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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