Shih Tzu Day 367: One Year Anniversary at Forever Home!

Dottie, Candy and Flower head off to Unleashed by Petco.This is Shih Tzu Day 367, the one-year anniver­sary of when Dot­tie, Candy, and Flower came to live with us (this year hap­pened to have 29 days in Feb­ru­ary), on June 30, 2011.

Candy gets fitted with a harness at Unleashed by Petco.

I know I have to catch up on the last month, but I don’t want to miss the oppor­tu­nity to write about today. Since we have got­ten all of the dogs at least semi used to walk­ing on a leash, I decided it would be fun to take them out in pub­lic, par­tic­u­larly since there was an event that sounded fun.

I acci­den­tally ran across an Unleashed by Petco a few weeks ago. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a “mini” Petco. I was fur­ther sur­prised to find out that one had opened up just a cou­ple of miles from our home. As it turned out, it was hav­ing a grand open­ing this weekend.

Dottie enjoys a celebration treat.Candy waits her turn as Flower licks ice cream off John's hand.Why I thought it would be fun to take the shih tzus to it was because I got an email (because I have a PALS card) talk­ing about the give­aways and dis­counts for the week­end, as well as an ice cream social, from 11 to 3 today. I had been try­ing to decide what to do for our anniver­sary, and I thought that sounded very cel­e­bra­tory. I didn’t know if they would be too ner­vous to eat ice cream there, but it sounded worth try­ing. Also, I like the har­ness I had fit­ted for Flower at Petco last week, so I wanted to get one for her shih tzu sisters.

It wasn’t too dif­fi­cult to get them all in the back seat of the car, espe­cially since we went through the same drill ear­lier in the week to take Flower, Candy and Dot­tie in for shots, with Nigel tag­ging along. Dot­tie was shak­ing, but the other shih tzus were pretty calm.

Candy and an anniversary treat.We got to Unleashed at 1, and I imme­di­ately asked some­one if they could help us fit Dot­tie and Candy with har­nesses. The woman I asked sent Patrice over to help us, and I told her that Flower had a medium, but she was a cou­ple pounds smaller and might need a small. Patrice was going to try both sizes on Candy, but she was puz­zled at how to get it on her. I have to admit that it took me a

Nigel investigates the doggy ice cream.

while to fig­ure it out too, and I had been putting one on Flower for days. I was hold­ing onto Flower and Nigel, so I couldn’t show her. With John’s help, we even­tu­ally decided she needed a medium too, and, even though Dot­tie is five pounds heav­ier, she took the same size.

That process was a lit­tle hec­tic. Dot­tie sat by Patrice through­out the fit­tings, but there were lots of peo­ple and dogs there, and Nigel kept try­ing to go make friends with other dogs. I had to keep pulling him back, until Ted, another Petco asso­ciate, came up and played with him.

I had intended on tak­ing pic­tures, but my plan went awry. I didn’t know my bat­tery was nearly dead on my Nikon and my iPhone bat­tery was nearly dead from lis­ten­ing to Pan­dora on a bike ride ear­lier with John. I still man­aged to get sev­eral pic­tures taken before the bat­ter­ies died.

Once we had accom­plished the har­ness fit­ting, I asked where the ice cream was. It was dis­ap­point­ing to learn that although we had arrived at 1, they had already run out of ice cream. My mind was set on it, so I ended up buy­ing some (SweetSpots peanut but­ter and honey) to take home.

I also talked to a Nat­ural Bal­ance rep­re­sen­ta­tive about try­ing yet another kib­ble type, since the shih tzus don’t seem too jazzed about any of the kinds I’ve been given them. I ended up buy­ing Alpha Dog, with lamb, chicken meal and rab­bit. They also gave me some other sam­ples to try.

Flower was the biggest prob­lem child. She was pretty good when we were work­ing on the har­nesses, but later, when I went by the front door, she tried to exit. She didn’t care if it was with or with­out me. I think she’s going into her rebel­lious shih tzu teen years!

Although there was no free ice cream, we did get two pounds of free dog treats from the treat bar on the way out (Nigel is our only shih tzu that really likes biscuit-type dog treats). We also got two $5 coupons to spend when we came in, and there were two more in the bags we got. I’ll use one to get Nigel a har­ness later.

Our out­ing was a lit­tle nerve-wracking, but we got through it. When we got home, I had John slice up some chicken for me so I could make them chicken and apple and chicken and sweet potato treats. Once I had every­thing in the dehy­dra­tor, we put a vari­ety of treats on a tray, includ­ing the dog­gie ice cream, and took them out­side for their own exclu­sive ice cream social. Flower and Nigel loved the ice cream, although Dot­tie didn’t seem to care for it, and Candy would only eat it if I put it on my fin­ger and had her lick it off. Candy pre­ferred the chicken jerky I put out and Dot­tie the rawhide that I wrap fresh chicken around and dehy­drate. It wasn’t the party I planned, but I don’t think they have any complaints.

I know Flower, Candy, and Dot­tie don’t under­stand what this anniver­sary means, but it has been a time for us to look back and reflect. We had some main goals this past year, includ­ing get­ting them used to me, get­ting them used to John, get­ting them used to guests, get­ting them to ride in a car with­out fear, get­ting them to walk on a leash, get­ting them to like going for walks, and get­ting them house trained.

We aren’t com­pletely there, but I think we have made leaps and bounds. Flower can’t wait to go on walks. Candy and Dot­tie will go, but they don’t love it yet. Dot­tie still shakes in the car, but Flower and Candy don’t. Flower, in fact, jumped in the front to ride with me the last two times she went for a car ride. She also got through a vet visit with­out poop­ing on me or the vet. They all wag their tails when I or John comes home, and they will take treats from guests, although vis­i­tors aren’t their favorite pastime.

Yes, we are very happy with the progress we’ve made, and we can’t wait to see what progress we make in the com­ing year. Happy anniver­sary, Dot­tie, Candy, and Flower! We love you!

Oh, and we want to thank every­one who is cheer­ing us on and shar­ing the jour­ney with us!





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One thought on “Shih Tzu Day 367: One Year Anniversary at Forever Home!

  1. Happy belated one year anniver­sary, what an amaz­ing year you have all had. Wvery­day is a day of growth and per­son­al­i­ties emerg­ing. Best wishes and congratulations!

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