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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