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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