Shih Tzu Day 106: Nigel’s Night in His Dog Bed

People Bed vs. dog bed

black and white shih tzu in black and white dog bed.Nigel has slept with us every night since he got here. Most likely, he slept with his last humans and he is just used to it. Last night, however, I think he slept in his dog bed. Usually, he hears us getting ready to go upstairs and jumps up from wherever he is and follows us. However, he was lying in his dog bed when we went upstairs and didn’t budge.

shih tzu asleep in dog bedHe must have slept in his dog bed all evening. When I went in the bathroom at 5:30, I heard a sound outside the door and opened it to find him there.

I should put a dog bed in the hall, since Dottie sits outside the door for a while waiting for me to wake up each morning. I don’t know if she’d use it though. I have some blankets folded up there that Candy used to use when she escaped upstairs all the time. I have a feeling Dottie just stands guard in front of the door until I open it, so lying down in a dog bed while she waits probably wouldn’t suit her.

shih tzu in blue and white dog bed.Our Yorkshire terrier, Joey, never would sleep in a dog bed. She slept with us, and when we were home, if John was sitting down, she sat on his lap. She also liked to lie on the carpet. Our girls don’t get that privilege, since they still pee on any carpet they come in contact with. They get plenty of use out of their dog bed kingdom in the corner.

Shih Tzu Central is empty a lot more now than it used to be, though. Dottie sleeps in her dog bed every night, but I think Candy and Flower go between their dog beds and the couch. During the day, Candy spends a lot of time going between the various dog beds, but she also still likes to go in her corner in the dining room.

Flower spend a lot of time in their various dog beds, but she is getting more and more comfortable with sitting on my couch. Today, several times when Dottie jumped down, she jumped up next to me. Dottie only visits her dog bed occasionally during the day. She probably spends a lot of time in it when I am gone, but when I am here, she mainly sits with me.

The girls’ day

I didn’t hear any barking until 7 a.m. The shih tzus must have had some party last night.

a shih tzu rests on couch arm. The munchkins have started to play Nigel’s game. Today one of them stole a treat out of his bed and he was agitated. When Flower steals something, she jumps up on her couch with it, since no one else can jump that high.  Today she stole Nigel’s green dog, and he snorted his disapproval. It will wind up back on the floor tomorrow, and everyone will have lost interest in it.

Nigel would be able to reach Flower’s couch if I put dog steps there, like I have at our couch, but I think it’s best if he can’t get up there. That is Flower’s personal kingdom, including her refuge when she doesn’t want to play with him. But since she smuggles treats that don’t belong to her up there, when she has gathered enough, I redistribute them.

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Shih Tzu Day 104: Dog Bone Wars and Dog Bed Relocation

Dog bone Redistribution

three shih tzusa shih tzu dancingOnce the girls started barking this morning, Nigel started stirring. He sleeps so soundly that throughout the night, you would never know he was there, except for the lump that is his body. It was different with Joey, because she had a tendency to snore. Occasionally, though, he will sigh. I’m not sure why, but it is very cute.  When John got up to go to the restroom, Nigel wandered up to lay on my pillow. Well, he actually lay down on my head, which was on the pillow.

three shih tzus at bottom of stairsthree shih tzus at bottom of stairs.I kept the dogs occupied for a long time this morning with various dog bone and chew things. Of course, although Nigel had more than enough, he went to Shih Tzu Central to steal the dog bone I left on the dog bed for Candy. Flower also had two red and white rawhide minis, but she had to take Candy’s too, so I had to do bone redistribution again.

three shih tzusDottie isn’t much of a thief. She usually just takes what Mom gives her and chews away contentedly. Even after the redistribution, Flower went and took the dog bone Candy was chewing on and Nigel boldly pranced into Shih Tzu Central and came out with a mini rawhide to add to the collection in his dog bed. I had to shush everyone when the barking over dog bone property got a little fierce. Later, though, Nigel left a half chewed dog bone on the couch and Flower stole it. He watched her walk away with it without charging at her. That’s a good sign.

Bologna thief

The back end of a shih tzuI had a bologna sandwich today, so I gave each of the dogs a very small piece. When I got to Candy, however, who was in her dog bed, Flower ran up and nipped it out of my fingers before I could do that. When she sprinted away, I blocked the entrance of Shih Tzu Central with my legs so she couldn’t do that again and Candy could get her piece. I also shared some of my apple with Nigel. He is the only dog still interested in apples.

Dog bed relocation

two shih tzus greeting dad.shih tzu in a lap.I saw a very cute video a few months ago of a small dog dragging its dog bed all over a room. Nigel was doing that today. I don’t know what he was trying to achieve, but it was fun to watch him. Another thing I haven’t been able to figure out is why Flower likes to lay behind her bed, against the wall, instead of on one of the dog beds. Candy does that sometimes too. I thought maybe it was because the floor was cool, but it hasn’t been that hot lately.

