Shih Tzu Week 121: Getting Used to Visitors

Oct. 17 – Oct. 23, 2013

Thurs­day, Oct. 17 

My inten­tions were good when I set Mom and her furry friends up in the base­ment, since she would have her own fridge, bath­room, and plenty of space for lit­ter boxes and food bowls. How­ever, she thought it was spooky, so we moved her and Buddy upstairs last night. She liked it much bet­ter. We also lifted the ban on Spot Collins (her Maine Coon) and Panda enter­ing the liv­ing room, and they made them­selves right at home. I wasn’t sure how Flower would react to cats in her ter­ri­tory, but she seemed to adjust quickly. What a menagerie! Dot­tie and Flower aren’t quite sure how to act with vis­i­tors here. They stayed in Shih Tzu Cen­tral all day but came out and strolled around after Mom went to bed. I said Flower seemed to adjust quickly. After Mom went to bed, she jumped up on the couch Mom is bor­row­ing from her to sniff what has been going on there with another dog. Then, she decided to try to chase Spot Collins away by barking/growling at him, but Spot took a seat on a din­ing room chair and wouldn’t budge.

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Nigel and Candy ran after her, maybe think­ing there was going to be a scuf­fle. It did look like a lit­tle shih tzu gang try­ing to scare off a lone, although big, kitty. Spot didn’t seem very fright­ened, though. Flower couldn’t quite reach him through the chair slats, and he rested on his side, swat­ting Flower away every now and then. Finally, Spot seemed to get tired of the exchange and jumped down and saun­tered towards the stairs.

 Fri­day, Oct. 18

This morn­ing didn’t start out well. When I let Buddy out, Spot Collins saun­tered out behind him. Since it had snowed and I was in my sleep­wear, I had to grab a coat and put on my san­dals. He had already made his way halfway up our tiered land­scape area, so I had to climb over the fence we have there to keep Flower on the ground and chase him down. Then, while hold­ing the giant cat, I had to jump back down. I am con­sid­er­ing putting him on a leash like Jeff and Lynda Petersen do with their giant cat.

Sat­ur­day, Oct. 19

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Sun­day, Oct. 20

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Tues­day, Oct. 22

We have tried our best to keep Spot Collins from going out­side, but now he’s fig­ured out how to go out the doggy door, and then how to get under the deck. We went in under one side and out the other. John had to lure him back in both times. Since he has fig­ured it out, I wish he would teach Candy and Dot­tie to go through it! Instead, we took the doggy door out for the time being. I don’t want to lose him! Mom would be heartbroken.

Wednes­day, Oct. 23

I have been con­cerned about Mom’s things she will be tak­ing to Florida. Sandy is going to have a hard enough time because of her pet aller­gies. I don’t want dusty items to bother her too. While I was going through some of the news­pa­per clip­pings Mom col­lected, I saw one say­ing to put an aller­gic child’s stuffed ani­mals in the freezer to kill dust mites before they sleep with them. Mom’s stuffed cats and tigers didn’t look dusty, but I bagged them and put them in the freezer any­way. I also bagged the stuffed ele­phants Mom made us when we were chil­dren and gave them a turn in the freezer. Can’t wait ’til John finds them and thinks I’ve gone around the bend.

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Shih Tzu Face, Feet and Fanny Trim

I took a dog groom­ing class some time ago from Lia at the Gen­tle Groomer because tak­ing four shih tzus in for groom­ing is a lit­tle expen­sive! John is the one who usu­ally does the groom­ing, though, because he is much bet­ter. We can never quite seem to get ahead, espe­cially when it comes to pulling hair out of the ears and get­ting the hair out from between their paws.

Clear Creek Animal Hospital receptionist

I thought about mak­ing an appoint­ment with Lia, but since the shih tzus are a lit­tle bit used to going to the Clear Creek Ani­mal Hos­pi­tal, and since Flower was kicked out of groom­ing school because of her behav­ior, I thought I would call and talk to them about par­tial grooming.

Dr. Lind­sey answered the phone and said they do offer that ser­vice. I also told her that we had run into Delores from BFF Res­cue at the park and that she had men­tioned that a few of Candy’s nip­ples were a lit­tle dis­col­ored and oddly shaped and I might want to get them checked. Dr. Lind­sey said she would take a look when we were there.

I felt very guilty this morn­ing when I loaded the shih tzus into the car. Dot­tie, Flower and Nigel were so excited (Candy is always more reserved) and I knew they thought they were going to have fun at the park. When I got them out of the car at Clear Creek, they balked at going in, but I finally got them inside (Flower did briefly escape back out out the door but couldn’t get too far since she was on a leash).

Flower, Dottie, Candy and Nigel waiting in cage

The first thing I noticed when I walked in was a big black dog behind the desk, with his paws on it. I imme­di­ately took a pic­ture with my phone of the “recep­tion­ist.” I talked to the actual recep­tion­ist about what I needed done and she said that the ser­vice that I prob­a­bly wanted was called “face, feet and fanny.”

Of course, the female shih tzus all pan­icked when they had to get in the cage and wait for the groomer, Melissa Kow­ing. I felt like a bad mother leav­ing them in that mode, and I wanted to ask if I could stay, but I knew that they would never get used to any type of groom­ing from some­one else if I was around. I ran some errands and then came back to pick them up.

Melissa had no prob­lem with the other shih tzus, but Flower refused to play nice. She got her way, because she didn’t get groomed. I guess I am lucky that she lets John and me groom her, although she doesn’t let us pull the hair out of her ears. We are going to have to fig­ure that out.

The shih tzus leaving Clear Creek Animal Hospital

Dr. Lind­sey told me she had looked at Candy and that she didn’t see a prob­lem, although she had signs of aller­gies on her tummy. She had told me she sus­pected aller­gies before at her exam, because Candy has “ele­phant” ears — thick, wrin­kled skin on the under­side of her ear. I hadn’t noticed it, but she said Nigel has it too.

I talked to her for awhile about aller­gies. She said the only way to really find out is to be very strict about what I give them and see if the symp­toms go away, and that it could be chicken, grains, beef, or some­thing in the house. Since I feed them mostly grain-free food, my guess would be chicken, since they eat so much of it, or beef from the rawhide. She did note that they have great teeth, though, and that must be from the rawhide, since that’s their only toothbrush.

The sad news is that now that I know I can take them in for par­tial groom­ing, Melissa won’t be groom­ing there any longer. She does groom­ing in her home, though. My biggest prob­lem next time will be decid­ing which groomer to go to, since Clear Creek rec­om­mends both Melissa and Lia.

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