Shih Tzu Day 78: Love Fest For the Shih Tzus

stub­born shih tzus

John tried to get the shih tzus to go out­side when he got up this morn­ing, but they wouldn’t budge. I got up an hour later, at 6:30, and escorted the shih tzus, danc­ing out­side my door, downstairs.

I love our play­time in the morn­ing. The shih tzus jump up and down excit­edly out­side the door. I reach my hand down, and each of them vies to play with it. Candy clamps down with her teeth, until I pull it away, and then Dot­tie and Flower grab it, mouthing it gen­tly. Then, the cycle begins. Once we have played a few min­utes at the top of the stairs, I tell them it’s time to go down­stairs. The shih tzus run down as I walk, turn­ing every now and then to run up a few steps, and then turn­ing around again, to run down a few steps until we get to the bottom.

Once at the bot­tom, the hand game starts again. Here, though, the shih tzus try to grab my toes with their mouth, too. Lately, Flower grabs my hand, or foot, and then jumps up on the couch to gnaw on one of their Oinkies, and then jumps back down to join the fun.

It rained last night, so I could’t sit down on one of the chairs. I fed the shih tzus and came inside, leav­ing them out­side to play and do their business.

the pos­ses­sive shih tzu

shih tzu on dog bed.Dot­tie con­tin­ues to be a pos­ses­sive dog. Flower came and put her paws on the couch this after­noon, and Dot­tie, in their cor­ner, ran over and crowded in. Later, I vis­ited Shih Tzu Cen­tral with the idea of pick­ing up Flower, and Dot­tie ran over and stood in front of Flower. I pet­ted Dot­tie, picked up Flower, and put her on the couch on the non-Dottie side. Dot­tie came to the couch, and I helped her up. She tried to crawl over my lap, but I fig­ured she was going to try to shoo Flower away, so I kept her on her side.

shih tzu love fest

I got back about 7:00 p.m. from pick­ing up Spot Collins at the Den­ver Dumb Friends League and tak­ing him to Mom’s. John got home a lit­tle later. After we ate, I decided to try an exper­i­ment — a love fest.

shih tzu on a couchA lot of peo­ple try to keep their dogs off the couch, for one rea­son or another. We, how­ever, are con­stantly try­ing to get our shih tzus to be couch dogs. Of course, Dot­tie eagerly sits by me, and Flower vis­its from time to time. She vis­its less now than she did, but I do believe it’s because of Dot­tie. Over the last ten weeks, Candy has only jumped up on the couch when I was there once, when some­thing fright­ened her. She jumps up reg­u­larly after we go to bed, because I have caught her when I’ve come down­stairs at an unex­pected time. She just doesn’t jump up on the couch when the humans are up and about.

<u srcset=shih tzus on a couch." width="300" height="199" />I went and got Flower from Shih Tzu Cen­tral and sat her on the couch, but she wouldn’t stay for longer than a few min­utes. Then, I got Candy and put her on the couch between myself and John. She lay down and put her paw on my leg and seemed fine. After being there about a minute, she slowly raised her head, gazed into my eyes, and then slowly low­ered it again.

Candy seemed cozy next to John, so I went back and got Flower from their cor­ner, lay down on her couch and held her on my stom­ach. She relaxed a lit­tle while I pet­ted her head and her ears and rubbed her tummy. While I was on the couch with Miss Flower, Candy didn’t move away from John.

I tease John because I have slim fin­gers and small hands, and I always tell him his “fat hands” are bet­ter for mas­sages. I asked him to give Candy his fat hand mas­sage, and he com­plied, rub­bing her face and tummy and mas­sag­ing her back.

While we were with Candy and Flower, Dot­tie sat on her end of the couch, watch­ing what was going on. After I thought Flower had received enough love, I brought her back to Shih Tzu Cen­tral and went and spent time with Dot­tie. I’m not sure how much Candy and Flower enjoyed it, but I like to think they did and I plan to sched­ule reg­u­lar love fests.


