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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