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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