Shih Tzu Day 127: Chasing Tail

two shih tzus on a couchwe’ve come a long way, Flower

I had lunch with a friend today and we were talk­ing about the shih tzus. She said one of her chil­dren asked her if Flower still poops when she’s afraid. I thought about that. I guess we have come a long way. She hasn’t done that lately.

a shih tzu on an animal print throw. I had another shih tzu con­ver­sa­tion with a friend recently. She found out I had adopted some shih tzus and told me that she really wanted one. She expressed that she was hop­ing to find a black-faced shih tzu. Her rea­son was that white-faced shih tzus get “eye goo.” I think she was actu­ally refer­ring to tear stains, which she thinks eye goo causes. I under­stand what she is say­ing, because I def­i­nitely would love it if the shih tzus didn’t have tear stains, but I don’t love my shih tzu sis­ters less because of it. They are beau­ti­ful in my eyes, tear stains or not. I know dif­fer­ent things cause tear stains, though, and I will keep try­ing to fig­ure out why Flower in par­tic­u­lar has them, because I want her to be healthy.

tail-chasing shih tzu

a female shih tzu on a bright throwThe three young­sters were in a paw-boxing mood today. It started with Candy and Nigel, as usual, but then Nigel decided to take on both of them — or they both decided to take on him. I’m not sure which is cor­rect. The shih tzus mel­lowed out for a while, but a lit­tle bit later I hears a loud squeak, which usu­ally means, “Thief! That treat was mine!” I looked up, but couldn’t fig­ure out what had hap­pened. Dot­tie and Flower, on the couch by me, looked at me inno­cently, and Candy and Nigel looked up from the floor. Oh well. That’s one mys­tery that won’t be solved.

The shih tzus got rest­less again at about 7:15. It was time for another round of tus­sling. I looked up when I heard a noise like a stam­pede of horses crossed the din­ing room floor. It was Flower, with Nigel hot on her tail. Again, my guess is that there was a stolen treat of some kind involved. A lit­tle later, Dot­tie started to come up on the couch, and Nigel bit her tail and held it firmly in his mouth until I made him let go. That lit­tle male shih tzu def­i­nitely has a thing for tails!

When the house’s other male came home, Candy and Nigel rushed to the door to greet him. This time, Flower was right behind them. She can’t quite bring her­self to go clear up to the door though. One of these days she will.

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Shih Tzu Day 115: Flower Power, Play Dates & Leash Training

 A bloom­ing Flower

a black and white shih tzu nibbling on an apple.I get a kick out of Flower. Today, she walked up to the couch, licked my feet and then walked by. That’s the most lick­ing I get from these shih tzus. What I do get, though, is some good enter­tain­ment. Like when Flower comes up, puts her paws up on the edge of the couch, stares into my eyes with her big eyes and then slides down. She did that rou­tine twice today.

Later, Flower didn’t hes­i­tate to go up to John for dog treats. John has taken the dogs out for their treats the last two evenings. They fol­low him quickly, which is great to see. In fact, Flower was fol­low­ing right at his feet like he was the Pied Piper. And Flower has been jump­ing up on the couch often. Beyond that, mir­a­cle of mir­a­cles, she let John pet her today.


three shih tzu sisters on a couch.Even Dot­tie jumped off the couch and fol­lowed the Pied Piper. Then, this after­noon, we took Nigel and Dot­tie for a walk. Actu­ally, I couldn’t call it leash train­ing. John walked Nigel on the leash. I car­ried Dot­tie to the green area behind the Wal-Mart a block away, so she could “watch” John and Nigel, and hope­fully get a hint that walk­ing can be fun. How­ever, when we were at a point where I didn’t think she would run off, I set Dot­tie down.

At first, she walked a few steps and then stopped. How­ever, when we got to a place that was more like a path, she walked behind and beside me for prob­a­bly a minute until she heard a voice from a nearby apart­ment. I let her stop a while and then picked her up again. We walked a ways and then I put her down again. She walked again until she heard another voice. That time, she started shak­ing. I picked her up and car­ried her back to the house, praised her and gave her a treat. She was so cute walk­ing by me, but, sorry to say, I didn’t have my cam­era with me.


