Shih Tzu Review Board: True Chews Dog Jerky

Shih Tzu Review Board

We have recently made a deci­sion that we want to be famous dog food/treat review­ers, and we are going to call our­selves the Shih Tzu Review Board (unless we think of some­thing more clever)! We want to do that because we think we know a lot about dog food/treats! Also, we like to get pack­ages in the mail with our names on them. What are we review­ing today?

True Chews Pre­mium Jerky Cuts

We have a very good friend at He writes us when­ever he needs expert review­ers to hon­estly judge dog food and treats that Chewy car­ries. I have to admit, though, that our Human doesn’t let us review just any food. First off, she says we can only review dog food and treats that say Made in U.S.A. or Made in Amer­ica on the pack­age. As for us shih tzus, we really, really like to try dif­fer­ent types of jerky the most. Our Human says as long as we don’t find some we like as well as her home­made dog jerky she’ll let us keep test­ing others!

We got a pack­age in the mail the other day that con­tained a bag of True Chews Pre­mium Jerky Cuts. They are made with real chicken, and, of course, made in the U.S.A. We were really anx­ious to try them, but our Human thought she would be clever. She put the bag up in the Baby Russ­ian Sage Gar­den and sat us up there one at a time. Each time one of us got up there, she pulled a piece of jerky halfway out of the bag to see what we would do. Well, I can tell you that not one of us walked away from that bag! We all loved True Chews chicken jerky! Our Humans say that these pic­tures should prove it!

A shih tzu taking dog jerky from a True Chews bag.

I won­der if I could take the whole bag of chicken jerky and run!

Flower shih tzu with a True Chews dog jerky bag

Hey, Dot­tie, Nigel, Candy! This chicken jerky is really great!

Dottie shih tzu eating chicken jerky from True Chews bag.

I am so glad that Nigel and Flower left me some chicken jerky!”


a shih tzu taking dog jerky from a True Chews bag.

Finally my turn!




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Nigel Shih Tzu’s Review on Orijen Freeze Dried Lamb Treats

Nigel Shih Tzu and Orijen dog treat bag

Nigel gets ready to review Ori­jen freeze dried lamb dog treats

Every once in a while, asks me if Dot­tie, Flower, Candy and Nigel would like to review any prod­ucts. This time, our choices included some grain free dog bis­cuits and Ori­jen freeze dried dog treats. Nigel is the only one who will eat dog bis­cuits so I decided we would try the freeze dried dog treats.
First, let me say that I tend not to give the shih tzus treats made in China, so I was happy to see that Orijen’s ranch raised lamb freeze dried dog treats were made in Canada, the home of our dear friend Sadie Shih Tzu. Sec­ond, I don’t like long lists of ingre­di­ents, and the ingre­di­ents on this pack­age include only bone­less lamb, lamb liver and lamb tripe.
As for the review, I brought the opened bag over to the com­puter to get the infor­ma­tion off of it. As usual, Nigel was sit­ting beside me on the couch. While I was typ­ing, I real­ized that Nigel was intently sniff­ing at some­thing. When I looked over, he was get­ting closer and closer to the bag. I thought his actions spoke for them­selves, so here is Nigel’s review:

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Shih Tzu Halloween (and Nigel’s Birthday)

I have been remiss in keep­ing up our jour­nal, so I thought I would post some Hal­loween pis and give a lit­tle progress report.

Nigel Shih Tzu with Halloween treat bag.

The Shih Tzu Clan on their Halloween Walk.

I have always said that we need to give Nigel a birth­day. The Shih Tzu Sis­ter had papers from the puppy mill, so we know their birth dates and ages. Nigel, how­ever, was turned in to a shel­ter and they didn’t give the Col­orado shel­ter any infor­ma­tion, so we don’t really even know his age. The vet guessed at 18 months. John says some­times he acts like a lit­tle boy and some­times like an old man, so we have no idea. His black fur and face have always made me think of Hal­loween, though, so we decided we will cel­e­brate his birth­day on Hal­loween each year.

