How did we come to own a Shih Tzu?
After sixteen and a half years of living with two wonderful cats, called Felicia and Cilla, we found ourselves quite lost not having a pet. After some months, we realized we do need a pet and had to decide if we wanted to go down the cat road again. This is a good exercise to do, as your life and what you do, does change. We were now doing more traveling in a camper-van and had to consider, would a cat like this? As we know, cats do travel however we felt we could not replace the girls and it would be tricky traveling with a cat, having to deal with kitty litter, other animals – mainly dogs and of course birds.
What sort of Pet will fit our lifestyle
So what will we get?
• Nothing that requires a lot of exercise or too big.
• No kitty litter trays.
• Not too much maintenance.
• Something that can come inside.
We had visited my cousin who has a Shih Tzu called Ella, who really gave us something to think about:
• Not too big.
• Not a lot of exercise.
• Maintenance for grooming and clipping – not too hard! (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, was to good to be true.)
Choosing a Pet became a mission for us as we wanted to get the right one. A pet can live a long time so you need to choose wisely. Hence we did a lot of research on all small breed dogs, learning their good and bad attributes. Checking breeders and weighing up the cost of buying a pedigree, from the pet shop, rescue shelter or from the local papers. Another huge aspect of this was 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.
• 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.
Please do your research as pets are family and thankfully live a longtime. To many pets are abandoned for a variety of reasons:
- When they are no longer a young and cute puppy/kitten.
- Have not had puppy training and/or socialized with other dogs.
- Do not receive attention or exercise, remember dogs are pack animals.
- Further ongoing training eg walking on lead, traveling in cars, socialized with people and crowds.
These are standard things that should be done when you own a dog. If we do not take the time and persist with training we end up with unhappy neighbors , pets and owners. Please don’t think puppies/kittens are just to be disposed of after 6-12monts.
Yes, a Shih Tzu! After lots of discussions with my Cousin, 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. This was a good procedure for us to go through learning more about Shih Tzus and also for the Breeder as she is very serious and particularly with her show dogs and puppies.
Cleopatra’s Mum – Bernadette and her Dad – Declan.
Fours Years On
Since getting Cleopatra, who has just turned 4, boy oh boy are we awake! From two old, chilled out cats to one hilarious, ratbag on the go Shih Tzu! My Cousins wise words on her experience with Ella was “They are a great dog, not too active – not real ball chasers or big chewers, they certainly are a cat in a dogs body.”
As we know no is the same and this goes for pets. We got one that loves to run, chase balls, play in water and loves chewing on bones, pig’s ears and sticks. Even though Ella and Cleopatra are totally different, when together they are the best of friends. It is almost like they know they are cousins. We found out when collecting Cleopatra that their mothers were sisters. We always laugh knowing cousins have cousins.
I look forward to more of Cleopatra’s antics, sharing of pet information and products.
Until next time, keep enjoying each other.
Helen and Sharon