Merry Christmas to All!

We are so sorry we haven’t kept up with our blog! Life has been good to us! This morn­ing, the four of us went for a Christ­mas walk. It was cold and windy, so our Humans wanted to go for a shorter walk, but we enjoyed it. When we got home, they gave us some ham from their Christ­mas lunch. Mom also made us treats: sweet pota­toes wrapped in chicken and apples wrapped in chicken.

We were very sorry to recently hear that Sadie Shih Tzu had to go over the Rain­bow Bridge. She was so pretty and her mom, Liz Hover, loved her so much.

We hope every­one enjoys Christ­mas! We’ll post pics soon!

 

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Shih Tzu Week 119: Snow!

Oct. 3 – Oct. 9, 2013

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Fri­day, Oct. 4 

It snowed last night. Snow! On Oct. 3! I’m not ready to see my gar­den die! Also, I have been leav­ing the back­door open, since Candy and Dot­tie still don’t go through the doggy door. So today it is closed.

I have begun to think of myself as Flower’s “Daddy Bridge.” She climbs onto my lap, and with­out stop­ping, crosses me to get to Daddy. But I am in no way com­plain­ing. I am just happy that she is that com­fort­able with both of us now. When she isn’t with us, or at Shih Tzu Cen­ter, she likes to sit on the back of the loveseat where she can watch every­body from a com­fort­able dis­tance, and look out the win­dow when she chooses.

Candy also con­tin­ues to make “couch progress.” I never knew what she wanted before when she came up to the couch. Nowa­days it can mean she wants a snack or she wants up. Today, for exam­ple, I reached to get her and she stood still and let me pick her up. Dot­tie was already on one side and Nigel snug­gled close on the other. I sat her on the other side of Nigel, and she even­tu­ally curled up and set­tled down. When she was there, I rubbed her ear and real­ized it was soft inside, not rough as usual. That rough­ness, or “ele­phant ear,” is a sign of aller­gies, although I am not sure to what. I have been putting a lit­tle Aquaphor in her ear, think­ing if it works for my lips it might work for her ear. It seems to be work­ing. Also, a neigh­bor gave us a water cooler, so they mainly get puri­fied water to drink, and maybe that is helping.

Flower jumped up on the couch to join us a lit­tle later, so I had all four of the shih tzus for com­pany, although Flower def­i­nitely looked bored on her cor­ner perch. Candy can only take couch com­fort for so long, so she even­tu­ally jumped down to occupy the bed she and Nigel alter­nate in, by the enter­tain­ment cen­ter. Although he rarely does it, Nigel actu­ally took a bed at Shih Tzu Central.

I have the TV on today, like I often do when I’m work­ing, with the vol­ume down. I just saw an image of an abused dog on an com­mer­cial for an ani­mal shel­ter and it almost made me cry. I am so happy our four shih tzus have a lov­ing home and that there are so many ani­mal res­cues and shel­ters out there try­ing to make a difference.

Sun­day, Oct. 6 

It warmed up enough for us to take the dogs for a walk at Majes­tic View Nature Cen­ter. Since we have worked so hard on our gar­den this year, I have really enjoyed look­ing at their plants and flow­ers, which are usu­ally tagged with their names.

It gives me of ideas for the future. We don’t walk there nearly as much as the shih tzus would like to, since we nor­mally just walk behind Wal-Mart, so it is always a spe­cial treat. I tried to walk all four of them once there with­out John, but it was a fiasco, and I would never try it again.

Mon­day, Oct. 7

Nigel got a bath today. Hope­fully that will stop his scratch­ing. Each one of the dogs took their turns on the couch today again. Of course, Dot­tie is there most of the day. I was watch­ing Flower roll around on the couch for a while. Not sure why she does that, but it’s fun to watch. Maybe she is scratch­ing her back on the couch? Each time I pick up Candy and sit her down on the couch, I think about the past, when she either hid upstairs or in her cor­ner “apart­ment” in the din­ing room, instead of join­ing us. I con­tinue to be thank­ful for how far we have come.

Tues­day, Oct. 8 

John gave the shih tzus their pre-breakfast snack (chicken-wrapped rawhide bone) as usual this morn­ing and they were rar­ing to go. For some rea­son, Candy often doesn’t eat hers right away. She sits it in front of her and guards it. I think she keeps it just to enjoy the game. If any­one comes near it, she sounds her loud siren bark warn­ing. I need to record it, because it’s fierce. Some­times, like today, Flower sits on the other side of Candy’s bone and growls, try­ing to ter­ror­ize her sis­ter to giv­ing it up. How­ever, Candy instead decided it was time to enjoy it.

