Shih Tzu Day 45: Foster Dog Difficulties

our foster dog

I am still waiting for my forever home. We have been talking to Delores for a while about BFF Rescue finding Shiloh a more suitable dog foster home. I think that he would make someone a wonderful foster dog or “regular” dog. I don’t, however, think that we’re a good fit as dog foster parents for him.

Anyone who has come to visit over the three and a half weeks that Shiloh has been here has liked our foster dog. Everybody loves the fact that he is so playful. I like that he is playful, too, although I don’t like that the playfulness causes lots of scratches on my legs and arms.

This foster dog loves attention, and it is hard for me to divide my attention between the shih tzus and him. He also loves to ride in the car with me, but pet-friendly places are out, since he barks aggressively at other dogs. I like the fact that he wants to sleep with us, since the shih tzus haven’t shown that desire, but it does make for tension in the morning when I am trying to play with the shih tzus when they come upstairs and he jumps into the middle in his clumsy and playful way.

Delores agrees that the girls have waited for a good forever home for a while, and that things might be better without a foster dog around. She suggested we take him and another BFF Rescue foster dog, Oliver, to the farmers market in Golden and walk around, with the foster dogs in their “adopt me” harnesses, to see if anyone might be interested in adopting one of the rescue dogs.

It was a good idea, but Shiloh was the wrong foster dog to bring. He exhibited dog aggression, barking at random dogs. Delores suggested he might be barking at non-neutered dogs, and it did seem like that was mostly the case, although not all the time. We decided our foster dog wasn’t making many friends and ended up putting him in the car for a while. I think Lia is right in that Shiloh could benefit from discipline classes. Oliver, on the other hand, displayed a sweet disposition, and a few people stopped to inquire about him.

Dotty fights the leash again

Being at the farmers market and seeing all of the amiable dogs wandering around made me more determined to teach the shih tzus to walk on a leash. I brought Dottie out back and put the leash on her. She did go a few steps, in her attempt to get away from me, and then fought me. Candy was next. She actually ran around the yard a little, again, trying to escape, but making me believe that she might be the first leash dog. If it had been cooler out, I would have tried a little more, but I thought that was enough practice for the day.

Since Candy was nicely groomed and all ready on her leash, I picked her up and carried her next door, where the neighbors were having a post-wedding party. I didn’t set her down on the ground while we were there, but I did keep her there for about ten minutes. She didn’t seem to be nervous or afraid. I set her down when we got ready to leave, and she trotted back home behind us. Too bad I didn’t have my camcorder or camera handy.

When we came back home, I noticed that we had a call. Delores had talked to another foster parent and she was willing to take Shiloh in for a while. She came by and picked him up at 6. She asked if she could take the safety gate back that we had taken from Barbara’s. We had hooked it to ours to keep the dogs from climbing up the landscaped area in back and getting out of the yard, but we realized that Shiloh was the only one who could or would try. We unhooked it and rearranged the fencing

When Delores left, John cooked up the rest of the steak from last night’s dinner and used it for quesadillas. We shared a little of it with Candy and Dottie. For some reason, Flower wouldn’t come to get any. She is acting afraid of John again. When he called them, they ran right to him; she ran out of their safe zone with them, but ran right past, and then turned around and ran back to Shih Tzu Central. Some times I wonder if she’s just a little bit off — in a very cute way, though.

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Shih Tzu Day 31: One-Month Anniversary With the Shih Tzu Sisters

Look Mom! Don't we look like a two-headed shih tzu?

one month with the shih tzu sisters

It is the one-month anniversary of when the shih tzu sisters came to live with us as our foster dogs. John and I went out to a diner for breakfast and then went to Best Buy, in search of a small camera that will take videos. I want to capture the dancing shih tzu sisters and their feisty behavior with Shiloh, plus I don’t want to do any further training with any of them without documenting it. We can also start taking videos of the children and grandchildren when they visit.

