Shih Tzu Day 123: Four-Month Anniversary

four months with the shih tzu sisters

a black and white shih tzu in a black and white dog bed with red and white treat.I am almost a month behind on my blog. I hate to admit that, but we just cel­e­brated Thanks­giv­ing and I haven’t even cov­ered Hal­loween! Please bear with us as we try to catch up! To set the stage, it is Octo­ber 30, Sun­day morn­ing, and this is our four-month anniver­sary with the shih tzu sis­ters. I don’t think Dot­tie came upstairs until 7:15, which is a won­der­ful change from the 4:00 wakeup call I got from her when she first came to live with us.

I ran out of food for the shih tzus, so I gave them left­over chicken, rice and cream of mush­room soup for break­fast. As my friend Deb would say, it was like “doggy crack.” Flower fin­ished hers quickly and rushed over to eat Candy’s, grab­bing up a big blob before I hollered and got her to drop the stolen goods. Inside, Nigel ate his with one or two bites.

treats in a dog bed. Later, I had to rush out­side and get Nigel, because he wanted to play with the girls and they didn’t, so they were yip­ping. I know that neigh­bors don’t like yip­ping dogs, and I live in fear of an omi­nous let­ter stat­ing that the shih tzus are wak­ing peo­ple up. I was bare­foot, the grass was wet, and who knew where the smelly, brown land mines had been planted this morn­ing, but I hur­ried out before throw­ing on shoes. I am still try­ing to teach him that when a lady says no, it’s not maybe, but NO.

While John made pan­cakes later, Dot­tie rested beside me. Flower slept in a dog bed and Candy and Nigel con­tin­ued to play out­side. When all the dogs were back inside, I gave them all a red and white rawhide treat. Pretty soon, I real­ized that Nigel had rounded them all up and stowed them away in his dog bed. I redis­trib­uted them.

After that, he snug­gled up next to me and stayed there while I watched the “Right Stuff” as home­work for a writ­ing project I am work­ing on regard­ing Gen­eral Chuck Yea­ger, “sound bar­rier breaker.”

a shih tzu under a trailer with a dog treat. I don’t know what hap­pened, but while we sat there, Flower jumped up on the couch like vam­pires were chas­ing her, her eyes huge. Later, I heard Flower yip­ping at Shih Tzu Cen­tral. Nigel was no longer at my side, and I imme­di­ately said, “Nigel!” When I looked down, how­ever, only Flower and Dot­tie were in sight. I saw a red and white mini rawhide treat between them and thought that might have been the cause of con­tention. It’s highly likely that Dot­tie wasn’t able to keep hers ear­lier, since both Nigel and Flower are such thieves. But poor Nigel, since he is the shih tzu who usu­ally gets the blame for any ruckus.

dog walk­ing = exercise

I vis­ited my doc­tor this week for my annual phys­i­cal. As usual, we talked about any changes in health, etc. I brought up the sub­ject of exer­cise. My doc­tor is a bicy­clist, and last year I shared my new­found inter­est in that sport with him. I had told him that John and I had bought “beach cruiser” bikes and that I was rid­ing almost every­day, with John and I rid­ing the bike paths on the week­ends. I proudly pro­claimed that between May and Novem­ber, I put more than a thou­sand miles on my bike.

two shih tzus How­ever, I also told him that we had adopted a trio of shih tzus and that it had changed our sched­ule, and as a result, John and I weren’t get­ting that much exer­cise because we were rid­ing our bikes a lot less. I told him that, in fact, we had only man­aged a hand­ful of bicy­cle out­ings this sum­mer. I don’t think I took my bike out alone more than twice. I had got­ten in the habit of hop­ping on my bike when John left for work, but now I get up and spend time with the shih tzus before I start working.

My doc­tor also has dogs, and he asked if we took ours for walks. He was sur­prised when I said we did no dog walk­ing because the shih tzus did not like walks. I said we had to leash train the shih tzus against their will. I doubt that any­one had dog walk­ing duty at the puppy mill where the shih tzus came from, although they pos­si­bly exer­cised in a dog run.

I real­ized that I am so used to our shih tzus’ issues that I some­times for­get they aren’t “nor­mal” dogs. If their fear or dis­like of a leash — and maybe the unknown world — was the only issue, we might be fur­ther along with our dog walk­ing. How­ever, there are the groom­ing issues and the house­break­ing issues.

Look­ing back over the last four months, the shih tzus are so much bet­ter now with me in many ways, but they do still fight me when I try to get them walk­ing on a leash. John is a lot sterner, and when he has the time, he gets some results. I def­i­nitely need the shih tzus to be more com­fort­able with both of us, since to walk four dogs, I need a dog walk­ing com­pan­ion! My con­ver­sa­tion with my doc­tor made me deter­mined to try harder, and that included a Sat­ur­day dog walk.

We took Dot­tie and Nigel for a walk this after­noon. Dot­tie was shak­ing when we stopped to talk to some cul de sac neigh­bors. As I stood there, Dot­tie started walk­ing, just to get away! That was a small vic­tory, since she was walk­ing on a leash. We headed towards Wal-Mart, a block away. We climbed a small grass-covered hill and once we started walk­ing on even ground, she trot­ted along. I was sur­prised at how well she did. She got a gold star in leash walking!

Flower the couch wetter

I have deter­mined that Dot­tie is our “trem­bler,” at least at times, and Candy is our “loner.” Flower is our lit­tle “bed wet­ter” — or at least she would be, if she got up on the bed. She def­i­nitely is our “couch wet­ter.” I gave her back her couch priv­i­leges, but she is los­ing them again! She peed on the red blan­ket when we were gone on our walk.

I just don’t under­stand what causes that. I have to con­grat­u­late her for some improve­ment though. While we were out­side later, we could hear the chil­dren next door play­ing loudly. Flower’s eyes got big. She would nor­mally scam­per for the door, but she turned and looked at me instead. I told her it was OK, and she stayed where she was.

When I went back inside, I left the door open, since Nigel and Candy were still play­ing. After a lit­tle while, Nigel scam­pered in like a rab­bit being chased. When I looked at him, he had a red and white rawhide treat in his mouth. I think he stole it from Candy and thought she was in hot pur­suit, but she wasn’t.

My couch was soon occu­pied by Nigel, Flower and Dot­tie. Candy acted like she wanted to come up too. She wan­dered up and down on the floor, in front of the couch, look­ing up from time to time. Finally, when she got close enough, I picked her up and sat her near me.

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