Shih Tzu Week 122: The Dog Who Says Meow

Oct. 24 – Oct. 30

Thursday, Oct. 24

The incredible disappearing Spot Collins.

The incredible disappearing Spot Collins.

Spot Collins continues trying to get out to see the big world. This morning, when John went to go get the mail, Spot waited patiently by the door. John blocked him from going out, but then he figured out he could just push the screen door and it would open (the latch doesn’t work on it). Luckily, I saw him in stealth mode and warned John, so he quickly pulled him back and closed it. We also ended up taking the doggy door out because of Spot. Yesterday he tried to saunter out when the shih tzus went out, thinking he could blend in. My nickname for him is “the dog who says meow.”

My nickname for Panda is “Panda-monium.” That’s because he makes Flower crazy by just being here, so she likes to chase him in around and corner him.

Saturday, Oct. 26

Heather, Herman, and Jordan came over for dinner. They brought chicken for chicken and guacamole burritos. I made the guacamole. They really liked Panda and Spot Collins. Somebody got out a laser light and started shining it on things. Buddy and Spot thought that was a lot of fun. Candy warmed up to Heather and let her hold her for a while.

 Monday, Oct. 28

Mom hasn’t yet been able to get used to her new surroundings. She continues to want to go downstairs to bed. She also can’t remember if the cats are allowed to go downstairs, when that is where their litter boxes are. I hope it’s easier for her when she gets to Florida.

Tuesday, Oct. 29 

I had a basket set up in Mom’s room that I though Panda or Spot Collins might want to sleep in. However, they didn’t seem interested, so I put it up on top of a very tall desk hutch. When I went in the room this morning, Panda was sitting in the basket, with probably an inch between him and the roof.

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Shih Tzu Week 120: Expanded Menagerie

Oct. 10 – Oct. 16, 2013 

Thursday, Oct. 10 

Outside it’s dark, cold, and rainy, but inside, it’s warm and cozy. I am in my usual position on the couch, my computer in place, and all four of the doggies are with me: Candy in John’s spot at one end, Nigel on the left side of me, Dottie snoring on the other, and Flower on the other end of the couch. Such a precious family.

It looks like things are going to get lively around here for a while. My mother called me on Tuesday night because of an emergency at her house. Due to the fact that she is 80 and it is getting difficult to keep her 70-year-old house livable, we have to make other arrangements. The most logical solution is for her to eventually move to Florida to live with my sister, Sandy. It’s going to be a huge adjustment for everyone.

Mom comes with a menagerie. Over the decades, Mom has had a long list of cats as well as her faithful dogs. Right now, she has Buddy, rescued from a shelter several years ago, as well as four cats. Emily and Mimi are probably about 17 or 18 years old. Spot Collins and Panda, rescued from a shelter a few years ago, are probably about 3 years old. Neither Sandy nor myself has the heart to tell mother she has to part with her pets, but Sandy has severe pet allergies, so it will be difficult for her.

It’s not that living in Florida is a completely new idea. Mom agreed to move there once before, years ago, but couldn’t bring herself to leave her home. This time, fate seems to have taken the decision from her hands. Sandy already has plans to go to New Jersey in early November for her daughter-in-law’s baby shower, so I have suggested Mom stay here until she gets back. The plan after that is for Sandy’s ex-husband, Paul, to come through Denver after a work trip and fly back to Florida with Mom. He will arrange for someone to come and taxi the pets all back to Florida.

It’s hard to imagine what this is going to look like. We have decided to put the cats’ litter boxes downstairs in the bathroom and to set Mom up in the spare bedroom across from it. Buddy will sleep with Mom, as he usually does. I am going to try to keep the cats in the basement, since I don’t know how Flower particularly will respond to cats in her house. She has chased after any cat that has wandered into the house, and tries to bark away any squirrel that comes near, so this should be fun.

