Shih Tzu Week 48: May 24 (Day 330) – 30 (Day 336), 2012

Day 330: May 24

Thursday

The dogs all took a vote. I don’t think they like the training pad holder. I put a training pad on the spot where someone always pees before we get up. This morning, there were two wet spots and a mound of brown stuff there. The training pad in the holder was clean, however.

I was brave and took the three little ones for walks. I am not sure how that is supposed to be done. They kept moving from one side to another, tangling me up, until I final cut it short. If I go to a dog obedience class, will I learn how to walk three shih tzus at a time?

It seems like I spend a lot of time these days making dog treats. Today, it was a new batch of chicken and apple and chicken and sweet potato treats.

It seems like the shih tzus spend a lot of time sleeping these days: Dottie because she is older, Nigel because he is younger, and Flower and Candy because they don’t know what else to do. Flower always looks so bored. Can suggest what to do to prevent shih tzus from being bored? 

Day 331: May 25

Friday

shih tzu on bed

Dottie followed Nigel in through the Magic Mesh screen door this morning. It doesn’t seem to work like the commercial says, because their weight won’t push it, but at least he knows to push and then duck under it.

I have been working in the spare bedroom, so Nigel, Flower and Dottie come to join me. Flower has learned she can jump on the bed, so she lies on it and watches me.

Day 332: May 26

Saturday

Flower hasn’t been barking at John very often. Today, she went to his side of the bed without barking and let him pet her.

Day 333: May 27

Sunday

Today was a red-letter days. Leticia and her kids and Chris and her son came over at 12:30 for a barbecue. Candy fled outside. The other two female shih tzus went to the dining room corner, as close as they could be to me, since I was in the kitchen. When we ate, Dottie positioned herself by my feet.

Cea holding out treat as Nigel Shih Tuz watches.Later, all the dogs tried to escape the noise inside by going outside. I sat down on the porch and Rema walked out into the yard a ways and held out a treat. Flower was hesitant, but she finally came and took one. She also took one from Chris’ little boy, who ate more treats than he passed out. Luckily, since I make them, I know what’s in them, and they are good enough to be people food!

Candy either stayed in the shed John kept open for her as a giant doghouse, or near it. She let Rema pet her but wouldn’t take a treat. She did eat what Rema put on the ground after she left though.

granddaughters lure Flower Shih Tzu with treat.Flower and Dottie came in on their own, and I brought Candy in. Later, when people were still there, I noticed that instead of being huddled together in the large doggie bed, like they did before when they were scared, they were each lying in their own beds, so they are getting better.

After they left, Candy and Dottie were sitting next to me and Nigel next to John. I sat Flower on my lap, and her butt eventually migrated next to Nigel’s. John started petted her. She stayed there half on my lap, half between us for probably 20 minutes while he petted her, and she would look back at him when he stopped. That was a first. We truly have come a long way in 11 months. The funny thing is that Flower has progressed the most, but I still assume it’s her peeing in front of the TV.

Day 334: May 28

Monday

four shih tzus on leashesfour shih tzus on leasheIt is very amusing to watch the shih tzus in action sometimes. This morning, Nigel was perched on the couch with his chicken-covered rawhide stick. Candy barked from outside and he jumped down to find out why, leaving his stick on the edge for a brief second—just long enough for Flower to snatch it and run to Central. You would have almost thought they had tag teamed him. Later, however, I noticed Candy was minus a stick and Nigel had one, so I think he retaliated and took hers.

I bought the sticks this time from Target. They are a lot cheaper than what I get from PetSmart, but they aren’t covered with as much chicken, so the shih tzus don’t seem to like them as much.

John helped me take all of the dogs for a Memorial Day walk. They looked like a Shih Tzu Merry Go Round or dog sled team. It was difficult to keep them all together, going the right way, but we did it.

Day 335: May 29

Tuesday

I brought Candy up to sleep with us last night. She woke me up at 6 o’clock, prancing around the bed. I don’t know if that was a wee-wee dance or I’m-glad-to-see-you dance.

I had to wash my couch cushion cover today because Flower peed on it. It’s possible that she did it because Candy wasn’t downstairs. I don’t think she likes when things are not normal.

Day 336: May 30

Wednesday

John was eating a piece of toast this morning and Flower came up and put her front paws on his leg. That is the first time she’s done that. The only time she ever touches him is when he is walking into the kitchen to get food and she hits the back of his legs with her front paws.

I took Mom shopping. After I dropped her off I went to Petco and bought some Espree bright white shampoo, to see if it will make Flower’s fur brighter. I think it could be really pretty, but it looks dingy near something that is truly white. I also bought a coupler to see about walking two of the dogs on it.