Some days it is so boring here!I intended to get a Nikon, but chose a Canon instead, knowing I have two weeks to decide if I want to keep it. We also went to Wal-Mart to buy some different Milo’s Kitchen treats. PetSmart has been running a special that if you buy three bags of a certain size of Milo’s Kitchen, Pup-Peroni or Milk Bone products you get a bag free. I figured out that would be approximately $60 for four of the size bags I buy; at Wal-Mart’s prices, if I buy four of the 18 to 20 oz. bags, at regular price, it’s less than $50. I bought the chicken jerky, which is a staple in our house, as well as chicken meatballs and beef jerky pieces.

We gave the girls a sampling of the two new treats and, of course, they loved them. John commented that it smelled good enough for us to eat. I agree that Milo’s has some good-smelling dog treats.

Chinese Food for the Chinese Dogs

John and I had Chinese food and wine. He joked that since they were Chinese dogs, they’d probably like the food. Although the Mongolian beef would have been too spicy, they probably would have loved the sweet and sour chicken, but I didn’t give them any. I did give them a couple of noodles from the combination lo mein, which they loved.

How Far We’ve Come

When we first brought the girls home, they spent a lot of time huddled together in their pen. We will never know why they were so afraid, but I know that is common in puppy mill dogs. They still huddle together in the corner, but not as often and usually not out of fear. I think it’s comforting, and they like each other.

Maybe I'll be more comfortable in this position.

Now, however, they basically just have a divider, behind which they can feel secure, when they need to, but they can exit it quickly as well. This afternoon is a good example of how far we’ve come. At one point, Flower was on her couch, Candy was on her chair and Dottie was next to me. Dottie seemed content and sleepy. Candy and Flower looked bored.

Dottie sat beside me for quite a while. Flower spent a little time flirting with Shiloh. While I was writing that in my dog journal, she ran up and jumped up on the couch, as if she knew I was writing about her.

Flower sat with me and Dottie on the couch for a while. They were sitting one on either side, until Flower jumped over by Dottie.

Later, Flower was lying on her couch. She made me laugh because she had her chin on the front edge of it, and her face was so scrunched up. Then I looked at Candy on the chair, and she looked the same way. Flower got so bored with life that she ignored the fact that John was on the couch next to me and came up and rubbed against my feet, and then put her paws up on the couch, before lying down at the edge of the carpet.

Shiloh, aka Rover, lounged in his kennel for a while. I’m not sure what was going on over there, maybe a fly invading his space (he hates flies!), but he growled and scared the bajeebers out of Flower, causing her to jump down from her perch on the couch.

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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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Shih Tzu Day 25: Unsociable Shih Tzus

harmonious shih tzus

All the shih tzus came up to get me this morning. Waldo (one of my nicknames for Shiloh) stood by while they danced, until we went into the kitchen, and then he participated in a mild fashion. I think he’s getting tired of me telling him not to scratch my legs.

John didn’t come down with me, since we had stayed up late last night with our visitors, Nikki and Clarke, watching music videos. After the shih tzus and I came in from their outdoor breakfast, they acted like they wanted to play again, instead of going right back to their corner, like they usually do.

But, company and a houseful of dogs have been slowing me down, and I needed to do a little work. I settled on the couch with my laptop, letting Dottie up when she put her paws up on the couch for assistance. Flower lay down on the floor by my feet. I thought Candy was back in their safe zone, but then I realized she was sitting in front of my feet, chewing on a Pork Chomp, but the laptop was blocking me from seeing her. Whenever I’d look at Flower, her tail would wag. The harmony and contentment made me happy. As for Shiloh, it made him bored and he bounded back upstairs.

Dottie Takes Her Second Car Ride in the Jeep

We again put Shiloh in the kennel before we went to pick up mom for breakfast in Boulder. We had to come back home and get Nikki and Clarke so I decided to take Dottie with us for the fifteen-minute car ride. She shook in the Jeep at first, but otherwise did good.Dottie on her second car ride

Our breakfast took more time than we thought it would, so we instructed my stepdaughter Leticia to have the children change into their swimsuits and swim for a while before we got there. Gabe drove up with Crystal and her daughter, Avi, when we were leaving to go to the store for lunch fixings, so we told him to go on in.

