Cleopatra of the Paw

A meeting place for all pets and owners.

   Sep 22

The Beginning

The Beginning of Cleopatra Of The Paw. How did we come to own a Shih Tzu?

After 16 1/2 years of living with two wonderful cats called Felicia and Cilla we found ourselves quite lost not having a pet. After some months we realised we do need a pet and had to decide if we wanted to go down the cat road again.

This was a good exercise to do as your life and what you do does change over the years.  We were now doing more traveling in a campervan, would a cat like this. As we know cats do travel however we felt we could not replace the girls and it can be tricky traveling with a cat having to deal with kitty litter, dealing with other animals – mainly dogs and of course birds.

The Girls – Cilla and Felicia

Felicia and Cilla were extremely active when younger but we had got very use to two cool and lazy layabout senior cats. So what will we get:

  • nothing that requires a lot of exercise
  • no kitty litter trays
  • not to much maintenance
  • and not a big pet
  • something that can come inside.

We had visited my cousin who has a Shih Tzu. Ummmm something to think about:

  • not to big
  • not a lot of exercise
  • yes maintenance for grooming and clipping, not to hard as Felicia and Cilla were semi long haired
  • and one really big PLUS, Shih Tzus do not shed hair. After 16 1/2 years of lots of hair from a black cat and a white cat, no shedding, this is to good to be true.

Picking a Pet became a mission for us as we wanted to get the right one. As we had experienced, a pet can live a longtime so choose wisely. Hence lots of research on all small dogs, learning their good and bad attributes. Checking breeders and the weighing up the cost of buying a pedigree, from the pet shop, rescue pet or from the local papers. This is another aspect that needs to be looked into, pedigree or not? Taking into account all breeds, like humans have hereditary problems hence buying a non pedigree can double this. Another huge aspect of this is puppy farms, which are totally against our ethics. Another factor for us was some owners just do not do the right thing and have their pets desexed which causes problems of:

  • unwanted puppies/kittens etc
  • animals on the nonstop reproduction cycle
  • pets being sold at pet stores or in papers for big bucks and you not knowing what you are really getting.

Cleopatra’s cousin Ella

We ended up Picking a Pet, yes a Shih Tzu after lots of discussions with my Cousin and what other people had experienced with mixed breeds. Oh yes we had to also go thru a little interview from the breeder to ensure she was happy with the home one of her puppies would be going to, which we thought was the last thing we needed to tick off our list, a good breeder.

The Beginning of Cleopatra, her name really suited once you see all the markings on her face although she has got lighter as she has got older.

Mum – Bernadette


Dad – Declan


Cleopatra (R) and her sister


Ah that feels better.


Cleopatra – 5 weeks


Since having Cleopatra, who is now 9 months, boy oh boy are we awake. From two old chilled out cats to one hillarious, ratbag on the go Shih Tzu. My Cousins advice was they are a great dog, not to active – not really ball chasers, not big chewers, they really are a cat in a dogs body.  Ummmmm we got one that loves to run, chase balls, play in water and loves chewing on bones, pigs ears and sticks.  She got me a beauty hehehehe, we would not change her for the world.

We look forward to more of Cleopatra’s antics and sharing information on all animals.

Helen and Sharon