Shih Tzu Week 121: Getting Used to Visitors

Oct. 17 – Oct. 23, 2013

Thurs­day, Oct. 17 

My inten­tions were good when I set Mom and her furry friends up in the base­ment, since she would have her own fridge, bath­room, and plenty of space for lit­ter boxes and food bowls. How­ever, she thought it was spooky, so we moved her and Buddy upstairs last night. She liked it much bet­ter. We also lifted the ban on Spot Collins (her Maine Coon) and Panda enter­ing the liv­ing room, and they made them­selves right at home. I wasn’t sure how Flower would react to cats in her ter­ri­tory, but she seemed to adjust quickly. What a menagerie! Dot­tie and Flower aren’t quite sure how to act with vis­i­tors here. They stayed in Shih Tzu Cen­tral all day but came out and strolled around after Mom went to bed. I said Flower seemed to adjust quickly. After Mom went to bed, she jumped up on the couch Mom is bor­row­ing from her to sniff what has been going on there with another dog. Then, she decided to try to chase Spot Collins away by barking/growling at him, but Spot took a seat on a din­ing room chair and wouldn’t budge.

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Nigel and Candy ran after her, maybe think­ing there was going to be a scuf­fle. It did look like a lit­tle shih tzu gang try­ing to scare off a lone, although big, kitty. Spot didn’t seem very fright­ened, though. Flower couldn’t quite reach him through the chair slats, and he rested on his side, swat­ting Flower away every now and then. Finally, Spot seemed to get tired of the exchange and jumped down and saun­tered towards the stairs.

 Fri­day, Oct. 18

This morn­ing didn’t start out well. When I let Buddy out, Spot Collins saun­tered out behind him. Since it had snowed and I was in my sleep­wear, I had to grab a coat and put on my san­dals. He had already made his way halfway up our tiered land­scape area, so I had to climb over the fence we have there to keep Flower on the ground and chase him down. Then, while hold­ing the giant cat, I had to jump back down. I am con­sid­er­ing putting him on a leash like Jeff and Lynda Petersen do with their giant cat.

Sat­ur­day, Oct. 19

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Sun­day, Oct. 20

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Tues­day, Oct. 22

We have tried our best to keep Spot Collins from going out­side, but now he’s fig­ured out how to go out the doggy door, and then how to get under the deck. We went in under one side and out the other. John had to lure him back in both times. Since he has fig­ured it out, I wish he would teach Candy and Dot­tie to go through it! Instead, we took the doggy door out for the time being. I don’t want to lose him! Mom would be heartbroken.

Wednes­day, Oct. 23

I have been con­cerned about Mom’s things she will be tak­ing to Florida. Sandy is going to have a hard enough time because of her pet aller­gies. I don’t want dusty items to bother her too. While I was going through some of the news­pa­per clip­pings Mom col­lected, I saw one say­ing to put an aller­gic child’s stuffed ani­mals in the freezer to kill dust mites before they sleep with them. Mom’s stuffed cats and tigers didn’t look dusty, but I bagged them and put them in the freezer any­way. I also bagged the stuffed ele­phants Mom made us when we were chil­dren and gave them a turn in the freezer. Can’t wait ’til John finds them and thinks I’ve gone around the bend.

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Shih Tzu Week 119: Snow!

Oct. 3 – Oct. 9, 2013

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Fri­day, Oct. 4 

It snowed last night. Snow! On Oct. 3! I’m not ready to see my gar­den die! Also, I have been leav­ing the back­door open, since Candy and Dot­tie still don’t go through the doggy door. So today it is closed.

I have begun to think of myself as Flower’s “Daddy Bridge.” She climbs onto my lap, and with­out stop­ping, crosses me to get to Daddy. But I am in no way com­plain­ing. I am just happy that she is that com­fort­able with both of us now. When she isn’t with us, or at Shih Tzu Cen­ter, she likes to sit on the back of the loveseat where she can watch every­body from a com­fort­able dis­tance, and look out the win­dow when she chooses.

