Shih Tzu Week 122: The Dog Who Says Meow

Oct. 24 – Oct. 30

Thursday, Oct. 24

The incredible disappearing Spot Collins.

The incredible disappearing Spot Collins.

Spot Collins continues trying to get out to see the big world. This morning, when John went to go get the mail, Spot waited patiently by the door. John blocked him from going out, but then he figured out he could just push the screen door and it would open (the latch doesn’t work on it). Luckily, I saw him in stealth mode and warned John, so he quickly pulled him back and closed it. We also ended up taking the doggy door out because of Spot. Yesterday he tried to saunter out when the shih tzus went out, thinking he could blend in. My nickname for him is “the dog who says meow.”

My nickname for Panda is “Panda-monium.” That’s because he makes Flower crazy by just being here, so she likes to chase him in around and corner him.

Saturday, Oct. 26

Heather, Herman, and Jordan came over for dinner. They brought chicken for chicken and guacamole burritos. I made the guacamole. They really liked Panda and Spot Collins. Somebody got out a laser light and started shining it on things. Buddy and Spot thought that was a lot of fun. Candy warmed up to Heather and let her hold her for a while.

 Monday, Oct. 28

Mom hasn’t yet been able to get used to her new surroundings. She continues to want to go downstairs to bed. She also can’t remember if the cats are allowed to go downstairs, when that is where their litter boxes are. I hope it’s easier for her when she gets to Florida.

Tuesday, Oct. 29 

I had a basket set up in Mom’s room that I though Panda or Spot Collins might want to sleep in. However, they didn’t seem interested, so I put it up on top of a very tall desk hutch. When I went in the room this morning, Panda was sitting in the basket, with probably an inch between him and the roof.

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Shih Tzu Week 121: Getting Used to Visitors

Oct. 17 – Oct. 23, 2013

Thursday, Oct. 17 

My intentions were good when I set Mom and her furry friends up in the basement, since she would have her own fridge, bathroom, and plenty of space for litter boxes and food bowls. However, she thought it was spooky, so we moved her and Buddy upstairs last night. She liked it much better. We also lifted the ban on Spot Collins (her Maine Coon) and Panda entering the living room, and they made themselves right at home. I wasn’t sure how Flower would react to cats in her territory, but she seemed to adjust quickly. What a menagerie! Dottie and Flower aren’t quite sure how to act with visitors here. They stayed in Shih Tzu Central all day but came out and strolled around after Mom went to bed. I said Flower seemed to adjust quickly. After Mom went to bed, she jumped up on the couch Mom is borrowing from her to sniff what has been going on there with another dog. Then, she decided to try to chase Spot Collins away by barking/growling at him, but Spot took a seat on a dining room chair and wouldn’t budge.

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Nigel and Candy ran after her, maybe thinking there was going to be a scuffle. It did look like a little shih tzu gang trying to scare off a lone, although big, kitty. Spot didn’t seem very frightened, though. Flower couldn’t quite reach him through the chair slats, and he rested on his side, swatting Flower away every now and then. Finally, Spot seemed to get tired of the exchange and jumped down and sauntered towards the stairs.

 Friday, Oct. 18

This morning didn’t start out well. When I let Buddy out, Spot Collins sauntered out behind him. Since it had snowed and I was in my sleepwear, I had to grab a coat and put on my sandals. He had already made his way halfway up our tiered landscape area, so I had to climb over the fence we have there to keep Flower on the ground and chase him down. Then, while holding the giant cat, I had to jump back down. I am considering putting him on a leash like Jeff and Lynda Petersen do with their giant cat.

Saturday, Oct. 19

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Sunday, Oct. 20

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Tuesday, Oct. 22

We have tried our best to keep Spot Collins from going outside, but now he’s figured out how to go out the doggy door, and then how to get under the deck. We went in under one side and out the other. John had to lure him back in both times. Since he has figured it out, I wish he would teach Candy and Dottie to go through it! Instead, we took the doggy door out for the time being. I don’t want to lose him! Mom would be heartbroken.

Wednesday, Oct. 23

I have been concerned about Mom’s things she will be taking to Florida. Sandy is going to have a hard enough time because of her pet allergies. I don’t want dusty items to bother her too. While I was going through some of the newspaper clippings Mom collected, I saw one saying to put an allergic child’s stuffed animals in the freezer to kill dust mites before they sleep with them. Mom’s stuffed cats and tigers didn’t look dusty, but I bagged them and put them in the freezer anyway. I also bagged the stuffed elephants Mom made us when we were children and gave them a turn in the freezer. Can’t wait ’til John finds them and thinks I’ve gone around the bend.

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Shih Tzu Week 120: Expanded Menagerie

Oct. 10 – Oct. 16, 2013 

Thursday, Oct. 10 

Outside it’s dark, cold, and rainy, but inside, it’s warm and cozy. I am in my usual position on the couch, my computer in place, and all four of the doggies are with me: Candy in John’s spot at one end, Nigel on the left side of me, Dottie snoring on the other, and Flower on the other end of the couch. Such a precious family.

It looks like things are going to get lively around here for a while. My mother called me on Tuesday night because of an emergency at her house. Due to the fact that she is 80 and it is getting difficult to keep her 70-year-old house livable, we have to make other arrangements. The most logical solution is for her to eventually move to Florida to live with my sister, Sandy. It’s going to be a huge adjustment for everyone.