Nigel Shih Tzu, the sock monkey, Flower Shih Tzu and Candy Shih Tzu.

Nigel Shih Tzu and Caliyana Vampire.

To cel­e­brate Hal­loween and Nigel’s new birth­day, I bought some Lon­don broil on sale and made all the shih tzus beef jerky instead of the reg­u­lar chicken jerky. I also dehy­drated some left­over ham, since I always see doggy ham bites at the store. I bought Nigel a sock mon­key and a stuffed bone too.

I went with a “skull” theme, since Nigel has a new skull sweater, Candy has a black and white dress with skulls, and Flower has a jacket with a pink skull. Dot­tie isn’t a skull kind of shih tzu, but she was at least color coor­di­nated with her black and white dress.

One of the biggest achieve­ments this year is get­ting the shih tzus to not only go on walks, but to love them. Candy is still the only one that hes­i­tates. The oth­ers jump around excit­edly when I get down the har­ness and leash bas­ket, know­ing they are going for a walk nearby or in the car to the park.

Candy actu­ally seems to like walk­ing once we get her out­side, but for some rea­son, she usu­ally runs and hides when we are get­ting ready. Today was no dif­fer­ent, but I went and got her and put her har­ness and leash on. Once she was out­fit­ted for the walk, when I opened the door she trot­ted out behind the others.

Dot­tie and Candy are very good at walk­ing next to me, so when there is no dan­ger of cars or any­thing else, I let them drag their leashes. That makes it eas­ier for me to han­dle Flower and Nigel with the flex leashes. And if I need to, I can pick it up again.

For Hal­loween, how­ever, once we got to the grassy area behind Wal-Mart, I got their snacks out and let go of Flower and Nigel’s leashes. Once they had their treats, I let Flower and Nigel have a lit­tle free­dom. It turns out that Nigel is the one that has to be watched like a hawk. Flower just wanted to sniff bushes, but Nigel’s keen eyes spot­ted two teenagers sit­ting down talk­ing and took off run­ning to greet them. After I caught up with him, i kept both of their leashes in my hand.

Except for Nigel, the shih tzus still don’t take to com­pany. Can­dace and Vic­tor brought over Caliyana and Jur­rien, and later, Leti­cia brought over all five of her chil­dren. Nigel was as friendly as ever. The female shih tzus weren’t friendly, but they didn’t stay in their cor­ner like they once would have. It also didn’t freak them out as much as last year when peo­ple kept com­ing to the door, dressed in strange clothes, but they did bark a lot.

Flower Shih Tzu Waiting for a Treat at the Door.

When John came home, we con­tin­ued our prac­tice of try­ing to get them to take treats through the doggy door, in hopes that they will start using it. Nigel is get­ting the hang of it, and when he feels like it, can go out and come back in through it. Flower and Dot­tie will go through it if we hold open the plas­tic flap, but Candy won’t go near it, so we still have to leave an open­ing. We got  some cute pic­tures of them “trick or treating.”

It’s also good news as far as John is con­cerned too. All of them are get­ting closer to him. Candy will sit beside him on the couch or on his lap and loves him to pet her. Flower doesn’t do that, but she does come up and greet him. Dot­tie is still a lit­tle stand­off­ish. But, all in all, we feel very good about our progress.

Dottie, Flower and Candy Shih Tzu Trick or Treating at the Door.




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Shih Tzu Special Day: Dottie’s 7th Birthday

Dot­tie Shih Tzu’s 7th birthday

I am happy to say that Dot­tie cel­e­brated her sec­ond birth­day party at her for­ever home today! She is now 7 years old. We did things a lit­tle dif­fer­ently than we did last year.

