Shih Tzu Week 123: Halloween and a Special Birthday

Oct. 31 – Nov. 6

Hal­loween 

This Hal­loween is a lit­tle dif­fer­ent than last year. That’s because we con­tinue to have house vis­i­tors. When I got up this morn­ing, Panda had climbed into a bas­ket in Mom’s room. John calls what­ever bas­ket he or Spot is in their “high-rise hotel” or “loft.”  I have been try­ing to spend as much time as I can with Mom, since she will be leav­ing soon to go to Florida. We watched “Grey Gar­dens” Hal­loween after­noon. I thought she would like it because of all the cats, but the sit­u­a­tion was a lit­tle too close to home — that is, Mom’s old home.

I dressed the shih tzus up and took them for their tra­di­tional Hal­loween walk behind Wal-Mart. Other than that, it was a very quiet Hal­loween. The neigh­bors did bring their baby over for his first “trick or treat.”

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Fri­day, Nov. 1

Mom and I went to the bank and then to her house to see what else we might need. She wanted her skil­let in which she made Buddy’s salmon cakes, but I couldn’t find it. I might have thrown it away because of hard water deposits.

I have been leav­ing the door to the base­ment open so Mom’s cats could get to their dry food, but Nigel knows it’s there now, so he tries to sneak down and eat it.

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Sun­day, Nov. 3

Mother’s cat, Emily, doesn’t seem to be feel­ing well. We aren’t sure how old she is, but we think she could be 17 or 18 years old. She has been very thin for a long time, and when she was at Mom’s home in Com­merce City, she used to cough a lot. Lately, she just lies down next to the water bowl, with her head against it. I felt so bad for her today that I put a stuffed ani­mal under her head. She put her head on it as soon as I did.

I guess she was too weak to go down­stairs to her lit­ter box, so she wan­dered over to the train­ing pad and peed on it. Too bad she isn’t well enough to teach whichever of our shih tzus still pees on the floor how to use the pee pad properly!

Mon­day, Nov. 4

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Emily died this morn­ing. Although Mom was very sad, she was relieved that Emily died now, instead of pos­si­bly dying on the road trip on the way to Florida. Mom also said that she was happy that Buddy “fol­lows her close so he can pick up the pieces.” Poor Mom. She has gone through a lot lately. I am very glad she has Buddy. She did admit, how­ever, that, “what made me sad made Buddy glad.” That’s because Buddy never seems happy to share Mom with Emily, or the other cats. He tends to growl when they get too close to her. We had become fond of Emily, so John and I shed a few tears for her too.

I am happy to say that Mom still has her sense of humor. Mom spot­ted some urine on the hard wood floor and decided she was going to pick it up. She got down on her knees with a paper towel before I could stop her. Then, she started laugh­ing when she had trou­ble get­ting back up. “Oh, oh,” she started laugh­ing, and you guessed it, said, “Help. I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”

When Mom gets melan­choly, which is quite often, she repeats a phrase from one of her past cowork­ers at Burger King: “What we gonna do, Buddy? What we gonna do?” I sure hope she can find a way to be happy when she gets to Florida.

Wednes­day, Nov. 6

This will be the first time I spent Mom’s entire birth­day with her since, hmmm, prob­a­bly when I was a child. I gave her a photo album of pic­tures I put together from her time with us, mainly of her furry babies, but I included some of our furry kids, so she could remem­ber them.

I think she really liked all the pic­tures. Spot Collins and Panda were the main stars, but we did get some sweet pic­tures of Emily before she died, and of course I included some of Buddy and Mom.

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Shih Tzu Week 118: Dahlias & Dogs

Sept. 26 – Oct. 2, 2013 

We have been spend­ing a lot of time work­ing on our gar­den. I espe­cially love the dahlias. I like to think the shih tzus enjoy them too. Candy spends the most time in the back­yard, usu­ally sun­ning her­self on the bridge John made for them.