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Shih Tzu Week 47: May 17 (Day 323) – 23 (Day 329), 2012

Day 323: May 17

Thursday

The shih tzus haven’t been barking at John when he comes down the stairs. Maybe they realized what a real “stranger” was when Sandy first got here. They did get better with her as the week went on though.

Flower peed in front of the TV three days in a row, and she also peed on her couch. I washed the cushions and then stood them up, so she can’t pee on them again. I don’t know what to do about her peeing in front of the TV.

shih tzu with lid and strawFlower certainly doesn’t need any toys. She loves to steal things from me instead. For instance, today she stole a cup lid and a straw and took them back to Shih Tzu Central to chew on. When she got tired of them, she found a sponge somewhere and smuggled it back to her dog bed.

I had an email from a Nutro representative today asking me if I wanted to host a doggy tasting party. It sounds fun. I haven’t bought Nutro yet for the shih tzus, but they do have a grain-free kibble they could try. I would never have dreamed of even attempting it even two months ago, but I am considering it. There would be people and dog guests, and the shih tzus wouldn’t like the people idea, but they might enjoy having a few extra dogs around.

Black shih tzu with sponge in mouthI think the grain-free kibble has been helping the female shih tzus. I don’t see many tear stains on Flower these days, although Dottie still has some brown on her face. It might just be part of her coloring.

I have been trying to cook more because of my diet. I made a “gourmet” chicken salad today. I poached a chicken with some vegetables and herbs and the scents attracted Nigel and Flower. They came and sat on the kitchen floor, waiting for something to drop. I gave them some celery. They ate it, but Dottie and Candy wouldn’t try it.

Shih Tzu Day 324: May 18

Friday

I was gone all morning shopping with Mom. When I got back, I put some strawberries, bananas, and apples in the dehydrator as snacks for John. I thought the strawberries and bananas were weird, but the apples came out OK. When I was checking on them, I heard scuffling outside. Candy and Nigel were doing one of their tap-dancing routines.

Shih Tzu Day 325: May 19

Saturday

I looked up best dog nail clippers on Amazon and saw some good reviews for Dremel tools made for dog grooming. One review said not to bother with those since a regular tool would work as well and cost less. I bought a Dremel cordless rotary tool from Wal-Mart for $20 for us to try. John used it on Flower and Dottie and he thought it worked well.

I didn’t have much time to sit down today, but as soon as I did, Nigel and Dottie rushed up to the couch. They sure are sweet companions.

Cea and Evita petting Candy Shih TzuLeticia came by on her way to Bandimere Speedway with the girls, her friend Chris, and her son. I let the kids go outside and bother Candy for a few minutes. They love petting her, but she hasn’t learned to love it yet. She just sits there, frozen. I hope that will change someday.

Shih Tzu Day 326: May 20

Sunday

John and I made a 21-mile bike ride this morning and then went to Olive Garden for iced tea and salad. When we came back, he put up the Magic Mesh screen door correctly. It didn’t close right at first, but it did after he made some adjustments. I hope we can train the shih tzus to go through it.

Shih Tzu Day 327: May 21

Monday

Dottie had a twitchy thing going on this morning. I don’t know if she had an itch or if is she was just playing. She does that every now and then. She rolls over on her back, waves her paws, and makes strange noise. I think she is indicating she wants to be petted. None of the other shih tzus do that.

The three youngest shih tzus played outside in the backyard for a while this morning. I could hear Nigel and Candy’s heavy breathing from the kitchen. I’m always glad when Nigel plays with the girls, instead of wanting to just sit next to me on the coach. I think he needs to be active, and Candy gets bored easily.

sad shih tzu on leash.I took Candy and Nigel for a walk this morning. I used the pink Velcro harness that I bought from Ross for her and the blue one for Nigel. Candy stopped and sniffed the grass a few times. Nigel wanted to run, so I ran with him. Candy picked up the pace a little and didn’t seem traumatized like she sometimes does on walks.

I am feeling hopeful about them. Now I just need to keep Houdini (Flower) from escaping her harness and get Dottie to want to walk.

All the dogs rushed John when he came in the back door after work, wagging their tails. It’s nice to see them becoming more and more comfortable with him. He went and got their treat and they all scrambled out the back door and stood there looking like children on Halloween waiting for their candy.

Shih Tzu Day 328: May 22

Tuesday

I have been noticing a difference in Candy. Before, if I approached her, she would always run. Now, at least when she thinks I don’t want to groom her or put a leash on her, she stands still and lets me pick her up or pet her.