Flower did abandon her wall to sit between Dottie and me on the couch for quite a while this evening. Once John got home, Nigel was content to sit in his lap for most of the night.


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Shih Tzu Day 90: Kitty Invades Shih Tzu Central

Muddy Buddies

shih tzu with muddy feetshih tzu with towel on her headWe woke up this morning to the sound of Spot Collins meowing in the bathroom. Shortly after that, the dogs started barking. I headed out the bedroom door to greet the dogs, and John picked up Spot Collins to take him downstairs.

shih tzu with towel on her head

When the girls came back from romping in the grass after breakfast, I realized it was bath time for the dogs. Grass and mud covered all of their paws.

Dottie and Candy are better at baths than they are with blow dryers or clippers. They both shook, but we bathed them without them getting too traumatized. Flower was very good.

I took the dogs upstairs separately, beween baths, to blow dry them. As unexpected, they all tried to run, but they couldn’t go far, since the doors were shut.

Wherever they went they were close enough where I could point the blow dryers at their bodies at least. I left their faces alone.

Spot Collins Visits Shih Tzu Central

shih tzu with towel on headWhen all of the dogs were finishing drying at Shih Tzu Central, Spot Collins wandered over, drank a little of their water and then jumped onto the dog bed occupied by Dottie and Flower. Dottie stared at him a few minutes and then decided to get in another dog bed. Flower just kept staring at him like he was from another planet.

two shih tzus and a kittenSpot Collins is better. He drank lots of water and ate his kibble. When John took a shower, he set SC’s carrier nearby, so he could get his prescribed sauna. He is still sneezing quite a bit.

shih tzu with kittenWhen John left, SC kept crawling up on my lap. I let him stay there for a while. Flower stayed away from the couch. Dottie wanted up, but instead of sitting on the couch, as usual, she sat up on the arm.

shih tzu and kittenFlower started getting more aggressive towards Spot Collins after John left. She was growling at her, so I ended up putting the kitten back in her carrier for awhile. When I let him back out, Flower was too busy chewing on her bully stick to notice.

Flower jumped up on the couch for her massage-scratch-petting session. As soon as I started petting her, Dottie showed interest, too. Their fur was so soft after their bath this morning. Flower just sat next to me, so I could scratch her chest and haunches. Dottie, however, rolled over on her back for a tummy rub.

Candy never comes up for petting action. However, when we were watching Dancing With The Stars, I sat her between John and me. She actually relaxed and lay down, one paw on my leg, and stayed there for probably twenty minutes while John petted her.

Google Alert

I have Google Alerts set up on words involving my work, as well as words that will pull up articles to tweet about, such as puppy mills and shih tzus. I also have an alert for the Denver Dumb Friends League, because I like to tweet info about animal shelters and rescues. Today, my Google Alert gave me three articles on the Dumb Friends League; one was my post on Day 77, telling about Mom’s adoption of Panda and Spot Collins. It was a pleasant surprise, because I never expected to get an alert on my own articles.

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Shih Tzu Day 81: People Visitors Again!

Kibble Scavenger Hunt

Last night before we went to bed, we rolled up the living room rug to prevent anyone peeing on it during the night. When I came downstairs this morning, there were three spots all in a row on the two training pads I placed together. Someone who has never had three dogs with training issues won’t understand how happy that made me.

shih tzu in child's lapEver since the shih tzu sisters have come to live with us, I have had to keep Flower from gobbling down her food and then scurrying to Candy or Dottie’s bowl to help them eat there. I recently started giving them a little less kibble in their bowls, and I take what I keep out and give it to them later. When Flower is done, I give her one or two pieces at a time, to make her eat slower. When they are all done, I sprinkle kibble bits near them, like food scavenger hunt. It keeps them busy. I just have to make sure they all find equal amounts.

Human Birthday Party

child trying to give shih tzus treatsWe had a birthday party for our granddaughter, Rema, this afternoon, so Dottie, Candy and Flower had to put up with nine visitors: Rema and her four sisters; Leticia, their mom; and Gabe, his girlfriend Crystal and her daughter, Avi.

