­eri­nar­i­ans, sev­eral point to brands  I have fed my shih tzus for months: Milo’s Kitchen (pro­duced by Del Monte), Canyon Creek Ranch and Wag­gin’ Train (both pro­duced by Nes­tle Purina Pet­Care). That is a huge dis­ap­point­ment, and I am embar­rassed that I didn’t look into this ear­lier after a men­tion from another reader about some Costco prod­ucts that come from China. Thank God, though, my shih tzus don’t seem to have fallen vic­tim to what other dogs have.  I guess now I know why so many coupons are read­ily avail­able for Milo’s Kitchen and Wag­gin’ Train!

FDA reg­u­la­tors do say that repeated tests have not shown an absolute tie to any brand or man­u­fac­turer. As a result, the FDA hasn’t recalled any spe­cific prod­ucts, so they remain on store shelves. FDA reg­u­la­tors have asked con­sumers to report prob­lems, and sup­ply jerky treat sam­ples and med­ical records of dogs that may have become sick or died after eat­ing these products.

So, what does some­one do when their dogs just love those treats? I guess you look for prod­ucts made in the U.S. Believe me, I have checked shelves at local big box stores, gro­cery stores, and pet sup­ply stores, and that is almost impos­si­ble. So, I am on a search for treats I know are safe. If you have any sug­ges­tions, please let us know, and we’ll start report­ing what we find.

Shih Tzu Day 248: March 3 (Saturday)

My step­son Gabe, his girl­friend Crys­tal and her daugh­ter Avi stopped by. Nigel ran to greet them, and, as usual, the females went to Shih Tzu Cen­tral and waited for com­pany to leave.

I started my search for U.S. chicken jerky treats. Well, it was not named by the FDA as a con­cern, but the Dogswell Breath­ies Chicken Breast with Mint & Pars­ley I just bought is made in China, as are the Cadet duck treats, but I haven’t seen any­thing about duck being an issue? Also, the dogs love the Canyon Creek Ranch Yam Good prod­uct, which is duck fil­let wrapped yams, so I need to fig­ure out if that is OK? Help, if any­one knows.

Shih Tzu Day 249: March 4 (Sunday)

Shih Tzu Bath Time

Nigel stands guard at the back door. My orga­ni­za­tion con­tin­ues. I orga­nized the kitchen draw­ers and refrig­er­a­tor. Then, we tack­led the chal­lenge of giv­ing half of the shih tzus baths. We chose Nigel and Flower. Flower had a lit­tle too much hair in her ears, so she had a hard time, but she was very brave. As usual, our lit­tle boy didn’t want his bath, so we had to fight him every step of the way.

Shih Tzu Day 250: March 5 (Mon.)

Dot­tie got her bath this morn­ing. John and I started work­ing out down­stairs this morn­ing to pre­pare for spring bik­ing. Flower ran down like she nor­mally does when I am down there, and then stopped and ran back upstairs when she saw that the Man was down there too. How­ever, she couldn’t resist, and she was back five min­utes later, sniff­ing around.

I spent a few hours try­ing to orga­nize my pic­tures of the shih tzus. I have way too many files, since I was orga­niz­ing them by day. Now, I have put them into weeks. I must have bored the dogs, because they all fell asleep.

Shih Tzu Day 251: March 6 (Tuesday)

Comfy Shih Tzus

John came down­stairs this morn­ing after get­ting ready for work, and Nigel and Flower calmly looked at him — from HIS place on the couch. Nigel went on chew­ing on his bone and Flower went on doing noth­ing. John finally sat down on the other couch after telling them they sure looked comfortable.

After John left, Candy came over wag­ging her head at me, and then the oth­ers gath­ered around. For some rea­son, the shih tzus think that John leav­ing the house means they get a treat. I usu­ally accom­mo­date them, but now I am try­ing to break them of the habit of com­ing up to me when he leaves, expec­tantly. Instead, I have been wait­ing until 11:30, and then I feed them small pieces of turkey.

So, instead of offer­ing food, I pet­ted Candy for a while this morn­ing. A lit­tle later, Nigel mys­te­ri­ously came up with a chew stick. He sat on the floor chew­ing away, while Candy sat next to him, just watch­ing him. Flower, sit­ting on the non-Dottie side of the couch, leaned over and watched him too, as if his chew­ing was the most inter­est­ing thing in the world. I am not sure why his chew­ing was so fas­ci­nat­ing to them.

When he was done, he climbed up his stairs and plopped down next to me, ready for his nap. He is such a baby boy. He couldn’t pos­si­bly get any closer to Mom. I remem­ber when we first got him, and his behav­ior was some­times very annoy­ing. I admit, he does get a lit­tle too over­bear­ing with the girls some­times, but he is such a lit­tle lover and such a cutie.

Dry train­ing pads

The female shih tzus stare at a broom as it nears them.I have been for­get­ting to say that I have only been throw­ing out the train­ing pad once every day or so. For no appar­ent rea­son, how­ever, Flower did pee on John’s side of the couch the other day. I think she was ner­vous, since I had been up and down clean­ing a lot.

I did see some improve­ment in that area. John swept out Shih Tzu Cen­tral while they sat it it, and although they hud­dled together, the shih tzus didn’t look too freaked out about the broom com­ing so close to them.

Shih Tzu Day 252: March 7 (Wednes.)

