Shih Tzu Vet Update: Four Star Visit

I wanted to talk about flowers today, but Mom said I should talk about our annual vet exam we had yesterday at Clear Creek Animal Hospital. First, Mom tricked us. She knows that whenever we get in the car we think we’re going to the nice park for a walk, but we were wrong. It was too late to escape once we saw where she was really taking us.

She was happy I didn’t get frightened and pee on the floor like I used to. However, Nigel “marked” his visit and they had to rush to get a paper towel to clean it up. That’s probably why he got to be examined first. Before Dr. Lindsey did that, though, we all got weighed. Candy weighs the least, at 13.40 pounds. When we came to live at the Freeze Hacienda after living at the puppy mill, she weighed 11 pounds. The doctor says she is a nice weight. Dottie is a little more “plump.” She weighs 18.40 pounds! The doctor wasn’t that concerned, though, since her weight has hardly changed over the last few years. Mom says she is a “big girl.” When Nigel came to live with us he had been very sick, and he only weighed 10.80 pounds. Now, however, he weighs 14.40 pounds. Well, now I have to say what I weigh. I weighed 13.60 pounds in 2011. Now I weigh, gulp, 16.60 pounds. The assistant put me back on the scale because she didn’t think that was right, but it was. The vet says I should lose at least a pound so Mom says I am going to get less treats. Bummer!

We all got a Leptospirosis vaccination — whatever that is. Mom and the vet talked about Nigel’s eye scare earlier this year. He had a corneal perforation. We aren’t sure how well he sees out of it. I guess Mom needs to take him in for a checkup at the specialist for that. Beyond that, she thought Nigel was pretty healthy.

Candy might have a food allergy and Dottie might too, because of some problems with their ears. Candy’s ears are a little “thick” and Dottie has a lot of wax in hers. The vet asked if they itch them a lot. Mom said they used to but that she was cleaning them (with Vet’s Best Ear Relief) and Candy and Dottie didn’t seem to be having a problem lately. Dr. Lindsey said that if it gets worse, Mom might have to do some food tests to see what food might be causing the problem. Dottie is 8 years old and her vision might not be as well as mine, but otherwise, the vet said she was in good health. I don’t know why she didn’t say she needed to lose weight!

Besides the vet saying I need to lose a pound, she also said I have to go in to get my teeth cleaned. Ugh. I guess I have too much tartar on my teeth. Mom was disappointed since the vet always told her how good our teeth looked. Mom thought our teeth were good because of the chew sticks she gives us, but they must not be helping my teeth. I hope that doesn’t hurt!

The good news was that the vet told Mom if she had gold stars, she would give them to us! So I guess we did pretty good!


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Shih Tzu Week 123: Halloween and a Special Birthday

Oct. 31 – Nov. 6


This Halloween is a little different than last year. That’s because we continue to have house visitors. When I got up this morning, Panda had climbed into a basket in Mom’s room. John calls whatever basket he or Spot is in their “high-rise hotel” or “loft.”  I have been trying to spend as much time as I can with Mom, since she will be leaving soon to go to Florida. We watched “Grey Gardens” Halloween afternoon. I thought she would like it because of all the cats, but the situation was a little too close to home — that is, Mom’s old home.

I dressed the shih tzus up and took them for their traditional Halloween walk behind Wal-Mart. Other than that, it was a very quiet Halloween. The neighbors did bring their baby over for his first “trick or treat.”

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Friday, Nov. 1

Mom and I went to the bank and then to her house to see what else we might need. She wanted her skillet in which she made Buddy’s salmon cakes, but I couldn’t find it. I might have thrown it away because of hard water deposits.

I have been leaving the door to the basement open so Mom’s cats could get to their dry food, but Nigel knows it’s there now, so he tries to sneak down and eat it.

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Sunday, Nov. 3

Mother’s cat, Emily, doesn’t seem to be feeling well. We aren’t sure how old she is, but we think she could be 17 or 18 years old. She has been very thin for a long time, and when she was at Mom’s home in Commerce City, she used to cough a lot. Lately, she just lies down next to the water bowl, with her head against it. I felt so bad for her today that I put a stuffed animal under her head. She put her head on it as soon as I did.

I guess she was too weak to go downstairs to her litter box, so she wandered over to the training pad and peed on it. Too bad she isn’t well enough to teach whichever of our shih tzus still pees on the floor how to use the pee pad properly!

