Shih Tzu Love

Abbey is the greatest dog in the world.  She is twelve years old, usually about 11 lbs but has lately gained weight and has to lose a couple of pounds.  Abbey loves people but is largely indifferent to other dogs, except for her cousin Stanley (a miniature dachshund with loads of personality).  She loves cats and can’t understand why they won’t play with her when she barks.  The only time she ever barks is when she wants to play.  She will bark at her toys until someone pays attention.   She also barks at the squirrels and gives chase when she sees one in her yard but has never managed to catch one (thank goodness).

Abbey loves sniff walks, provided she is in the mood and she can pick the direction or else she refuses to walk.   On days when she isn’t interested in a walk, we carry her around the block so that she will at least walk home and thereby get some exercise.  She prefers to keep her yard pristine so tends not to poo in her own backyard (which is why it’s also necessary to force her to walk).

Shih Tzus are not considered the smartest dogs in the dog world and are supposedly quite stubborn. (Just because she dictates her walks or when she walks, doesn’t mean she’s stubborn does it?)   I don’t know, I think she is pretty smart given how her humans cater to her and address her every whim.  She sleeps on the master bed and gives a low growl of disapproval when she is moved to make room for her humans.   She has allergies to just about everything so we reorganized the house to accommodate her.  For instance, an inexpensive area rug was replaced with a much more expensive wool rug because she is allergic to nylon.  (Who is allergic to nylon anyway?)  The mattress cover in the master bedroom was replaced with a much more expensive hypoallergenic cover to decrease her exposure to dust mites (yes she is allergic to dust mites), and her diet is highly specialized to accommodate her food allergies (including chicken, fish, oats, barley, corn, tomato, and a whole bunch of other things).  Oh yeah, and we got a retractable awning in the back yard so that she could sit on the back deck and be protected from the falling black walnut sap and nuts which would cause serious head injury or worse if one fell on her not to mention that she is also allergic to this type of tree.

Hiding from the paparazzi

Oh and did I mention she is allergic to cats.  How did we discover she had allergies – because we had her tested after several months with puffy lips which made her look like one of Angelina Jolie’s children.  So now she is on daily medications, she is catered too and basically living the life of a princess.   But then of course this makes sense since this Tibetan breed of dogs was first bred in Imperial China as a pet for the nobility.

And they say that Shih Tzus aren’t very smart.

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2 thoughts on “Shih Tzu Love

  1. Hey Anna Marie, I stumbled on your post from Google. I have a shih tzu as well, who is constantly itching himself, and I wanted to ask how you were able to identify all of the allergies that Abbey suffers with. I’ve had a tough time on eliminating different foods and treats and I’m starting to think its environmental or maybe nylon/synthetic fabrics. Thanks in advance for your advice!

    • Hi Seanux. We discovered the extent of Abbey’s allergies through blood tests organized through our vet. We received a comprehensive list of all the foods and environmental factors that were minor, moderate or significant allergens for Abbey and then started eliminating the factors that were identified as moderate or higher. She is now 15.5 years old and still doing okay. Hope this helps.

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