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Shih Tzu Antics


Guess who’s turning NINE?  Our littlest family member, Max!  His spunky yet calm personality keeps us smiling every day and I can’t imagine life without this little piece of heaven.

Max was the calmest of his brothers and sisters.  While they were running amok chewing ears and tails, he Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on June 13, 2012 in dog, Dogs, Family, kids, Teaching

 

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Max, the birthday boy, celebrates at the dog park

Max turns 8 years old today! Happy Birthday Max! In dog years, that makes him the oldest in our family.  To celebrate, we will be giving him a special treat – he doesn’t have to know it’s also good for cleaning his teeth. We’ll also be taking him to one of his new favorite places in the entire world:  THE DOG PARK!

The dog park opened in late May and we’ve gone numerous times.  I actually overheard someone say, “What happens at the dog park, stays at the dog park.”  I found out later that it’s a slogan on a t-shirt and I provided the link here.

We’d never experienced too much “off leash time” with other dogs, so I was a little hesitant at first and wasn’t sure what to expect.  Would we encounter Cujo-like dogs that’d attack my gentle and loving Max, who thinks everyone is his best friend? What if a dog fight breaks out and he gets swept up in it?

Poop bags and water on hand, we braved it one sunny afternoon. The second we arrived, Max’s nose went into full sniff mode. It was like me in a fudge store, inhaling all the wonderful smells that make me want to devour ten pounds of fudge.

Of course, Max left his “mark” every couple of feet, and we weren’t even at the gate of the fenced off area yet. There were only a couple of other dogs in the “small dog” section and of course, they greeted each other in their up-close and personal way. Again, think fudge store! Soon, Max ran off with one of the dogs and it was pretty sweet to see his little personality shine. I also found it to be a great social time for us owners, and it reminded me a lot of when my teenagers were toddlers and I made tons of mommy friends.

I was so pleased with our first visit that I go several times a week, which is more times than I go to the gym! Hmmm…funny how that happens.

We’ve gone at times when there were 20 or more dogs running around and, happily, haven’t had any Cujo incidents or aggressiveness. But there was one incident with growling and ironically, it came from Max!

Now that Max is in his “golden years”, he likes to take a little break now and then and not run around non-stop. The other dog was a puppy that never stopped running or jumping and he hadn’t quite learned the fine art of giving another dog his space. He’d race around with another dog and bulldoze his way into and over Max, who was minding his own little business on the soft grass. The first time, Max gave him a warning “look”. The second time, he put that puppy in his place with a vicious growl that surprised the heck out of me. My Max? He knows how to growl? He doesn’t hardly even bark! The puppy left him alone after that.

I highly recommend our dog park. It truly is a great place where dogs can run off leash to exercise and socialize. There’s also the added benefit of seeing all the different breeds, mixed or pure, and laughing at their individual antics.

In honor of Max’s birthday, here is some doggie etiquette for the dog park:

Do run off and socialize

Do not run off and socialize until you’re off leash

Do greet other dogs in the usual sniffing the privates ritual

Do not lick said privates, regardless of the enticing smells

Do smell every square inch of the 5 acres

Do not lick any of those inches, regardless of the enticing smells

Do relieve yourself of that full bladder

Do not relieve it all over a curious onlooker, human nor canine

Do empty your bowels if the urge arises

Do not empty them in small increments, every few feet

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2011 in Dogs, Funny

 

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Snickers turned Cujo!

I took Max for a long overdue walk (it’s been too humid before tonight) and on our way home, I detoured through the neighborhood park where we found an adorable Yorkie. Of course, Max was super excited and they did their silent talk — I think Max dominated him by the way he kept lifting his left up (4 times) at the nearby tree.  (Mind you — his bladder is completely empty by now).  I looked around, expecting to see the dog‘s owner, but the nearby gardening neighbor said no. No one else was around.

I decided the adorable Yorkie must be lost so I took a closer look on his collar — he had one of those special invisible fence things on it and I could make out his name — Snickers.  Cute,  so I thought, until I tried to get the phone number and he turned all CUJO on me. I know he’s tiny, but I wasn’t taking any chances, so I backed up. He decided he had enough of the park and took off.  I couldn’t leave him alone without finding his owner so I decided to follow him a little until I could get his number…somehow.  In the meantime, I called my daughter to meet me at the park with some treats — bribery always works with Max when I want him to come.

Luckily, he stopped a lot — he liked Max, I guess — but every time I got closer — Grrr!! I was sure he’d get my hand or ankle one of those  times.  As I waited for my daughter, I saw two women with a stroller coming through the park path and a boy on a bike coming from the street. I asked them if they knew the little dog. The women didn’t but the boy recognized him after we said his name was Snickers. He pointed to a house down the street by the park! Phew! We returned the dog to the owner — she said the battery died on his collar and she had no idea he’d gotten out. (I resisted the urge to tell her to rename her dog.)

Some people are like Snickers – aren’t they? They look all cute and adorable, but you try to help them with something and they turn all  Cujo on you. They put up a brick wall and don’t want to hear it, even if it’s in their best interest. If you push it, they show their teeth too. My reaction is the same with these people — step away slowly and no one gets hurt.