Nigel is a real apple lover, unlike our female shih tzus. He also loves play­ing with Candy out­side and inside. This after­noon John was hold­ing Nigel and I couldn’t resist putting Candy on his lap too. They were so cute sit­ting there. It looked like they were on a date.

a boy and girl shih tzu on a "date."We now have sev­eral couch dogs. Today, Nigel was sit­ting between us, Dot­tie was next to me and Flower next to her, and even­tu­ally, Candy moved over near her shih tzu sis­ters. I was very excited when we bought our couch from Amer­i­can Fur­ni­ture Ware­house last year, but it actu­ally is a pain in the butt. It’s a sofa sleeper, and it is not very good qual­ity, as far as we are con­cerned. Because of hav­ing John and Nigel on one side and Dot­tie and some­times Flower on the other, I have to sit right in the mid­dle, half of me on one cush­ion and half on the other. And, the cush­ions sink in the mid­dle. It is a bum­mer to have to think about the As Seen On TV prod­uct, Fur­ni­ture Fix, when we just bought our sofa six months ago. Instead of buy­ing that prod­uct, we put a board under the cush­ions. It seems to be work­ing right now.

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Shih Tzu Day 64: Not My Normal Shih Tzus

shih tzu panic button

shih tzu with a newspaper toy.I woke up this morn­ing think­ing that some­thing was out of place. First off, “I” woke up — some­thing or a shih tzu, or two or three — didn’t wake me up. I lay there for a few min­utes lis­ten­ing for the jig­gling dog tag sound. Noth­ing. I turned over to see the reg­u­lar alarm clock, not the furry alarm clock I had been wak­ing to, and saw that it was 6:07. After a few min­utes, I started to get wor­ried. Was one of our shih tzu pup­pies sick? Or worse, did one of them have an acci­dent and die in the night? The other shih tzus would have surely alerted us if that were the case, I reasoned.

shih tzu on stairs.I know. These sound like irra­tional thoughts, but when at least one noisy shih tz has woken you up every morn­ing for more than a month, silence is eerie. When I still hadn’t heard any­thing ten min­utes later, I got out of bed and went to the restroom, think­ing that might trig­ger a response. Sud­denly, the dog tag jin­gling began, fol­lowed by rapid paw steps on the stairs. Then, a furry grey and white shih tzu head peeked into the bath­room. It was Flower, my usu­ally ram­bunc­tious shih tzu; fol­lowed by Dot­tie, my couch com­pan­ion; and Candy, their shy but adorable and inde­pen­dent shih tzu sis­ter, bring­ing up the tail. I might not like them to wake me up at the crack of dawn, but I was very happy to see those lit­tle girls.

shih tzu impe­r­ial lion dance

The shih tzus fol­lowed me to the bot­tom of the stairs, and then got in front of me and did their impe­r­ial lion dance. When I turned on the light, I saw that there were two yel­low spots on the train­ing pad. Yes! And I didn’t recall see­ing any upstairs. Wow. Some­thing was won­der­ful, but really wrong with this picture!

I went to the kitchen to put their bowls of cot­tage cheese and kib­ble together. Flower and Dot­tie fol­lowed me, while their sis­ter shih tzu waited patiently in the liv­ing room.

When I opened the back door, the shih tzus scur­ried out, jump­ing up and down excit­edly for their morn­ing meal. I sat down their dog bowls and sat down on my lawn chair to watch them eat. Flower did approach Candy’s bowl a few times, but came to me for kib­ble hand feed­ing, let­ting Candy fin­ish. Then, one by one, the shih tzus wan­dered out to the yard to do their business.

lazy shih tzu afternoon

three shih tzus on the carpet.

Through­out the day, Candy mainly rested in front of the couch on the hard­wood floor, although she did go to her din­ing room cor­ner at times, and ran up to her room inter­mit­tently. She actu­ally didn’t go upstairs until I turned my makeshift lap­top stand over to try to shorten it. That small bit of noise sent her scur­ry­ing up the stairs. It makes me won­der if she just has ultra-sensitive ears. John men­tioned last night that some­times when she goes upstairs after he gets home, even though she seems happy to see him, it’s after we have turned the TV on or up.