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Shih Tzu Week 117

Back to the Past: Sept. 19 – Sept. 25, 2013

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Fri­day, Sept. 20

This morn­ing when I went to grab the leashes out of the bas­ket, Nigel wan­dered back to his bed and Candy wan­dered under the table. They prob­a­bly need walk­ing the least, so I decided to just take Dot­tie and Flower. It’s always eas­ier with less than four any­way. When we got back, I opened the back door so the shih tzus could wan­der in and out. I so wish we could get Dot­tie and Candy to use the doggy door, because I am con­stantly try­ing to get flies and bees out of the house. I swat­ted a fly near Candy and she didn’t even run. Some­times she still star­tles eas­ily, but she is get­ting better.

Sun­day, Sept. 22

We took the dogs for a walk this morn­ing at Majes­tic View. I always get a kick out of Flower’s excite­ment dur­ing the car ride. Nigel gets pretty excited too, but Flower is more ver­bal. If I say, “Are you excited we’re going for a walk?” Flower squeals.

Mon­day, Sept. 23

We have done well with many areas with the shih tzus, includ­ing their rela­tion­ship with us. I have also noticed that most of their tear stains are gone, although Dot­tie still has a lit­tle brown on her face. How­ever, partly because of the fact that Candy and Dot­tie won’t use the doggy door, we still have house­break­ing issues. It’s not unusual for me to try to fig­ure out where the urine smell is com­ing from. I real­ized today that Flower had peed on her couch, so the cush­ion cover went into the wash. Also, it looked like some­one peed on Dottie’s thick blan­ket that I some­times sit on. Ick. Candy had been reliev­ing her­self on the car­pet in our bed­room so I started shut­ting the door. Then she started pee­ing on the rug in the bath­room. At least I can wash that, but I also started shut­ting that door.

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Thanksgiving #2 with the Shih Tzus (What a difference)

When I started to put together my post about this Thanks­giv­ing, I went back to see how our first Thanks­giv­ing with Candy, Dot­tie, Flower and Nigel was. I was amazed. We have def­i­nitely seen a lot of progress with our puppy mill shih tzus, although Nigel was as friendly to every­one as usual.

Dottie Flower Nigel Shih Tzu Thanksgiving 2012

I had to leave to pick up Mom at about 9:45. Before I did, I put a green sweater on Nigel, a pink and white dress on Candy, an ani­mal print sweater on Flower, and Dottie’s birth­day dress on her. When I started get­ting my boots on, Flower, Dot­tie and Nigel thought we were going for a walk, so they rushed me. (That wouldn’t have hap­pened last year, since I couldn’t get them to go on walks.) I didn’t put their har­nesses on them. I just opened the door and they all scram­bled out behind me. I’m sure they were a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed to find out they were only pick­ing up Grandma and com­ing right back.

Flower Shih Tzu eating Thanksgiving dinner.

Leti­cia and the kids arrived about 30 min­utes later. The female shih tzus went to their cor­ner. Once the din­ner was ready, I fixed them plates of turkey, sweet pota­toes and a lit­tle bit of mashed pota­toes and cran­berry sauce, and then I set all four bowls out­side. None of them hes­i­tated from rush­ing out­side and dig­ging in. The girls went back to their cor­ner but then couldn’t resist the smells and one by one, wan­dered up to the table, look­ing for scraps.

When it was time to take Mom back home, I asked Cea and Evita if they wanted to come along for the ride. It didn’t pre­vent Nigel, Flower and Dot­tie from once again trot­ting out to the car and get­ting in. Nigel sat on my mom’s lap until we dropped her off. I put one of the seats down, so Cea and Evita sat together and Flower and Dot­tie went between the other seat and the back of the car. Once I dropped off Mom, the girls came up front and Nigel sat with them. Flower got com­fort­able enough to sit on the con­sole, some­times fac­ing front­ward, and some­times turn­ing around.

Dottie Shih Tzu eating Thanksgiving dinner.

They were a lit­tle put off when Gabe, Crys­tal, Avi and Samuel showed up. Samuel is nearly one year old, and he wanted to play in the dog area. They didn’t seem to mind it very much, and they even­tu­ally did come out and start wan­der­ing around.

Candy Shih Tzu Thanksgiving 2012

On Sat­ur­day night, Aunt Betty and a friend came over. The females once again retired to their cor­ner, but about two hours later, they came out, with Candy even doing her “I want some­thing but can’t tell you what” dance. John reached down to pick up Flower, and she let him! He held her on his lap at the table for about 15 min­utes. They have come such a long way with him that I think he is now Dad and not the Man.

 

Be sure to check out last year’s Thanks­giv­ing blog to see what a dra­matic dif­fer­ence one year makes!

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Shih Tzu Special Day: Dottie’s 7th Birthday

Dot­tie Shih Tzu’s 7th birthday

I am happy to say that Dot­tie cel­e­brated her sec­ond birth­day party at her for­ever home today! She is now 7 years old. We did things a lit­tle dif­fer­ently than we did last year.