Monday, Nov. 4

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Emily died this morning. Although Mom was very sad, she was relieved that Emily died now, instead of possibly dying on the road trip on the way to Florida. Mom also said that she was happy that Buddy “follows her close so he can pick up the pieces.” Poor Mom. She has gone through a lot lately. I am very glad she has Buddy. She did admit, however, that, “what made me sad made Buddy glad.” That’s because Buddy never seems happy to share Mom with Emily, or the other cats. He tends to growl when they get too close to her. We had become fond of Emily, so John and I shed a few tears for her too.

I am happy to say that Mom still has her sense of humor. Mom spotted some urine on the hard wood floor and decided she was going to pick it up. She got down on her knees with a paper towel before I could stop her. Then, she started laughing when she had trouble getting back up. “Oh, oh,” she started laughing, and you guessed it, said, “Help. I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”

When Mom gets melancholy, which is quite often, she repeats a phrase from one of her past coworkers at Burger King: “What we gonna do, Buddy? What we gonna do?” I sure hope she can find a way to be happy when she gets to Florida.

Wednesday, Nov. 6

This will be the first time I spent Mom’s entire birthday with her since, hmmm, probably when I was a child. I gave her a photo album of pictures I put together from her time with us, mainly of her furry babies, but I included some of our furry kids, so she could remember them.

I think she really liked all the pictures. Spot Collins and Panda were the main stars, but we did get some sweet pictures of Emily before she died, and of course I included some of Buddy and Mom.

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Shih Tzu Week 119: Snow!

Oct. 3 – Oct. 9, 2013

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Friday, Oct. 4 

It snowed last night. Snow! On Oct. 3! I’m not ready to see my garden die! Also, I have been leaving the backdoor open, since Candy and Dottie still don’t go through the doggy door. So today it is closed.

I have begun to think of myself as Flower’s “Daddy Bridge.” She climbs onto my lap, and without stopping, crosses me to get to Daddy. But I am in no way complaining. I am just happy that she is that comfortable with both of us now. When she isn’t with us, or at Shih Tzu Center, she likes to sit on the back of the loveseat where she can watch everybody from a comfortable distance, and look out the window when she chooses.

Candy also continues to make “couch progress.” I never knew what she wanted before when she came up to the couch. Nowadays it can mean she wants a snack or she wants up. Today, for example, I reached to get her and she stood still and let me pick her up. Dottie was already on one side and Nigel snuggled close on the other. I sat her on the other side of Nigel, and she eventually curled up and settled down. When she was there, I rubbed her ear and realized it was soft inside, not rough as usual. That roughness, or “elephant ear,” is a sign of allergies, although I am not sure to what. I have been putting a little Aquaphor in her ear, thinking if it works for my lips it might work for her ear. It seems to be working. Also, a neighbor gave us a water cooler, so they mainly get purified water to drink, and maybe that is helping.

Flower jumped up on the couch to join us a little later, so I had all four of the shih tzus for company, although Flower definitely looked bored on her corner perch. Candy can only take couch comfort for so long, so she eventually jumped down to occupy the bed she and Nigel alternate in, by the entertainment center. Although he rarely does it, Nigel actually took a bed at Shih Tzu Central.

I have the TV on today, like I often do when I’m working, with the volume down. I just saw an image of an abused dog on an commercial for an animal shelter and it almost made me cry. I am so happy our four shih tzus have a loving home and that there are so many animal rescues and shelters out there trying to make a difference.

Sunday, Oct. 6 

It warmed up enough for us to take the dogs for a walk at Majestic View Nature Center. Since we have worked so hard on our garden this year, I have really enjoyed looking at their plants and flowers, which are usually tagged with their names.

It gives me of ideas for the future. We don’t walk there nearly as much as the shih tzus would like to, since we normally just walk behind Wal-Mart, so it is always a special treat. I tried to walk all four of them once there without John, but it was a fiasco, and I would never try it again.

Monday, Oct. 7

Nigel got a bath today. Hopefully that will stop his scratching. Each one of the dogs took their turns on the couch today again. Of course, Dottie is there most of the day. I was watching Flower roll around on the couch for a while. Not sure why she does that, but it’s fun to watch. Maybe she is scratching her back on the couch? Each time I pick up Candy and sit her down on the couch, I think about the past, when she either hid upstairs or in her corner “apartment” in the dining room, instead of joining us. I continue to be thankful for how far we have come.