Shih Tzu Pee Rug

In recent months, we kept a “pee” rug under the train­ing pad, because of mis-positioning of shih tzu butts, result­ing in wet hard­wood floor­ing. It was wash­able, so I threw it in the wash­ing machine every week or so. How­ever, the unpleas­ant smell of urine always wafted up from the base­ment, and when I threw it in the dryer, that smell mixed with that of the rub­ber back­ing. I finally had a bright idea.

We have an anti-fatigue mat that dou­bles as a kitchen mat and a mat for dog groom­ing, because it cleans eas­ily with a wipe of a wet rag. I bought one to put under the train­ing pad, and threw away the tainted pee rug. It seems to be work­ing good. Plus, one edge is straight, so I fold an edge of the pad under it, near the wall, and it keeps it in place a lit­tle better.

We still have some misses, so I just take a paper towel and wipe up the mess and the floor around it. It’s been work­ing great, and no more pee smell, once I toss the used train­ing pad.

Cel­ery for shih tzus

I acci­den­tally dis­cov­ered that Nigel and Flower like cel­ery. I dropped a piece of cel­ery on the couch, and when I turned around, Nigel had it between his paws and was chomp­ing away. Dot­tie and Candy, my par­tic­u­lar shih tzus, wouldn’t try it, but Flower did. John was con­cerned, because he thought cel­ery might be dan­ger­ous for dogs. I researched it and accord­ing to many cites, includ­ing Barf World, found that, indeed, dogs can eat cel­ery! Good, since I need to find them healthy treats to replace Chi­nese chicken jerky treats!

Go away!

Candy's second home is under her trailer. Tish and the kids were ove for awhile. Evita and Dul­cea cor­nered Candy and pet­ted her, but I asked them to stop, since she didn’t look like she was hav­ing much fun. Dot­tie took a treat from Junior, and of course, Nigel would eat any­thing from anyone.

The dogs still don’t like when peo­ple come over, but they now get back to nor­mal ten min­utes after the door closes. In fact, shortly after they left, Flower and Nigel were play fight­ing next to me, and when I looked over, Flower was sit­ting on him. Such a cute lit­tle family.

Daddy’s home

When Dad comes home, Candy wags her butt, instead of just her tail. When he picks her up, she smells his face. I think she is start­ing to love Daddy.

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Shih Tzu Week 35: Feb. 23 (Day 239) — Feb. 29 (Day 245)

Shih Tzu Day: Feb. 23

scary wind

Wind frightened Candy so much she visited us on the couch.The wind was so strong last night that it blew part of our fence down again. The dogs hud­dled together in the cor­ner. Later, with the wind still blow­ing and all of us on the couch, Candy came to the couch look­ing befud­dled, so I picked her up. We were happy to have her join us, since that is a rare occasion.

When John got home, he had to rig up a tem­po­rary solu­tion, since we couldn’t let the shih tzus out­side with the fence down.

shih tzu sib­ling rivalry

The sib­ling rivalry con­tin­ues between Dot­tie and Flower. Some­times when Flower is sit­ting by me and Dot­tie wants up, Flower jumps right down. Today, when I was pet­ting Flower, Dot­tie looked at me and jumped down and stayed down for quite a while. The prob­lem is that Flower demands atten­tion and Dot­tie nor­mally doesn’t, so some­times it’s easy to for­get to pet her, since she isn’t growl­ing for attention.

Shih Tzu Day: Feb. 24

Like My Dog

I was gone most of the day. I always look for­ward to com­ing home and see­ing my shih tzu tribe. They are always so excited. It reminds me of the coun­try west­ern song, “Like my dog.”

Shih Tzu Day: Feb. 25 — 26

shih tzu kitty

Calm and lazy day for the dogs. Not much to report on. We have been get­ting a kick watch­ing our shih tzu cat Candy pounce on things. When she is out­side by her­self, she often barks. I used to jump up and see if there was a prob­lem, but any time we do, she is just jump­ing around on the porch, pat­ting a toy around or chas­ing her tail. Such an inde­pen­dent lit­tle baby.

Shih Tzu Day: Feb. 27

shih tzu confusion

It’s becom­ing a com­mon event for Flower to let John pet her. She seems very calm when he does. Dot­tie let him pet her too today. How­ever, their con­fu­sion con­tin­ues. He came down the stairs wear­ing a visor and glasses, and they went crazy sound­ing the alert about an intruder. He had to take off his hat and glasses to calm them down.

Some­times I don’t under­stand why they get so con­fused at odd times. For instance, they line up in the same order every morn­ing for break­fast: Flower, Dot­tie, and then Candy near­est the house. This morn­ing, Candy went to Flower’s feed bowl, so Flower didn’t know where to go. I had to guide Candy back to her bowl.

shih tzu hiccups

I have been try­ing to fig­ure out why Nigel hic­cups some­times. It hap­pens prob­a­bly once a week. I read that hic­cup­ing is com­mon espe­cially up to 18 months. That reminds me that we really have no ideal how old Nigel is, although the vet thought he was about 18 months when we got him last fall. I guess if it starts hap­pen­ing more often I’ll take him to the vet, but for now, I’ll just keep assum­ing it’s normal.

Shih Tzu Day: Feb. 28

(Mr. Chewy Review)

Shih zu Day: Feb. 29

Flower is becom­ing more and more com­fort­able here every day. This morn­ing, she jumped up and sat down very close to me, between Nigel and me. They left John a very small place to sit.

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