I will be making a trip tomorrow morning to get Mom and the pets. So, this might just be the last night my mom ever spends in the house she has lived in for six decades. I know that this is not what she wants, but we will try to at least make her and the pets comfortable.

Friday, Oct. 11

I managed to get all the pets over here and settled. I’m sure the shih tzu clan is wondering what on earth is going on. Mom had a really rough day, which means I did too. She’s disoriented and confused, since this is so out of the norm for her. I finally got her to go to sleep for a while, with Buddy beside her.

Saturday, Oct. 12

Today was better for Mom. She is still confused, but that’s to be expected when you uproot an 80-year-old. I don’t think she cried once today and she slept well.

Tuesday, Oct. 15

I couldn’t sleep so I got up at 4:00 to do some work before Mom gets up. The shih tzus have been doing pretty well with the new living situation. Nigel and Buddy do growl at each other because they are both food aggressive, so I have to watch them, especially since Buddy is at least twice as big as Nigel. Today, Flower got a little wild-eyed when Spot Collins, who we think is a Maine Coon, escaped through the basement door and into the living room. I quickly grabbed him to avoid any issues. 

Wednesday, Oct. 16

The shih tzus might be a little confused about their new house guests, but we are trying to make sure things are as comfortable and normal for them as possible. The girls all gathered around John on the couch this morning to get love. Candy was sitting on his lap, and again, I am still getting used to that develop, since we never thought any of our puppy mill moms would be lap dogs.

After the love fest, they went outside to eat. While she was on the deck, Flower spied Spot Collins in the window. I had been trying to keep him downstairs, but I decided to give him a break. Flower started barking crazily. It will be very interesting to see if she adapts.

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Shih Tzu Day 210

I brought Candy up to sleep with us last night. She curled up on the bed and didn’t peep all through the night. However, at 6 o’clock, we heard her retching. She vomited bile on the bed and on the floor. I haven’t noticed the dogs doing that lately, since I read they sometimes do that if they go to bed on an empty stomach and have been trying to give them a little food before bedtime. She seemed okay throughout the day, though.

Flower follows me down to the basement whenever I go to put anything in the wash. She sniffs around the exercise room and the spare room. I haven’t caught her peeing on the carpet again, but I do try to keep an eye on her when she wanders into a different room. I am glad that she is becoming more comfortable with the different areas of the house and doesn’t seem as fearful as she did a few months ago.

Crazy shih tzus

The dogs have seemed a little lackluster lately, but today, all four of them were jumping each other. Flower was being a little too aggressive with Candy. She acted like she was mad at her. Candy was standing up to her, but I finally said Flower’s name firmly and when she looked up, told her “No!” She came up to me shaking her head from side to side, and I shook my finger at her. She came up further and put it in her mouth, backed away and then came back and put her mouth on my finger again. It was more like gumming than biting. They are way too cute.

Nigel decided it was her turn to be picked on, and tore after her, so she went running. They are getting a little crazy these days. They ran too close to the TV tray stand holding my water and knocked the water on the floor. Thankfully, it was a plastic Starbucks glass with a tight lid.

Later, Flower jumped up on the couch, pawed at me, and then cocked her head back towards the dining room, as if to say, “This way. We need a treat!”

I got my laptop back after being without it for three weeks! Now that I won’t be using a loaner laptop, I need to transfer pictures to it and start putting them up with my posts again. I know they have been very bare without any.

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Shih Tzu Day 130: Daylight Saving Shih Tzus

two shih tzus on a bed. an extra shih tzu in our bed

I decided to see if Candy would sleep with us. I told Flower and Dottie goodnight and Nigel, John, Candy and I went upstairs. Candy’s shih tzu sisters must have been curious, because they came upstairs a little later. I had set Nigel and Candy on the bed, and Flower and Dottie came to the edge of it. Candy became  queen of the mountain. She leaned over the bed and growled at her sisters.

a shih tzu being bathed.