I sent the dogs outside when everyone first showed up, and we put their plastic gate back in their corner so they could feel secure behind it. When I let the dogs back in, Flower and Candy went straight to Shih Tzu Central, but Dottie seemed confused. Rema, Junior and one of the other children were sitting on the couch where Dottie and I always sit. Dottie was nervous, and jumped up, trying to sit on Rema’s lap. Rema thought she did it because Rema held her on the way back from the grooming class last month, but I think it was probably that Rema was sitting where I usually sit, and Dottie just got confused. I think that because her movements were kind of like the time that John did something that scared the dogs and they all jumped up on the couch.

shih tzu watches child give treat to other shih tzuAfter everyone had been at the house for a few hours, I ushered the dogs back outside and gave Rema treats to feed them. Flower and Dottie took one, but Candy kept her distance. Later on, I told Oriana to go inside their gate with treats. She was very timid and they wouldn’t respond to her, so I asked Evita to try. Flower and Dottie took a small treat from her, but Candy wouldn’t.

Compared to how the dogs reacted the first time the children and grandchildren came over, I think shih tzus have come quite a way. I don’t recall any of the dogs growling at any of our visitors, so that’s a big improvement.

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Shih Tzu Day 63: Just Another Shih Tzu Day

Early A.M. with the Shih Tzus

We have no control over our furry, shih tzu alarm clocks. Flower came up at 4, accompanied by Dottie. Sure would love to ask Flower a lot of questions, including why she thinks we would want to get up that early in the morning. Waking us up early had the opposite effect of what she wanted, though. I slept intermittently between her barking spells, and didn’t get up until after 6:30.

Although I mention food a lot, I always forget to mention “how” these dogs eat. At mealtime, Flower gobbles her food down as quickly as possible, jumping back at any noise, no matter how slight. When she is almost done, she rushes over to Candy’s dog bowl.

I have started trimming off a little each quarter cup of kibble, and holding it back in reserve. When Flower makes a move for Candy’s bowl, I call her name and lure her to me by hand feeding her pieces of the dry dog food, one at a time, to let Candy finish her meal without interruption. Dottie is nearly as slow as Candy, because she is missing some of her front teeth. When she eats, a lot of the pieces fall out, and she has to search for it on the porch. Once Dottie and Candy do finish eating, I feed them the kibble bits I have left over, so they don’t feel left out.

Candy and the Grooming Table

Shih tzu being groomedAfter the girls ate, I went upstairs for something and found dog poop and a urine spot on our bedroom carpet. I had heard Candy jumping around up there earlier, and should have known she was doing her “after pooping” dance she does after eating. They were outside for at least twenty minutes after they ate, so I don’t know why she did that. I cleaned it up and announced to John that she was the shih tzu going on the grooming table today.

Shih tzu face.Although she was trying to nip at the dog clippers at first, she relaxed enough for John to clip quite a bit of her body and to even clip a little of her head. Since our goal is to just get her used to the grooming table, we stopped when we thought we were ahead. I tried to give her a Vienna sausage as a reward while she was on the table, like I had learned in dog grooming school, but she wouldn’t take it. She also wouldn’t take it from John when we sat her down on the floor, but she came back and took it from me.

Candy stayed in the living room for longer than I thought she would, after facing the grooming table, but she did run upstairs to regroup. She had to sit in the hall, though, because after she used our bedroom as a potty box, I closed both doors.

More Housebreaking Contraptions

While we’re on the subject of dogs who aren’t house broken, my latest training contraction hasn’t worked out either. This one was a simple tray that you put a training pad on. Then, you snap a “frame” over it that is intended to hold the training pad in place. No one used the training pad while it was on the tray. However, one of the shih tzus was interested. I caught my plastic lover, Flower, trying to gnaw on the edge.

I still have a few options. I can try a dog training spray that is supposed to tempt them to do their business where you spray it, or the spray that is supposed to prevent them from doing their business where you don’t want them to. I also need to investigate dog litter, which I saw at PetSmart. (If anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them!)

Afternoon with the Shih Tzus

When I came back from grocery shopping, one of the shih tzus had pooped on the training pad. That almost makes me feel that we are getting somewhere in the battle to housebreak our doggies!

The girls didn’t come alive this afternoon, like they sometimes do. Candy stayed upstairs for awhile. Dottie sat beside me, but Flower spent most of the afternoon in the Safe Zone. It’s possible it’s because the hardwood floor keeps the dogs cool.

So Happy to See You!

Shih tzu jumping for treatWhen John came home, Candy didn’t just wag her tail; she nearly wiggled her butt off. Flower barked like he was an intruder. Candy let him hold her after treat time. I am happy about that. I keep reminding them that they should be nice, since he supplies a good deal of their dog food and treats. Flower continued to stay distant, going back to her corner immediately after getting her night-time treat.

I stopped by to visit the girls on the way upstairs. They were all so adorable, lying in their dog beds, I had to scrunch their faces between my hands and sing a chorus of the Stevie Wonder song, “Isn’t she lovely, isn’t she wonderful,” to each little darling dog.

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