Shih Tzu Nearly St. Patrick’s Day

Again, nearly a month has gone by since we last posted! We posted right before Valentine’s Day and now it is nearly St. Patrick’s Day! We have had a house guest, my stepdaughter Candace, for nearly a month. At first, the shih tzus weren’t sure what to think and barked as if she were an intruder, every time she came through the door or down the stairs, much like they did with John when they got here. Now, however, they have three people that they trust. She is another dog walker and she provides them with food, so she must be okay. They will even allow her to pet them on occasion.

Flower in bathtubI decided to continue trying to bathe the shih tzus in the tub, particularly since Nigel gets so scared in the sink. I have only experimented on Flower lately, however. I was amazed at how calmly she sat there, for a good ten minutes, until she decided she’d had enough. It was a far cry from the day in grooming school where she looked possessed by a demon.

Red Excalibur DehydratorI broke down and finally bought an Excalibur dehydrator. Since I was splurging, I splurged more and bought a red one! I made the first treats in it yesterday. I decided to try chicken-wrapped apples because they always end up squishy in my last dehydrator  I was very happy with them! They looked store bought to me.

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Shih Tzu Face, Feet and Fanny Trim

I took a dog grooming class some time ago from Lia at the Gentle Groomer because taking four shih tzus in for grooming is a little expensive! John is the one who usually does the grooming, though, because he is much better. We can never quite seem to get ahead, especially when it comes to pulling hair out of the ears and getting the hair out from between their paws.

Clear Creek Animal Hospital receptionist

I thought about making an appointment with Lia, but since the shih tzus are a little bit used to going to the Clear Creek Animal Hospital, and since Flower was kicked out of grooming school because of her behavior, I thought I would call and talk to them about partial grooming.

Dr. Lindsey answered the phone and said they do offer that service. I also told her that we had run into Delores from BFF Rescue at the park and that she had mentioned that a few of Candy’s nipples were a little discolored and oddly shaped and I might want to get them checked. Dr. Lindsey said she would take a look when we were there.

I felt very guilty this morning when I loaded the shih tzus into the car. Dottie, Flower and Nigel were so excited (Candy is always more reserved) and I knew they thought they were going to have fun at the park. When I got them out of the car at Clear Creek, they balked at going in, but I finally got them inside (Flower did briefly escape back out out the door but couldn’t get too far since she was on a leash).

Flower, Dottie, Candy and Nigel waiting in cage

The first thing I noticed when I walked in was a big black dog behind the desk, with his paws on it. I immediately took a picture with my phone of the “receptionist.” I talked to the actual receptionist about what I needed done and she said that the service that I probably wanted was called “face, feet and fanny.”

Of course, the female shih tzus all panicked when they had to get in the cage and wait for the groomer, Melissa Kowing. I felt like a bad mother leaving them in that mode, and I wanted to ask if I could stay, but I knew that they would never get used to any type of grooming from someone else if I was around. I ran some errands and then came back to pick them up.

Melissa had no problem with the other shih tzus, but Flower refused to play nice. She got her way, because she didn’t get groomed. I guess I am lucky that she lets John and me groom her, although she doesn’t let us pull the hair out of her ears. We are going to have to figure that out.

The shih tzus leaving Clear Creek Animal Hospital

Dr. Lindsey told me she had looked at Candy and that she didn’t see a problem, although she had signs of allergies on her tummy. She had told me she suspected allergies before at her exam, because Candy has “elephant” ears — thick, wrinkled skin on the underside of her ear. I hadn’t noticed it, but she said Nigel has it too.

I talked to her for awhile about allergies. She said the only way to really find out is to be very strict about what I give them and see if the symptoms go away, and that it could be chicken, grains, beef, or something in the house. Since I feed them mostly grain-free food, my guess would be chicken, since they eat so much of it, or beef from the rawhide. She did note that they have great teeth, though, and that must be from the rawhide, since that’s their only toothbrush.

The sad news is that now that I know I can take them in for partial grooming, Melissa won’t be grooming there any longer. She does grooming in her home, though. My biggest problem next time will be deciding which groomer to go to, since Clear Creek recommends both Melissa and Lia.

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Shih Tzu Day 356: Vet & Escape

June 19, 2012

Vet Visit 

Flower and Nigel on the way to the vet.

Flower and Nigel on the way to the vet.

Nigel hasn’t been feeling good, so I decided to make a vet appointment for him and take Flower in for her annual checkup at Clear Creek Animal Hospital. I put her and Nigel on a couple, and she did well in the car on the way to the appointment. She also did well in the lobby and in the exam room, although she did pee on the floor. I was very proud that she let Dr. Lindsey examine her. It was quite different than her exam last year!

