Shih Tzu Week 47: May 17 (Day 323) – 23 (Day 329), 2012

Day 323: May 17


The shih tzus haven’t been bark­ing at John when he comes down the stairs. Maybe they real­ized what a real “stranger” was when Sandy first got here. They did get bet­ter with her as the week went on though.

Flower peed in front of the TV three days in a row, and she also peed on her couch. I washed the cush­ions and then stood them up, so she can’t pee on them again. I don’t know what to do about her pee­ing in front of the TV.

shih tzu with lid and strawFlower cer­tainly doesn’t need any toys. She loves to steal things from me instead. For instance, today she stole a cup lid and a straw and took them back to Shih Tzu Cen­tral to chew on. When she got tired of them, she found a sponge some­where and smug­gled it back to her dog bed.

I had an email from a Nutro rep­re­sen­ta­tive today ask­ing me if I wanted to host a doggy tast­ing party. It sounds fun. I haven’t bought Nutro yet for the shih tzus, but they do have a grain-free kib­ble they could try. I would never have dreamed of even attempt­ing it even two months ago, but I am con­sid­er­ing it. There would be peo­ple and dog guests, and the shih tzus wouldn’t like the peo­ple idea, but they might enjoy hav­ing a few extra dogs around.

Black shih tzu with sponge in mouthI think the grain-free kib­ble has been help­ing the female shih tzus. I don’t see many tear stains on Flower these days, although Dot­tie still has some brown on her face. It might just be part of her coloring.

I have been try­ing to cook more because of my diet. I made a “gourmet” chicken salad today. I poached a chicken with some veg­eta­bles and herbs and the scents attracted Nigel and Flower. They came and sat on the kitchen floor, wait­ing for some­thing to drop. I gave them some cel­ery. They ate it, but Dot­tie and Candy wouldn’t try it.

Shih Tzu Day 324: May 18


I was gone all morn­ing shop­ping with Mom. When I got back, I put some straw­ber­ries, bananas, and apples in the dehy­dra­tor as snacks for John. I thought the straw­ber­ries and bananas were weird, but the apples came out OK. When I was check­ing on them, I heard scuf­fling out­side. Candy and Nigel were doing one of their tap-dancing routines.

Shih Tzu Day 325: May 19


I looked up best dog nail clip­pers on Ama­zon and saw some good reviews for Dremel tools made for dog groom­ing. One review said not to bother with those since a reg­u­lar tool would work as well and cost less. I bought a Dremel cord­less rotary tool from Wal-Mart for $20 for us to try. John used it on Flower and Dot­tie and he thought it worked well.

I didn’t have much time to sit down today, but as soon as I did, Nigel and Dot­tie rushed up to the couch. They sure are sweet companions.

Cea and Evita petting Candy Shih TzuLeti­cia came by on her way to Bandimere Speed­way with the girls, her friend Chris, and her son. I let the kids go out­side and bother Candy for a few min­utes. They love pet­ting her, but she hasn’t learned to love it yet. She just sits there, frozen. I hope that will change someday.

Shih Tzu Day 326: May 20


John and I made a 21-mile bike ride this morn­ing and then went to Olive Gar­den for iced tea and salad. When we came back, he put up the Magic Mesh screen door cor­rectly. It didn’t close right at first, but it did after he made some adjust­ments. I hope we can train the shih tzus to go through it.

Shih Tzu Day 327: May 21


Dot­tie had a twitchy thing going on this morn­ing. I don’t know if she had an itch or if is she was just play­ing. She does that every now and then. She rolls over on her back, waves her paws, and makes strange noise. I think she is indi­cat­ing she wants to be pet­ted. None of the other shih tzus do that.

The three youngest shih tzus played out­side in the back­yard for a while this morn­ing. I could hear Nigel and Candy’s heavy breath­ing from the kitchen. I’m always glad when Nigel plays with the girls, instead of want­ing to just sit next to me on the coach. I think he needs to be active, and Candy gets bored easily.

sad shih tzu on leash.I took Candy and Nigel for a walk this morn­ing. I used the pink Vel­cro har­ness that I bought from Ross for her and the blue one for Nigel. Candy stopped and sniffed the grass a few times. Nigel wanted to run, so I ran with him. Candy picked up the pace a lit­tle and didn’t seem trau­ma­tized like she some­times does on walks.

I am feel­ing hope­ful about them. Now I just need to keep Hou­dini (Flower) from escap­ing her har­ness and get Dot­tie to want to walk.

All the dogs rushed John when he came in the back door after work, wag­ging their tails. It’s nice to see them becom­ing more and more com­fort­able with him. He went and got their treat and they all scram­bled out the back door and stood there look­ing like chil­dren on Hal­loween wait­ing for their candy.

Shih Tzu Day 328: May 22


I have been notic­ing a dif­fer­ence in Candy. Before, if I approached her, she would always run. Now, at least when she thinks I don’t want to groom her or put a leash on her, she stands still and lets me pick her up or pet her.

Some­one is still pee­ing in front of the TV, and I can only guess that it is Flower. I finally put a train­ing pad down there today. I think I will try mov­ing it closer to the real train­ing pad area each day. Maybe she just doesn’t like step­ping up over the train­ing pad holder.

I took Dot­tie and Nigel for a walk this morn­ing. I was going to just take Dot­tie, but Nigel got excited when he saw the leash. When I got back, Flower looked so bored at Shih Tzu Cen­tral that I decided to take her too. I put the pink har­ness on her and attached a leash to it and one to her col­lar so she couldn’t escape. I was happy when she didn’t even try. She shook her head, but I think it was because the leash was both­er­ing her. I kept read­just­ing it so she would be com­fort­able. She walked with me and then she ran with me quite a bit. I think she might be the first one after Nigel to learn to like walks!

Nigel is still the only dog that knows how to get in through the Magic Mesh screen, which I call the Magic Door. He sim­ply goes under it. Candy barks after she has been out­side long enough and wants in. Oh well. I am at least very happy about the walk­ing achievements!

Shih Tzu Day 329: May 23


Candy was hav­ing a case of “nui­sance bark­ing” ear­lier, so she had to come in. I’m not sure who or what she was bark­ing about. She can be very loud, though.

The train­ing pad in front of the TV did pre­vent who­ever has been pee­ing in front of the TV — most likely Flower —from pee­ing on the floor, so it is a tem­po­rary solution.

Today I put har­nesses on all the dogs, think­ing I would try to take them all for a walk. I’m not too happy with the har­ness assort­ment I have. I used the Comfy Con­trol one for Dot­tie, the Ross ones for Nigel and Flower, and a very plain pink one from PetS­mart for Candy.

Dot­tie ended up being too stub­born, plant­ing her butt on the floor and not mov­ing, and I wasn’t sure I could han­dle all four any­way, so I decided to just take the youngest three. How­ever, Candy fol­lowed Dottie’s exam­ple and wouldn’t budge, so I gave up on her too and just decided to take Nigel and Flower. When I opened the door, Flower bounded towards it. Yeah! She and Nigel did very well. We made a com­plete cir­cle around the area behind Wal-Mart. It’s not that much of a walk. It’s prob­a­bly less than a quar­ter of a mile, but it’s something.

When we got back, Candy kept com­ing up to me and growl­ing, which I think usu­ally means that she wants a treat. I decided she would have to work for it and put the leash on her. I car­ried her out­side and then put her on the ground. She walked or ran most of the way with­out me tug­ging on her leash. For some rea­son, when we got back to the yard, she sat down and wouldn’t move to go inside. I won­der if she has a fear of enter­ing houses because of some past trauma. I opened the door and pointed to her sis­ters, telling her, “This is your home,” and she finally got up and went up the steps and in the door. I hope to soon have the three youngest shih tzus want­ing to go for walks.

One of my inspi­ra­tions is Penny, a res­cue dog one of my friends owns. I guess she was a very fear­ful dog when the fam­ily got her. Now, she is very friendly and she loves walks. In fact, they take her on three a day, which is a lit­tle too much of a com­mit­ment for me! They are a retired cou­ple, so they have more time.

Flower was being very dra­matic this evening. She jumped up on the couch arm, and bat­ted her paws at me, which means she wants to be pet­ted. I was typ­ing away on my lap­top and she walked across the couch and scratched the side of the com­puter, I think in dis­ap­proval. I stopped and gave her some attention.

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Shih Tzu Week 40: March 29 (Day 274) – April 4 (Day 280)

Shih Tzu Day 274: March 29 (Thursday)

 Tug-of-war with Nigel

Nigel and Flower rest between bitey-face sessions. I decided to per­form a test today. I put one of the fuzzy hol­i­day blan­kets on the floor. The dogs can lie down on it, unless some­one uses it as a train­ing pad. While I was putting it down, Nigel grabbed it with his teeth and stared pulling on it, think­ing it was a tug-of-war game.

 Atten­tion, please!

Dot­tie and Flower have been very demand­ing today, want­ing atten­tion. They love pet­ting time. I think it’s so sweet when I put my hand against Dottie’s face, and she presses against it, not want­ing me to move it.  When I pet Flower, if I move my hand, she bats her paw at me, until I pet her again.

I guess I am lucky Nigel and Candy don’t demand pet­ting. It’s dif­fi­cult pet­ting two dogs at once, and pet­ting four at once would be impos­si­ble. Candy does wan­der up to get atten­tion now and then, but that’s easy to do. And I am glad John picks her up and gives her atten­tion when he is here. She doesn’t stay long, but I can tell she enjoys it. I am so happy to see how far they have come in this area.

Shih Tzu Day 275: March 30 (Friday)

 At my feet

The vampire shih tzus are at it again.After John left, Candy came over and sat at my feet, near Nigel. That was unusual, so I inves­ti­gated. I for­got to put a train­ing pad down for her, which is one of her favorite rest­ing places. I am glad that she only chooses to sit on clean pads!

 Vam­pire shih tzus

Nigel was in a very play­ful mood today. Flower was sit­ting next to him and he started bit­ing her neck. She seems to like it.

Shih Tzu Day 276: March 31 (Saturday)

 Tidy puddles

I don’t know why I have been for­get­ting to put down train­ing pads. I did it again last night. Some­one needed to pee before I got up, but they made a neat lit­tle pud­dle on the mat I sit the pad on. That’s quite an improve­ment from even a few months ago.

Since I no longer put the cush­ions up on Flower’s for­mer couch, she has jumped up on it a few times over the last cou­ple of days. Thank good­ness, she seems to have lost inter­est in pee­ing on the couches!

Shih Tzu Day 277: April 1 (Sunday)

 Dot­tie can fly

Candy is still waiting for her hair cut! I didn’t feel like get­ting up early this morn­ing. I got up, fed the dogs, gave them their morn­ing chew sticks, and then went back to bed for two more hours! It felt so good. The shih tzus didn’t try to come and get me.

After I came back down and sat on the couch, Dot­tie came up to it. I was just get­ting ready to help her up, when she “flew” up onto it on her own. It was amaz­ing; one sec­ond she was on the ground, and the next, she was beside me. It was like watch­ing a cat jump up. She didn’t even get a run­ning start like Flower does. Has she been fak­ing all this time that she can’t get up on her own?

Baby Nigel

We decided it was time for Nigel’s groom­ing ses­sion. He got a close hair cut, like his sis­ters. Three down! He looks like such a lit­tle baby now. He acts like one too. When John was trim­ming his fur, he kept walk­ing over to me and putting his paws on my shoul­ders for comfort.

 Shih Tzu Day 278: April 2 (Monday)

 Feisty Flower

Flower sat with me for a while this morn­ing, but left when Nigel came up. She was in a feisty mood. She snuck my rub­ber fin­ger I had been using to go through papers off of my lap­top stand and wouldn’t give it back. I had to pry it from her mouth. Later, her and Nigel had one of their bitey-face ses­sions. It sure looks like that should hurt!

Shih Tzu Day 279: April 3 (Tuesday)

Me or peanut butter?

I’m not sure what Flower was doing ear­lier. She was on the couch and was stretch­ing with her paws up on the top, and leaned over and licked my nose. I think she wanted to know why I smelled like peanut but­ter and why she didn’t get any. Then, she started growl­ing — again, either for peanut but­ter, or for atten­tion. I had already put the peanut but­ter away, or else I would have given her a lit­tle. Instead, I gave her a lit­tle atten­tion. She seemed sat­is­fied with that.

Nigel and Flower had another long bitey-face ses­sion this morn­ing. After­wards, Flower hauled out the Christ­mas rawhide bone, started fight­ing with it, and then trot­ted off to Shih Tzu Cen­tral with it. Nigel suc­ceeded in crawl­ing into my lap. I let him sit there for a while, before I moved him to my side so I could use the laptop.


I gave the dogs some of the jicama I was eat­ing. They all took it except Candy. Nigel and Flower seemed to inhale theirs, but Dot­tie chewed on hers dain­tily for a while.

Shih Tzu Day 280: April 4 (Wednesday)

Lonely shih tzus

The shih tzus didn’t get much atten­tion today. I was gone most of the day and then did a lot of orga­niz­ing when I got home. Dot­tie was so lonely for atten­tion that even she ran up to greet John at the door when he got home!

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Shih Tzu Week 37: March 8 (Day 253) — 14 (Day 259)

Shih Tzu Day 253: March 8 (Thursday)

Nigel fights me over a sock he's claimed.My three lit­tle fol­low­ers — Nigel, Dot­tie, and Flower — fol­lowed me up and down the stairs this morn­ing while I tried to orga­nize the spare room. Later on, the youngest shih tzu kids spent some­time out­side sit­ting on the porch or play­ing, while Dot­tie kept Mom com­pany on the couch.

I’m not sure why, but while I was on the phone this after, Dot­tie went off on Flower. I heard this snarling and growl­ing, and looked over to see her doing what I call her “two-headed mean mon­ster rou­tine.” It usu­ally has some­thing to do with pos­ses­sive­ness. Flower stands up to her some­times, but today, she ran back to Shih Tzu Cen­tral until Dot­tie got back to normal.

Shih Tzu Day 254: March 9 (Friday)

All is calm on the Shih Tzu Front.

Shih Tzu Day 255: March 10 (Saturday)

Flower can't wait to get her morning chew stick.We were gone quite a while today. I have been orga­niz­ing the kitchen, the spare room, my file sys­tem, etc., so I was look­ing for con­tain­ers, and John needed a new Nuvi for week. I always feel bad when we have to leave the dogs for too many hours. They are always so excited when we get home.

Shih Tzu Day 256: March 11 (Sunday)

Candy “knocked” to get in this morn­ing, which is very rare. Flower stayed out­side ear­lier for a while with her. She was sniff­ing around the grass, includ­ing around the fence. I am always cau­tious when they are too fix­ated with one area. I have these fears of some­one throw­ing some­thing poi­soned into our yard. It doesn’t help that I just read about the guy that had video­taped him­self tor­ment­ing his dogs. I don’t under­stand peo­ple like that at all.

Shih Tzu Day 257: March 12 (Monday)

John was very proud of Flower this evening. She came and stood in front of John, star­ing at him, and he assumed she might need to go out and go potty. When he opened the door, she ran out and pooped. I was a proud mommy too.

It has been so nice lately. I very rarely smell that urine aroma waft­ing through the air. When they don’t go out­side, for exam­ple, when I don’t get up early enough, they pee on the train­ing pad. As soon as I see it, I fold it up, stick it up in a plas­tic gro­cery bag, tie the ends and either put it in the train­ing pad trash can, or throw it in the trash in the garage, and out down a new one. It is also very nice that I spend a lot less money on train­ing pads these days.

Shih Tzu Day 258: March 13 (Tuesday)

I gave the dogs jicama and they all seemed to like it. I have also been giv­ing them hard boiled eggs and cel­ery, which are sta­ples of our recent low-carb diet. Every time I attempt to give them some­thing new, I check to see if it’s accept­able. I was sur­prised to find out that they shouldn’t have avo­ca­dos. I thought they would be good for them. I did give Flower and Dot­tie a bite before I read that I shouldn’t, and they liked it. I am a lit­tle con­fused about dairy prod­ucts. I have read that they shouldn’t have dairy prod­ucts because they don’t have an enzyme needed to digest them, but then I have also been told to give them yogurt for their diges­tive sys­tems. So, for now, when I have it, I will give them a lit­tle yogurt.

I have stopped com­pletely giv­ing the dogs some of the other chicken jerky made in China, but I have still been giv­ing them the Dentley’s chew sticks. They like them so much. I know it’s a high­light of their morn­ing. I only saw one neg­a­tive com­ment about Dentley’s online, so I am cross­ing my fin­gers. But I will try to find some­thing else. Sadie Shih Tzu’s mom sent us a recipe for home­made dog treats, so I will try that. How­ever, noth­ing seems to replace a good chew stick when it comes to my shih tzu tribe!

Shih Tzu Day 259: March 14 (Wednesday)

Flower climbs on Dottie to get to her perch on the couch arm.Today I gave Flower and Nigel cel­ery and broc­coli. They gob­bled down the broc­coli. Nigel ate the cel­ery, but Flower chewed on it and then left it lying around. Dot­tie and Candy wouldn’t try it.

John was deliv­er­ing in the area, so he came home for lunch. The shih tzus heard the big truck in the cul de sac and started bark­ing crazily. They def­i­nitely are good guard dogs, though I don’t think they could pro­tect me much. They would give me time to call some­one for help or find a weapon with which to defend myself.

I gave the shih tzus some yogurt when he was here. They all love it.

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Shih Tzu Day 221: Extreme Shih Tzu

shih tzu slam dance

a shih tzu with a rawhide stick.After I sent the female shih tzus out­side this morn­ing to eat their break­fast, I started my nor­mal rou­tine. First, I replace the soiled train­ing pad with a new one, but this morn­ing, the train­ing pad wasn’t soiled. I didn’t see evi­dence that any­one had peed else­where. They really are all doing so much bet­ter in that area, although I expect at least one of the shih tzus to use the pad.

Next, I fill up their water bowls and if I have any extra time, I make my cof­fee. This morn­ing, when I was set­ting down the water bowls, I heard a fran­tic bang­ing on the door. I knew it was Flower. Nigel kind of claws at the door, and so does Dot­tie, although she usu­ally waits for some­one else to announce that they want in. Candy will sit there for hours, and then if you haven’t noticed she’s miss­ing, bark once or twice. Flower, how­ever, runs at the door like she’s slam danc­ing, and then claws on it, look­ing like a ham­ster run­ning in a wheel.

extreme shih tzu

That made me think of how extreme Flower is. Maybe a lit­tle high strung. Flower was the one that showed fear in the most extreme way when they came, usu­ally by her eyes being so big, and the fact that she pooped if you tried to get near her.

One of the new morn­ing rit­u­als is the pass­ing out of the Dentley’s wrapped rawhide sticks, which is one of the few rawhide prod­ucts they all like. Dot­tie trots up, takes it and walks away, usu­ally back to Shih Tzu Cen­tral to enjoy hers. Nigel grabs his a lit­tle more quickly, and, since I cor­rected him sev­eral times, goes some­where to enjoy his, instead of try­ing to grab every­one else’s too. Candy walks up timidly, acts like she is going to take hers, steps back in case a bully wants it, and then comes back, takes it between her teeth and backs away with it. When Extreme Flower has a lot of energy, she runs at my hand, quickly grabs the stick, and then runs off like a herd of ele­phants are chas­ing her.

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Shih Tzu Day 205: Shih Tzu Improvements

shih tzu mem­o­ries are secure

It has been quite a month. A com­puter crash and backup hard drive prob­lem at the same time caused me to lose all my data. Although pro­fes­sion­als told me I couldn’t get it back, per­sis­tency and lots of com­puter research led me to do just that. Yes­ter­day, I got to the point where I had even recov­ered my Day­One files, where I kept my Shih Tzu jour­nal. I am so happy to get back a few lost weeks that I hadn’t trans­ferred to my blog yet. I also recov­ered ALL of my videos. I was heart­bro­ken that I thought I had lost all those firsts with the shih tzus. I was kick­ing myself for not hav­ing put any up on my site or on YouTube, because I hadn’t yet fig­ured how to edit them. Now every­thing gets backed up on a backup drive and elsewhere!

atti­tude adjustment

One of the biggest things I have noticed over the past few weeks is Nigel’s changed atti­tude. He still gets ram­bunc­tious and still has to be cor­rected, but ever since I brought the “dog house” inside and put him in it when he was pick­ing on the girls, he has not been nearly as pos­ses­sive of things and doesn’t bully them to where it is unbearable.

Another improve­ment has been in the “tin­kle” depart­ment. I got tired of putting the small car­pet I put under their two train­ing pads in the washer and dryer, because I could always smell the rub­ber back­ing, and it was too hard to wash it by hand. Instead I have been using an old dish dry­ing mat as the base and putting one pad on top of it. For the most part, they are hit­ting the mark, although I do have to clean up the hard­wood floor in the morn­ing, because of whichever dog seems to squat on the edge. The best part is at least they seem to be really try­ing! I am not sure, but it seems like Flower might be wait­ing to go out­side in the morning.

shih tzu amnesia

Flower and Dot­tie seem to develop amne­sia every morn­ing. I have been com­ing down­stairs at 6 but John usu­ally doesn’t come down until 7. When the dogs hear his foot­steps on the stairs, they act like he is an intruder and bark like crazy, throw­ing in a growl here and there, even when they see who he is. But there is hope. He can now come up to them and pet them and assure them that he is not an intruder, and they do stop barking.

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