Those Puppy Dog Eyes Before Dinner....

                                          

                                           

 

DINING WITH THE SHIH TZUS

As I write this I’m being watched very carefully for the odd unconscious gesture that in Shitzu-speak means “time to eat.” We usually feed the beloved pair once a day, usually at noon.  But given their unerring sense of time the imploring begins exactly one-hour earlier.  Now I would give in to this and feed them one-hour earlier - at 11:00 am - (I mean what’s an hour?) - if I didn’t know that tomorrow the sad eyes, tentative tail wags, and occasional whimpers will begin at 10:00 am. sharp. 

After all, it was not that long ago that feeding time was at five in the afternoon and now we’ve all arrived at noon.  If this goes on they’ll be eating at two in the morning and the last time I fed anyone or anything at two in the morning was when my son was an infant in arms.

So, we wait until noon and then the real drama begins.  Jasmine, you see, is obsessed with eating and has been since she was a well-loved puppy.  She would rather eat then go for a walk or run or swim or chase chickens or chipmunks.  Her appetite is voracious and bottomless.  Diego, on the other hand, is slow, random and wanders around his bowl in a long day’s journey to conclusion.  His eating is like his peeing and pooping: endless circling combined with a near-infinite number of tentative starts before the perfect few inches of ground are finally  discovered and the job can begin. 

All of this means that Jasmine is finished with her bowl at the same time that Diego has just begin and then the stalking begins.  Slung low to the ground, she creeps closer and closer until he notices and with a warning bark sends her back a few feet.  He’s a couple of years younger and more fierce if need be and not to be trifled with. 

But then he forgets the threat and wanders off for a bit to check what’s going on in the next room - always nothing - and that’s where I come in.  I’m the patient referee among the kids.  I keep her back until he returns and eats a bit more until the next wander and the next return.  And on it goes until he’s finally finished and makes his welcome exit and she gets to lick his bowl almost down to the exterior paint job.  

The drama is over.  Next instalment tomorrow.

Next Blog:  Make your own dog food,  It’s usually better.

 

💟

Cara Weston
Read more

Dogs in the Air! Air Travel with Your Pooch - Part Two

                                                

                                                                                      

                                               

Our small dogs are too large to go under our seats so they travelled in the baggage hold. We bought a fairly large dog carrier that holds both of them comfortably because they are close mates and we figured that they would find the ordeal easier if they were together. If the trip is long then make certain that they have a water bottle

When we returned from Singapore to Canada – a very long flight – we had a stopover of a few hours in China and had been told that we could visit the dogs. But when we tried to do it the Chinese authorities blocked us and said that it was forbidden to take the dogs out of their crate. You don't argue for very long with the Chinese government. When we finally reached Vancouver their crate was awash and the dogs miserable. Lastly, the fee for transporting your dog(s) in a crate is fairly expensive; up to $500. or more per crate.

Although we brought the dogs back from Singapore on the same flight we took, we found that the best way of travelling the dogs to our destinations was by using a good pet travel service. Especially since, in both instances, we knew that it would take us several weeks to get settled and that it was best to leave the dogs with cooperative friends until we were ready to receive them. Do your research – pet travel services vary in quality. And it can be very expensive and run up into the thousands depending on where they are going. But the service will inform you as to what documents you will need, including required vets reports and tests for the country of your destination, arrange for the crate if necessary, pick-up for your pet, airline fees, etc. If it's going to be a long flight choose a carrier that will arrange a two-stage flight with a good, comfortable stopover between legs. For both the Singapore and UAE flights the Services that we used routed the dogs through Amsterdam which – civilized as the Dutch are – has a pet hotel at the Schipol Airport that provides comfortable quarters and good care for travelling animals.

You should also know that once the dogs are in their crate with necessary documents attached (and copies previously faxed or scanned to you) and are in flight that most Pet Services consider their work done. Some will arrange pickup when your pets reach their destination, but many will not. Ours recommended another service to pick the dogs up in Dubai, get them through the necessary veterinarian
and customs procedures and deliver them to our new place in Ras Al Khaimah an hour up the road from Dubai, but that would have cost an additional two-thousand dollars, So we did the pick-up and various UAE entry steps ourselves, even though the dogs didn't arrive until mid-night and the various procedures and travel times took about six hours.

Be very careful about government regulations regarding the importation of animals into your destination country. Some countries will not accept certain breeds, particularly if they are associated with fighting or extreme protection. The UAE, for example, has a ban on several bulldog breeds as well as Roti's and Dobermans. There may be even more not permitted in. Just check rather than have your dog confiscated and possibly euthanized. Also, the medical and health requirements for entry vary from country to country. Some require little more than a digital chip implant and up-to-date rabies and bordatella shots. Others can be quite onerous and getting them all done can be quite expensive. Getting a pet into Singapore, for example, can be as difficult as getting one into Great Britain or Australia. Singapore has a mandatory three-month quarantine unless your pet has had certain blood test attested by particular government laboratories. We had those tests done for our dogs and it cut the quarantine period down to seven days.