Flower with Dr. Lindsey.

Flower’s checkup with Dr. Lindsey.



I shared with Dr. Lindsey how she had been kicked out of grooming class but how she has improved so much since then. She was also good with the other dogs in the lobby on our way out. I stopped at McDonald’s for a Coke and then decided to take her and Nigel into Petco to try on harnesses. And there the perfect morning ended!

The Great Shih Tzu Escape

As we were coming up to the door to enter Petco, it opened and the noise scared her. She bolted, pulled out of the harness she was wearing, and ran out into the parking lot. I was frantically trying to figure out how I was going to hold Nigel and chase her when a woman near the door asked if I wanted her to hold Nigel’s leash. I quickly handed it to her and took off running after Flower.

Flower's new harness, which hopefully is escape-proof.

My hope is that Flower won’t be able to pull out of her new harness and escape!

I chased Flower for five minutes, calling her name, trying to keep my voice calm. She was getting dangerously close to the road, and I was panicking, thinking, “All that hard work and she gets hit by a car!” She finally slowed down and stopped on a grass area near feet from the road. I sat down, opened my purse and pulled out the heartworm treat from the vet, and then coaxed her to me. When she came close enough, I grabbed her. When I finally got back to the door, I thanked the woman profusely for watching Nigel and took them both inside. I found someone to help me fit Flower for a harness that I hope will be escape free!

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Shih Tzu Week 40: March 29 (Day 274) – April 4 (Day 280)

Shih Tzu Day 274: March 29 (Thursday)

 Tug-of-war with Nigel

Nigel and Flower rest between bitey-face sessions. I decided to perform a test today. I put one of the fuzzy holiday blankets on the floor. The dogs can lie down on it, unless someone uses it as a training pad. While I was putting it down, Nigel grabbed it with his teeth and stared pulling on it, thinking it was a tug-of-war game.

 Attention, please!

Dottie and Flower have been very demanding today, wanting attention. They love petting time. I think it’s so sweet when I put my hand against Dottie’s face, and she presses against it, not wanting me to move it.  When I pet Flower, if I move my hand, she bats her paw at me, until I pet her again.

I guess I am lucky Nigel and Candy don’t demand petting. It’s difficult petting two dogs at once, and petting four at once would be impossible. Candy does wander up to get attention now and then, but that’s easy to do. And I am glad John picks her up and gives her attention when he is here. She doesn’t stay long, but I can tell she enjoys it. I am so happy to see how far they have come in this area.

Shih Tzu Day 275: March 30 (Friday)

 At my feet

The vampire shih tzus are at it again.After John left, Candy came over and sat at my feet, near Nigel. That was unusual, so I investigated. I forgot to put a training pad down for her, which is one of her favorite resting places. I am glad that she only chooses to sit on clean pads!

 Vampire shih tzus

Nigel was in a very playful mood today. Flower was sitting next to him and he started biting her neck. She seems to like it.

Shih Tzu Day 276: March 31 (Saturday)

 Tidy puddles

I don’t know why I have been forgetting to put down training pads. I did it again last night. Someone needed to pee before I got up, but they made a neat little puddle on the mat I sit the pad on. That’s quite an improvement from even a few months ago.

Since I no longer put the cushions up on Flower’s former couch, she has jumped up on it a few times over the last couple of days. Thank goodness, she seems to have lost interest in peeing on the couches!

Shih Tzu Day 277: April 1 (Sunday)

 Dottie can fly

Candy is still waiting for her hair cut! I didn’t feel like getting up early this morning. I got up, fed the dogs, gave them their morning chew sticks, and then went back to bed for two more hours! It felt so good. The shih tzus didn’t try to come and get me.

After I came back down and sat on the couch, Dottie came up to it. I was just getting ready to help her up, when she “flew” up onto it on her own. It was amazing; one second she was on the ground, and the next, she was beside me. It was like watching a cat jump up. She didn’t even get a running start like Flower does. Has she been faking all this time that she can’t get up on her own?

Baby Nigel

We decided it was time for Nigel’s grooming session. He got a close hair cut, like his sisters. Three down! He looks like such a little baby now. He acts like one too. When John was trimming his fur, he kept walking over to me and putting his paws on my shoulders for comfort.