Her shih tzu sis­ters mainly lan­guished in their cor­ner through­out the hot day, occa­sion­ally com­ing out to lie on the car­pet and chew on the mini Pork Chomps Knotz I gave them ear­lier, or the rawhide Flips from the other day that still clut­ter the floor. Cor­rec­tion, only Flower chewed on the Knotz. Nei­ther of the other shih tzus took theirs quickly enough, so she gath­ered all of them around her, going from one to the other when she got bored. Later, Candy must have stolen one away from her, because when I looked down, they both had a Knotz in their mouth, chew­ing away con­tent­edly. Dot­tie dozed on the couch nearby, next to me. I guess that is the dif­fer­ence between shih tzus that are barely out of the puppy stage and 5-year-old dogs like Dottie.

switched on shih tzus

The shih tzus all came alive shortly after 6:00, though, rush­ing me like they had seen aliens or a ghost. My guess is that they finally felt a breeze, and it put a lit­tle life into them.

three shih tzus playing.I don’t like to open the front door, because the shih tzus react to every lit­tle noise, but the heat, and a swamp cooler that doesn’t seem to be work­ing, drove me to give it a try. The shih tzus went crazy when the neigh­bor came home, fol­low­ing Flower’s lead and bark­ing up a storm. The other times the shih tzus began bark­ing, I couldn’t fig­ure out what caused it. Each time, Flower watched the door, wide eyed and pant­ing, while her shih tzu sis­ters lounged on the floor, wait­ing for their sib­ling to alert them to immi­nent danger.

a shih tzu jumping while another­tled shih tzus

In our plan to get the shih tzu sis­ters to adapt to their daddy, John and I agreed ear­lier that he would come in the back door to see if Flower and Dot­tie would react dif­fer­ently. We also agreed that he would come in bear­ing dog treats. When I heard his truck, I was the cheer­leader, chirp­ing that Daddy was home and they should be excited.

When he came in the back door, the shih tzus were so star­tled that they weren’t quite sure what to do. I asked him to go out and come back in the front door. As soon as he left, the girls looked expec­tantly at the back door. When he did come in the front door, Candy danced to him, wag­ging her tail again. Although Dot­tie and Flower weren’t that exu­ber­ant, they didn’t treat him like an intruder.

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Shih Tzu Day 32: The Shih Tzu Sisters Scatter

John causes the shih tzu sis­ters to scatter

I decided to bring Dot­tie upstairs with us, away from her shih tzu sis­ters, for a few min­utes at bed­time last night. I closed the doors so she couldn’t run out, and I just talked to her. John said, “Do you think she’s going to answer?” because I talk to them constantly.

Life looks much better without a quesy tummy.When I got into bed, I put Dot­tie between us. She stayed on the peo­ple bed for about twenty min­utes before she finally lay down. I could tell that her head was still up though, so she wasn’t com­pletely relaxed. I turned over and set her on the other side for a few more min­utes, and then I put her down on the floor and opened the door. She ran into the hall, but then she just sat there wag­ging her tail. I’m not sure if she went down­stairs or not after I went back to sleep. I’m think­ing about get­ting a dog bed to put upstairs and see if any of the shih tzu sis­ters give it a try.

The furry alarm clocks went off at 5:30, which was way too early, since we stayed up late. John was research­ing tools on his iPad, and I was work­ing with pic­tures and updat­ing my blog.

Who says puppy mill moms can't become fluffy puppies? Again, I tried to ignore the shih tzu sis­ters, but they kept com­ing back until I dragged myself out of bed at 6. John was read­ing the instruc­tions for the cam­era we just bought, so he couldn’t help me get the bowls together, as he some­times does. It took longer than usual, espe­cially since Flower kept bark­ing while I was try­ing to get every­thing together, so I kept stop­ping to go to the door and tell her to be quiet. I know she needs some dis­ci­pline. We’re get­ting to that point. Inch by inch.

Our exper­i­ment with Dot­tie yes­ter­day resulted in the shih tzus still act­ing afraid of John this morn­ing. I think Dot­tie and Candy would have for­got­ten it, and maybe even has, but Flower has gone back to bark­ing con­stantly at him. The result is that they all scat­ter when­ever he gets near them in any way.

