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.
Flower 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.
I 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.
Leticia 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.
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.