Candy also con­tin­ues to make “couch progress.” I never knew what she wanted before when she came up to the couch. Nowa­days it can mean she wants a snack or she wants up. Today, for exam­ple, I reached to get her and she stood still and let me pick her up. Dot­tie was already on one side and Nigel snug­gled close on the other. I sat her on the other side of Nigel, and she even­tu­ally curled up and set­tled down. When she was there, I rubbed her ear and real­ized it was soft inside, not rough as usual. That rough­ness, or “ele­phant ear,” is a sign of aller­gies, although I am not sure to what. I have been putting a lit­tle Aquaphor in her ear, think­ing if it works for my lips it might work for her ear. It seems to be work­ing. Also, a neigh­bor gave us a water cooler, so they mainly get puri­fied water to drink, and maybe that is helping.

Flower jumped up on the couch to join us a lit­tle later, so I had all four of the shih tzus for com­pany, although Flower def­i­nitely looked bored on her cor­ner perch. Candy can only take couch com­fort for so long, so she even­tu­ally jumped down to occupy the bed she and Nigel alter­nate in, by the enter­tain­ment cen­ter. Although he rarely does it, Nigel actu­ally took a bed at Shih Tzu Central.

I have the TV on today, like I often do when I’m work­ing, with the vol­ume down. I just saw an image of an abused dog on an com­mer­cial for an ani­mal shel­ter and it almost made me cry. I am so happy our four shih tzus have a lov­ing home and that there are so many ani­mal res­cues and shel­ters out there try­ing to make a difference.

Sun­day, Oct. 6 

It warmed up enough for us to take the dogs for a walk at Majes­tic View Nature Cen­ter. Since we have worked so hard on our gar­den this year, I have really enjoyed look­ing at their plants and flow­ers, which are usu­ally tagged with their names.

It gives me of ideas for the future. We don’t walk there nearly as much as the shih tzus would like to, since we nor­mally just walk behind Wal-Mart, so it is always a spe­cial treat. I tried to walk all four of them once there with­out John, but it was a fiasco, and I would never try it again.

Mon­day, Oct. 7

Nigel got a bath today. Hope­fully that will stop his scratch­ing. Each one of the dogs took their turns on the couch today again. Of course, Dot­tie is there most of the day. I was watch­ing Flower roll around on the couch for a while. Not sure why she does that, but it’s fun to watch. Maybe she is scratch­ing her back on the couch? Each time I pick up Candy and sit her down on the couch, I think about the past, when she either hid upstairs or in her cor­ner “apart­ment” in the din­ing room, instead of join­ing us. I con­tinue to be thank­ful for how far we have come.

Tues­day, Oct. 8 

John gave the shih tzus their pre-breakfast snack (chicken-wrapped rawhide bone) as usual this morn­ing and they were rar­ing to go. For some rea­son, Candy often doesn’t eat hers right away. She sits it in front of her and guards it. I think she keeps it just to enjoy the game. If any­one comes near it, she sounds her loud siren bark warn­ing. I need to record it, because it’s fierce. Some­times, like today, Flower sits on the other side of Candy’s bone and growls, try­ing to ter­ror­ize her sis­ter to giv­ing it up. How­ever, Candy instead decided it was time to enjoy it.

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Shih Tzu Week 117

Back to the Past: Sept. 19 – Sept. 25, 2013

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Fri­day, Sept. 20

This morn­ing when I went to grab the leashes out of the bas­ket, Nigel wan­dered back to his bed and Candy wan­dered under the table. They prob­a­bly need walk­ing the least, so I decided to just take Dot­tie and Flower. It’s always eas­ier with less than four any­way. When we got back, I opened the back door so the shih tzus could wan­der in and out. I so wish we could get Dot­tie and Candy to use the doggy door, because I am con­stantly try­ing to get flies and bees out of the house. I swat­ted a fly near Candy and she didn’t even run. Some­times she still star­tles eas­ily, but she is get­ting better.

Sun­day, Sept. 22

We took the dogs for a walk this morn­ing at Majes­tic View. I always get a kick out of Flower’s excite­ment dur­ing the car ride. Nigel gets pretty excited too, but Flower is more ver­bal. If I say, “Are you excited we’re going for a walk?” Flower squeals.

