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 Day 127: Chasing Tail

two shih tzus on a couchwe’ve come a long way, Flower

I had lunch with a friend today and we were talking about the shih tzus. She said one of her children asked her if Flower still poops when she’s afraid. I thought about that. I guess we have come a long way. She hasn’t done that lately.

a shih tzu on an animal print throw. I had another shih tzu conversation with a friend recently. She found out I had adopted some shih tzus and told me that she really wanted one. She expressed that she was hoping to find a black-faced shih tzu. Her reason was that white-faced shih tzus get “eye goo.” I think she was actually referring to tear stains, which she thinks eye goo causes. I understand what she is saying, because I definitely would love it if the shih tzus didn’t have tear stains, but I don’t love my shih tzu sisters less because of it. They are beautiful in my eyes, tear stains or not. I know different things cause tear stains, though, and I will keep trying to figure out why Flower in particular has them, because I want her to be healthy.

tail-chasing shih tzu

a female shih tzu on a bright throwThe three youngsters were in a paw-boxing mood today. It started with Candy and Nigel, as usual, but then Nigel decided to take on both of them — or they both decided to take on him. I’m not sure which is correct. The shih tzus mellowed out for a while, but a little bit later I hears a loud squeak, which usually means, “Thief! That treat was mine!” I looked up, but couldn’t figure out what had happened. Dottie and Flower, on the couch by me, looked at me innocently, and Candy and Nigel looked up from the floor. Oh well. That’s one mystery that won’t be solved.

The shih tzus got restless again at about 7:15. It was time for another round of tussling. I looked up when I heard a noise like a stampede of horses crossed the dining room floor. It was Flower, with Nigel hot on her tail. Again, my guess is that there was a stolen treat of some kind involved. A little later, Dottie started to come up on the couch, and Nigel bit her tail and held it firmly in his mouth until I made him let go. That little male shih tzu definitely has a thing for tails!

When the house’s other male came home, Candy and Nigel rushed to the door to greet him. This time, Flower was right behind them. She can’t quite bring herself to go clear up to the door though. One of these days she will.

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Shih Tzu Day 117: Flowerlicious & The Shih Tzu Madhouse

shih tzu breath analyzer

I heard Dottie’s moan at a little after 6, but beyond that, there was very little sound until 7. Yes! I might slowly be training my furry alarm clocks to let me sleep a little later than the shih tzu sisters want me to.

one shih tzu on a couch and three shih tzus on the floor.Candy and Nigel stayed outside to tussle after breakfast. I am still getting used to Candy having a playmate, since she used to seem like such a loner, sitting outside on the porch or in front of the shed all alone. Maybe she didn’t really want all that alone time after all, but just wanted a little male shih tzu companionship.

I admit that my shih tzus are what people would call “beggars.” We feed them people food that we think is good for them or at least don’t think is bad for dogs. When we don’t feed them, the shih tzus sit and watch us eat. I admit that I eat in the kitchen sometimes to avoid those four sets of shih tzu eyes. Today, I had cinnamon toast in the kitchen. When I came and sat down, Dottie came very close and sniffed my breath, verifying that I was holding out on them. I made it up to the shih tzus later by giving them a small piece of bologna at lunch and giving Nigel some of my apple. I gave the shih tzu sisters one of their apple and chicken dog treats. Flower was happy with me, because she jumped up to see me afterwards.


Flower and Candy came and sat in front of my computer before John left. He decided to attempt to pet Flower and she didn’t run! Our progress is inch by inch, but it is progress.

a black and white shih tzu and a grey and white shih tzu at play.Since Flower and John had a bonding moment, I decided to give her the remaining supermarket bone. They come five in a pack, at five dollars each, and I only ever buy one pack at a time, so there is always one bone left over. Flower was on her couch, so I smuggled it to her. I knew Nigel couldn’t get it from there, since at least so far, he can’t jump up on the couch.

I was looking at Flower on the red blanket on her couch and a new nickname came to mind: Flowerlicious. I don’t know why that popped into my mind. Maybe I read something about Fergie “Fergalicious” recently.

a black and white shih tzu and a grey and white shih tzu at play.Flowerlicious has been a sassy shih tzu today. She gave Dottie some of her own medicine. She growled at her when she came up to the couch wanting me to help her up. Later, she sauntered over to Nigel’s bed, examined his loot and stole a retriever roll, although she had her own on her couch. Her stash on her throne prompted all the shih tzus to come see what she might be hiding.

Flower was sniffing around the dining room table this afternoon, standing up on her back legs and trying to access what was on top. I realized I had a treat bag there, so I moved it, even though I didn’t think there was a way to reach it. Actually, she could reach it, but I believe only if I left a chair out, because I’ve seen that happen when some foster doggies visited the house.

Flower took a jousting turn with Candy’s boy toy this afternoon. I looked down and saw her slide across the hardwood floor, at Nigel’s prompting. Candy wandered over to the couch while Nigel and Flower were playing, and I reached down to pet her. While I was doing that, Nigel and Flower play fought their way over to where we were. Flower left Nigel alone for a second to bite my hand, and Nigel promptly started biting Candy’s tail. Pretty soon, they were biting each other’s faces. Ouch. That always looks like it hurts. Fun at the Shih Tzu Madhouse!

