Dog’s being allergic to chicken is one thing we didn’t expect to hear from our vet when we took Leona in for a routine check up a few months after we got her. The vet started questioning us on all things Leona. I felt like I was on a game show and if I got a wrong answer, they’d take her away from us. I was nervous. In questioning us on her behavior and demeanor, she asked if Leona licked her paws a lot–not just a few licks, but a consistent licking that was noticeable. German and I looked at one another and in a puzzled tone answered yes. All this time, (especially at bedtime) Leona would spend minutes licking her paws to the point where I’d sometimes place a pillow over my head to mute out the sound. Usually I’d put the pillow over my husband’s face to stop the snoring. No, it’s not smothering if you don’t press to hard.
Leona is your quintessential Shih Tzu puppy in that she has that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide side to her. When she wants a treat she brims with sweetness and flips those Shih Tzu puppy eyes into over drive but when my husband and I are out and about with her –she will decide that her boots are no longer made for walking and refuses to move then proceeds to plop down on the sidewalk/grass and turns to stone. It’s the equivalent of a 2-year old huffing and puffing. Leona has mastered the art of going down stairs but looks deep into space when asked to go the opposite direction. She stands at the foot of the steps looking up as if to say, ” Why aren’t you picking me up–it’s obvious that you want us to go up the stairs now?” In dealing with her for two years now, I’ve learned to do 3 things that help me keep things into perspective.
- Realizing Shih Tzu’s aren’t going to change. We’ve put in countless hours of training and even gone to classes, where of course, she’s the teacher’s pet. We leave the class celebrating, only to get home and have her revert back to old ways. It’s the classic, “Ha, I fooled you!” routine. Listen, she’s treated like a princess has taken over our bed. She’s not going to change–the sooner we realize it, the better life will be.
- Realizing Shih Tzu’s are blessing us with their presence. There is nothing she could ever do that would make me go off on her. Did I mention she tore up our un-filed tax papers the month we got her? It took us 3 hours and several hundreds of dollars to get our taxes done and in one flick of my camera app at work, I noticed white snow-like material scattered throughout our living room. Leona went to town shredding away our 2013 existence. I showed my boss and ran out of work to find no trace of our papers–only Leona adding fiber to her diet. I took a few deeps breaths, snap for Snapchats and Instagrammed the entire episode.
- Realizing Shih Tzu’s are only here for a small amount of time. All pets have a limited time and since having her, we’ve met several other Shih Tzu owners. In recent months, one of her older friends passed away. This realization was never “real” for us until that day. We used that situation to set the tone for how we would continue to treat Leona — the love of our lives, treat her like a furry angel on Earth.
We do discipline her as in to let her know not to eat things off the kitchen floor or when it’s time to sleep when she’s as energetic as Donald Trump at a KKK rally. We want to make sure she has a happy life and that she knows she’s loved. We travel with her everywhere and we plan on adding more training. But in the meantime, she has us trained pretty well.