Sun­day, Sept. 29: Spot­light on Nigel

Tues­day, Oct. 1 

Flower com­ing to visit us in bed each morn­ing. Actu­ally, I think she comes to visit John, with an ulte­rior motive of try­ing to steal Nigel’s pre-breakfast treat, if he hap­pens to bring the left­over bone back to bed with him. Some­times John lifts her up, but she does pretty good jump­ing up on her own usu­ally. 

Wednes­day, Oct. 2:

Morn­ing Dog Walk behind Wal-Mart

 

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Shih Tzu Journal: Sept. 5, 2012

Mom said one of us should get on here and let every­one know how we are doing! I got voted to do it. Mom usu­ally says how many days we have been here, but she didn’t tell me. I only know we have been here at least 14 months.

Mom takes us for a walk once a day — almost every day. We hate it when she doesn’t. This morn­ing, the Man left for work and I jumped up on the couch and pawed Mom’s shoul­ders and back until she finally gave up try­ing to work and took us out. Candy still usu­ally doesn’t want to go for walks, so unless the Man is going with us, she leaves Candy here.

Mom says she thinks the grass both­ers Candy’s feet, or she might like to walk. She walks really dain­tily over it and tries to get to the dirt or pave­ment. She is really, really slow, so when she comes with us, we have to wait for her. Well, she is the most slow on the grass. When we go to the place Mom calls Majes­tic View, she is bet­ter. But when we go walk­ing on the grass behind that big build­ing called Wal-Mart, she is really slow.

I love, love walk­ing! I love chas­ing birds! I love sniff­ing under the bushes! I love it all! What I don’t under­stand is why Mom always holds the end of my leash, but Dot­tie always gets to “walk her­self,” and now, so does Candy. Some­times Nigel gets to walk him­self too. When we are at the park, Mom lets Candy and Dot­tie walk them­selves unless peo­ple or dogs approach us. Then, she quickly grabs the leashes. That’s because Dot­tie usu­ally gets con­fused and either runs away from or fol­lows the peo­ple. Mom says if I walked myself I would run in front of a car because I would be chas­ing a bird or a kite and wouldn’t pay attention.

Right now, we’re all tak­ing naps, because Mom is being bor­ing, just typ­ing on her com­puter. I wish we could go for another walk! I hear some dogs are lucky and get to walk more than once a day! That would be so wonderful!

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Shih Tzu Day 123: Four-Month Anniversary

four months with the shih tzu sisters

a black and white shih tzu in a black and white dog bed with red and white treat.I am almost a month behind on my blog. I hate to admit that, but we just cel­e­brated Thanks­giv­ing and I haven’t even cov­ered Hal­loween! Please bear with us as we try to catch up! To set the stage, it is Octo­ber 30, Sun­day morn­ing, and this is our four-month anniver­sary with the shih tzu sis­ters. I don’t think Dot­tie came upstairs until 7:15, which is a won­der­ful change from the 4:00 wakeup call I got from her when she first came to live with us.

I ran out of food for the shih tzus, so I gave them left­over chicken, rice and cream of mush­room soup for break­fast. As my friend Deb would say, it was like “doggy crack.” Flower fin­ished hers quickly and rushed over to eat Candy’s, grab­bing up a big blob before I hollered and got her to drop the stolen goods. Inside, Nigel ate his with one or two bites.

treats in a dog bed. Later, I had to rush out­side and get Nigel, because he wanted to play with the girls and they didn’t, so they were yip­ping. I know that neigh­bors don’t like yip­ping dogs, and I live in fear of an omi­nous let­ter stat­ing that the shih tzus are wak­ing peo­ple up. I was bare­foot, the grass was wet, and who knew where the smelly, brown land mines had been planted this morn­ing, but I hur­ried out before throw­ing on shoes. I am still try­ing to teach him that when a lady says no, it’s not maybe, but NO.

