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

Day 330: May 24


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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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