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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