Shih Tzu Day 152: No More Company! Yeah!

happy shih tzus: we have our house back!

We don’t know what’s going on, but Mom and the Treat Man spent the night on the couch (I guess they call it a sofa sleeper) again last night. Us shih tzus were won­der­ing if they are going to sleep there all the time?

a <u/>shih tzu's eye at a kneeWe waited until 5:30 and then went to Mom’s side of the sofa and scratched to wake her up. She got up and fed us. She asked us shih tzus to come in right after we ate and did “our busi­ness.” We didn’t know why, but it was because she wanted to go back to sleep! We didn’t let her though. Nigel kept scratch­ing at the door, and she kept get­ting back up to let me, Nigel and Dot­tie go in and out. It was fun!

a <strong/><strong>shih tzu</strong> in a dog bedAll four of us shih tzus are really happy that there is no more com­pany! Let’s see. What else. We were rest­less today, but didn’t know what we wanted to do. We kept going up to Mom’s feet to get her atten­tion. I scratched her ankle, because she wasn’t pay­ing atten­tion. Oops. I guess I scratched it harder than I thought, because she said, “Ow!”

She finally got up and gave us some string cheese. Yum! Shih tzus — at least us shih tzus — love string cheese.

We were play­ing a lot and Mom said we were being “ram­bunc­tious.” Even Dot­tie played with me and Nigel for a while. Candy didn’t feel like play­ing, I guess. She was just roam­ing around. Oh, and when Nigel was busy, she went and lay in his bed. She really likes it. He doesn’t seem to mind that she lays in it some­times. I’m not sure why she likes it so much though. It doesn’t seem that spe­cial to me.

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Shih Tzu Day 118: Strange Shih Tzu Behavior

is that nor­mal shih tzu behavior?

a shih tzu on a brown blanket on a couch.Dot­tie didn’t start whin­ing until 7 a.m. That was an hour beyond when she started try­ing to wake me up yes­ter­day. I haven’t been let­ting the shih tzus in the bed­room, because of past acci­dents, but I decided to give them the ben­e­fit of a doubt. I left the bed­room door open while I brushed my teeth, and Flower ran into the room and started cir­cling. That was my cue to usher her out so she wouldn’t pee on the carpet.

Dot­tie, Flower, Nigel and I worked our way down the stairs towards the Candy Com­mit­tee. They did their morn­ing dance and I tried not to fall down the stairs while they did it. Dur­ing the next part of the rit­ual, while I was allow­ing Candy to bite my hand at the bot­tom of the stairs, Flower jumped up on the couch, which she some­times does in the mid­dle of her dance. But, instead of jump­ing right back down, she squat­ted. I had never seen her do that on the couch, but I knew what usu­ally came after squat­ting, so I hollered, “Flower!” and tried to get there on time. Too late. She left a big wet spot before she jumped back down. Sigh. Back to house­break­ing 101.


a shih tzu on squirrel alert. I had tow­els under the red blan­ket, just in case, but it went through every­thing. I took the cush­ions off, sprayed cleaner on them and put up a gate around the couch. Flower lost her couch per­mis­sions for the day. She can still come up on our couch, but I have to keep an eye on her.

John thought the prob­lem might have been the news­pa­pers I put down when I ran out of train­ing pads yes­ter­day. Candy and Dot­tie seemed okay with it, but I have noticed that Flower doesn’t do well with change. John said maybe she hadn’t yet asso­ci­ated the news­pa­per with where she is sup­posed to pee.


a squirrel in a backyard. One of the other shih tzus was act­ing odd today. While I was talk­ing to Dot­tie this morn­ing, she started flail­ing around on the couch. I could not see that any­thing was wrong with her. She was rub­bing her face against the blan­ket on the couch at first, and then against my side. I thought her ear might itch, so I tried to help her itch it. When I went to move my hand away, she lunged to bite it; not in an aggres­sive way, but play bites. I pet­ted her a while and then she set­tled down. Still not sure if she just wanted affection.

shih tzu squir­rel! alert again

three shih tzu puppies chase a squirrel.Candy has been alert­ing us to the squir­rel again. I assume it’s the same squir­rel, but maybe not.

Our own per­sonal squir­rel, Nigel, has been irri­tat­ing Candy and Flower today. They have been yapped at him a lot. I am going to have to start yap­ping at him too. I can’t wear socks any­more, because he insists on tak­ing them off my feet. My feet get cold, but I have to admit that his sock fetish is darned cute.