 Shih Tzu Day 278: April 2 (Monday)

 Feisty Flower

Flower sat with me for a while this morning, but left when Nigel came up. She was in a feisty mood. She snuck my rubber finger I had been using to go through papers off of my laptop stand and wouldn’t give it back. I had to pry it from her mouth. Later, her and Nigel had one of their bitey-face sessions. It sure looks like that should hurt!

Shih Tzu Day 279: April 3 (Tuesday)

Me or peanut butter?

I’m not sure what Flower was doing earlier. She was on the couch and was stretching with her paws up on the top, and leaned over and licked my nose. I think she wanted to know why I smelled like peanut butter and why she didn’t get any. Then, she started growling — again, either for peanut butter, or for attention. I had already put the peanut butter away, or else I would have given her a little. Instead, I gave her a little attention. She seemed satisfied with that.

Nigel and Flower had another long bitey-face session this morning. Afterwards, Flower hauled out the Christmas rawhide bone, started fighting with it, and then trotted off to Shih Tzu Central with it. Nigel succeeded in crawling into my lap. I let him sit there for a while, before I moved him to my side so I could use the laptop.


I gave the dogs some of the jicama I was eating. They all took it except Candy. Nigel and Flower seemed to inhale theirs, but Dottie chewed on hers daintily for a while.

Shih Tzu Day 280: April 4 (Wednesday)

Lonely shih tzus

The shih tzus didn’t get much attention today. I was gone most of the day and then did a lot of organizing when I got home. Dottie was so lonely for attention that even she ran up to greet John at the door when he got home!

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Royal Canin Doggy Day Spa Pack Giveaway

Win an $80 Royal Canin Doggy Day Spa Pack!

our first giveaway

We are beginning our first giveaway today, courtesy of Royal Canin. Our giveaway contest, worth $80, will run through April 21. The lucky winner gets: a  2.5 pound bag of Royal Canin X-SMALL dog food, Earth Bath natural grooming wipes, Zwipes Microfiber Small Pet Towels (pack of 5), Tropiclean oral care kit, Fresh ‘n Clean oatmeal and baking soda shampoo, Li’l Pals grooming brush and nail trimmer, and grooming lead.

How to enter

Enter the contest with the rafflecopter widget. You can either log in through your Facebook account or enter your email address to enter. Then, click on the down arrow to the right of “+1 DO IT.” It should ask you to tell us why your dog deserves to be pampered (this  isn’t mandatory, but we would love to know).  To leave a comment, scroll to the bottom of the blog, under my picture, and enter your comment where it says “Add New Comment.”

We’d appreciate it if you would Like the Shih Tzu Sisters Facebook page, but that isn’t mandatory either. That’s it!

Also, this is very important. We know the food that comes with this gift is for x-small dogs, but if you have any type of small dog, even if he or she is more than eight pounds (like shih tzus), please enter anyway! We loved everything in the package, and we know you will too! We’ll announce the winner on April 22. Royal Canin will deliver it to you free of charge!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

royal canin x-small nutrition line

Royal Canin has more than 40 years of experience in the animal health and nutrition industry. It collaborates with nutritionists, breeders, and veterinarians from around the world to come up with formulas. Their dog formulas include MINI (9 – 22 lbs), MEDIUM (23 – 55 lbs),  MACXI (56 – 99 lbs), and GIANT (100 and up).

They recently set out to come up with the perfect formula for dogs 8 lbs. and under, resulting in the X-SMALL nutrition line. Not all x-small dogs have the same needs, so the X-SMALL line includes PUPPY, ADULT, MATURE (+8), and AGING (+12).

Dr. Brent Mayabb, veterinarian and manager of education and development at Royal Canin, explains that the new formulas take into account the x-small dogs’ unique physiology, specific energy needs, and extra-small jaw size, to provide them with “optimal nutrition.” The formulas also “contain premium nutrition to support heart health, highly digestible proteins and fibers to help regulate digestion and prevent constipation, and are enriched with EPA and DHA to help maintain a beautiful skin and coat.” The kibble is also designed to promote dental health, by reducing tartar build-up as the dog chews.

To celebrate the launch of its X-SMALL line, Royal Canin kicked off The Royal Canin Treatment sweepstakes in late February. One lucky pet parent will get free dog food and grooming for life, along with an accessory shopping spree to pamper their x-small dog. The sweepstakes runs through June 1, 2012. Owners can enter for a chance to win at the Royal Canin website.

In addition to the grand prize, owners also can participate in The Royal Canin Treatment Instant Win Game for a chance to win one of more than 500 prizes for their tiny companion. Instant Win prizes range from gift cards and toys, to travel gear, grooming items and more.

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