Expensive, time-consuming, complex; however, if you need to have your beloved dog(s) with you, as we did it's all worth it. Except when they pee on the beautiful new hand-woven oriental carpet that you have just bought from that Indian or Middle-Eastern shop in the Souk at what you are told is a special price “just for you.” Then you have your doubts.


Cara Weston
Read more

Dogs in the Air! Travelling with your Pooch by Plane

                                             

Part One

We have moved from our non-simultaneous homes in Canada (1st Nelson, BC and then Montreal) to fairly exotic foreign destinations twice (1st Singapore and, later, the United Arab Emirates), and both times we have taken our two small dogs with us. One is a Shitzu (Diego), the other a Shitzu/Bichon cross (Jasmine). Both weigh between 15 and 20 pounds apiece so getting them on a plane is fairly easy. That is, the last part (boarding) is easy, but the rest is expensive, difficult, complex and time consuming.  So think twice before you travel very long distances with your pets. For one thing, they hate it and it can be quite traumatic for them – loud and long, locked in a container either under your seat or in the baggage hold where its dark and even noisier and either too hot or too cold. We were going abroad for very long periods – years in our case – so leaving them behind was out of the question. Besides, we love them too much to take our own advice.

So, if you are going abroad and want to take your pet(s) with you there is much you should know. First, if they are going to accompany you on the flight be aware that some airlines will not take pets.  Others will only carry them at certain times of the year when the weather to your destination is not too hot. If your dog or cat is small enough to fit into a small container that is small enough to go under your seat then that is your solution.  It's the easiest way to get them there if your airline allows it. However, once stowed under your seat then that's where they have to stay for the entire flight.  Just hope, as well, that you have a very docile creature that neither whines, whimpers, or barks. And most vets do not recommend sedating your pet.  Also be aware that airlines do not provide anything for free anymore so there will undoubtedly be a fee for transporting your pet in the passenger cabin even if the space it occupies is equal to a piece of under-the-seat hand luggage. This can be anywhere from $125 for a domestic flight to several hundred dollars for international travel.

Our small dogs are too large to go under our seats so they travelled in the baggage hold. We bought a fairly large dog carrier that holds both of them comfortably.  Since they are close mates, we figured that they would find the ordeal easier if they were together.  Irregardless of the length of the flight,  make certain that they have a water bottle attached to the crate, some dry food, a familiar toy and a blanket or towel that contains your scent. If the trip is very long, see if you can book an airline and flight with a decent layover that will allow you to visit your dog and take it for a pee walk. When we returned from Singapore to Canada – a very long flight – we had a stopover of a few hours in China and had been told that we could visit the dogs. But when we tried to do it after landing, the Chinese authorities blocked us and said that it was forbidden to take the dogs out of their crate. We were able to check that their water bottle was full and that they were ok.  (You don't argue for very long with the Chinese government!) Lastly, the fee for transporting your dog(s) in a crate is fairly expensive; up to $500. or more per crate.

Stay tuned for Part Two on Canine Air Travel!

Cara Weston
Read more
Our Favourite Shih Tzu

Meet Our Founder

Meet Our Founder

His name is Diego. We got him shortly after we returned from Mexico, thus the name. And he also resembles Diego Rivera quite a bit as seen from the rear. His first appearance in our lives was when we returned to our home in the mountains of south eastern British Columbia and went to investigate an advert for a Shih Tzu puppy for sale in our neighbourhood. 

We drove up to their house, the front door opened, and a ball of fur tumbled out into the snow.  We fell in love. He was the last puppy in the litter still for sale, his low status probably due to the fact that he's cockeyed and sees things up close none too well. And, perhaps also because he's mellow, at least compared to the other pooch in our home, a half-Shih Tzu, half-Bichon who's smart enough to run rings around him and lead him by the nose and is probably also capable of rewiring a lamp if need be. Her name is Jasmine.

Anyway, Diego was six weeks old, gentle, accommodating and confused, easy to love.  His original name was Brutus. The name of an assassin, no matter how well meaning to do in Caesar, was hardly appropriate for so small and gentle a creature. But as time passed it was also evident that Diego could have been a Butch or a Spike or a Brutus, given his delight in going after big dogs, motorcycles, bicycles and large trucks, and the occasional booted foot.

Like all Shih Tzu's, his finest talent is for cuddling, especially while one is trying to do Yoga. He also has a well-attuned instinct for finding the perfect angle in one of our bodies in which to nestle while we are sleeping.

And so, ten years later and after subsequent moves to Singapore, Montreal, Nova Scotia and Ras Al Khaimah, he is well travelled and still sweet, still loved and loving, and still occasionally confused. Our Founder!

Clean Themes Collaborator
Read more
Left Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your cart