John and I went out for pizza after church, so we were gone for a few hours. When we got home, to try to get the shih tzus a lit­tle more com­fort­able with John again, he passed out the treats. It seemed to help.

they’re alive

It has been very hot, and the swamp cooler doesn’t seem to be doing its job. That might be why the girls have been on their beds in their cor­ner so much this after­noon. How­ever, at one point, all the ani­mals came alive. I don’t know who hit the switch. Shiloh jumped up on our couch, and Flower jumped up on her couch, bring­ing one of the Angry Bird toys with her. Dot­tie had been next to me, but she jumped down on the floor. Candy stayed behind at Shih tzu Central.


John took a bike ride, with Shiloh on a leash. Shiloh did very well. When they came back, we sat out­side in the twi­light. Flower barked a lit­tle, but not much. They all wan­dered around the gar­den or sat on the porch. They all came in but Candy, so John went and picked her up. He held her and stroked her for a few min­utes. She didn’t seem to mind.

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Shih Tzu Day 26: Shih Tzu Sisters Baby Steps

More Baby Steps for the shih tzu sisters

There's something soothing about this new toy.I don't know why Candy is sucking on her toy. Everyone knows you bite it!!I guess hav­ing guests all week­end tired me out. I couldn’t get up until 7. The shih tzu sis­ters came up to get me about 6, but I didn’t budge. They kept run­ning up and down the stairs, then into the bed­room, play­ing with my hand when­ever I dan­gled it down to them. (I had a warped thought as they gen­tly bit at my hand. A famous avi­a­trix named Pan­cho Barnes had sev­eral dogs. When she died, the story goes, they began nib­bling on her arm. I imag­ine she might have played the same game with her dogs before her demise! I said it was warped!)

No Bark­ing Outside

Sorry to say, one of the shih tzu sis­ters has dis­cov­ered that they like poop­ing in the spare bed­room. It might even be Shiloh. We really need What will you give me if I give you back your mail?a sur­veil­lance cam­era in every room so we can catch the cul­prits in action. And now for pos­i­tive news:  John pre­pared the dog food bowls for me, so the dogs could learn to eat from him. They fol­lowed him out­side, ate, and then went and played in the gar­den, with­out bark­ing at all!

Flower Sits With Dot­tie and Me

Dot­tie spent a lot of time on the couch with me today. Flower has tThis floor feels cool on my tummy! I like it. aken to jump­ing up into the rock­ing chair that John used to sit in when he smoked his pipe. (It was actu­ally a nice smell, but he has been tobacco-free for a year!) I hur­ried to get my cam­era (I need it near me at all times!), but she jumped down as soon as I moved. Sur­pris­ingly, instead of going back to the play area, she jumped up on the couch, to sit with Dot­tie and me.

Candy Warms Up to John

John is mak­ing great head­way with Candy. While he pre­pared his lunch this morn­ing, she wan­dered in, look­ing for food, I’m sure. He gave her a lit­tle cheese, which she fear­lessly took from him. That brought Shiloh and the shih tzu sis­ters in to gather around him. Another victory!

Dot­tie Vis­its PetSmart

Do we really have to leave the house?I thought I would be dar­ing and take Dot­tie to PetS­mart with me. I con­sid­ered the trip suc­cess­ful. I put her in the As Seen on TV Com­fy­Con­trol Har­ness to get her used to it, although I didn’t plan to have her walk. She seemed a lit­tle ner­vous in the car, but she did well at PetS­mart. I car­ried her around the store while we looked at Kongs. Mom says dogs are sup­posed to be crazy about them. I bought one for each of the dogs, although I didn’t know how I was going to get them to use their own and not steal every­one else’s.

In the car, I tried to give her a Wag­gin Train’ chicken and apple treat, but she wouldn’t take it. I think she was a lit­tle too ner­vous from the out­ing. She did eat two when we got home, though.

If I just stick my tongue in this hole a little bit farther...Of course, Flower was the shih tzu sis­ter who fig­ured out how to “use” the Kong. She took Shiloh’s too, and ran off with it. Candy and Dot­tie didn’t show much inter­est, or didn’t know how to get the peanut but­ter out. Instead, I put some peanut but­ter on Candy’s paci­fier and she licked it off. I did try to feed the dogs car­rots and apples again, but only Shiloh gob­bled them down. He is at least proof that some dogs will eat raw fruits and veggies.

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