Shih Tzu Day 122: Ideal Shih Tzu Morning

shih tzu morn­ing miracles

two shih tzus on a couch.This was quite an ideal Sat­ur­day morn­ing. I didn’t hear Dot­tie on the stairs until 6:37. I went back to sleep and didn’t wake up until 7:10, when Candy barked that it was time to come downstairs.

John had a neck ache so he got up when I did. When I opened the door, Dot­tie and Flower started to rush in, but stopped short when they saw the Man. The shih tzu sis­ters still danced around me, but only in the hall. The Candy Com­mit­tee was wait­ing at the bot­tom of the stairs for our hand and toe bit­ing ses­sion. Dot­tie snuck a few toe bites in as well.

a female <em srcset=shih tzu on an animal print throw" width="300" height="225" />And, mir­a­cle of mir­a­cles, Flower ran over and peed on the pee pad, as if to say, “Look, Mom. I waited to show you that I could.” She prob­a­bly wants her couch priv­i­leges back. I sprayed puppy train­ing spray on the pad, so maybe it is work­ing. If so, I should have bought it earlier.

Flower, Dot­tie and Nigel waited in the kitchen for me while I put their bowls of ham­burger, rice and veg­gies and Taste of the Wild kib­ble together. No one suc­ceeded in steal­ing Candy’s food. Either she is eat­ing faster or my image in the door­way con­tin­ues to keep the other shih tzus away. Flower saun­tered over by the bowl, but didn’t do anything.

a black and white <u srcset=shih tzu on an animal print blanket." width="300" height="225" />After they ate, I let Nigel out for the kib­ble scav­enger hunt. I went in to clean up dishes from last night and none of the shih tzus instantly came to the door to be let in. Flower, Candy and Nigel all roamed around the yard. I think Dot­tie did her busi­ness and then just sat on the porch watch­ing them.

While I worked on the com­puter this morn­ing, John watched YouTube videos on his iPad. Dot­tie gave up her couch end posi­tion to Flower, I think to avoid hav­ing Flower sit by me.

a <em srcset=shih tzu with a pig ear treat in his mouth." width="300" height="225" />The most excite­ment to the morn­ing was when Nigel decided to rest in one of the girls’ dog beds, and then decided he also wanted Candy’s red and white rawhide treat. I decided not to inter­fere. She yip, yip, yipped, but even­tu­ally gave the treat up to the bully. Those things are pretty pop­u­lar. The pig ears I bought are also pop­u­lar with the shih tzu gang.

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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 92: And Then There Was Nigel

Spot Collins

a tabby next to a shih tzu on a dog bedThe girls still don’t quite know what to think of Spot Collins. He makes reg­u­lar trips to Shih Tzu Cen­tral, to drink from the girls’ water bowl and to try out the dog beds. He seems to pre­fer lying next to Flower, although she doesn’t seem as happy with the arrangement.

groom­ing practice

a shih tzu sitting on her sisterDelores at BFF Res­cue called me today and asked if I would have time to help her groom some new dogs she got in that will soon be going to fos­ter homes. Bar­bara, her daughter-in-law, usu­ally helps her, but she was out of town and I had told Delores about my groom­ing class. If John had been avail­able, I would have asked him to come with me, since he does the most groom­ing, but he was work­ing, so I agreed to help out.

maltese-poodle mix on couch

When I got there, Delores was con­duct­ing a nec­es­sary pro­ce­dure: using flea and tick sham­poo on one of the dogs that looked like he might have had a prob­lem recently. My York­shire ter­rier never had that prob­lem, so I wasn’t sure how to tell if it looked like fleas or ticks were present. Delores pointed out to me small dark spots on one of the dogs. She said if they weren’t mov­ing, the prob­lem had been fully taken care of by the treat­ment they received before she took them into her care. That seemed to be the case, but to be safe, I helped her wash another dog with the sham­poo as well.