Remem­ber­ing last year’s Shih Tzu birth­day party

Dottie Shih Tzu with crown and treatsFor Dottie’s first birth­day with us, two and a half months after she and her half sis­ters came to live with us, I dressed Dot­tie, Candy, and Flower up (Nigel hadn’t come to live with us yet). I was try­ing to get Dot­tie used to rid­ing in the car, so I took her with me down the street to get a cheese­burger and fries for the shih tzus to shake. She shook the entire time. 

How things have changed in Shih Tzu Land

Candy Shih Tzu with Treat and CrownLook­ing back, I am happy to say that things are quite a bit dif­fer­ent! Yes, Dot­tie some­times still does shake in the car, but all of the dogs are used to going on car rides, because of our fre­quent trips to the park. Also, they are now all used to walk­ing on a leash!

Majes­tic View Park

Flower Shih Tzu with treat and crownI don’t like to take all four shih tzus for walks with­out John, because they are a hand­ful, but since it was Dottie’s birth­day, I attempted it. I also wanted to make it more spe­cial than behind Wal-Mart, where we nor­mally walk on week­days, so I decided to take them for a walk at Majes­tic View Park, our nor­mal Sun­day morn­ing routine.

First off, I got down their leash and har­ness box and Dot­tie, Nigel, and Flower got excited, as usual — but there har­nesses weren’t in it! I searched all over the house, and finally found them in the spare bed­room. I must have gone up there to get some­thing with the har­nesses in my hand and absent­mind­edly set them down on the bed. Once I got the har­nesses on them, I fixed the flex leashes for Nigel, Flower, and Candy so that they wouldn’t extend all the way, which, hope­fully, would help me con­trol them. 

Flower, Nigel, and Dot­tie all fol­lowed me out to the car in the garage, but Candy hes­i­tated in the hall, as usual. I picked them all up and put them in the back of the Focus, and then came back in for Candy. I put the birth­day girl in the place of honor in the front seat, on a new furry blan­ket I got her.

Nige Shih Tzu in birthday crown.When we got to the park, I put Nigel’s leash on him and let him out my door, although I try to nor­mally let them out the hatch. Then, I care­fully let Flower down (the last time we went to the park she jumped out before we could get the leash on her!), put Candy’s leash on her and let her down, and then picked Dot­tie up and set her on the ground.

I know that the sign in the park says that all dogs need to be on leashes, and tech­ni­cally, Dot­tie is always on a leash. It’s just not always in my hand! She is so good that when no one is close, I let her walk her­self, next to me. I also let Candy walk her­self usu­ally, because she is very good and stays close to me. 

We did okay for the first few min­utes, but once I let out their flex leashes, Flower and Nigel started weav­ing back and forth, and I spent more time untan­gling them and me than walk­ing. We stopped at a bench and I got out the treats I made for Dot­tie: chicken and sweet potato, chicken and apple, and chicken and banana (I still haven’t per­fected the banana treats). Nigel stole the first treat I put down for Dot­tie and one I put down for Candy, so he got scolded. I brought along the three birth­day tiaras I had from the last birth­day, and the shih tzus took turns wear­ing them.

A few peo­ple we saw com­mented that I was brave to walk four dogs, and I agreed! I told them I nor­mally wouldn’t attempt it but it was a spe­cial day. 

Mother-daughter birth­day date

Dottie Shih Tzu in her new birthday dress.When we  came home, I set­tled the other shih tzus in, and then took Dot­tie back out to the car with me for our “mother-daughter” date. She sat in the front seat with me for about three-quarters of the way, not shak­ing at all, and then climbed into the back.
Our des­ti­na­tion was Muttz, a pet store where I bought the shih tzus Big Bark “steer sticks” (piz­zles — trans­late “penises”) sev­eral months back. I called before we left to make sure they had some in stock. The woman told me they were hav­ing dif­fi­culty get­ting in the large bag I bought before but that they had a one-pound bag of steer stick pieces, which sounded bet­ter for the shih tzus than the larger ones anyway.  

Dot­tie obe­di­ently fol­lowed me into the store and stood next to me while I looked at jerky and other treats. When the clerk came to say hello, how­ever, Dot­tie started shak­ing. I explained that she came from a puppy mill and still wasn’t very good with people. 

I bought the steer stick pieces and a piece of duck jerky for Dot­tie, and when we were leav­ing, I spot­ted a blue flow­ered dress that was half off. I hadn’t been going to dress Dot­tie or the oth­ers up this year, because I know I like it more than they do, but it was so cute that I had to try it on Dot­tie. I ended up buy­ing it. The clerk asked if it was Dottie’s first time in the store, and I said yes. She said she could get a free toy, and I told her that was great since it was Dottie’s birth­day. I picked out a stuffed star to go with the yel­low flow­ers in Dottie’s dress.

On the way home, I decided to buy a cheese­burger and small fries for the shih tzus (and me) to share. I took them all out on the porch and put a small piece of ham­burger and fries in each of their food bowls. 

 

 

 

 

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