When we got back, the shih tzus were all huddled in their corner. I moved everyone to the garage, where we were going to eat, so they could have a little peace. Nikki and Clarke decided they were going to get on the road before lunch, so they said their goodbyes to us and Shiloh, leaving the shih tzus with two less people to watch warily.

I thought the shih tzus might be a little more comfortable with people, so I told Evita to come and say hi. However, Dottie growled at her, so I warned them that they should say their hellos from a distance.

Shiloh Takes a Walk — or Twenty

After we ate, we brought Shiloh out on his leash, and I brought Dottie outside to sit with me for awhile while people took turns playing ping ping and riding our bikes. Rema, Oriana, Evita, Dulcea and Avi took turns taking Shiloh for walks. Shiloh loved the attention and the walks.

Our granddaughter, Dulcea, walks ShilohThings didn’t go perfectly with Shiloh, however. He did growl at a couple of the kids, so we kept an eye on him. He also growled and barked at the neighbor’s dog when it walked by. Shiloh growled at the neighbor’s big dog, hair standing up. He is a great dog, but I think he definitely needs a watchful eye on him.

They’re Gone!

Once everyone left, the ewoks emerged from their corner. True, we lured them out with treats, which John fed them. The shih tzus will probably be very happy to know that they will be visitor free at least until next weekend, when the kids and grandchildren descend on the house again.

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Shih Tzu Day 24: Mama’s Little Angel Devils

Shih Tzu Confusion

John spent quite a bit of time in the garage, trying to figure out why the garage door would go down most of the way, and then go back up. Each time it went down and then back up, three little shih tzus would run out of their corner, dash halfway across the living room and halt, realizing that I was sitting on the couch. They associate the sound of the garage door opening and closing with me coming home, so the noise really played with their furry little heads.

When we left to go to the zoo with Nikki and Clarke, we put Shiloh in the kennel, to be on the safe side. After we got back, they left for date night downtown. I picked Candy up and set her down on the couch between John and me. She sat there patiently for a few minutes, before sauntering off the couch and going back to their corner. Then, for some reason, Dottie and Flower trotted out and greeted me, wagging their tails. They must have thought there was a treat waiting for them somewhere. It looks like we are getting beyond the stage of them staying as far away from John as possible. They might not greet him with dancing, like they do me, but they tolerate his presence better.

Shiloh, the TV Dog

Shiloh growls at the TVShiloh provided us with a little entertainment tonight. We had decided to watch “Bloodworth.” In the first few minutes, a dog begins barking at a mailman. Shiloh ran up, put his paws on the TV, growled and barked. When I rewound it to see what we had missed, he did the same thing.

The Shih Tzus Run to Mama for Protection

All three shih tzus on the couch at the same time for first timeWhen Nikki and Clarke got back from their date night, Shiloh mainly sat on the couch with them, enjoying his new friends. However, he was sitting on the floor with John for a while. Suddenly, we heard growling, like Shiloh had done earlier to Nikki and Clarke and to John.The growling turned to a strange howling when John swiftly turned the dog over on its back and held him down. He held up his hand and  showed us where Shiloh had bit him. Nikki and Clarke were shocked, so John explained that Shiloh was increasingly showing more signs of aggression and that putting him on his back showed Shiloh that he wasn’t the one dominating the situation.

When Shiloh began shrieking, three scared little shih tzus ran up to the couch and jumped for it, landing by Dottie and me. It was the first time all three of the girls had ever been on the couch with me. In fact, Candy has never jumped on the couch when I was on it. Flower does on rare occasions, although Dottie usually comes up to the couch several times in the day wanting me to pick her up. They sat there for probably ten minutes before Flower and Candy got back down.

In the meantime, John took Shiloh for a walk. When they came back, John sat down on the couch besides me and Shiloh jumped up and sat beside him. He was docile when he went upstairs with us to bed.

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