Ava-roo is generally carried up stairs. We require that she climb at least one step — the top one. Today, we were all upstairs, when Ava and Dave went downstairs, leaving Gracie and me up. Grace and I were playing with a toy and I watched as she went downstairs then back up. About 4 minutes later, as we were leaving, who is on the 4th stair from the top? Yes! Ava-roo! I’m so proud. She did it one step at a time, slow and steady. She wanted to join the fun and was determined to get here! Yay Ava!

You Never Forget a Face

We adopted Ava-roo from the very good-hearted people at the New Beginnings Shih Tzu Rescue.  The rescue holds an annual fundraiser call the Shih Tzu Shuffle, a picnic where alumni and their humans come visit and maybe adopt another doggie.    Ava-roo and Gracie were so excited about seeing so many like-minded doggies.  Ranger and Teddy were there.  The 3 and 1/4 Club lives again!

But the highlight of the Shuffle was when Miss Bernadette and Ava-roo reunited.  Miss Bernadette was Ava’s foster mom.  The following video was very spontaneous.  I was asking Bernadette if we could get a picture with her and Ava before we left.  As we were talking, Ava went over and greeted Bernadette.  It was very sweet.

Love and charity is never forgotten.  I’m just sorry the video is so short.

Ava and Her Toy

At yesterday’s Shih-Tzu Shuffle we got a care package. Inside the care package was an Ava sized toy.  Gracie has many many toys. Mostly of the hard plastic kind that can’t be terrorized  and destroyed in three minutes (we timed it once).  But this cute little pink plush doggie was just the size for Ava-roo.  I showed it to her … she took it from me and sort of cuddled it.

There was some tussle, Gracie really (really) wanted pink doggie but Ava held her territory.  Here I’m giving it back to Ava.

Gracie moaned and groaned to get her paws on it.  When I finally put it up to live to play another day, Ava was sort of nesting it, keeping it safe.

I’ve never seen Ava try and play with a dog toy.  Not once.  I find this video very sweet and hope you do to.  She’s just coming into her doggie-ness a little bit everyday.  It really makes me happy.

from Ava to Zoe

Gracie has never gotten along with our neighbor’s boxer, Zoe.  Ava doesn’t have the problems with Zoe that Gracie does and today Ava had some interesting interactions with Zoe. We aren’t sure, but I think they’re playing… What do you think?

Isn’t it amazing the transformation Ava’s had in just 12 weeks!


Today, Ava-roo went up to a complete stranger — a little boy — without any fear! As I understand it, she led the charge to greet him.

This week both Dave and I have noticed that Gracie and Ava have really bonded. I think it started last week when they went to the groomers together. So stressful. Or, did it start with Lisa B. and her Master Class? It’s hard to say. The only agression I’ve seen this week is when Gracie got too close to Ava and Ava didn’t like it. (In fairness to Gracie, she was being very gentle… it was Ava’s naughty — this time.)

Miracles do Happen

… in which two doggies lie together in peace.  In the first half, Ava-roo came to me (another miracle) and Gracie joined us (yet another one — are you keeping track?).

It happened again today.  It’s really all too, too much!

A few things:

  1. Ava was completely comfortable where she was… she normally spends a good 10 seconds in my lap.  Instead she was there 5 minutes. My hand was on her back to act as a shield from Gracie in case she went postal on me.
  2. I think Ava-roo feels very safe in the doggie bed.  I think it might be another shield against Gracie (see the MasterClass video with Lisa. She didn’t do anything for Lisa until she was in the doggie bed).

All in all, things are looking up.

Gracie tries to Play with Ava

Ava still doesn’t have the play thing going… this was taken in June.

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 Many Faces of Ava-roo


It’s been a while since we posted. Mostly Gracie and Ava exist together side by side. Ava still doesn’t know how to play with Gracie — and Gracie still tries. I think I’ve resisted posting more updates because I wanted to say something positivie.

Last night around 1 am, some noise woke me up. At first I thought it was Dave coming in our bedroom. No, he was next to me. It was Gracie rattling the door to wake me up. She wanted out. Then it was Ava right next to her–as if it were a conspiracy. They both rattled the door. “Both of you?” I questioned. I opened the door and they zoomed out.

Gracie and Ave went right to the door to the vestibule. Both of them! I hooked up their leashes and went outside — oh no it was pouring rain. So with newly found umbrella in hand, we ventured out. Ava, who is perfectly potty trained, didn’t go. Gracie, whose one imperfection is her lack of immediate potty-going, didn’t. We stayed that way for 3 minutes. When no one moved, we came back in. I towel tried the doggies and played a few rounds of bejeweled. Doggies stayed downstairs (too wet for the bed, sorry girls) and I slept the sleep of angels.

This morning, Gracie didn’t go but went right for the water bowl. Makes me think that was what she needed the whole time. Sorry about that puppy.

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.