Tuesday, Oct. 8 

John gave the shih tzus their pre-breakfast snack (chicken-wrapped rawhide bone) as usual this morning and they were raring to go. For some reason, Candy often doesn’t eat hers right away. She sits it in front of her and guards it. I think she keeps it just to enjoy the game. If anyone comes near it, she sounds her loud siren bark warning. I need to record it, because it’s fierce. Sometimes, like today, Flower sits on the other side of Candy’s bone and growls, trying to terrorize her sister to giving it up. However, Candy instead decided it was time to enjoy it.

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Shih Tzu Week 43: April 19 (Day 295) – 25 (Day 301), 2012

Shih Tzu Day 295: April 19 (Thursday)


Candy shih tzu in peace sign outfit.Candy’s birthday is April 30, and I stumbled across a very cute peace sign “outfit” for her at Ross Dress For Less, my favorite place to find inexpensive dog clothes. I think it was only about $5. It’s a little top and Velcro skirt. I couldn’t wait, so I tried it on her. She is so small, that the skirt kept falling off her. I think she is going to have to pass it on to Flower, who will be able to fill it out a little better!

Dog walking

I made a step towards my goal of getting the female shih tzus walking this summer by taking Nigel out today. I hope they will see how excited he gets and be interested. He seemed a little tired when we came back. He stopped on the sidewalk a few houses away and lay down for a little rest. I guess I took him a little too far, or his toe nails need clipping!

Shih Tzu Day 296: April 20 (Friday)

Candy’s rub down

Candy seems to be getting more and more comfortable with John. She sat on his lap for a while this evening while he gave her a rub down, which she seemed to enjoy. While that was going on, Dottie slept beside me, snoring peacefully. I am so happy she and the others have a good home and humans who love them.

Shih Tzu Day 297: April 21 (Saturday)

Training pad holder success

The shih tzus are getting used to the training pad holder. Someone recently asked me if a training pad holder would help with my problem of the dogs moving the training pads all around. I mentioned that I had unsuccessfully tried one before, but the shih tzus wouldn’t step over the edge to use the pad. But, I decided to try again. I bought one at Walmart by Simple Solutions. It cost $14.98 and holds pads that are 21”x 21”. It has worked much better this time.

Usually, I put three pads down, since Candy and Nigel like to sit on the pads when they are clean, and that gives them a little cushion. There is at least one spot on it every morning, so one of the dogs (probably Candy) is using it regularly. Nigel can wait until we bring him downstairs and he goes out, and I think Dottie waits too. Flower is a different subject. She doesn’t always wait, but I don’t think she regularly uses the pad either, either out of rebellion or for some other reason.

Shih Tzu Day 298: April 22 (Sunday)


Penny with her gift bag goodies, courtesy Royal Canin.Our Royal Canin sweepstakes contest ended on April 21. The winner was Michelle and Penny! Michelle sent a picture of Penny with her goodies and told us a little bit about her. Penny is an American Lo-Sze pug. She is 6 years old and was diagnosed with canine liver disease in September 2009.  Michelle says, “Penny has come a long way and is doing great today!  She is my best friend and inspiration.” Penny is the muse for Michelle’s pet product line, Sophisticated Pup.  She is the lead model and featured in most of the photos for the products.  Michelle says, “She loves to get dressed up and knows when the spotlight is on her!”

We are so happy to have gotten to know a little bit about the people who entered their dogs. We hope we can host more giveaways in the future. Congratulations, Michelle and Penny!

Shih Tzu Day 299: April 23 (Monday)

Hard-boiled eggs

I treated the shih tzus to some small pieces of hard-boiled eggs today. They all like them.

kiss me, kate, um, flower

Flower continues to sit on “her” couch more these days. It makes me said, because I love it when she sits with us. But she doesn’t like to share me with Dottie, and Dottie is possessive too.  She did come over this afternoon and let me pet her for a while. For some reason, when I look at her with those long eye lashes, I think of the musical, “Kiss Me, Kate,” so that’s what I always say to her.

Shih Tzu Day 300: April 24 (Tuesday)

Homemade chicken jerky and other treats not made in china!!