Remem­ber­ing last year’s Shih Tzu birth­day party

Dottie Shih Tzu with crown and treatsFor Dottie’s first birth­day with us, two and a half months after she and her half sis­ters came to live with us, I dressed Dot­tie, Candy, and Flower up (Nigel hadn’t come to live with us yet). I was try­ing to get Dot­tie used to rid­ing in the car, so I took her with me down the street to get a cheese­burger and fries for the shih tzus to shake. She shook the entire time. 

How things have changed in Shih Tzu Land

Candy Shih Tzu with Treat and CrownLook­ing back, I am happy to say that things are quite a bit dif­fer­ent! Yes, Dot­tie some­times still does shake in the car, but all of the dogs are used to going on car rides, because of our fre­quent trips to the park. Also, they are now all used to walk­ing on a leash!

Majes­tic View Park

Flower Shih Tzu with treat and crownI don’t like to take all four shih tzus for walks with­out John, because they are a hand­ful, but since it was Dottie’s birth­day, I attempted it. I also wanted to make it more spe­cial than behind Wal-Mart, where we nor­mally walk on week­days, so I decided to take them for a walk at Majes­tic View Park, our nor­mal Sun­day morn­ing routine.

First off, I got down their leash and har­ness box and Dot­tie, Nigel, and Flower got excited, as usual — but there har­nesses weren’t in it! I searched all over the house, and finally found them in the spare bed­room. I must have gone up there to get some­thing with the har­nesses in my hand and absent­mind­edly set them down on the bed. Once I got the har­nesses on them, I fixed the flex leashes for Nigel, Flower, and Candy so that they wouldn’t extend all the way, which, hope­fully, would help me con­trol them. 

Flower, Nigel, and Dot­tie all fol­lowed me out to the car in the garage, but Candy hes­i­tated in the hall, as usual. I picked them all up and put them in the back of the Focus, and then came back in for Candy. I put the birth­day girl in the place of honor in the front seat, on a new furry blan­ket I got her.

Nige Shih Tzu in birthday crown.When we got to the park, I put Nigel’s leash on him and let him out my door, although I try to nor­mally let them out the hatch. Then, I care­fully let Flower down (the last time we went to the park she jumped out before we could get the leash on her!), put Candy’s leash on her and let her down, and then picked Dot­tie up and set her on the ground.

I know that the sign in the park says that all dogs need to be on leashes, and tech­ni­cally, Dot­tie is always on a leash. It’s just not always in my hand! She is so good that when no one is close, I let her walk her­self, next to me. I also let Candy walk her­self usu­ally, because she is very good and stays close to me. 

We did okay for the first few min­utes, but once I let out their flex leashes, Flower and Nigel started weav­ing back and forth, and I spent more time untan­gling them and me than walk­ing. We stopped at a bench and I got out the treats I made for Dot­tie: chicken and sweet potato, chicken and apple, and chicken and banana (I still haven’t per­fected the banana treats). Nigel stole the first treat I put down for Dot­tie and one I put down for Candy, so he got scolded. I brought along the three birth­day tiaras I had from the last birth­day, and the shih tzus took turns wear­ing them.

A few peo­ple we saw com­mented that I was brave to walk four dogs, and I agreed! I told them I nor­mally wouldn’t attempt it but it was a spe­cial day. 

Mother-daughter birth­day date

Dottie Shih Tzu in her new birthday dress.When we  came home, I set­tled the other shih tzus in, and then took Dot­tie back out to the car with me for our “mother-daughter” date. She sat in the front seat with me for about three-quarters of the way, not shak­ing at all, and then climbed into the back.
Our des­ti­na­tion was Muttz, a pet store where I bought the shih tzus Big Bark “steer sticks” (piz­zles — trans­late “penises”) sev­eral months back. I called before we left to make sure they had some in stock. The woman told me they were hav­ing dif­fi­culty get­ting in the large bag I bought before but that they had a one-pound bag of steer stick pieces, which sounded bet­ter for the shih tzus than the larger ones anyway.  

