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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