I mentioned earlier that one of our readers, Jessica, brought up the problem about treats made in China. Sadie Shih Tzu’s Human, Liz, wrote and suggested I make my own treats, and she sent me a recipe for dog biscuits. Although Nigel likes them and Flower will eat them when nothing else is around, Dottie and Candy don’t like dog biscuits. They absolutely love chicken jerky and next to that, they love sweet potato and chicken and sweet potato and apple treats. Since I experimented making chicken jerky in the oven, it got me thinking about taking it one step further and try a food dehydrator.

I initially bought a typical round dehydrator, but then I saw some good ratings for a square one by Nesco, and ordered it from I looked at a couple of jerky recipes, but settled with this one from Coco the Blogging Dog.

Basic Chicken Jerky

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, 1/4 cup olive oil, juice of 1 lemon (optional – add ingredients to the marinade, like Dogswell treats. Such as dried cane molasses, flaxseed, peppermint, parsley, etc.)

First, you cut the chicken into strips, according to this recipe, 5 inches long, 1 inch wide, and 1/4 inch thick. I’m not sure how close I got, but I tried. Then, in a bag, combine the oil, lemon juice, and optional ingredients. I added dried mint and parsley. The recipe says to squeeze out the air in the plastic bag, making sure all the chicken surfaces are covered with marinade, seal the bag, and refrigerate for 24 hours. However, I have an old vacuum sealer machine and a container that allows you to marinade for only an hour, so I did that.

You can do this in the oven, but I used the dehydrator. Sorry to say, I didn’t keep track of the time, but I think the jerky was done in about 8 hours. Basically, they have to be leathery. I really love the fact that I can taste test their food. I didn’t think it was bad, and the shih tzus seemed to love it.

Sweet potato and chicken treats

The shih tzus loved the homemade chicken and sweet potato treats.I couldn’t find a recipe for homemade sweet potato and chicken treats, so I improvised. I took some of the chicken strips and cut them into very thin pieces. Then, I cut sweet potatoes like I was going to make french fries. I wrapped the chicken strips around the sweet potato and dehydrated until chicken was leathery. The sweet potato were slightly spongy.

I’m not sure how they compare to store bought, but the shih tzus liked them! I know they cost less then store bought, and best of all, they come from my kitchen and not from China! Next time, I plan to make chicken and apple treats.

By the way, the dehydrator also came with a sample package for Nesco Spice Works beef jerky, so I made some for John. He thought it was the best jerky he’d ever had, and so did I. I have a feeling that dehydrator is going to be a great investment!

Shih Tzu Day 301: April 25 (Wednesday)

Welcome home

John and I have started riding our bikes in the morning before he leaves for work. The shih tzus aren’t quite sure what to think about me leaving the house that early. When we get back a half hour later, they are as excited as if I had been gone for hours. They were also excited later when I gave them a homemade sweet potato and chicken treat. I am so happy that they like them.

Now that I am making my own dog food treats and people treats, I am investing in some food preparation items. I bought an OXO Good Grips V-Blade mandoline from Bed, Bath and Beyond. One thing I am going to probably use it for is slicing sweet potatoes, if it will work, for the dog treats. I know sweet potatoes are harder than potatoes, so I am not sure if it will work.


PetArmor makes an inexpensive flea and tick treatment.As a family, we seem to be lucky in one area where a lot of dog owners have problems. I don’t think any of our shih tzus have ever had fleas, ticks, or lice! I did some research and read that Colorado is home to approximately 80 different species of fleas. Colorado dogs and their owners seem a little luckier than others because fleas need moisture to develop, and Colorado mainly has a dry climate. Still, there are some cases, as evidenced by the medications available anywhere that sells pet supplies in Colorado. One reason is that pets that come to Colorado from other states can carry these pests along with them! Wild animals also can share problems with your dogs. Both reasons are why I am not crazy about the occasional squirrel or cat that enters the yard without permission.

Beyond that, I think our shih tzus are probably relatively safe, mainly because they are presently “antisocial.” They don’t go to dog parks and they don’t go to groomers. We still haven’t gotten them to the point where they want to go on walks (but that is my biggest goal for this summer). Still, one of the reasons for flea and tick treatments is prevention, and since I do plan on taking the dogs out of the yard more, I began investigating flea and tick treatments recently.

The first thing I did was a Google search. I saw some good information on the PetArmor website other the heading of “Flea and Tick 101.” Fleas cause several problems, including anemia, and they can transmit tapeworms and cause allergy dermatitis. The site also goes over the four major species of ticks, and health problems caused by them, including transmission of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, canine tick paralysis, and the spreading of Lyme disease.