Nigel con­tin­ues to irri­tate Dot­tie. She leans in close to his face and growls at him when he comes to her side of the couch and puts his paws up on it. I am afraid she might hurt him, so when she did it ear­lier, I went to move her back and him away and man­aged to knock my cof­fee over onto the couch. Well, at least the red blan­ket will have a com­pan­ion in the wash­ing machine.

Nigel irri­tates Candy the least, I guess. She didn’t push him out when he went to lay in her dog bed with her today. It was a very cute sight.

some­thing good

a male and female shih tzu lying on a pink dog bed. I have this bad habit of for­get­ting to refill the shih tzus’ water bowls late in the day. Today, after I filled one of the bowls up, I went to put it down and two of the shih tzus excit­edly ran over to it. John laughed and said they thought they were get­ting “some­thing good.” When I sat the bowl down, though, they started lap­ping up the water. I told John it was “some­thing good” after all. All that play makes the shih tzu quar­tet thirsty.

shih tzu beggars

Sorry to say, our shih tzus are offi­cially beg­gars. Flower in par­tic­u­lar jumps up on the couch at any hint/smell of food. Tonight it was Car­roll Shelby chili, how­ever, so I didn’t share.

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Shih Tzu Day 113: Chaos at the Shih Tzu Zoo

The shih tzu zoo

two shih tzus playingtwo shih tzus playingI was look­ing around at the kids this morn­ing and thought, “This is a shih tzu zoo!” At the time, Nigel was snug­gled up to my left side. Dot­tie was lying on the other side. Flower and Candy had come alive, after a nap in their dog beds, and were wan­der­ing around the floor. What is amaz­ing is that I do fairly well as a zookeeper.

two shih tzus playingJohn has been sur­prised at that too. I was the one who really wanted a York­shire ter­rier and the one who picked out and named Josephina Bal­le­rina, aka Joey. How­ever, John was the one who gave her the most care. A lot was dif­fer­ent when we had Joey. For the first sev­eral years, I worked full time out of the house. For the last eight years she was with us I did my news­pa­per edit­ing worked at home, but my edit­ing and writ­ing duties were out of con­trol, so I never seemed to have time for her. Luck­ily, she was John’s baby, so that didn’t mat­ter so much. He got up in the morn­ing and fed her and fed her when he got home in the evening. She sat on his lap when­ever he was sit­ting down.

When I decided I wanted a shih tzu, I gave it a lot of thought, because I knew I would need to be more involved. I haven’t had such a hec­tic sched­ule since leav­ing the paper three years ago. The tim­ing seemed to be right. Of course, I planned for one shih tzu, not for sev­eral to over­run the house! I do love my shih tzu zoo though!

shih tzu romp time

After the shih tzus ate their break­fast and did their busi­ness, Dot­tie, Flower and Nigel scur­ried inside. Dot­tie and Flower don’t seem to have a big desire to stay out­side since the weather is get­ting colder. Nigel usu­ally wants to go right back out, so I don’t know why he came in with them. I told him to go play with Candy, and he did go back out. They had a half-hour romp.

When they came inside, they started play­ing in the din­ing room, but I had the back door open a lit­tle, so they danced out­side onto the patio again. Loud noises out­side brought them back in, and Flower joined the other two shih tzus. Since we haven’t got­ten the girls used to walks yet, I’m glad they are get­ting “Nigel exercise.”

Candy went back out­side a lit­tle later and sat by her­self. I know she always liked being by her­self, and I think she still does. She still loves to wan­der around the yard. When she sits on the porch, though, she looks towards the door some­times, like she is wait­ing. Maybe for the lit­tle boy shih tzu to come out and play? Maybe not, though. I have a ten­dency to read into things.

couch com­pe­ti­tion

two shih tzus sparring.two shih tzus sparringFlower has been sit­ting by Dot­tie and me quite a bit lately. How­ever, she had a prob­lem today. She came and sat in front of the couch and kept look­ing up at it, but Nigel and Dot­tie were sprawled out tak­ing up all the room. Flower went over and checked out the dog steps I bought from Ross Dress For Less, which Nigel uses to get up on the male side of the couch. She sniffed them, and even­tu­ally tried to step on one, but it moved and scared her. She inves­ti­gated them again later, but they might be a lit­tle short for her, because she didn’t try very hard to use them. Even­tu­ally she wan­dered back over to Shih Tzu Central.


two shih tzus sparringAfter that, Nigel car­ried a small bear and some treats up onto the couch. Flower decided she wanted one of the treats and took it. It was prob­a­bly one the male shih tzu stole orig­i­nally from the girls any­way. The result was another bone war. When Nigel tried to get it back, Flower started yip­ping at him and jumped off the couch. He fol­lowed her down, but then she jumped up on her couch to escape him. He responded by stretch­ing his neck out and going “woo, woo, woo,” like he was howl­ing at the moon.