Once we dried them off, I went to work clip­ping a maltese-poodle mix and then a type of ter­rier. They both han­dled it bet­ter than our dogs. The poo­dle lay down on its side and went to sleep while I was clip­ping him. I plan on try­ing that on the girls, since I just read that was a good way to groom in some instances, since you need to teach fear­ful dogs how to be calm and relaxed on the groom­ing table.

intro­duc­tion to Nigel

black and white shih tzu on couchWhile I was there, I met Nigel, the shih tzu Delores asked us to fos­ter. He is about a year and a half and only 10 pounds, which is a pound and a half lighter than Candy. He seems smaller though. Nigel is what is referred to as an owner release. He was dropped off at a shel­ter in Kansas City, Mis­souri, where they dis­cov­ered he had a seri­ous cause of pneu­mo­nia. I imag­ine the fam­ily wasn’t able to afford the vet­eri­nary care he needed.

Shih tzu face offThat shel­ter treated him before send­ing him on to BFF Res­cue. As is the usual case, BFF took him to Clear Creek Ani­mal Hos­pi­tal, where Doc­tor Lind­sey exam­ined him prior to his needed ster­il­iza­tion pro­ce­dure. Dur­ing the exam, she dis­cov­ered that he had a large her­nia that would need surgery as well. She per­formed both surg­eries yes­ter­day, and pre­scribed antibi­otics and pain med­i­cine for ten days. Delores and I had arranged that I would get him Fri­day, but since I was already there, I said I would just take him home with me.

I would describe Nigel as a scrawny lit­tle dog, prob­a­bly because he has been sick for a while. His face is so black that it is hard to see his eyes. It wasn’t the color as much as the wild­ness of his fur around his face that made me think of James Brown. The white fur around his neck is quite a con­trast to his black face. His paws look huge com­pared to his tiny legs.


tabby cat and shih tzu on couchI wasn’t sure what the girls would think about Nigel. When we walked in the door, they didn’t get excited, but they also didn’t seem dis­turbed by his pres­ence. They just watched him. He toured the house, includ­ing Shih Tzu Cen­tral. A lit­tle later, he vis­ited their cor­ner again, this time to begin steal­ing bones and mainly unused toys from them. We will have to get him his own dog bones and toys, as well as a dog bed. He didn’t come with one, like Flower, Candy and Dot­tie did.

wel­come committee


shih tzu waiting for treatNigel grav­i­tated towards Spot Collins, maybe because they are the “out­siders.” When they heard John’s truck in the dri­ve­way, the girls started bark­ing as usual. Candy ran to the door, wag­ging her butt. Spot Collins fol­lowed, with Nigel right behind him, wag­ging his tail.

John was happy about his wel­come com­mit­tee. He has been so patient with the girls, even though they still shy away from him — espe­cially Flower and Dot­tie — three months after get­ting here. It was nice for a dog to instantly respond well to him, since he is such a dog per­son and so good to all animals.

When the dogs fol­lowed us out­side for their nightly treat from the Treat Man, Nigel for­got his man­ners and maneu­vered his way quickly to the begin­ning of the line for pos­si­bly his first taste of Milo’s Kitchen chicken jerky.

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Shih Tzu Day 88: Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

 Don’t Eat That!

three shih tzus on a dog bedWe had a nice, leisurely day. I didn’t get up until 7:30. A quick inspec­tion showed that all the girls used the train­ing pad prop­erly, but some­one had pooped on our hall run­ner. Also, I know that it is occa­sion­ally used for num­ber one. Oh well. I can’t get rid of all the car­pet. I con­sid­ered throw­ing the run­ner in the wash­ing machine, but read online that the rub­ber back­ing dete­ri­o­rates over time, even­tu­ally falling apart and clog­ging up the drain and water lines. So, I guess I will look for an inex­pen­sive, machine wash­able runner.