While John made pan­cakes later, Dot­tie rested beside me. Flower slept in a dog bed and Candy and Nigel con­tin­ued to play out­side. When all the dogs were back inside, I gave them all a red and white rawhide treat. Pretty soon, I real­ized that Nigel had rounded them all up and stowed them away in his dog bed. I redis­trib­uted them.

After that, he snug­gled up next to me and stayed there while I watched the “Right Stuff” as home­work for a writ­ing project I am work­ing on regard­ing Gen­eral Chuck Yea­ger, “sound bar­rier breaker.”

a shih tzu under a trailer with a dog treat. I don’t know what hap­pened, but while we sat there, Flower jumped up on the couch like vam­pires were chas­ing her, her eyes huge. Later, I heard Flower yip­ping at Shih Tzu Cen­tral. Nigel was no longer at my side, and I imme­di­ately said, “Nigel!” When I looked down, how­ever, only Flower and Dot­tie were in sight. I saw a red and white mini rawhide treat between them and thought that might have been the cause of con­tention. It’s highly likely that Dot­tie wasn’t able to keep hers ear­lier, since both Nigel and Flower are such thieves. But poor Nigel, since he is the shih tzu who usu­ally gets the blame for any ruckus.

dog walk­ing = exercise

I vis­ited my doc­tor this week for my annual phys­i­cal. As usual, we talked about any changes in health, etc. I brought up the sub­ject of exer­cise. My doc­tor is a bicy­clist, and last year I shared my new­found inter­est in that sport with him. I had told him that John and I had bought “beach cruiser” bikes and that I was rid­ing almost every­day, with John and I rid­ing the bike paths on the week­ends. I proudly pro­claimed that between May and Novem­ber, I put more than a thou­sand miles on my bike.

two shih tzus How­ever, I also told him that we had adopted a trio of shih tzus and that it had changed our sched­ule, and as a result, John and I weren’t get­ting that much exer­cise because we were rid­ing our bikes a lot less. I told him that, in fact, we had only man­aged a hand­ful of bicy­cle out­ings this sum­mer. I don’t think I took my bike out alone more than twice. I had got­ten in the habit of hop­ping on my bike when John left for work, but now I get up and spend time with the shih tzus before I start working.

My doc­tor also has dogs, and he asked if we took ours for walks. He was sur­prised when I said we did no dog walk­ing because the shih tzus did not like walks. I said we had to leash train the shih tzus against their will. I doubt that any­one had dog walk­ing duty at the puppy mill where the shih tzus came from, although they pos­si­bly exer­cised in a dog run.

I real­ized that I am so used to our shih tzus’ issues that I some­times for­get they aren’t “nor­mal” dogs. If their fear or dis­like of a leash — and maybe the unknown world — was the only issue, we might be fur­ther along with our dog walk­ing. How­ever, there are the groom­ing issues and the house­break­ing issues.

Look­ing back over the last four months, the shih tzus are so much bet­ter now with me in many ways, but they do still fight me when I try to get them walk­ing on a leash. John is a lot sterner, and when he has the time, he gets some results. I def­i­nitely need the shih tzus to be more com­fort­able with both of us, since to walk four dogs, I need a dog walk­ing com­pan­ion! My con­ver­sa­tion with my doc­tor made me deter­mined to try harder, and that included a Sat­ur­day dog walk.

We took Dot­tie and Nigel for a walk this after­noon. Dot­tie was shak­ing when we stopped to talk to some cul de sac neigh­bors. As I stood there, Dot­tie started walk­ing, just to get away! That was a small vic­tory, since she was walk­ing on a leash. We headed towards Wal-Mart, a block away. We climbed a small grass-covered hill and once we started walk­ing on even ground, she trot­ted along. I was sur­prised at how well she did. She got a gold star in leash walking!

Flower the couch wetter

I have deter­mined that Dot­tie is our “trem­bler,” at least at times, and Candy is our “loner.” Flower is our lit­tle “bed wet­ter” — or at least she would be, if she got up on the bed. She def­i­nitely is our “couch wet­ter.” I gave her back her couch priv­i­leges, but she is los­ing them again! She peed on the red blan­ket when we were gone on our walk.