The couch sit­u­a­tion has also caused Dot­tie to often sit closer to me now than she used to, because of com­pe­ti­tion for the couch cor­ner. Today I was typ­ing and felt some­thing at my side. Dot­tie was sit­ting as close as Nigel does, rub­bing against my sweater and look­ing up at me. She didn’t appear to be in pain or to be want­ing any­thing, so I thought maybe she just felt like being close. When I thought about it fur­ther, though, she could have just been try­ing to fig­ure out why my sweater pocket smelled like the dog treats I had in them the other day.

Kong enjoys the outdoors

a shih tzu with a retriever rollWhen I was decid­ing what treats to give the shih tzus, I came across the Kong I had bought the girls. They weren’t very inter­ested, but I thought Nigel might be. I filled it with peanut but­ter, but he wasn’t inter­ested either. That was sur­pris­ing, since I thought Kongs were all the rage with dogs. Maybe they aren’t all that to shih tzus. Later in the after­noon, though, I noticed that the Kong was out­side, with the peanut but­ter still inside. I imag­ine Nigel smug­gled it out when I wasn’t look­ing. He didn’t want the peanut but­ter, but he likes the act of smuggling.

The shih tzus are much more into their vari­ety of bones. Candy’s main inter­est today was a retriever roll from the Dol­lar Tree. I love watch­ing her eat them, because she han­dles them so gen­tly, hold­ing them del­i­cately between her front paws and nib­bling like a rabbit.

New Dog Bed Relocation

four shih tzusNigel doesn’t seem to like to keep his dog bed in one place. Today, he grabbed it with his teeth and moved it con­tin­u­ally until he finally had it right in front of the door. Maybe he wants it there to be the first one to greet John. After he finally stopped and got in it, Flower went and sat next to him, off of the bed, for at least 10 minutes.

Train­ing Pads

I might be get­ting some­where with the train­ing pads. I have moved them clear over by the back door now, so they are no longer in the liv­ing room or din­ing room, and the shih tzus have been using them. I counted three spots when I came down­stairs this morn­ing. Since the goal is to get them to do their busi­ness out­side when­ever pos­si­ble, I posi­tioned jin­gle bells above the train­ing pads. My hope is that I will hear them and can get there before they do any­thing, so I can get them out­side in time. I don’t think I have them posi­tioned cor­rectly yet, though, because I never hear them jin­gle. Either that, or the shih tzus are tip­toe­ing around.

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Shih Tzu Day 111: Candy and her Boy Dog

The trou­ble with boy dog friends

girl and boy dog friendsCandy and her boy dog friend have been frol­ick­ing again, inside and out­side. I know she enjoys play­ing with Nigel, but there are times that she does not want his atten­tion. I always know when that is the case, because she yips loudly and looks like she wants to bite his lit­tle boy dog face off. I have had sev­eral stern talks with him that when a lady says “no,” it’s not “maybe,” and he has to stop and not force her to play. If he learns that, she might like him bet­ter and go out on more dog play dates. Of course, it would also help if he stopped steal­ing her bones and the other girls’ dog treats. Then they might all like him better.

Nigel and the cable guy

I had to have Com­cast send a cable guy out today because of trou­ble with my cable box. Nigel greeted him at the door with his tail wag­ging and was prac­ti­cally sit­ting on his lap when he sat down on the couch to do some pro­gram­ming. Not my girl shih tzus, of course. I was in the kitchen and heard a low growl. I asked him what hap­pened, and he said, “I don’t know! All I did was make eye con­tact!” It was actu­ally kind of funny. My girl dogs are def­i­nitely dif­fer­ent than our boy dog.

I don’t really think it’s a case of girl dogs or boy dogs, how­ever. It’s more likely because of their time at the puppy mill. From Nigel’s behav­ior, he prob­a­bly had a good home at one point before end­ing up at a shel­ter, so he has a lot bet­ter social skills. He def­i­nitely wouldn’t make a very good guard dog!