Mon­day, Sept. 23

We have done well with many areas with the shih tzus, includ­ing their rela­tion­ship with us. I have also noticed that most of their tear stains are gone, although Dot­tie still has a lit­tle brown on her face. How­ever, partly because of the fact that Candy and Dot­tie won’t use the doggy door, we still have house­break­ing issues. It’s not unusual for me to try to fig­ure out where the urine smell is com­ing from. I real­ized today that Flower had peed on her couch, so the cush­ion cover went into the wash. Also, it looked like some­one peed on Dottie’s thick blan­ket that I some­times sit on. Ick. Candy had been reliev­ing her­self on the car­pet in our bed­room so I started shut­ting the door. Then she started pee­ing on the rug in the bath­room. At least I can wash that, but I also started shut­ting that door.

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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, Chewy.com 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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Our Weekend Foster Shih Tzu

We had a guest shih tzu this week­end. Delores from BFF Res­cue called April 10 and asked if we could watch a one-year-old fos­ter shih tzu for the week­end. His fos­ter fam­ily was going to be out of town. I was hes­i­tant, espe­cially since it was a boy, and Nigel doesn’t seem to like other males step­ping into his Shih Tzu King­dom. Also, since I am now a con­firmed shih tzu lover, I imag­ined I would fall in love with him and hate to see him go. But I said yes.

Zeus the foster shih tzu

Zeus arrived Fri­day, April 12, early in the after­noon. When she dropped him off, she said that she would be pick­ing him up Sat­ur­day after­noon to take him to meet a cou­ple con­sid­er­ing adopt­ing him.
Zeus is black and white and looked like a cross between Nigel and Dot­tie. Like most dogs I’ve met that go through the “dog­gie fos­ter sys­tem,” Zeus is slim. Delores said he prob­a­bly weighs about ten pounds. I think Nigel weighed nine pounds when we got him, but Zeus looked even thin­ner because he has longer legs. Nigel looks quite a bit heftier, prob­a­bly because he has prob­a­bly gained five pounds since com­ing to live here, and because he hasn’t been groomed for a while, so his long fur makes him look even bigger.
Zeus made me real­ize that I seri­ously have to rethink what I feed our shih tzus, or, more exactly, how much.  I don’t tink Candy is over­weight, but Dot­tie is less active and def­i­nitely is, and Flower and Nigel could stand to lose a pound or two.
Delores warned me not to pick Zeus up right away, because she said he has a ten­dancy to nip at peo­ple. He seemed right at home from the minute he arrived. It didn’t take long for him to jump up onto the couch and claim the arm on the John and Nigel side of the couch. Later, I had book­ends when Flower jumped up and took her place on the other end, where she likes to sit.
Zeus fol­lowed me around all after­noon. When I went into the bath­room, he jumped into the tub, pos­si­bly look­ing for water, and then jumped back out. When I went into the bed­room, he swiftly jumped up on the bed. I was sur­prised, since I don’t think even Flower, our jumper, can do that. At least she hasn’t attempted it.
When Can­dace came home from work, she quickly took a lik­ing to Zeus, and he began fol­low­ing her around. Zeus sat between us that evening while we were watch­ing TV. I saw what Delores meant when I made a quick move­ment with my hand too close to his face and he nipped at my fin­ger. I was more care­ful the rest of the evening.
I fig­ured he was the kind of shih tzu that would want to sleep with his humans, so I asked Can­dace if she wanted to take him to bed with her. He stayed with her through­out the night.
The next morn­ing, she com­mented that she was con­cerned that he wouldn’t go to a good home. I know that she would have con­sid­ered adopt­ing him if she had her own place.
Delores arrived at about 1:30 to pick up Zeus. She called a few hours later to let me know that the cou­ple had decided to adopt Zeus and to thank us for tak­ing care of him.
I was very happy that BFF Res­cue had once again found a home for an adorable lit­tle shih tzu. I hope he brings his new fam­ily as much joy as our four lit­tle ones have brought us!

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