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Shih Tzu Day 75: The Lion Dog Queen

Who Do You Think You Are? The Queen of Sheba?

I have started call­ing Dot­tie the “Queen of Sheba.” I do think she has sig­nalled to her half sis­ters, through growl­ing or just dirty looks, that the couch, and for that mat­ter, Mom, is hers.

two shih tzusI love that she always wants to be by me, espe­cially when I sit on the couch, but I would like the other girls to come up and join us. I don’t know why Flower comes up sev­eral times dur­ing the day, puts her paws up on the couch, stretches, stares at me and then goes back to the rug or Shih Tzu Cen­tral. But I do think Dot­tie has some­thing to do with it.

Dot­tie usu­ally leaves sev­eral inches between us, but today, she was very close to me, wig­gling and squirm­ing on her back, and even putting her head on my leg for a few min­utes. She prob­a­bly was just scratch­ing her­self on the blan­ket, but it was cute.

shih tzu on red blanket.Later, Candy spent a lot of time near my feet, play­ing with her Oinkies. Dot­tie remained by me. For some rea­son, instead of sleep­ing, like she some­times does, she just kept star­ing at me. I started singing “Charmer,” the Kings of Leon song to her: “She’s such a charmer … She’s always look­ing at me.” We actu­ally sing that to the girls quite often. Flower casu­ally hung over the edge of her couch, mak­ing sure she didn’t miss anything.

Stranger at the Door

Tonight when John got home, none of them — even Candy — acted like they knew him. It prob­a­bly was because he took the Jeep to work and came in through the garage door instead of the front door. I guess they really are crea­tures of habit.

Dot­tie wouldn’t take treats from him out­side, although Flower and Candy had no prob­lem with that. Once inside, though, Candy sat near his feet on the rug, watch­ing him. Later, he opened the door and she and Flower went out­side. When John went out­side, Candy was very play­ful, run­ning back and forth on the porch, being cute and doing her cir­cu­lar paw thing, which John calls her “wax on wax off” move.

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Shih Tzu Day 67: Scaredy Dog, Cats & Grooming

scaredy shih tzu dog

I got up with the shih tzus this morn­ing to let them out and feed them so John could sleep. For the next few hours, I worked on some ad copy for a client, with Dot­tie beside me and Candy and Flower at shih tzu Central.

When John got up, we took the shih tzus back out­side. Flower was sit­ting on the porch when a motor­cy­cle started up. Our scaredy shih tzu jumped up and ran for the door, push­ing it open to get inside as fast as she could, with Dot­tie not far behind. As usual, Candy had the oppo­site reac­tion. She stood where she was, look­ing towards the fence, an inquis­i­tive look on her face.

Flower gets an “A” on the groom­ing table

shih tzu after partial grooming. We put Flower up on the groom­ing table, because I’ve been notic­ing how wild she’s been look­ing lately, par­tic­u­larly her face. We went through the rou­tine with the hot dog, let­ting her smell it to asso­ciate it with groom­ing. She didn’t take a piece, but when John started clip­ping her, she stayed com­pletely still. We don’t have a groom­ing arm yet, so I held her in one place, but she didn’t fight me or John dur­ing the groom­ing process. We clipped a lot of her body and tidied up her face. The next time we groom her, we’ll work on her paws again and clip her nails. I was very proud of her. It was quite dif­fer­ent from when she got kicked out of groom­ing school or our ear­lier attempts to groom her.

Back­yard Intruder

shih tzu looking at cat in backyard.John and I went out to lunch and to run some errands, includ­ing look­ing for a new car­pet to replace our beau­ti­ful, west­ern car­pet, from which we can’t seem to extract the urine odor. We decided to look for some­thing cheap and small that we could stick in the wash­ing machine. We found one we both liked at Kohl’s. I wasn’t sure about the size, and when we got it home, I thought it was way too small. We talked some more, and we decided to cover ever inch of our west­ern car­pet front and back with pet clean­ing solu­tion and then rinse it with the hose as well as we could.

three shih tzus chase a cat away.While we were out­side, Flower spot­ted an intruder in the back­yard. A stray cat was sit­ting on the land­scap­ing tim­bers, putting her out of Flower’s reach. We put up a fence to pre­vent the dogs from climb­ing up into the land­scaped area and pos­si­bly escap­ing out of the fence between us and our back­yard neighbor.

