Shih Tzu Day 106: Nigel’s Night in His Dog Bed

Peo­ple Bed vs. dog bed

black and white shih tzu in black and white dog bed.Nigel has slept with us every night since he got here. Most likely, he slept with his last humans and he is just used to it. Last night, how­ever, I think he slept in his dog bed. Usu­ally, he hears us get­ting ready to go upstairs and jumps up from wher­ever he is and fol­lows us. How­ever, he was lying in his dog bed when we went upstairs and didn’t budge.

shih tzu asleep in dog bedHe must have slept in his dog bed all evening. When I went in the bath­room at 5:30, I heard a sound out­side the door and opened it to find him there.

I should put a dog bed in the hall, since Dot­tie sits out­side the door for a while wait­ing for me to wake up each morn­ing. I don’t know if she’d use it though. I have some blan­kets folded up there that Candy used to use when she escaped upstairs all the time. I have a feel­ing Dot­tie just stands guard in front of the door until I open it, so lying down in a dog bed while she waits prob­a­bly wouldn’t suit her.

shih tzu in blue and white dog bed.Our York­shire ter­rier, Joey, never would sleep in a dog bed. She slept with us, and when we were home, if John was sit­ting down, she sat on his lap. She also liked to lie on the car­pet. Our girls don’t get that priv­i­lege, since they still pee on any car­pet they come in con­tact with. They get plenty of use out of their dog bed king­dom in the corner.

Shih Tzu Cen­tral is empty a lot more now than it used to be, though. Dot­tie sleeps in her dog bed every night, but I think Candy and Flower go between their dog beds and the couch. Dur­ing the day, Candy spends a lot of time going between the var­i­ous dog beds, but she also still likes to go in her cor­ner in the din­ing room.

Flower spend a lot of time in their var­i­ous dog beds, but she is get­ting more and more com­fort­able with sit­ting on my couch. Today, sev­eral times when Dot­tie jumped down, she jumped up next to me. Dot­tie only vis­its her dog bed occa­sion­ally dur­ing the day. She prob­a­bly spends a lot of time in it when I am gone, but when I am here, she mainly sits with me.

The girls’ day

I didn’t hear any bark­ing until 7 a.m. The shih tzus must have had some party last night.

a shih tzu rests on couch arm. The munchkins have started to play Nigel’s game. Today one of them stole a treat out of his bed and he was agi­tated. When Flower steals some­thing, she jumps up on her couch with it, since no one else can jump that high.  Today she stole Nigel’s green dog, and he snorted his dis­ap­proval. It will wind up back on the floor tomor­row, and every­one will have lost inter­est in it.

Nigel would be able to reach Flower’s couch if I put dog steps there, like I have at our couch, but I think it’s best if he can’t get up there. That is Flower’s per­sonal king­dom, includ­ing her refuge when she doesn’t want to play with him. But since she smug­gles treats that don’t belong to her up there, when she has gath­ered enough, I redis­trib­ute them.

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Shih Tzu Day 93: A Dog in Our Bed

A Dog in Our Bed

two shih tzus on a couchNigel aka James Brown aka Elvis is doing well today. Delores told us she thought he would want to sleep with us, so we car­ried him up the stairs to see what he would do. When I sat him down on the bed, he imme­di­ately lay down, right at home. I felt kind of guilty, since the girls don’t sleep with us, but it is the choice they make, so I am sure they didn’t lose sleep over it.

I didn’t want to upset the rou­tine too much, so when I got up to get ready to go down­stairs, John stayed behind with Nigel. After the girls and I said our hel­los, John gath­ered up Nigel and Spot Collins, sleep­ing in a ken­nel in the spare room, and brought them down.

Share and Share Alike

two shih tzusDelores said that Nigel had been on a spe­cial diet. She wasn’t sure if he had aller­gies, but they had been giv­ing him Taste of the Wild, which is grain-free dog food. She sent a bag of kib­ble and two cans of wet food home with me. Since I have been want­ing to exper­i­ment with the girls’ diet any­way, I added some of his kib­ble to theirs and gave them a table­spoon of his wet food in place of their cot­tage cheese. Flower and Dot­tie liked it, but Candy wouldn’t try it. I fixed her a new bowl with cot­tage cheese.

a tabby cat and shih tzu drinking out of same bowlAfter Spot Collins ate his food, he decided to help Nigel eat his. The invalids have to sup­port each other. After that, Nigel and SC hung around together. The Dumb Friends League called and said that Panda was much bet­ter and was being released today. I told Mom I didn’t see any rea­son why Spot should stay here another day. I don’t think she will have a dif­fi­cult time giv­ing him his med­i­cine for the next few days. Plus, he is eat­ing and drink­ing and I don’t think he needs his daily sauna anymore.

shih tzu and pink bird toyI needed to get some work done before dri­ving across town to pick up Panda. While I worked, with Dot­tie next to me, on her side of the couch, Spot Collins climbed into my lap. Soon, Nigel scratched at the couch and I let him up and sat him on the other side of me. Pretty soon, he put his head on my lap next to SC. Later, how­ever, he crawled over my lap to lay next to Dot­tie. He looked like her son, lying next to her. I wasn’t sure what she would do, but she just looked at him and then looked away.

shih tzu and kittyNigel got acquainted with the girls’ pink bird they rarely play with. I am going to move some of their other toys into the liv­ing room so he can have some­thing else to enter­tain him. I thought it was really cute when I looked up and saw SC and Nigel drink­ing water out of the water bowl at the same time. In the early after­noon, how­ever, Flower seemed to be get­ting a lit­tle testy with SC. She was cir­cling him on the blan­ket I had down on the floor, in what didn’t seem like a friendly way, so I decided to put the kit­ten back in his ken­nel until I took him home. He didn’t like that very much, and meowed for the rest of his stay.

