John got up early this morning and went downstairs. He isn’t used to having to watch where his feet land, and took a few steps before realizing he was tracking poop.
When I came downstairs, our shih tzu sisters were giddy with excitement. They danced around crazily, bumping against the side of their Superyard. They waited impatiently while I put together their breakfast: a mix of dry dog food, Natural Balance and a tablespoon of cottage cheese, which they love.
They stayed in their playpen until John left, as usual, and then one by one, started wandering around.
Barbara called after John left for work and said she could come over and do some grooming for Dottie. When she got here, I could tell that they remembered her. They didn’t growl or bark.
As far as the dog grooming went, Dottie surprised me. Joey, our Yorkie, trembled and shook whenever she had to get groomed. In fact, she trembled any time she got in the car. As a result, she only got in the car if she had to go to the veterinarian or the groomer, which reinforced her fear that something bad was going to happen to her. But Dottie sat there very calmly while Barbara trimmed her, with the clippers and scissors. She wasn’t so calm when it came to her face, but she was able to trim some of it. With her face trimmed, she reminds me even more of the faces of the Peace and Garcia Ty Beanie Babies I used to collect.
Flower surprised me even more. Although Flower likes me to pet her, she still bolts when I try to pick her up. This time, she tried to get away, but calmed down as soon as I picked her up and went to sit by Barbara. She handled the grooming almost as well as Dottie.
Candy was a different story. She struggled to get away once I picked her up and sat down on the floor by Barbara. Barbara was able to trim her more than she had been able to previously, but Candy fidgeted quite a bit. Barbara said she could tell the girls trusted me, or they wouldn’t have been as calm as they were.
After Barbara left, I realized how much the trim affected Candy. She went outside by herself and sat in the corner of the exercise pen near the house, where I couldn’t see her. It had been raining, so she got lots of mud on her paws. Barbara had just cut the mud out of the pads of her feet and I didn’t want the new mud to harden, so I washed her paws in the sink and sat her back down.
She went and sat down outside the indoor pen, against the wall, so I knew she was still feeling threatened. I shouldn’t look at Milo’s chicken jerky as the cure for everything, but I gave her a piece. About 10 minutes later, she came around and got back in the pen with her sisters. I took the opportunity to take a group photo that included one of their Angry Birds dog toys.
I was concerned when it started thundering this afternoon, but the shih tzu sisters didn’t seem to notice it. I thought it might scare them. I guess if the noise comes from outside, it’s not a threat to them, even though Candy in particular is afraid of most things, including her shadow.
Men still terrify them. They didn’t growl or bark when John got home, but the three shih tzus ran for the backdoor when my stepson, Gabe, came over. In fact, Flower was so afraid that she ran into the kitchen and stood near my feet until I picked her up. That is the first time Flower wanted me to pick her up — she was that frightened.
I went outside with Flower, Dottie and Candy and stayed there for about 15 minutes. Flower sat quietly in my arms most of the time. Their fear, in particular towards men, makes me wonder what they went through at the puppy mill. It also could just be from other males they have been around, or maybe they are just more used to women. We will never know.
Things are a lot different than I thought they would be. When I first met these furry darlings, I thought Candy and I would bond the most, but she is the most aloof, and Flower seems to rely on me the most. She continues to nudge me to pet her if I pet either of the other dogs.