Archive for the ‘Lisa B’ Category

A Shih-Tzu Christmas

Gracie Hopper and Ava-Roo cordially invited this Shih-Tzu friends for our first annual Shih-Tzu Christmas.  A great time was had by all: liver treats, free play, and eight laps to sleep on made for a great evening.  We even took a group shot.  Gracie was (mostly) a good girl, Ava interacted with people and other doggies, Ranger and Teddy really enjoyed themselves.  And Junior, Junior seemed to be in Shih-tzu heaven.  Miss Lisa also had the opportunity to do some training in.  (Gracie did a little growl with  Ranger got something she wanted, but Lisa handled it well.)

Enjoy the video.  It really was a fun evening.

Ava gets a Lesson

I must confess I thought Ava incapable of learning doggie tricks.  It took my friend Lisa B. to show me differently.  Off-camera Lisa and Ava did some tricks with Gracie and me watching nearby.  When Dave got home, Lisa wanted to show Ava off.

What I find most interesting is the last portion of the video… Lisa distracted Gracie while working with Ava, she worked with them both.  And Ava found her safe place — in the dog bed — and was still willing to work with Lisa.  Isn’t she good?

The Three and One Quarter Club

We’ve had Ava for two weeks now.  She is making strides with a few things. Gracie and Ava seem to be getting along.  I see Gracie trying to engage Ava in play a lot. Ave doesn’t bite, but she doesn’t hiss at Gracie (that much).  They really seem to be amiable.

Yesterday we went to my friend Lisa’s house.  Her two shih tzus are good friends of Gracie.  They play and really enjoy each other’s company.  Usually when we bring Gracie to see Teddy and Ranger, we’ll leave the dogs and go out to dinner.  We decided four dogs in one house is just too too much, so Dave cooked.

 It was a beautiful day yesterday and Lisa has a beautiful fenced backyard where doggies can run free.  And they did.  But first doggies wanted to make sure we weren’t leaving.  (We weren’t, I promise.)

I wouldn’t say Ava was part of the pack.  She was an observer of the pack.  Gracie, who doesn’t seem to know how to play outside, was definitely part of the pack… she just wouldn’t chase toys outside.  She’s all about the squeak, as discussed earlier, just not outside.

When we got inside, after dinner, we went downstairs. Ava promptly (okay with prompts) went down the stairs all by herself.  The other doggies were playing at our feet, but Ava is an observer and sat outside / behind the furniture.  Lisa, who fell in love with Ava, went to look for her and she wasn’t downstairs.  Where did this dog go?  Upstairs!  Can you believe it?  She went upstairs.  And did so two or three other times.  At first I thought she went up to sit at the door because she wanted to go out.  But no it wasn’t that.  She liked looking outside.  Crazy dog. Who Can Climb Stairs!!!  (Lisa has like six or seven stairs–half the stairs we do…it probably isn’t nearly as scary for her.)

Gracie and the boys had some good play time, chasing each other like doggies who can play together are supposed to do.  But at one point, Gracie lashed out at Ranger.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  It was like she was going for his neck.  <sigh>.  So Gracie was made to heel for a bit.  Lisa thought it was because Ranger was on the ottoman, a place she was enjoying.  But as Lisa said to Gracie, Ranger is allowed on the ottoman.  So Ranger was put back on the ottoman.  I’ve never seen a more nervous look on a dog.  We praised him and told him how brave he was.  Again, a little more aggression–is that the poodle in her?  Finally, we made Gracie apologize to Ranger… sniffing, sitting together, etc.

When we left, none of the doggies wanted us to go.  We got home and it was time for bed.  I wanted Ava to try our stairs.  I put her front paws on the first riser then her back paws, repeat, rest and try again.  Finally, about the last six risers, she did it on her own.  Way to have the confidence Ava.

The Three and one-quarter Shih Tzu visit was mostly a success.  Something we will definitely do again. It’s good for Ava to be around other doggies.

As I sit here writing this, Ava is on her back, getting a good scratch and Gracie is sitting head to head with Ava in play position.  Nothing is coming of it, but Ava is pretty vulnerable and letting Gracie near her.  Good doggies.

Our First Week with Two Dogs

Just when you need it, the video camera decided not to work.  But let me tell you about our week.  Lisa suggested we try walking the dogs together, so I did with the split lead — two doggies on one leash– and with great success.  I did notice that Ava isn’t a real walker… but Gracie was very patient with her and waited — but not too much.  Ava was walking at quite a clip.  On Saturday night,  we bought a harness for Ava to use in the car.  At Petsmart, the dogs shared a shopping cart, enjoying the sights.  I think the shared walk really helped them.