Flower got as close as she could and barked like crazy. The grey cat just sat there aloofly, star­ing at Flower. Her barks finally pulled Dot­tie and Candy away from what they were doing, and they came run­ning. That moved the cat to cross into the neighbor’s yard and the girls finally calmed down.

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Shih Tzu Day 60: The Treat Man

John, the Treat Man, Not the Scary Man

It appears that John might be going from being a Scary Man to being the Treat Man.He has been fol­low­ing Lia’s advice, throw­ing down hot dog pieces when they don’t expect it, so that they will look for­ward to hav­ing him at home. When we got home from church and run­ning errands, Flower started to approach him, with­out bark­ing, but she stopped her­self.  All three came up to him eagerly when he passed out the sweet pota­toe and chicken treats. After­wards, Candy started dig­ging her back paws into the dirt, kick­ing it up around her. It was a cute sight.

No to the Potty Patch

I had high hopes that the Potty Patch would be our answer to car­pets that don’t smell like Par­fum de Urine, and that, if nec­es­sary, the girls would like to do num­ber two on it as well, although that isn’t as big a prob­lem as the other. Once again, my girls thought it was more fun to scat­ter the pieces on the car­pet, then to actu­ally sit on it and do their busi­ness. Maybe I should have sprin­kled some dirt on it, to make it look more like real grass, or, in our case, maybe I should have bought one that resem­bled dying grass.

Candy Joins the Family

Candy had second thoughts about trying to escape.Sun­day evening was very peace­ful. Dot­tie took her place beside me on the couch. Candy chose to join us, instead of hiber­nat­ing upstairs. She spent a lot of time cross­ing in front of us, going from one end of the liv­ing room to the other and back. For some rea­son, Flower aban­doned her usual spot on the hard­wood floor for the com­fort of the blue dog bed.

Later, she jumped up on the couch, land­ing half on Dot­tie. They stayed there quite a while, while John and I watched a few episodes of The Dog Whis­perer. The more I lis­ten to Cesar, the more I real­ize that I tend to reward the girls for bad behav­ior. He also says it’s impor­tant to  begin with struc­ture and then move on to awards/treats.

In one episode, he explained how to put a har­ness on a fear­ful dog. Accord­ing to Cesar, you must first show the dog the har­ness. Then, take a treat and make the dog come to you and take the treat from your hand, through the har­ness. Even­tu­ally, you should be able to slowly put the food in the dog’s mouth and, while she is sub­mis­sive, put the har­ness over her head. I’ll try that next time.

For some rea­son, one episode caught their atten­tion again. They ran out of the Safe Zone as if some­one had flipped a switch. Candy got excited and wagged her tail — a rare occa­sion — turn­ing her head excit­edly. I think they miss other dogs. I hope we can leash train them soon, so we can take them out into the world and see how they react to other dogs.

I’m a Good Guy, Promise”

John wanted to take the dogs out­side with­out giv­ing them a treat, so they won’t expect it every time. Flower and Dot­tie wanted to come back in instantly, but Candy came up to him and they had a pet­ting ses­sion for a few min­utes. When they came in, Candy lay down at his feet. It reminded me of some­thing Cesar said ear­lier to a dog: “I now you don’t know me, but I’m a good guy, promise.” They have to be real­iz­ing that John is a good guy.