A few days ago, John men­tioned that he was glad that none of our shih tzus had the bad habit Joey, our Yorkie, had, of eat­ing dog poop. Well, he spoke too soon. This morn­ing, after Candy did her busi­ness out­side, she came back and started nib­bling on it. We shooed her away a few times, and then I went and got a plas­tic baggy to remove it. We’ll have to keep an eye on her, and I need to research how to stop it, if she con­tin­ues. I don’t remem­ber what we ever did with Joey, but I don’t think she did it that often. Maybe Candy was just experimenting!

John fin­ished putting the rototiller back together suc­cess­fully. That means we can get rid of the weeds on the back­yard. Yeah! When he got done with that, he made cin­na­mon rolls with his mom’s recipe. I mainly sat on the couch all done with my lap­top and Dot­tie, when she wasn’t at Shih Tzu Cen­tral. Flower paid me the occa­sional visit, but Candy mainly lounged on one fo the dog beds.


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Shih Tzu Day 66: Are We Moving Outside?

The Patio Looks Like Our Liv­ing Room

Some­times it takes a along time to get Mom out of bed. Dot­tie and Flower went up to get her while I waited down­stairs to sur­prise her at the steps. They didn’t come down until an hour later. I think it was a lit­tle after 6 o’clock.

Me and Flower wait for the Treat Man to give us a goodie. After Mom fed us, I stayed out in the yard to inves­ti­gate. I love all the smells! There is a big build­ing at the very end of the grass, and I like to go sit over there some­times and just think about what I want to do next. I was sit­ting out­side when I saw Mom bring our dog beds out onto the porch. I thought that was strange. Some­times she takes our dog beds away and when she brings them back, they smell really pretty, but she never puts them out­side. She also put our toy box out there, and some of our treats. I won­dered if we were going to live out there.

Shih Tzu in front of a shed.After a lit­tle while, I heard that loud noise. It’s some machine she or the Treat Man pushes across the floor. When I hear it, I always run upstairs, but I was out­side, so it was okay. Dot­tie and Flower came out­side when the noise started, although they don’t mind it like I do. They didn’t stay out­side with me all the time, though. Mom let them go in and out. I waited out­side until I was sure the noise wasn’t com­ing back.

Shih tzu in front of a shed.Mom also brought some­thing else out­side. It’s a big, brown thing with a pic­ture of a horse in the mid­dle. I think I heard Mom say it’s a car­pet. We like to sit on it and play on it or chew on our treats. I don’t think Mom knows, but we don’t always like to sit on that white square when we have to pee, so some­times we just pee on it.

Mom and the Treat Man came out and I heard Mom say that it smelled really bad and she didn’t think it could go back inside. I won­der why she thinks it smells? It smells okay to me. They went back inside and called me to come in.

A lit­tle while later, some­one knocked on the door. It was a male human. Dot­tie and Flower would have nor­mally growled and barked, but he went right by us and sat down at the table with Mom and the Treat Man. They were eat­ing some­thing, but they didn’t offer us any.

After the other human left, Mom and the Treat Man came back out­side. They put the car­pet down on the porch. I sat on it for awhile. It was kind of fun. When we went out­side and had treats later, the car­pet was still there. Maybe it’s going to live out­side, but it looks like we’ll still live inside, because Mom put our dog beds back inside.

Flower Had A Poopy Butt!

Shih tzu upside down on dog bed.Flower had to have a bath because she had a poopy butt. I don’t usu­ally get a poopy butt, so I didn’t think they’d make me take a bath, but just in case, I went and sat in my cor­ner in the din­ing room where it’s hard for them to see me. I couldn’t get to it for a while, because it was blocked off. We can also sit under the table again, but they moved that car­pet out­side too.

Flower always gets grumpy when she has a bath. Well, I do too. After her bath, Mom held her for a while. I was wait­ing to see if Mom was going to go and get that other thing that makes loud noise, that blows air at you, but she didn’t. Flower was lucky! I hate that thing!

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