I just don’t under­stand what causes that. I have to con­grat­u­late her for some improve­ment though. While we were out­side later, we could hear the chil­dren next door play­ing loudly. Flower’s eyes got big. She would nor­mally scam­per for the door, but she turned and looked at me instead. I told her it was OK, and she stayed where she was.

When I went back inside, I left the door open, since Nigel and Candy were still play­ing. After a lit­tle while, Nigel scam­pered in like a rab­bit being chased. When I looked at him, he had a red and white rawhide treat in his mouth. I think he stole it from Candy and thought she was in hot pur­suit, but she wasn’t.

My couch was soon occu­pied by Nigel, Flower and Dot­tie. Candy acted like she wanted to come up too. She wan­dered up and down on the floor, in front of the couch, look­ing up from time to time. Finally, when she got close enough, I picked her up and sat her near me.

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Shih Tzu Day 115: Flower Power, Play Dates & Leash Training

 A bloom­ing Flower

a black and white shih tzu nibbling on an apple.I get a kick out of Flower. Today, she walked up to the couch, licked my feet and then walked by. That’s the most lick­ing I get from these shih tzus. What I do get, though, is some good enter­tain­ment. Like when Flower comes up, puts her paws up on the edge of the couch, stares into my eyes with her big eyes and then slides down. She did that rou­tine twice today.

Later, Flower didn’t hes­i­tate to go up to John for dog treats. John has taken the dogs out for their treats the last two evenings. They fol­low him quickly, which is great to see. In fact, Flower was fol­low­ing right at his feet like he was the Pied Piper. And Flower has been jump­ing up on the couch often. Beyond that, mir­a­cle of mir­a­cles, she let John pet her today.

Dot­tie

three shih tzu sisters on a couch.Even Dot­tie jumped off the couch and fol­lowed the Pied Piper. Then, this after­noon, we took Nigel and Dot­tie for a walk. Actu­ally, I couldn’t call it leash train­ing. John walked Nigel on the leash. I car­ried Dot­tie to the green area behind the Wal-Mart a block away, so she could “watch” John and Nigel, and hope­fully get a hint that walk­ing can be fun. How­ever, when we were at a point where I didn’t think she would run off, I set Dot­tie down.

At first, she walked a few steps and then stopped. How­ever, when we got to a place that was more like a path, she walked behind and beside me for prob­a­bly a minute until she heard a voice from a nearby apart­ment. I let her stop a while and then picked her up again. We walked a ways and then I put her down again. She walked again until she heard another voice. That time, she started shak­ing. I picked her up and car­ried her back to the house, praised her and gave her a treat. She was so cute walk­ing by me, but, sorry to say, I didn’t have my cam­era with me.

also 

Nigel is a real apple lover, unlike our female shih tzus. He also loves play­ing with Candy out­side and inside. This after­noon John was hold­ing Nigel and I couldn’t resist putting Candy on his lap too. They were so cute sit­ting there. It looked like they were on a date.

a boy and girl shih tzu on a "date."We now have sev­eral couch dogs. Today, Nigel was sit­ting between us, Dot­tie was next to me and Flower next to her, and even­tu­ally, Candy moved over near her shih tzu sis­ters. I was very excited when we bought our couch from Amer­i­can Fur­ni­ture Ware­house last year, but it actu­ally is a pain in the butt. It’s a sofa sleeper, and it is not very good qual­ity, as far as we are con­cerned. Because of hav­ing John and Nigel on one side and Dot­tie and some­times Flower on the other, I have to sit right in the mid­dle, half of me on one cush­ion and half on the other. And, the cush­ions sink in the mid­dle. It is a bum­mer to have to think about the As Seen On TV prod­uct, Fur­ni­ture Fix, when we just bought our sofa six months ago. Instead of buy­ing that prod­uct, we put a board under the cush­ions. It seems to be work­ing right now.

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