I think that Candy touched John’s heart so much that he decided to take them out again later, and this time, really give them a treat. I was work­ing, so I sat that one out too. This time, John was shar­ing Vienna sausages with the girls. He ate one first, watch­ing as three lit­tle noses sniffed the air. Candy came up to him first, win­ning half a sausage. Dot­tie quickly grabbed hers and gob­bled it down. Flower kept her dis­tance, until John called her name. When she came up, she took a bite, but Candy rushed up and stole the rest of hers. John pulled another one out, since Candy had stolen the rest of hers. He also decided to give the rest to Candy, since she is the small­est. And prob­a­bly, since she’s warm­ing up to him the most.

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Shih Tzu Day 37: Candy The Lap Dog — Kind Of

Candy, the sort of lap dog

I have been won­der­ing how the shih tzus would han­dle their next round of com­pany: my mother, her niece, Becky, vis­it­ing from Mid­land, Texas; her daugh­ter, Teresa; Teresa’s 16-year-old daugh­ter, Heather, and her 19-year-old son, Alex.

When the vis­i­tors first arrived, the shih tzus exhib­ited their nor­mal unso­cial behav­ior. Candy fled to her cor­ner in the din­ing room, beyond the table and chairs. Flower ran from Shih Tzu Cen­tral, jumped up onto my couch, jumped back down and ran to hide behind the din­ing table. And, yes, she did leave a trail of poop behind her, par­tic­u­larly on the couch where I had been plan­ning on hav­ing my guests sit. I explained her prob­lem and went around the liv­ing room and din­ing room, pick­ing up poop.

Dot­tie stayed at Shih Tzu Cen­tral, growl­ing her dis­ap­proval. It always sur­prises me when she growls, since she is so pas­sive. Shiloh, of course, wan­dered around vis­it­ing every­one personally.

All of our guests are dog peo­ple. Heather and Alec attempted to get to know all of the shih tzus. Dot­tie even­tu­ally took treats from them, but the other two kept their distance.

I did some­thing I hadn’t ever attempted to do. I went and got Candy, picked her up and held her on my lap, even though, like her sis­ters, she is not a lap dog. She stayed there, calmly, for at least thirty min­utes, before let­ting me know she was tired of com­pany. When I let her down, she wan­dered back to the cor­ner in the din­ing room, where she could watch at a com­fort­able dis­tance. I explained to our com­pany that, regret­tably, none of the girls were lap dogs.

who stole the Milo’s Kitchen chicken jerky?

While our vis­i­tors were here, we watched YouTube dog videos they told us about. One par­tic­u­larly funny one was about a guy try­ing to find out which of two dogs had stolen the cat’s treats. The video was even more appro­pri­ate after I returned from a late lunch.

When I walked in the liv­ing room, I spot­ted a torn and empty Milo’s Kitchen chicken jerky bag on the floor. I real­ized that after let­ting Alec and Heather try to bribe the dogs, I hadn’t put away the treats. I don’t know where they had put them, but some­one had found them. I thought that the 18 oz. bag had been at least half full.

I assume that the shih tzu sis­ters shared the bag, while poor Shiloh, in his ken­nel, had to watch them have all the fun with­out him. What sur­prised me was that none of them exhib­ited signs of an upset stom­ach. Of course, no one con­fessed to the crime.

Shih tzu poopy

While I was clean­ing up poop ear­lier, my mother com­mented that she never expected to see me clean­ing up after ani­mals. I agree. This is all new to me. John was the one who mostly cared for Joey, a gen­uine lap dog.

I def­i­nitely am get­ting a lot of expe­ri­ence in the clean up area now. After com­pany left, I had to give Flower’s back half a bath. After using plenty of sham­poo and water and using the scis­sors to cut out some par­tic­u­larly prob­lem areas, Flower was back to nor­mal. I only hope I can keep her that way for a while.

I also made a dis­cov­ery today. I know that at least one shih tzu uses the train­ing pad reg­u­larly. I know Dot­tie does, although she gets as much on the car­pet as the pad. This evening, I watched Flower squat down right next to the pad. I ordered her to stop, but before I got there, she had done her business.

We still have plenty of work ahead of us, includ­ing house­break­ing and cre­at­ing a gen­uine lap dog or two!

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