Sunday, we took Gracie and Ava to my mom’s for Mother’s Day.  Ava was loved by all — and she was milking it, taking all the laps offered her.  Gracie was pleased as punch to share her backseat with Ava.

One of the tricks we do with Gracie is have her “show me”… Show me what you want,  show me poppa, show me momma, show me Grandma Dee.  Then Gracie will go with great gusto to said thing and if it’s a person, she’ll touch it with her paws or nose.  On Tuesday I asked Gracie to show me Ava.  She ran down the stairs, ran to Ava and stopped her.  Good girl, Gracie.    Tuesday night, Ava was pretty tired — all that walking on those little legs — and was curled up on her pillow.  I don’t know what Gracie was doing, but she got close to Ava.  Ava did not like this, and hissed at Gracie as if she were a cat.  I told Gracie to come by me, which she did.  It happened again when Ava was on Dave’s lap.  Gracie went by to sniff her.  Ava hissed again.  We praised Gracie for not hurting Ava and let Ava know we do not tolerate that behavior by taking her off Dave’s lap.

By Wednesday, doggies were sitting on the same pillow (I didn’t see it, but Dave said so).  But Wednesday night held its own dramas.  We had a wicked bad thunderstorm. Gracie is miserable.  She pants, her skin/fur is hot and she shakes–a lot.  We don’t Ooo and Ahh over her when she is like this, rather tell her she’ll be okay.  Ava gets nervous but we didn’t have evidence of anything like Gracie’s issues.  By the time it was 4 a.m., both doggies were a wreck.  I held Gracie down all night long and she ended up on my pillows just above my head.  Dave had Ava duty. I think she was trying to get close to Gracie, but it was too late and I was too tired.    All in all, the two sisters seem to be doing well they even finish they’re #1’s at the same time.  Synchronized.

In the last week, this is what I’ve observed about Ava:

  • Ava doesn’t sit, stand, or come when called
  • Ava doesn’t climb stairs
  • when you want to pick her up and she doesn’t want it, Ava slumps
  • Ava sits on her pillow all day and sleeps
  • Ava doesn’t know how to play with other dogs
  • Ava doesn’t do well with children

and Ava is potty trained!

All this says to me that the people who owned Ava when she was a puppy seemed to think she was a toy.  She didn’t need to do anything, she wasn’t socialized with other dogs — she wasn’t allowed to be the best doggie she can be.  That makes me angry and it makes me sad for both Ava and Gracie.  I know shih tzus.  One of the smartest dogs I know is a shih tzu and they have the ability to learn and learn quickly.  So, for now we’re letting Ava be Ava.  But there will come a time that Ava will be held accountable for that list.  Slowly but surely, she can be a better doggie!

Touch My Hand

A few weeks ago our little family went to Lisa’s house to have a doggie date. Gracie loves Lisa’s shih tzus, Ranger and Teddy.  We were having fun but for some reason, Lisa needed her doggies by her.   She said to the boys, “Touch my hand!” and the two dogs went right to her.  I asked her about it and she said sometimes she just wanted them to by her side.  Well, I thought this a very useful trick indeed and set out to teach it to Gracie girl.

Put the treat in the palm of your hand.  When the dog comes and touches your hand, release the treat.   Genius.  I’ve been working on her about 10 days and lately alternate treats in hand vs. no treats.  Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t.

This trick came in handy today when we looked for a doggie sister or doggie brother for Gracie.  After visiting with Ranger and Teddy and seeing her have so much fun with them — spontaneously playing with them — she needs companionship.  So we’ve been visiting shelters and rescues and went to look at a shih tzu from New Beginnings Shih Tzu Rescue. These are the good people who Lisa found Teddy.  We met many sweet dogs.  The one dog we went to see didn’t seem like a good fit for our family.  But we found two other ones that may fit very nicely.  We are doing a home visit with them this week to see.   Hopefully we’ll have video of the home visit to show you.

Everyone says that having a second will change Gracie.  I just don’t know if that is a bad thing.  I don’t think that she is as happy as she can be.  She constantly wants to play with me.  Her separation issues are an issue and she thrives around her doggie friends.  I do not know if we will get a second dog, I do know we have to try for Gracie girls sake.

Some Hints
I think it takes a while for the videos to load... they're HD format and are pretty big files. If you click on the arrow and then immediately click the pause button. This allows the video to load. Once there is more grey line than black line, you should be able to press the play button. Enjoy.