We’ll be back later to tell you all about wonderful life and our plans for the New Year, but for now, Merry Christmas, Everyone!
When I started to put together my post about this Thanksgiving, I went back to see how our first Thanksgiving with Candy, Dottie, Flower and Nigel was. I was amazed. We have definitely seen a lot of progress with our puppy mill shih tzus, although Nigel was as friendly to everyone as usual.
I had to leave to pick up Mom at about 9:45. Before I did, I put a green sweater on Nigel, a pink and white dress on Candy, an animal print sweater on Flower, and Dottie’s birthday dress on her. When I started getting my boots on, Flower, Dottie and Nigel thought we were going for a walk, so they rushed me. (That wouldn’t have happened last year, since I couldn’t get them to go on walks.) I didn’t put their harnesses on them. I just opened the door and they all scrambled out behind me. I’m sure they were a little disappointed to find out they were only picking up Grandma and coming right back.
Leticia and the kids arrived about 30 minutes later. The female shih tzus went to their corner. Once the dinner was ready, I fixed them plates of turkey, sweet potatoes and a little bit of mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce, and then I set all four bowls outside. None of them hesitated from rushing outside and digging in. The girls went back to their corner but then couldn’t resist the smells and one by one, wandered up to the table, looking for scraps.
When it was time to take Mom back home, I asked Cea and Evita if they wanted to come along for the ride. It didn’t prevent Nigel, Flower and Dottie from once again trotting out to the car and getting in. Nigel sat on my mom’s lap until we dropped her off. I put one of the seats down, so Cea and Evita sat together and Flower and Dottie went between the other seat and the back of the car. Once I dropped off Mom, the girls came up front and Nigel sat with them. Flower got comfortable enough to sit on the console, sometimes facing frontward, and sometimes turning around.
They were a little put off when Gabe, Crystal, Avi and Samuel showed up. Samuel is nearly one year old, and he wanted to play in the dog area. They didn’t seem to mind it very much, and they eventually did come out and start wandering around.
On Saturday night, Aunt Betty and a friend came over. The females once again retired to their corner, but about two hours later, they came out, with Candy even doing her “I want something but can’t tell you what” dance. John reached down to pick up Flower, and she let him! He held her on his lap at the table for about 15 minutes. They have come such a long way with him that I think he is now Dad and not the Man.
Be sure to check out last year’s Thanksgiving blog to see what a dramatic difference one year makes!
We had a very special day playing at the park on Sunday! Mom and the Man often let Dottie and Candy walk themselves, because they are so good about not running off. Nigel and I get jealous. By the way, dogs aren’t really supposed to walk themselves because the signs say they can’t be off leash, but Mom says they aren’t really “off leash.” They are on a leash, but it’s just dragging on the ground sometime!
Well, this time, there were no other dogs and very few people, so first the Man dropped Nigel’s leash. Wouldn’t you know it!! He spotted a man and woman walking far away and decided to run to greet them. Mom had to chase after him.
Later, though, the Man was running with me and Candy and Dottie were chasing after me, and the Man dropped my leash! Wow! I got to run fast without anyone holding my leash! The Man was in front of us and Mom was in back, so in case we tried to pull any funny business.
Here we are running!
Shih Tzu Day 288: April 12 (Thursday)
Release the Kraken!
Flower has been spending more time on “her” couch again, instead of with us. So far so good; as long as she doesn’t pee on it, she can have her space. I assume she has been spending more time there because Dottie growls and tries to hiss her away when she comes to our couch. When she does that, John says, “Release the Kraken!” Nobody seems very afraid of her, so I don’t think her acting ferocious is working.
Come out and play
Around 4 o’clock, Candy decided it was time for something other than napping and started prancing around the living room. I think she’s a little disappointed these days with her playmate choices. Nigel used to go play with her instantly, but lately he’s been as lazy as Dottie, and lies on the couch next to Mom a lot of the time. Flower finally joined her for a tap dance across the floor. And Nigel eventually got up and romped around with both of them. When they took it outside, he grabbed Candy’s tail in his mouth and wouldn’t let go, so she couldn’t get very far. He finally turned his attention to Flower to play the bitey face game.
Shih Tzu Day 289: April 13 (Friday)
Happy Birthday, Flower!
Today is Flower’s birthday! She is now 3 years old. I made up a batch of chicken jerky for her treat. One of my friends suggested Frosty Paws and I couldn’t find any at the closest Wal-Mart, so I found a homemade Frosty Paws recipe:
Microwave just a few seconds before serving.
The dogs loved the treats, once they found a way to get their tongues in the cups. When I make it again, I think I’ll use shorter containers. One of the fun parts of making dog treats is you can try them without feeling you are eating dog food! I actually thought the Frosty Paws treat was good! I had a few bites myself.
I dressed the girls up, with Flower in a new dress that says Girly Girls. And I bought them Happy Birthday crows from the Dollar Tree. I gave her a stuffed animal and rubber chicken from the Dollar Tree, too, but she ignored them. She was far more fascinated with the cardboard insert I took out of the wine box. She carried it to Shih Tzu Central and spent probably 20 minutes seeing how much of it she could tear apart.
Dottie didn’t care if it was Flower’s special day. She was sitting beside me, with Mom to herself, when her shih tzu half-sister came up to the couch this morning, Dottie didn’t want to give up her Mom time and did her growly fixation thing. I think she particularly doesn’t like it because Flower wants to be petted when she jumps up.
Someone pooped on the floor near the training pad and on the mat I have under the pad. It was the runny kind, and I hope it’s not from my homemade treats. They shouldn’t have anything in them that would cause that.
Shih Tzu Day 290 — 292: April 14 — 16 (Saturday — Monday)
I didn’t realize it, but I neglected to record any information in my journal for three days! I guess that means nothing exciting happened.
Shih Tzu Day 293: April 17 (Tuesday)
I passed out celery today. Candy doesn’t normally take it, but she did this time and chewed on it for a while. Dottie is the only one that wouldn’t take any.
Not so close
Dottie was scratching the sofa arm this afternoon, so to stop her, I reached over and picked her up and sat her on my chest facing me. She wasn’t sure what to do, but she stayed there for several minutes staring at me. She finally moved off, but stayed next to me instead of retreating to her corner.
Shih Tzu Day 294: April 18 (Wednesday)
I was gone most of the day, so I didn’t have very much shih tzu time. Someone seems to be having tummy problems, because I found more poop on the floor.
Back it up
Dottie was peacefully sitting in her corner this afternoon when Flower jumped up, right next to her. Instead of sitting down, she started backing her butt up into Dottie. I’m not sure what the purpose was, but Dottie started making her Kraken sound. Flower seemed oblivious to it. I guess she knows Dottie’s growl is worse than her bite.
Things never seem status quo when you have four shih tzus running around. I have been saying how Nigel has been so good lately, and today I keep getting frustrated. I bought them real bones from the local grocery store, and when I passed them around, he tried to round them all up for him. This afternoon, he keeps going over to Shih Tzu Central, for what I am not sure. Now he looks like he is trying to corral Flower back to her corner, but she escaped and jumped up on the couch, breathing heavily.
I think that the winter is making them bored. I leave the door open whenever I can, in hopes that they will go outside and play, but they rarely do, even though it hasn’t been very cold. They mainly seem to wait around to see when the next treat will be delivered.
Nigel was licking his paw earlier, and I noticed it was bleeding. John was having trouble with the nail clippers, so I might have to invest in a new pair. I’m glad Lea at Gentle Grooming had put styptic powder on the “must have” list for grooming.