Someone is still peeing in front of the TV, and I can only guess that it is Flower. I finally put a training pad down there today. I think I will try moving it closer to the real training pad area each day. Maybe she just doesn’t like stepping up over the training pad holder.

I took Dottie and Nigel for a walk this morning. I was going to just take Dottie, but Nigel got excited when he saw the leash. When I got back, Flower looked so bored at Shih Tzu Central that I decided to take her too. I put the pink harness on her and attached a leash to it and one to her collar so she couldn’t escape. I was happy when she didn’t even try. She shook her head, but I think it was because the leash was bothering her. I kept readjusting it so she would be comfortable. She walked with me and then she ran with me quite a bit. I think she might be the first one after Nigel to learn to like walks!

Nigel is still the only dog that knows how to get in through the Magic Mesh screen, which I call the Magic Door. He simply goes under it. Candy barks after she has been outside long enough and wants in. Oh well. I am at least very happy about the walking achievements!

Shih Tzu Day 329: May 23

Wednesday

Candy was having a case of “nuisance barking” earlier, so she had to come in. I’m not sure who or what she was barking about. She can be very loud, though.

The training pad in front of the TV did prevent whoever has been peeing in front of the TV — most likely Flower —from peeing on the floor, so it is a temporary solution.

Today I put harnesses on all the dogs, thinking I would try to take them all for a walk. I’m not too happy with the harness assortment I have. I used the Comfy Control one for Dottie, the Ross ones for Nigel and Flower, and a very plain pink one from PetSmart for Candy.

Dottie ended up being too stubborn, planting her butt on the floor and not moving, and I wasn’t sure I could handle all four anyway, so I decided to just take the youngest three. However, Candy followed Dottie’s example and wouldn’t budge, so I gave up on her too and just decided to take Nigel and Flower. When I opened the door, Flower bounded towards it. Yeah! She and Nigel did very well. We made a complete circle around the area behind Wal-Mart. It’s not that much of a walk. It’s probably less than a quarter of a mile, but it’s something.

When we got back, Candy kept coming up to me and growling, which I think usually means that she wants a treat. I decided she would have to work for it and put the leash on her. I carried her outside and then put her on the ground. She walked or ran most of the way without me tugging on her leash. For some reason, when we got back to the yard, she sat down and wouldn’t move to go inside. I wonder if she has a fear of entering houses because of some past trauma. I opened the door and pointed to her sisters, telling her, “This is your home,” and she finally got up and went up the steps and in the door. I hope to soon have the three youngest shih tzus wanting to go for walks.

One of my inspirations is Penny, a rescue dog one of my friends owns. I guess she was a very fearful dog when the family got her. Now, she is very friendly and she loves walks. In fact, they take her on three a day, which is a little too much of a commitment for me! They are a retired couple, so they have more time.

Flower was being very dramatic this evening. She jumped up on the couch arm, and batted her paws at me, which means she wants to be petted. I was typing away on my laptop and she walked across the couch and scratched the side of the computer, I think in disapproval. I stopped and gave her some attention.

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Shih Tzu Week 46: May 10 (Day 316) – May 16 (Day 322), 2012

Shih Tzu Day 316: May 10

Thursday

Flower gives Sandy the googly eyes.Today is my birthday. I had a coupon for a free lunch at Roby Tuesday’s, so we picked up Mom and went there. Nigel is very friendly to Sandy, of course, but the female shih tzus are still mainly remaining at Shih Tzu Central when we are home. Sandy tried to pet Flower and her eyes got big. Sandy laughed and said, “You have to be really careful when she gets the googly eyes!”

Shih Tzu Day 317: May 11

Friday

We went to lunch at Tokyo Joe’s as Sandy’s present to us. The female shih tzus are getting better around Sandy. They will at least walk around and Flower and Dottie will come up to the couch and sit by me, even if she is on the couch.

Shih Tzu Day 318: May 12

Saturday

Huddle time at Shih Tzu Central.We invited the children and grandchildren over for a BBQ. Candace came alone, but Leticia brought the four girls and Gabe and Crystal brought Samuel. Leticia also brought her friend, Chris, and her little boy. The female shih tzus either stayed in the corner or outside. Flower was the best around the children. She came up to get treats from them without much coaxing.

Shih Tzu Day 319: May 13

Sunday

I bought a french fry cutter from Harbor Freight, because I am hoping to use it to make uniform sweet potato treats. John mounted it on some wood in the kitchen. Sweet potatoes are a lot harder than normal potatoes, so they need some preparation. We tried boiling them slightly and microwaving them a little, and both ways worked. I do have to cut the ends to make them as square as possible. It’s a little difficult to push down the handle, but I think it will work.

