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 another watches.startled 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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