A boy dog in Shih Tzu Central

a black and white shih tzu on a dog bed. After the cable guy left, I took Nigel for a walk to tire him out. I sure don’t have a lot of sta­mina since I stopped tak­ing reg­u­lar bike rides. Run­ning up the hill beside him tired me out! When we came back, I had the back door open for the dogs and a bee came in. I was try­ing to fig­ure out where it went and looked over at Shih Tzu Cen­tral; it was fly­ing around near Nigel, and he was try­ing to bite it. I was think­ing that he looked funny try­ing to bite at it, and then I real­ized some­thing. He was “at Shih Tzu Cen­tral” try­ing to bite it. He was actu­ally loung­ing on the blue dog bed.

Four shih tzusFlower and Candy didn’t seem to think any­thing about hav­ing a boy dog in one of their beds in their pri­vate cor­ner, although Dot­tie seemed slightly put out. They all mainly just ignored him. Since that was the case, I thought I’d work on a lit­tle bit of togeth­er­ness and moved his bed in there as a test.

He lay in there for a while with­out any reac­tion from the girls. How­ever, he didn’t stay very long and seemed lost with­out his dog bed being in the liv­ing room, so I moved it back out.

Dry train­ing pad

The train­ing pads I have down were dry all day. It’s pos­si­ble that the girl shih tzus are learn­ing how to hold it until they go out­side. I didn’t find any evi­dence that they had gone any­where else in the house. My fin­gers are crossed.

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Shih Tzu Day 109: Touch and Go Leash Training: Flower Escapes!

Leash train­ing tri­als and tribulations

The girls started bark­ing at 6:45 this morn­ing. I got up a lit­tle after 7 so they would stop bark­ing and John could sleep. Candy and Nigel played out­side for a while after eating.

two shih tzus preparing for a walk. We decided it was time to do a lit­tle leash train­ing again. Of course, Nigel needs no train­ing. He would love to go walk­ing every­day, and I hope we can accom­mo­date him. Our leash train­ing class con­tin­ued this morn­ing with Candy. There is a grass area behind our local Wal-Mart that is per­fect for walk­ing. She did okay, although ever so often, she stopped. i can’t say that she had fun, but she wasn’t as stressed out as she has been on pre­vi­ous walk attempts.

a shih tzu on a leash. We were brave and decided to con­tinue our leash train­ing with Flower. First, when I picked her up, I guess she knew some­thing was up, because she pooped, right down my favorite light blue jeans. I didn’t want to post­pone our walk, so I grabbed a microfiber clean­ing cloth and water and scrubbed at the spot and then grabbed another one to clean off Flower’s butt. Once we rinsed her off, we put her in the har­ness we just bought from PetS­mart.

a shih tzu resting on a porch.She seemed to be doing okay today, although I knew the leash train­ing was stress­ing her out. She walked a lit­tle with me, very slowly, and then ran a while with John. Sud­denly, though, she escaped her leash and har­ness. It was panic time. If she ran east, she would be run­ning towards Sheri­dan, a busy street, and if she ran south, towards the apart­ments behind Wal-Mart. If she ran west, she would run towards our house, but have to cross one street and who knows where she would go from there. Run­ning north, she could escape through an entrance lead­ing to the back of Wal-Mart.

a black and white shih tzuI stayed calm, call­ing her name and try­ing to lure her with liver treats. She kept dart­ing back and forth, while John tried to grasp her col­lar. I was stand­ing near a tree, and she kept com­ing back to where I was, but if I took a step, she would run again.

In the mean­time, I was still hold­ing onto Nigel’s leash, and he was dis­tract­ing me. John finally told me to put Nigel’s leash around a pole that I imag­ine was there to make the tree grow straight. I did that, and then con­cen­trated on again lur­ing Flower with the treats. She finally came close enough for me to grasp the ring on the front of her col­lar. I guess we will have to con­tinue her leash train­ing in our back­yard for now. That was a lit­tle too scary.

The rest of the day

two shih tzusI was hang­ing clothes up upstairs after we got back when I real­ized that my lit­tle shadow Dot­tie was always one step behind me. She is such a sweet­heart. When we went back down­stairs, Nigel the bone col­lec­tor had col­lected sev­eral of the girls’ bones in his dog bed. I took a few away and put them back at Shih Tzu Central.

I heard a pit­ter pat­ter of paws a lit­tle later and real­ized that Candy and Nigel had another play date. They started their waltz-wrestle-boxing match near the din­ing room, but later moved on to Shih Tzu Cen­tral. Later, I noticed Nigel nuz­zling Flower, attempt­ing to get her to play. I won­der if Candy thinks he’s two-timing her?

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