Shih Tzu Date 320: May 14, 2012

Monday

Sandy threatened to take Nigel back to Florida with her.I took Sandy to the airport to get her there by 10 a.m. We had such a great vacation together. John and I are sad to see her go, but I think the female shih tzus are happy to have the house to themselves again. She fell in love with Nigel, of course, and she got a big kick out of Flower. She gave me a gift card from Bed, Bath and Beyond. I used it to get another gadget, an apple peeler/corer. You put the apple on it and turn it and it cores the apple.

Shih Tzu Day 321: May 15

Tuesday

John and I took a five-mile bike ride this morning. Flower came to sit with me on the couch when we got back. She gazed at me adoringly when I pet her. She is such a cutie.

I have been leaving the back door open so the shih tzus can come in and out, but I am getting tired of flies coming in. I finally bought a Magic Mesh screen door to try, although it didn’t have great ratings. I need to have John install it over the weekend, but for now, I did tack it up so it works partially. They can’t figure out how to go through it though, so I folded it up and pinned it for them to go beneath it. That works, but the flies go beneath it too.

I can tell that the three youngest dogs are bored. Again, I know I have to see if I can get them walking. Soon!

I gave the dogs all jicama. They all ate it except for Candy.

Dottie was sitting by me this afternoon but jumped down, giving Flower the opportunity to take her place. Dottie growled at her, but Flower just ignored her. They seem a little more ornery since Sandy left. Candy has come up to the couch several times, pawing and shaking her head. I never know what she wants. I think it’s food, but I did get down on the floor to play with them. I put my face near Candy and she licked my mouth quickly. Flower tried to climb up my head.

Flower has a lot of energy. She was rolling around on the couch, and then started playing with some potholders and socks I hadn’t put away.

Shih Tzu Day 322: May 16

Wednesday

The shih tzus love the homemade apple and chicken treats.I am happy to say that if I was starving I could eat my shih tzus’ dog food or treats! That’s because they are made with all people food and no preservatives or “natural flavorings” of which I don’t know their origin. I made them their Sadie Shih Tzu food today. I bought all fresh ingredients, so I didn’t use any frozen veggies. This time I used ground beef and ground turkey. I bought a box of apples from Costco to use for that, John’s lunch, and the shih tzus’ chicken and apple treats. I also bought a box of sweet potatoes for that and their sweet potato and chicken treats. However, I realized later that I forgot to use the sweet potatoes. I was too busy blanching all the fresh vegetables instead of using frozen. I did freeze some squash and carrots for next time. I put them on a cookie sheet in the freezer first, so they would get hard enough to seal in a bag with the vacuum sealer.

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Shih Tzu Week 45: May 3 (Day 309) – May 9 (Day 315), 2012

Shih Tzu Day 309: May 3, 2012

Thursday

Flower is pawing the air and giving me her come hither look. She definitely loves attention. She went back over to her couch, so she could stare at me from there.

Shih Tzu Day 310: May 4, 2012

Friday

The dogs seem so bored. I need to practice walking them, because I know they need that exercise. At least Nigel and Candy and Flower play together sometimes.

Shih Tzu Day 311: May 5, 2012

Saturday

Nigel and Candy in werewolf mode.It doesn’t seem like I got much done today. Keeping up with the dogs grooming sometimes seems overwhelming. We really need to make sure their paws are groomed, trimming their nails and getting the fur out from between the pads, and get them walking!

Shih Tzu Day 312: May 6, 2012

Sunday

I have been having trouble keeping Flower’s attention when it’s breakfast time. She keeps leaving her food bowl in the mornings, to fend off cats or squirrels from the back of the yard. This morning, instead of guarding her bowl, I went ahead and let Candy eat the rest of it. She needs more food anyway, and maybe Flower will learn not to run away so often.

Shih Tzu Day 313: May 7

Monday

Bath time for Flower before my sister arrived.I am very happy with the chicken jerky I have been making them. It makes me feel good to know exactly what they are getting. On my latest batch of jerky, I marinated them in lemon/lime juice and olive oil, and then sprinkled them with fresh sage, paprika, and rosemary. I read that dogs don’t really like citrus, but they were a bit hit. I also made more apple and chicken treats and chicken and sweet potato treats. They like all of them. Buying the dehydrator is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.

Shih Tzu Day 314: May 8

Tuesday

My sister Sandy arrives today from Florida for a weeklong visit. We have been concerned because she has severe pet allergies. She’s like me, too, in that she can’t handle a lot of smells. I washed doggy beds and blankets this morning. I used to clean them more regularly, since they tended to have messes on them from accidents, but these days, that doesn’t happen, so I forget. Hurray for that!

