Shih Tzu Special Day: Dottie’s 7th Birthday

Dottie Shih Tzu’s 7th birthday

I am happy to say that Dottie celebrated her second birthday party at her forever home today! She is now 7 years old. We did things a little differently than we did last year.

Remembering last year’s Shih Tzu birthday party

Dottie Shih Tzu with crown and treatsFor Dottie’s first birthday with us, two and a half months after she and her half sisters came to live with us, I dressed Dottie, Candy, and Flower up (Nigel hadn’t come to live with us yet). I was trying to get Dottie used to riding in the car, so I took her with me down the street to get a cheeseburger and fries for the shih tzus to shake. She shook the entire time. 

How things have changed in Shih Tzu Land

Candy Shih Tzu with Treat and CrownLooking back, I am happy to say that things are quite a bit different! Yes, Dottie sometimes still does shake in the car, but all of the dogs are used to going on car rides, because of our frequent trips to the park. Also, they are now all used to walking on a leash!

Majestic View Park

Flower Shih Tzu with treat and crownI don’t like to take all four shih tzus for walks without John, because they are a handful, but since it was Dottie’s birthday, I attempted it. I also wanted to make it more special than behind Wal-Mart, where we normally walk on weekdays, so I decided to take them for a walk at Majestic View Park, our normal Sunday morning routine.

First off, I got down their leash and harness box and Dottie, Nigel, and Flower got excited, as usual — but there harnesses weren’t in it! I searched all over the house, and finally found them in the spare bedroom. I must have gone up there to get something with the harnesses in my hand and absentmindedly set them down on the bed. Once I got the harnesses on them, I fixed the flex leashes for Nigel, Flower, and Candy so that they wouldn’t extend all the way, which, hopefully, would help me control them. 

Flower, Nigel, and Dottie all followed me out to the car in the garage, but Candy hesitated in the hall, as usual. I picked them all up and put them in the back of the Focus, and then came back in for Candy. I put the birthday girl in the place of honor in the front seat, on a new furry blanket I got her.

Nige Shih Tzu in birthday crown.When we got to the park, I put Nigel’s leash on him and let him out my door, although I try to normally let them out the hatch. Then, I carefully let Flower down (the last time we went to the park she jumped out before we could get the leash on her!), put Candy’s leash on her and let her down, and then picked Dottie up and set her on the ground.

I know that the sign in the park says that all dogs need to be on leashes, and technically, Dottie is always on a leash. It’s just not always in my hand! She is so good that when no one is close, I let her walk herself, next to me. I also let Candy walk herself usually, because she is very good and stays close to me. 

We did okay for the first few minutes, but once I let out their flex leashes, Flower and Nigel started weaving back and forth, and I spent more time untangling them and me than walking. We stopped at a bench and I got out the treats I made for Dottie: chicken and sweet potato, chicken and apple, and chicken and banana (I still haven’t perfected the banana treats). Nigel stole the first treat I put down for Dottie and one I put down for Candy, so he got scolded. I brought along the three birthday tiaras I had from the last birthday, and the shih tzus took turns wearing them.

A few people we saw commented that I was brave to walk four dogs, and I agreed! I told them I normally wouldn’t attempt it but it was a special day. 

Mother-daughter birthday date

Dottie Shih Tzu in her new birthday dress.When we  came home, I settled the other shih tzus in, and then took Dottie back out to the car with me for our “mother-daughter” date. She sat in the front seat with me for about three-quarters of the way, not shaking at all, and then climbed into the back.
Our destination was Muttz, a pet store where I bought the shih tzus Big Bark “steer sticks” (pizzles — translate “penises”) several months back. I called before we left to make sure they had some in stock. The woman told me they were having difficulty getting in the large bag I bought before but that they had a one-pound bag of steer stick pieces, which sounded better for the shih tzus than the larger ones anyway.  

Dottie obediently followed me into the store and stood next to me while I looked at jerky and other treats. When the clerk came to say hello, however, Dottie started shaking. I explained that she came from a puppy mill and still wasn’t very good with people. 

I bought the steer stick pieces and a piece of duck jerky for Dottie, and when we were leaving, I spotted a blue flowered dress that was half off. I hadn’t been going to dress Dottie or the others up this year, because I know I like it more than they do, but it was so cute that I had to try it on Dottie. I ended up buying it. The clerk asked if it was Dottie’s first time in the store, and I said yes. She said she could get a free toy, and I told her that was great since it was Dottie’s birthday. I picked out a stuffed star to go with the yellow flowers in Dottie’s dress.

On the way home, I decided to buy a cheeseburger and small fries for the shih tzus (and me) to share. I took them all out on the porch and put a small piece of hamburger and fries in each of their food bowls. 

 

 

 

 

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Shih Tzu Journal: Sept. 5, 2012

Mom said one of us should get on here and let everyone know how we are doing! I got voted to do it. Mom usually says how many days we have been here, but she didn’t tell me. I only know we have been here at least 14 months.

Mom takes us for a walk once a day — almost every day. We hate it when she doesn’t. This morning, the Man left for work and I jumped up on the couch and pawed Mom’s shoulders and back until she finally gave up trying to work and took us out. Candy still usually doesn’t want to go for walks, so unless the Man is going with us, she leaves Candy here.

Mom says she thinks the grass bothers Candy’s feet, or she might like to walk. She walks really daintily over it and tries to get to the dirt or pavement. She is really, really slow, so when she comes with us, we have to wait for her. Well, she is the most slow on the grass. When we go to the place Mom calls Majestic View, she is better. But when we go walking on the grass behind that big building called Wal-Mart, she is really slow.

I love, love walking! I love chasing birds! I love sniffing under the bushes! I love it all! What I don’t understand is why Mom always holds the end of my leash, but Dottie always gets to “walk herself,” and now, so does Candy. Sometimes Nigel gets to walk himself too. When we are at the park, Mom lets Candy and Dottie walk themselves unless people or dogs approach us. Then, she quickly grabs the leashes. That’s because Dottie usually gets confused and either runs away from or follows the people. Mom says if I walked myself I would run in front of a car because I would be chasing a bird or a kite and wouldn’t pay attention.

Right now, we’re all taking naps, because Mom is being boring, just typing on her computer. I wish we could go for another walk! I hear some dogs are lucky and get to walk more than once a day! That would be so wonderful!

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