How can you tell if your dog (or cat) is scratching if he has fleas or for some other reason? You will need a fine-toothed metal “flea comb” and a white towel or sheet. You will also need to prepare a bowl of soapy water. Run the comb along your pet’s back or underbelly, making sure the comb touches the skin. If the comb pulls out any fleas, drown them immediately in the soapy water. Then, have your pet stand on a white towel or sheet, and brush or rub its coat. If you see any small black specks, they might be fleas or flea dirt (which can look like sand).

If you see no evidence of fleas but your pet has symptoms that could indicate other health problems, see your vet. If you do find fleas, don’t worry. You can easily treat your dog. I’m not going to go into how you check for ticks, but the site covers that too.

You can find flea and tick treatments online or at local stores that carry pet supplies. PetArmor’s site said the main ingredient was an insecticide called Fipronil. That is also the main ingredient in Front Line Plus, with the same concentration (9.7%). With that in mind, I checked into prices for PetArmor and Frontline Top Spot, first at I usually go there initially because it will tell me if something is carried at my local store, and, if not, if they will ship it to the store, eliminating a shipping charge, which is often the case. I also usually check Amazon to compare prices. In this case, Walmart disappointed me. A three-month supply of PetArmor for dogs under 22 pounds was $25, but it was only $15.97 at Amazon (I’m not sure what the shipping charge would be). Frontline Top Spot was $36.50 at Amazon and Walmart didn’t carry it, from what I could tell. From the reviews I read, Frontline usually gets a slightly higher rating, but PetArmor wasn’t very far behind.  That made my decision, after doing the math. Even going with Walmart’s higher price, for four dogs I would pay $100. That’s bad enough. Through Amazon, Top Spot was $146, without shipping. With that savings, I could buy ingredients for a couple of months of Sadie Shih Tzu homemade dog food!

I did decide to experiment at first with two dogs, and I chose Nigel and Dottie. John followed the instructions to apply the product. You open the applicator and apply it to the dog’s hair between the shoulder blades. Then, you have to make sure you don’t touch it until it dries. I was a little nervous, because I don’t like the idea of putting insecticides on dogs. I had read that dogs can have reactions to these products, but we did it a few days ago, and Nigel and Dottie haven’t shown any problematic signs.

What I read was that if Nigel or Dottie had fleas, the little nuisances would get active as they began to die and move to the top of the pet’s coat, where they would be more visible. Good news! I haven’t seen any! However, if we had, we would know the product was working.

By the way, if your dog does have fleas, you will also need to treat your house and possibly your yard. This includes thoroughly vacuuming carpets, especially upholstery, if your pet goes on your furniture. You will either need to throw away the vacuum cleaner bag or clean the dust cup with soap and water. It is also recommended that you wash your pet’s bedding in hot water or replace it. You might also need to cut down tall brush and grasses near the house or pet runs.

I know I haven’t covered how to check for ticks, but you can find that information at the site mentioned above.

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Shih Tzu Week 34: Feb. 16 (Day 232) – 22 (Day 238)

Shih Tzu Day 233: Friday, Feb. 17

The chewing of Dentley's sticks is a familiar morning sound.The shih tzus are definitely looking shabby. Not that they care. It doesn’t seem to matter what we do with Flower’s face. It seems like two days after trimming the hair above her eyes, it’s falling down again — she looks like Dennis the Menace. After I gave the shih tzus their beloved Dentley’s wrapped rawhide sticks this morning, Flower jumped up on the Nigel side of the couch to wait for me to sit down. However, she dropped her stick, and it was a free for all, as Nigel raced to steal it and Flower to retrieve it. The chewing of the rawhide sticks is a familiar sound in the mornings. They are all chewing away now, except I think someone took Candy’s. One moment someone will be chewing away, and the next, a stick has mysteriously disappeared. Then, hours later, one of the shih tzus, usually Nigel, is chewing away. I think he steals them and hides them for later.