Dot­tie obe­di­ently fol­lowed me into the store and stood next to me while I looked at jerky and other treats. When the clerk came to say hello, how­ever, Dot­tie started shak­ing. I explained that she came from a puppy mill and still wasn’t very good with people. 

I bought the steer stick pieces and a piece of duck jerky for Dot­tie, and when we were leav­ing, I spot­ted a blue flow­ered dress that was half off. I hadn’t been going to dress Dot­tie or the oth­ers up this year, because I know I like it more than they do, but it was so cute that I had to try it on Dot­tie. I ended up buy­ing it. The clerk asked if it was Dottie’s first time in the store, and I said yes. She said she could get a free toy, and I told her that was great since it was Dottie’s birth­day. I picked out a stuffed star to go with the yel­low flow­ers in Dottie’s dress.

On the way home, I decided to buy a cheese­burger and small fries for the shih tzus (and me) to share. I took them all out on the porch and put a small piece of ham­burger and fries in each of their food bowls. 





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Shih Tzu Week 45: May 3 (Day 309) – May 9 (Day 315), 2012

Shih Tzu Day 309: May 3, 2012


Flower is paw­ing the air and giv­ing me her come hither look. She def­i­nitely loves atten­tion. She went back over to her couch, so she could stare at me from there.

Shih Tzu Day 310: May 4, 2012


The dogs seem so bored. I need to prac­tice walk­ing them, because I know they need that exer­cise. At least Nigel and Candy and Flower play together sometimes.

Shih Tzu Day 311: May 5, 2012


Nigel and Candy in werewolf mode.It doesn’t seem like I got much done today. Keep­ing up with the dogs groom­ing some­times seems over­whelm­ing. We really need to make sure their paws are groomed, trim­ming their nails and get­ting the fur out from between the pads, and get them walking!

Shih Tzu Day 312: May 6, 2012


I have been hav­ing trou­ble keep­ing Flower’s atten­tion when it’s break­fast time. She keeps leav­ing her food bowl in the morn­ings, to fend off cats or squir­rels from the back of the yard. This morn­ing, instead of guard­ing her bowl, I went ahead and let Candy eat the rest of it. She needs more food any­way, and maybe Flower will learn not to run away so often.

Shih Tzu Day 313: May 7


Bath time for Flower before my sister arrived.I am very happy with the chicken jerky I have been mak­ing them. It makes me feel good to know exactly what they are get­ting. On my lat­est batch of jerky, I mar­i­nated them in lemon/lime juice and olive oil, and then sprin­kled them with fresh sage, paprika, and rose­mary. I read that dogs don’t really like cit­rus, but they were a bit hit. I also made more apple and chicken treats and chicken and sweet potato treats. They like all of them. Buy­ing the dehy­dra­tor is one of the best pur­chases I’ve ever made.

Shih Tzu Day 314: May 8


My sis­ter Sandy arrives today from Florida for a week­long visit. We have been con­cerned because she has severe pet aller­gies. She’s like me, too, in that she can’t han­dle a lot of smells. I washed doggy beds and blan­kets this morn­ing. I used to clean them more reg­u­larly, since they tended to have messes on them from acci­dents, but these days, that doesn’t hap­pen, so I for­get. Hur­ray for that!

John is on vaca­tion. We have been steam clean­ing the car­pets with pet/allergen for­mula. We even tack­led the car­pet down­stairs in the exer­cise room, which hasn’t been steam cleaned for years, since we hired some­one to come in and do it. Flower fol­lowed me down­stairs. I kept one eye on her, wait­ing to pounce if she tried to squat to pee. She sniffed a lit­tle, but then ran back up the stairs.

Shih Tzu Day 315: May 9


Flower and Dottie after bath.We went to break­fast this morn­ing with Mom and Sandy. Mom treated us for my birth­day at Gun­ther Toody’s. Sandy is try­ing very hard to make friends with the shih tzus. The female shih tzus growled at her and barked when she came down­stairs this morning.

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