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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