Shih Tzu Day 234: Saturday, Feb. 18

I realized this afternoon how nice it is to leave the house without putting the coach cushions up, and not have a wet spot when I get back. Flower seems to be cured of her need to relieve herself on the couch when I am gone — or when I am here. I think I could probably start putting the cushions down on the other couch, but I am so used to having her sit on my couch that I hate to lose her to the other one. One independent doggie (Candy) is enough. What Flower does now instead is chew on anything she can reach. Well, I take that back. I know some dogs chew on shoes, but she doesn’t. I was doing taxes this morning, and she grabbed an envelope I had on my laptop table and started chewing on it. She loves chewing on paper, and she loves chewing on plastic. At last! We got Nigel, Flower, and Dottie trimmed, although they still do need a bath. Candy isn’t looking too shabby, so we skipped her for today. What a productive day! Getting taxes done and trimming three shih tzus! And they were all so good. I am particularly happy that Flower and Nigel were so good on the table, since it took a long time to get all that fur off. I don’t think I will consider trying to grow their fur long again anytime in the near future.

Shih Tzu Day 235: Sunday, Feb. 19

Flower was sitting on the Nigel side this morning, and John sat down. At one point, she would have ran. This time, she moved closer to me, but she did let John pet her for several minutes. Poor Nigel doesn’t seem like he feels well. Every once in a while, he will yelp, but we can’t tell why. My guess is it could be his teeth, or maybe an ear problem. I realized we didn’t pull the hair out of their ears yesterday, so we need to check and see if that might be causing the problem.

Shih Tzu Day 236: Monday, Feb. 20

We pulled the hair out of Nigel’s ears, and he seems better today, although he did yelp a few times for no apparent reason. He has been very active today, although he mainly wants to be on one of our laps. Flower followed the lead of Nigel and Candy and ran right up to the door when John came home, but then caught herself, ran back by me, picked up a brown dog on the floor, threw it in the air, like Candy does, and then jumped on the couch next to me. Strange children we have. I guess she was excited, but wasn’t quite sure why. Of course, Dottie, our bump on a log, just sat on the couch. She doesn’t like to move much. I hope I can get her used to activity when it warms back up.

Shih Tzu Day 237: Tuesday, Feb. 21

Flower came to get loving from Dad twice this morning. She got about a foot and a half away and stared at him. Then, she let him touch her chin and pet her ears. It’s probably good that Mom is busy on the computer and Dottie is on one side and Nigel on the other. She has to reach out to the Man. He loves it, since he hated thinking they wanted him to move out. I imagine I’ve said that I think my little shih tzu tribe is adorable. They are all so different. We have begun calling Candy our shih tzu kitty, because she is aloof like many cats, and pounces like cats. Nigel can be so mischievous, and then he climbs his stairs and plops down as close to Mom as he can get, depending on where the laptop is. He can rarely squeeze into my lap when I am working, but he does often put his head on it and go to sleep. There are probably plenty of dogs who regret the invention of laptop computers. Thank goodness he gets Dad’s lap when he is home, and that the girls aren’t lap dogs and don’t fight him for it. Every once in a while, he’ll tip his head way back and look at John or me. He’ll just stare for several sections, and then lay his head back down. I would love to know what he is thinking. I think Flower would be by my side all the time, if big sister and little brother weren’t there. But, she does come to see me often. Just now, she put her paw on my arm, reached up and licked my lips and nose quickly, and then back away. Of course, John doesn’t encourage letting them lick my mouth, but it happens so rarely, that I think it’s adorable. I had to go to the store this afternoon, and Candy was outside, so I knew that would be a problem. We have never raised a hand to her, so her fear must still be a learned reaction to her puppy mill days. As usual, I opened the door to ask her to come in, and she ran and hid under the trailer. Since I put Angels Eyes on thinly sliced turkey for Dottie and Flower each day (for their tear stains), I thought I could lure her in with some. I held it out to her, and she tentatively came to the door, but wouldn’t come in. Finally, I just had to leave her out there, like I have had to do a few times. I told John we need to put her on a leash when we let her outside, so we can reel her in, like his sister does with their cat. It doesn’t help sometimes, because I get exasperated after unsuccessfully trying to lure her in, and sometimes my voice raises, which makes her retreat further. I just have to plan it better, where I let her outside only if I know I won’t need to leave. When I came home, Candy came in, but it was Dottie’s turn to act odd. She went outside and wouldn’t come back in, which is strange, since her couch is inside. I finally had to go out in the grass and get her. She cowered down, so I was able to pick her up. I hate when they act frightened. Sometimes, too, they seem a little confused. I heard chewing coming from Shih Tzu Central this afternoon, and I looked around to see what paper or plastic product Flower stole from me. I was surprised to see she was chewing on a Christmas cane shaped rawhide treat. I wonder where that has been hiding for the last two months.

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