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.

Related Posts:

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.

Related Posts:

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.

Related Posts:

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.

Related Posts:

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.




Related Posts: