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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