We have been working on our Same Shih Tzu Different Day FLICKR photostream. Please visit us for additional Shih Tzu Romp pictures and others!

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Shih Tzu Day 116: Squirrel!

squirrels and dogs

a squirrel running on a fence.The shih tzus have discovered squirrels. They remind me so much of the scene from Up! where the dog is talking and gets distracted and says, “Squirrel!” Candy is usually pretty quiet when she is outside, except when Nigel is getting a little too rough. However, this morning my guard shih tzu started barking and wouldn’t stop.

two shih tzus after spotting a squirrel.two <strong srcset=shih tzu puppies after spotting a squirrel.” width=”300″ height=”225″ />When I went outside to find out why Her Royal Furriness was barking, she was at the far end of the backyard, looking up at the fence. A squirrel was running away. Fifteen minutes after I went inside, she started barking again. It was another squirrel alert. Nigel wasn’t interested in the squirrel, but he wanted to play, so he ran up and nuzzled Candy. She yapped at him to leave her alone and went back to watching the squirrel, who, this time, was frozen in place. Nigel ran back to the porch, but Flower heard the barks and came running as backup. Nigel changed his mind and ran back to bug Candy some more, but she snapped at him, sending him back to the porch. He doesn’t realize that squirrel alert takes a lot of shih tzu concentration.

When the squirrel finally ran off, I went back inside, but Candy chose to stay out back. It was good she did, because the squirrel tried to sneak back, but Candy spied him and sounded the alert one last time for the day.

shih tzu petting zoo

Candy actually came up to me and allowed me to pet her twice today. I thought she looked like she was considering coming up on the couch, but the ogre shih tzu, Dottie, growled at her and she walked away. Interesting that none of the female shih tzus ever consider going to the male side of the couch.

Dottie wanted Mom time today too, beyond the regular time of just sitting together. I petted her for a while and when I went to move my hand, she bit at it to stop me. I gave her a few more minutes.

Flower, too, needed her special time today. She came to the couch a few times, giving me that “come hither and pet me” look. She is the funniest shih tzu when I pet her, especially her haunches. She stretches her neck and looks up and around, swiveling her head up and then from side to side, looking away and than at me with her eyes big. Of course, she jumped back down when I had to stop petting her and get other things done.

On those occasions when Flower does stay on the couch, she always acts like she is waiting for something to happen, such as for me to pet her again or for food to appear. She doesn’t really relax like Dottie and Nigel do.

musical shih tzu beds

a <strong srcset=shih tzu excited about her male human being home. ” width=”300″ height=”225″ />It is good that the shih tzu sisters have three beds. Candy started out in the new pink one this morning, went to the blue one for her afternoon nap and then took over the communal dog bed, later releasing it to Flower.

two shih tzu puppies greet their male human.Sometimes, though, dog beds aren’t necessary. Flower chose the floor for her afternoon nap. Nigel lay down on one side of me and Dottie on another. After searching for Candy later, I found her lounging by the dining room table.

The treat man caused as big of a stir as the squirrel when he got home. His shih tzu committee, Candy and Nigel, showed a lot of enthusiasm when they greeted him and even more when he produced the evening treats.

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Shih Tzu Day 75: The Lion Dog Queen

Who Do You Think You Are? The Queen of Sheba?

I have started calling Dottie the “Queen of Sheba.” I do think she has signalled to her half sisters, through growling or just dirty looks, that the couch, and for that matter, Mom, is hers.

two shih tzusI love that she always wants to be by me, especially when I sit on the couch, but I would like the other girls to come up and join us. I don’t know why Flower comes up several times during the day, puts her paws up on the couch, stretches, stares at me and then goes back to the rug or Shih Tzu Central. But I do think Dottie has something to do with it.

Dottie usually leaves several inches between us, but today, she was very close to me, wiggling and squirming on her back, and even putting her head on my leg for a few minutes. She probably was just scratching herself on the blanket, but it was cute.

shih tzu on red blanket.Later, Candy spent a lot of time near my feet, playing with her Oinkies. Dottie remained by me. For some reason, instead of sleeping, like she sometimes does, she just kept staring at me. I started singing “Charmer,” the Kings of Leon song to her: “She’s such a charmer … She’s always looking at me.” We actually sing that to the girls quite often. Flower casually hung over the edge of her couch, making sure she didn’t miss anything.

Stranger at the Door

Tonight when John got home, none of them — even Candy — acted like they knew him. It probably was because he took the Jeep to work and came in through the garage door instead of the front door. I guess they really are creatures of habit.

Dottie wouldn’t take treats from him outside, although Flower and Candy had no problem with that. Once inside, though, Candy sat near his feet on the rug, watching him. Later, he opened the door and she and Flower went outside. When John went outside, Candy was very playful, running back and forth on the porch, being cute and doing her circular paw thing, which John calls her “wax on wax off” move.

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