Mom comes with a menagerie. Over the decades, Mom has had a long list of cats as well as her faithful dogs. Right now, she has Buddy, rescued from a shelter several years ago, as well as four cats. Emily and Mimi are probably about 17 or 18 years old. Spot Collins and Panda, rescued from a shelter a few years ago, are probably about 3 years old. Neither Sandy nor myself has the heart to tell mother she has to part with her pets, but Sandy has severe pet allergies, so it will be difficult for her.

It’s not that living in Florida is a completely new idea. Mom agreed to move there once before, years ago, but couldn’t bring herself to leave her home. This time, fate seems to have taken the decision from her hands. Sandy already has plans to go to New Jersey in early November for her daughter-in-law’s baby shower, so I have suggested Mom stay here until she gets back. The plan after that is for Sandy’s ex-husband, Paul, to come through Denver after a work trip and fly back to Florida with Mom. He will arrange for someone to come and taxi the pets all back to Florida.

It’s hard to imagine what this is going to look like. We have decided to put the cats’ litter boxes downstairs in the bathroom and to set Mom up in the spare bedroom across from it. Buddy will sleep with Mom, as he usually does. I am going to try to keep the cats in the basement, since I don’t know how Flower particularly will respond to cats in her house. She has chased after any cat that has wandered into the house, and tries to bark away any squirrel that comes near, so this should be fun.

I will be making a trip tomorrow morning to get Mom and the pets. So, this might just be the last night my mom ever spends in the house she has lived in for six decades. I know that this is not what she wants, but we will try to at least make her and the pets comfortable.

Friday, Oct. 11

I managed to get all the pets over here and settled. I’m sure the shih tzu clan is wondering what on earth is going on. Mom had a really rough day, which means I did too. She’s disoriented and confused, since this is so out of the norm for her. I finally got her to go to sleep for a while, with Buddy beside her.

Saturday, Oct. 12

Today was better for Mom. She is still confused, but that’s to be expected when you uproot an 80-year-old. I don’t think she cried once today and she slept well.

Tuesday, Oct. 15

I couldn’t sleep so I got up at 4:00 to do some work before Mom gets up. The shih tzus have been doing pretty well with the new living situation. Nigel and Buddy do growl at each other because they are both food aggressive, so I have to watch them, especially since Buddy is at least twice as big as Nigel. Today, Flower got a little wild-eyed when Spot Collins, who we think is a Maine Coon, escaped through the basement door and into the living room. I quickly grabbed him to avoid any issues. 

Wednesday, Oct. 16

The shih tzus might be a little confused about their new house guests, but we are trying to make sure things are as comfortable and normal for them as possible. The girls all gathered around John on the couch this morning to get love. Candy was sitting on his lap, and again, I am still getting used to that develop, since we never thought any of our puppy mill moms would be lap dogs.

After the love fest, they went outside to eat. While she was on the deck, Flower spied Spot Collins in the window. I had been trying to keep him downstairs, but I decided to give him a break. Flower started barking crazily. It will be very interesting to see if she adapts.

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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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Shih Tzu Day 224: Nothing But Furs

spunky shih tzu

Flower waits for Mom to pet her tummy. Dottie's in the background.I continue to be glad that the shih tzus are getting some exercise running up the stairs to follow me when I have to look at files on my PC. After my New Year’s Eve computer crash, I am trying to get everything together, eliminate duplicates, and back things up additionally “in a cloud.” My PC is more friendly at messing with a bunch of folders than my Mac. I don’t know how one person could have gathered as many duplicates as I have.

I still haven’t put everything away from Christmas. I had a bag of styrofoam peanuts that I moved (from off the floor!), because Flower is captivated by the bag and trying to get to them. I didn’t put them up high enough, because somehow she got them again. When I went to get the bag back, she clamped her teeth on the bag spunkily and tried to move back. I scolded her, and she gave me the bag, but it sure was cute.

What wasn’t cure was that someone pooped downstairs again. That is a mystery. Flower goes downstairs when I do, but I don’t think she usually goes without me. I doubt of Dottie has ever gone down there, and Candy doesn’t like stairs. But, I do catch her checking out the hall leading to the basement stairs sometimes. It could also be Nigel. Again, I need those security cameras!

nothing but furs

The shih tzus have all been so good about using the training pad or going outside (I thought until spotting the poop downstairs) that I thought I would reward them by folding up a blanket and putting it on the floor. Especially, I thought Nigel would get use out of it, because he sits by my feet sometimes. I put it down last night. This morning, out of the blue, Candy threw up on it. I have no idea why.

When John came downstairs, Nigel was sitting very close to one side of me, Flower right next to me on the other side, and Dottie next to her. He laughed and say, “You’ve got nothing but furs!”

growling for love

One of those furs has a strange habit. I was working away and I heard growling. I looked up and Flower was staring at me. She stopped growling as soon as I started petting her tummy. Do other dogs growl when you don’t pet them? I guess she doesn’t know another way to inform me that she wants some loving, kind of like when Dottie whines outside my bedroom door in the morning, because she thinks I should get up. Dottie has also been getting in on the petting action lately. Nigel seems to be content to just sit next to me and chew on something, although he does climb in my lap every now and then. Little Miss Independent is good with just getting a quick body rub when she chooses to come up to the couch; I try to pick Candy up sometimes, but she always jumps right down.

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