John is on vacation. We have been steam cleaning the carpets with pet/allergen formula. We even tackled the carpet downstairs in the exercise room, which hasn’t been steam cleaned for years, since we hired someone to come in and do it. Flower followed me downstairs. I kept one eye on her, waiting to pounce if she tried to squat to pee. She sniffed a little, but then ran back up the stairs.

Shih Tzu Day 315: May 9

Wednesday

Flower and Dottie after bath.We went to breakfast this morning with Mom and Sandy. Mom treated us for my birthday at Gunther Toody’s. Sandy is trying very hard to make friends with the shih tzus. The female shih tzus growled at her and barked when she came downstairs this morning.

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Shih Tzu Week 44: April 26 (Day 302) – May 2 (Day 308), 2012

Shih Tzu Day 302: April 26 (Thursday)

Shih tzu with red stuffed animal.Flower has still been sitting on her couch a lot, mainly, I think, because Dottie is mean to her. They were squabbling tonight and it was really getting on my nerves. It’s just like having bratty, little kids sometimes.

Every time Nigel comes up to the couch, he drags up a toy or treat with him. He’s the only one who seems to love toys.

Shih Tzu Day 303: April 27 (Friday)

I went to pick up Dottie today and Flower growled her disapproval. Her bark is definitely worth than her bite.

Shih Tzu Day 304: April 28 (Saturday)

Nigel Shih Tzu asks Candy Shih Tzu to share her birthday presents. I made chicken jerky for Candy’s birthday, which is Monday. We took Flower for a walk again behind the Wal-Mart. I thought she was secure in her harness, but she pulled out of it again. This time, I just sat down on the grass and put my hand out, with cheese in it. She came up to me and I grabbed her collar. The next time I attempt to take her for a walk, I am going to put a leash on her collar and one on her harness.

Shih Tzu Day 305: April 29 (Sunday)

Flower Shih Tzu in her camouflage peace skirt. Flower is such a funny, little thing. Today, she was lying on her back, wagging her front paws at me. I was trying to work on the computer, so I didn’t stop to pet her, but when I looked again, she wagged her paws again. I finally gave up and gave her some petting time.

Shih Tzu Day 306: April 30 (Monday)

Happy 3rd Birthday, Candy!

Today is Candy’s third birthday! We celebrated with the chicken jerky I made over the weekend and the Frosty Paws that was leftover from Flower’s. I also made dog and people treats again this morning. I dehydrated some diced apples for John for oatmeal, and I made more chicken and apple and chicken and sweet potato treats. Candy didn’t eat the Frosty Paws, but the other three loved it. They all love the other treats.

A shih tzu with her face in a cup.Of course, Candy, Flower and Dottie didn’t want to wear the birthday crowns, but they had to wear it long enough for pictures. The peace sign top and skirt I bought her (Ross Dress for Less) was too big, so I passed the outfit on to Flower. I thought they could be twins and I found a size small, but that was too small. I ended up putting her in the Girly Girl dress I had bought Flower.

Shih Tzu Day 307: May 1 (Tuesday)

Restless Shih Tzus

I made up a batch of Sadie Shih Tzu food. It doesn’t last long with four shih tzus. I dragged out my old FoodSaver unit to seal the individual bags. When I came back into the living room, Flower was lying on her couch, with her front paws hanging over, watching over everyone, and wagging her tail. She has so much character. All four of the shih tzus got restless later and started wandering around. I don’t know how they can be bored, when they should be able to just play with each other. Since they do get bored though, it would be great if I could just hand them some coloring books to keep them busy.

They have a big backyard and lots of toys. They aren’t to the point where they like walks, so I know that’s not what they want. My guess is when they start wandering around, they are looking for food, but I can’t feed them all day. I did hold Candy for a while, because she looked like she wanted some loving.

Shih Tzu Day 308: May 2 (Wednesday)

Dog food storage

I was disappointed that there was ice inside the dog food bags I froze, so I decided to invest in a new unit. I cut open the bag of dog food and rinsed the ice away so I could try again. My unit was probably seven years old, so I would imagine technology is better these days. When I read the instructions on the new unit though, I realized one thing I did wrong. They advise that you freeze “wet” food first, and then vacuum seal it, so I will try that next time.

Flower is being ornery again today. Dottie came up to the couch for me to help her up, and Flower growled at her. I guess turnabout is fair play. Dottie always sounds more serious when she growls.

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