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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