Candy didn’t attempt to jump down, like Dottie does, so I turned off the light to see what she would do. She stayed on the side of me, where I had set her. Nigel was laying between John and I, which is where he tends to lay, unless I move him. I fell asleep right away, but I woke up in the middle of the night. I’m a tosser, but when I went to turn over, there was no where to turn. Candy and Nigel were as close as bookends, and since they were on the bedspread, that made it even harder to turn. I woke up several times during the night, but tried to stay on one side as long as possible.

no Daylight Savings for the shih tzus

a shih tzu after a bath.

I awoke to Dottie’s moaning outside the door. The problem was that they were an hour early. We s

et the clocks last night for Daylight Savings. The furry alarm clocks didn’t recognize the hour change, so they came upstairs at their regular time.

Since I hadn’t slept well, John volunteered to get up and see if the shih tzus would let him feed them. It went well, except Dottie resisted going outside.

a wet shih tzu after a bath.

I asked John if Flower and Dottie tried to steal Candy’s food. He said they came over to check her bowl out, but Candy has figured out how to keep the other female shih tzus away from her food. She keeps her face in her bowl until she finishes eating!

All the shih tzus ran to greet  me when I got up. We decided three of the shih tzus needed grooming: Nigel, Dottie and Flower. Flower was the best when it came to

bathing and trimming. Dottie wasn’t too bad, but Nigel fought us again. We need a very deep sink for him, because he fights so hard to crawl out of ours.



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Shih Tzu Day 106: Nigel’s Night in His Dog Bed

People Bed vs. dog bed

black and white shih tzu in black and white dog bed.Nigel has slept with us every night since he got here. Most likely, he slept with his last humans and he is just used to it. Last night, however, I think he slept in his dog bed. Usually, he hears us getting ready to go upstairs and jumps up from wherever he is and follows us. However, he was lying in his dog bed when we went upstairs and didn’t budge.

shih tzu asleep in dog bedHe must have slept in his dog bed all evening. When I went in the bathroom at 5:30, I heard a sound outside the door and opened it to find him there.

I should put a dog bed in the hall, since Dottie sits outside the door for a while waiting for me to wake up each morning. I don’t know if she’d use it though. I have some blankets folded up there that Candy used to use when she escaped upstairs all the time. I have a feeling Dottie just stands guard in front of the door until I open it, so lying down in a dog bed while she waits probably wouldn’t suit her.

shih tzu in blue and white dog bed.Our Yorkshire terrier, Joey, never would sleep in a dog bed. She slept with us, and when we were home, if John was sitting down, she sat on his lap. She also liked to lie on the carpet. Our girls don’t get that privilege, since they still pee on any carpet they come in contact with. They get plenty of use out of their dog bed kingdom in the corner.

Shih Tzu Central is empty a lot more now than it used to be, though. Dottie sleeps in her dog bed every night, but I think Candy and Flower go between their dog beds and the couch. During the day, Candy spends a lot of time going between the various dog beds, but she also still likes to go in her corner in the dining room.

Flower spend a lot of time in their various dog beds, but she is getting more and more comfortable with sitting on my couch. Today, several times when Dottie jumped down, she jumped up next to me. Dottie only visits her dog bed occasionally during the day. She probably spends a lot of time in it when I am gone, but when I am here, she mainly sits with me.

The girls’ day

I didn’t hear any barking until 7 a.m. The shih tzus must have had some party last night.

a shih tzu rests on couch arm. The munchkins have started to play Nigel’s game. Today one of them stole a treat out of his bed and he was agitated. When Flower steals something, she jumps up on her couch with it, since no one else can jump that high.  Today she stole Nigel’s green dog, and he snorted his disapproval. It will wind up back on the floor tomorrow, and everyone will have lost interest in it.

Nigel would be able to reach Flower’s couch if I put dog steps there, like I have at our couch, but I think it’s best if he can’t get up there. That is Flower’s personal kingdom, including her refuge when she doesn’t want to play with him. But since she smuggles treats that don’t belong to her up there, when she has gathered enough, I redistribute them.

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