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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