~~Maggie

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2010 in dog, Funny

 

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Max’s point of view

Here’s a little jab at point of view – from Max’s perspective:

“Maaa–!”  My ears shoot up and I zoom over to the One Who Drives and Occasionally Walks Me.   Wag, wag, wag — I’m here, I’m here.  Notice me!  Ahh!  that feels soo good.  A walk?  A walk?  Take me!  Take me! TAKE ME!  Sniff, sniff — yum, is that steak? Wait!   Nooo!  Come baack!  The red thing is here.  Where’d she go? Trot,skip, trot, ooh – wait – what’s that feather doing here again?  Gotta get it — gotta got it — round and round I go — oooh – I’m soooo dizzy!  Where’d she go?  Sniff, sniff.  Oh, good, there she is.  Wag, wag, wag — I’m here, I’m here!  Hellooo?

Jingle, jingle, jingle —  a ride?  A ride?  I’m ready! Let’s go! Let’s go!  LET’S GO! Oh, there’s the red thing – click, click – yeay! Now, we’re ready.  But – oh yikes! Not that thing again!  Oh – fine!  Itchy – scratchy itchy -oh well – let’s go!  There IT is!  One, two — threeeeee — I made it!  Phew!

If you haven’t figured it out yet – Max is my dog!

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2010 in dog, Funny, Writing

 

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Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…

The first real snow of the holiday season is especially magical.   My whole family is home because of winter break and we’re all still in our pjs in the afternoon.  I look out my bay window and everything outside is pristine and so white that I have to step back a little and take it all in.  Sitting inside my warm house, still in my bathrobe and sipping my daily coffee, adds to the magic.  It’s so peaceful that I grab a good book and curl up on my couch.  Ahh! Bliss!

My dog, Max, loves the snow too.  He plays in it, as if it was a friend who came for a visit.  He especially loves to lick it and comes back in the house with a funny little white beard.  He has to hop around when the snow gets too high.  Too funny.

Even though I’ve lived here a few years, I still love to see the flurries come down, as if from a giant sifter in the sky.  I grew up in a tropical climate and didn’t experience my first snow until I was an adult.  I’ll never forget it.  It was during the work week and my car was completely covered with snow.  What was a girl to do?  I happily cleared the snow off my car — every inch — and loved every second of it.  In fact, I was a half hour late to work.  Luckily, my boss was pretty cool and just laughed when I explained why I was late.  She probably knew that I would never again feel that excited about clearing snow off my car again.

She was so right!  Now – I park my car in the garage – thank you very much.   I love to look at snow, but driving in it is not fun.  (I’ve had my fair share of nerve-wrecking spin-outs).  I’ll just live in the magic a little longer – it’s a good book after all.  Soon enough, the snow will turn into a nice gray slush and I could just hope for….more snow.

I think we’ll go skiing soon.

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2009 in Family, Funny, Holidays

 

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Max – the dog who talks with his eyes

Max - October 2009

“Stop yelling at me with those eyes”, I heard myself say the other day.  Strange, yet that’s exactly what it feels like when Max  starts one of his “rants”.

Max is our six year old Shih Tzu, who is loved by everyone who meets him.  One of his most endearing qualities is his ability to talk with his eyes.  He’s got it down to a science and rarely barks to get a point across.  Sometimes I feel like I get a glimpse into the “silent conversations” dogs must have between each other.   (Dog owners know what I’m talking about — after the dogs sniff in all the “right” places.)  Even when we get visitors, human or canine, he rarely barks.  It’s a terrific quality, really — who likes a little dog yapping away every time someone visits?

One thing that probably contributes to his lack of barking is that he has a unique way of telling us what he wants/needs.  To go outside, he hits a bell that hangs on the sliding door handle.  It’s a neat trick that our vet recommended, when he was a puppy, and it’s pretty easy to teach.  When he wants to play, he runs in circles and brings you a toy.  (Of course, he doesn’t usually let it go.)  Like many dogs, he loves a good massage and scratching and will contort into any position to give you access to all the best spots.   Also, if you’re busy, he sighs and wanders off in search of a strewn blanket to nap on.

When he’s hungry or thirsty, he doesn’t go to one of the kids, even if they are the ones who feed him.  He comes to ME and silently “tattle-tales”.  I just call out to one of my kids, “Did you feed him?” and his tail goes into windshield wiper mode.  Then, he goes directly to the pantry, where we keep his dog food.  It’s interesting how quickly he learned that if he wants something, he needs to go to mom first.    Max October 2009

Recently, Max’s eyes went into full action because – yikes – the handle on the door was broken and the bell was — gone!  At first, it didn’t occur to me that he was “yelling” at me because he needed to go outside.  I’d been so accustomed to the bell-ringing for his outside needs.  He’d already eaten and his water bowl was full.   When his staring didn’t work on me, he started in on my husband and then alternated between us.  “What?”  Finally, it dawned on me that the bell was not there and when I asked him if he needed to go outside, it was as if he screamed “BINGO” – with his eyes, of course.

I’m considering writing a  picture book about him — what do you think?

~~Maggie

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2009 in Funny

 

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