Shih Tzu Day 246: March 1 (Thursday)
I have been busy cleaning house. I’m not sure where I got the energy. I cleaned the living room, kitchen, and bathroom today. The female shih tzus don’t like it when I clean, for a few reasons. One, if I am cleaning, I am not sitting in my place on the couch, with my laptop before me. They really don’t seem to like change. Plus, when I am moving around and not sitting, they seem nervous. Sometimes Flower follows me around, but usually, they stay inside Shih Tzu Central and watch me. Then, when I do sit down, Nigel, Dottie, and Flower are immediately there. Nigel climbs up his stairs, Flower jumps up, and Dottie waits for me to help her up.
Shih Tzu Day 247: March 2 (Friday)
In the past, I wanted to praise some of the dog food and dog treat companies who produce our shih tzus’ favorite products. However, I have to back up and say it appears I have been wrong in praising some of the companies. One of my wonderful readers wrote and mentioned that she thought some of the treats I feed the dogs are on the list of treats from China to be wary of, since, according to the Food and Drug Administration, they are treats that may have caused kidney failure, liver disease or Fanconi syndrome, in dogs in the U.S. and Canada. Ironic for us, since the shih tzu originated in China!
From what I have read, including at Vitals.MSNBC.com, it is mainly chicken jerky pet treats — my dogs’ favorite treat — that appear to be causing illnesses in canines. Sorry to say, out of more than 600 complaints by pet owners and veterinarians, several point to brands I have fed my shih tzus for months: Milo’s Kitchen (produced by Del Monte), Canyon Creek Ranch and Waggin’ Train (both produced by Nestle Purina PetCare). That is a huge disappointment, and I am embarrassed that I didn’t look into this earlier after a mention from another reader about some Costco products that come from China. Thank God, though, my shih tzus don’t seem to have fallen victim to what other dogs have. I guess now I know why so many coupons are readily available for Milo’s Kitchen and Waggin’ Train!
FDA regulators do say that repeated tests have not shown an absolute tie to any brand or manufacturer. As a result, the FDA hasn’t recalled any specific products, so they remain on store shelves. FDA regulators have asked consumers to report problems, and supply jerky treat samples and medical records of dogs that may have become sick or died after eating these products.
So, what does someone do when their dogs just love those treats? I guess you look for products made in the U.S. Believe me, I have checked shelves at local big box stores, grocery stores, and pet supply stores, and that is almost impossible. So, I am on a search for treats I know are safe. If you have any suggestions, please let us know, and we’ll start reporting what we find.
Shih Tzu Day 248: March 3 (Saturday)
My stepson Gabe, his girlfriend Crystal and her daughter Avi stopped by. Nigel ran to greet them, and, as usual, the females went to Shih Tzu Central and waited for company to leave.
I started my search for U.S. chicken jerky treats. Well, it was not named by the FDA as a concern, but the Dogswell Breathies Chicken Breast with Mint & Parsley I just bought is made in China, as are the Cadet duck treats, but I haven’t seen anything about duck being an issue? Also, the dogs love the Canyon Creek Ranch Yam Good product, which is duck fillet wrapped yams, so I need to figure out if that is OK? Help, if anyone knows.
Shih Tzu Day 249: March 4 (Sunday)
Shih Tzu Bath Time
My organization continues. I organized the kitchen drawers and refrigerator. Then, we tackled the challenge of giving half of the shih tzus baths. We chose Nigel and Flower. Flower had a little too much hair in her ears, so she had a hard time, but she was very brave. As usual, our little boy didn’t want his bath, so we had to fight him every step of the way.
Shih Tzu Day 250: March 5 (Mon.)
Dottie got her bath this morning. John and I started working out downstairs this morning to prepare for spring biking. Flower ran down like she normally does when I am down there, and then stopped and ran back upstairs when she saw that the Man was down there too. However, she couldn’t resist, and she was back five minutes later, sniffing around.
I spent a few hours trying to organize my pictures of the shih tzus. I have way too many files, since I was organizing them by day. Now, I have put them into weeks. I must have bored the dogs, because they all fell asleep.
Shih Tzu Day 251: March 6 (Tuesday)
Comfy Shih Tzus
John came downstairs this morning after getting ready for work, and Nigel and Flower calmly looked at him — from HIS place on the couch. Nigel went on chewing on his bone and Flower went on doing nothing. John finally sat down on the other couch after telling them they sure looked comfortable.
After John left, Candy came over wagging her head at me, and then the others gathered around. For some reason, the shih tzus think that John leaving the house means they get a treat. I usually accommodate them, but now I am trying to break them of the habit of coming up to me when he leaves, expectantly. Instead, I have been waiting until 11:30, and then I feed them small pieces of turkey.
So, instead of offering food, I petted Candy for a while this morning. A little later, Nigel mysteriously came up with a chew stick. He sat on the floor chewing away, while Candy sat next to him, just watching him. Flower, sitting on the non-Dottie side of the couch, leaned over and watched him too, as if his chewing was the most interesting thing in the world. I am not sure why his chewing was so fascinating to them.
When he was done, he climbed up his stairs and plopped down next to me, ready for his nap. He is such a baby boy. He couldn’t possibly get any closer to Mom. I remember when we first got him, and his behavior was sometimes very annoying. I admit, he does get a little too overbearing with the girls sometimes, but he is such a little lover and such a cutie.
Dry training pads
I have been forgetting to say that I have only been throwing out the training pad once every day or so. For no apparent reason, however, Flower did pee on John’s side of the couch the other day. I think she was nervous, since I had been up and down cleaning a lot.
I did see some improvement in that area. John swept out Shih Tzu Central while they sat it it, and although they huddled together, the shih tzus didn’t look too freaked out about the broom coming so close to them.
Shih Tzu Day 252: March 7 (Wednes.)
Shih Tzu Pee Rug
In recent months, we kept a “pee” rug under the training pad, because of mis-positioning of shih tzu butts, resulting in wet hardwood flooring. It was washable, so I threw it in the washing machine every week or so. However, the unpleasant smell of urine always wafted up from the basement, and when I threw it in the dryer, that smell mixed with that of the rubber backing. I finally had a bright idea.
We have an anti-fatigue mat that doubles as a kitchen mat and a mat for dog grooming, because it cleans easily with a wipe of a wet rag. I bought one to put under the training pad, and threw away the tainted pee rug. It seems to be working good. Plus, one edge is straight, so I fold an edge of the pad under it, near the wall, and it keeps it in place a little better.
We still have some misses, so I just take a paper towel and wipe up the mess and the floor around it. It’s been working great, and no more pee smell, once I toss the used training pad.
Celery for shih tzus
I accidentally discovered that Nigel and Flower like celery. I dropped a piece of celery on the couch, and when I turned around, Nigel had it between his paws and was chomping away. Dottie and Candy, my particular shih tzus, wouldn’t try it, but Flower did. John was concerned, because he thought celery might be dangerous for dogs. I researched it and according to many cites, including Barf World, found that, indeed, dogs can eat celery! Good, since I need to find them healthy treats to replace Chinese chicken jerky treats!
Tish and the kids were ove for awhile. Evita and Dulcea cornered Candy and petted her, but I asked them to stop, since she didn’t look like she was having much fun. Dottie took a treat from Junior, and of course, Nigel would eat anything from anyone.
The dogs still don’t like when people come over, but they now get back to normal ten minutes after the door closes. In fact, shortly after they left, Flower and Nigel were play fighting next to me, and when I looked over, Flower was sitting on him. Such a cute little family.
When Dad comes home, Candy wags her butt, instead of just her tail. When he picks her up, she smells his face. I think she is starting to love Daddy.