Slow Down

In the after­noon, Flower decided to sprint across the yard. Nigel started run­ning behind her, but I stepped in to slow him down. I don’t want him to hurt his inci­sion. I was glad that Candy and Flower started play­ing after that. Nigel doesn’t seem to have affected Flower, but I thought Candy might have been act­ing a lit­tle less happy than usual. I don’t know what goes through their minds, but I didn’t want her to feel less loved, so I make sure to show her and the other girls as much atten­tion as our recov­er­ing fos­ter dog gets.

I wrote Delores to tell her that Nigel was doing well. I also told her that John was already very fond of him. I know he loves the girls, but I also know that he is really enjoy­ing the com­pany of a well-adjusted, non-fearful dog.

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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 50: Learning to Get Love

Bossy Flower

Flower is get­ting more and more bossy in the morn­ing. This morn­ing, she rushed upstairs and, with Dot­tie, made her usual stop on my side of the bed. She only stayed there for a minute or so before rush­ing to John’s side, where she pro­ceeded to bark away. I still don’t know what it means. I expect it means that she wants him to get up. John says it means that she wants him to get up and get out of the house. When she came back to my side of the bed, she bit my hand more aggres­sively than usual. Although I don’t mind it, I did try to calm her down.

Learn­ing to Get Love

Candy seems to trust John more every day.Candy came upstairs with her sis­ters this morn­ing. When I reached my hand over the bed, she stood on her back paws and danced, wav­ing her front paws in the air. She is so cute. She also did that last night when John was feed­ing them treats. She also came up to me this after­noon and stood still while I pet­ted her. Flower sat a few feet away, watch­ing the activ­ity. Dot­tie came up a lit­tle later and nuz­zled her head against my arm and leg.

Today, I was think­ing about John say­ing that Flower doesn’t know how to get love. She also has trust issues. I think that’s true, but I think she is try­ing to learn. How do you train your dog to love? In the after­noon, she did come and put her nose on my feet and then let me pet her.

Flower’s favorite toy con­tin­ues to be the plas­tic fire­men I got from the Dol­lar Store. How­ever, all but one of them have met their demise. I’ve stum­bled across a vari­ety of arms and legs lately, so there must be some bod­ies around here somewhere.

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Shih Tzu Day 48: My Dog, Einstein

Flower Shows Her Pos­ses­sive Side

Flower was the first one to pounce on the plastic firemen.Every time I look at Flower, I think of Ein­stein. She is look­ing rather wild.I took Lia’s advice and cut up some hot dogs to bribe Flower while I am attempt­ing to trim her. She didn’t eat any of the pieces when she was up on my makeshift groom­ing table (a buf­fet by the kitchen door), but she came back to get them when she got down. I also made an appoint­ment with Lia for John and I to go into Gen­tle Groomer next week while he is on vaca­tion so he can prac­tice clip­ping on her dog.

Flower soon claimed all the firemen as her own.Flower has exhib­ited her pos­ses­sive side today. She col­lected all of the Big Blast treats from the car­pet and the var­i­ous places they put them and took them to the com­mu­nal dog bed. Then, she col­lected all four plas­tic fire­men I bought for them at the Dol­lar Store and put them with the Big Blasts. She didn’t seem to know what to do when Candy came and took one of the fire­men back. Her atten­tion soon went back to bit­ing the fireman’s legs and chew­ing on his head. I thought it was hard enough plas­tic that it could keep her atten­tion but that she wouldn’t be able to shred it, but I was wrong. It took her quite a while, but she dis­as­sem­bled two of them this afternoon.

She also seems to be ignor­ing me. She hasn’t been com­ing up and vis­it­ing me on the couch and she is back to run­ning when I get near her. I won­der if it is because of the groom­ing I have been doing on her here and there. I man­aged to catch and hold her today. For some rea­son, I just kept repeat­ing, “I love my lit­tle, dif­fi­cult puppy.” She is dif­fi­cult, but I def­i­nitely do love her.

Candy’s New Play and Sleep Station

Candy chose a comfy spot, the training pad, to play with the new toy.While Flower was chew­ing on her fire­men, Candy decided to take a nap on the train­ing pad. I thought those pads were sup­posed to have some type of scent that made them want to do their busi­ness on them, not play on them, like she did yes­ter­day, or sleep on them. She lay down right in the mid­dle of it. It would be great if they had that good of aim when they peed, since it seems to be hit or miss. I think it’s usu­ally acci­den­tal for Candy and Dot­tie when they par­tially miss the pad, but I won­der with Flower sometimes.

Dear Ole Dottie

There isn’t much new to say about dear, devoted Dot­tie. Each morn­ing, she con­tin­ues to run up the stairs and try to get me up. If I don’t get up, she sits by the bed qui­etly and waits. How­ever, If I try to put her up on the bed with me, she dances away. Dur­ing the day, off and on, she comes and lies next to me while I work. She is also the only one who fol­lows me around the house. Granted, she is usu­ally won­der­ing if I am going to pro­duce food.




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