Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sophie, The Flying Shih-tzu

Sophie is not the type of dog to take it lightly if she knows you are talking about her as shown in this video. If Sophie hears anything that sounds remotely similar to "squirrel" - she gets activated and runs outside through the doggy door in flying fashion. Sometimes she stays at the porch, but she's learned the opportunities can be missed if she doesn't take the call to action seriously enough and she runs a lap around areas in the front yard she has seen squirrels frequent. On the day this video was shot there was not really a squirrel; Sophie was teased because she is so full of action and zest for life. After realizing there are no squirrels she runs back to find herself being watch through the window. Upon entering back inside the house through the doggy-door, Sophie comes right up to the viewer as if to toughly reveal that you have nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sophie Staring-down 2 Sugar Cookies

Sophie is always present to stare-down any food that has any chance of sneaking away from her plate; well, our plates which she believes are hers. Books on training dogs always say what a terrible idea it is to share human food with your pets; however, if we do share with them - the dogs never receive the first bites from our plates because that would give them the illusion that the plates are theirs.

One of the funnest observations we make while sharing with the shih-tzus is their physical expression including what we refer to as 'mechanical-mouth' which is when they chew like robots and the other is body language. When Furbee receives his favorite 'yum-yums' like apples, bananas, corn-cob, or pears he wags/shakes his palm(-tree-like)-tail vigorously in short strokes and occasionally growls while mouthing and tossing it around. There seems to be an animal-instinct that thinks all food has to be killed and played with before it can be enjoyed. The only snacks that don't last are small, bite-size portions, which is what may be shared with the shih-tzus just to give them the opportunity to experience a wide variety of flavors in their life span.

Why would anyone share their food with their pets if dog-training professionals recommend against it? Well, it is a matter of personal preference. We see our pets as reflections of ourselves and if we were our dogs in another life - we would like the chance to taste something more interesting than generic dog food. There are few rules that we as individuals can make and break, so when it's as harmless as enjoying good food with our babies; it's worth sharing with them - besides, they exercise a lot every day, feel good and are healthy enough to give us confidence to believe they will be happy and their health unharmed.