When I got this little fella, I was back living at home with my Parent's, newly unemployed, and the last thing I needed was another "dog". My Parent's had gone to Montana for two weeks and while they were gone, I got a "wild hair". I called my friend Nina and we found a Shih Tzu breeder about 45 minutes away and went to look at babies! When I called the breeder, she advised me that the puppies were only six weeks old so I wouldn't be able to bring one home but I could pick one out, leave a down payment, and then come back in two weeks to take it home. I knew better than that! Even Nina knew that I had skills and could convince a blind man to buy a TV-- so we were leaving with a puppy! FYI: *Most puppies cannot be sold before eight weeks of age. This is because they need to be vaccinated and fully weaned. (I have worked for Animal Hospitals, etc and am fully trained, so this is not an issue. I would NOT recommend just anyone doing so. I did sign paperwork stating that I was fully responsible for any issues that may occur with the puppy due to it's age.)
Levi is such a special puppy and has brought so much love and enjoyment to my life. I wouldn't trade him for a million dollars! He has a crazy love of tennis balls! I do not how how this started or even who gave him his first tennis ball. He literally goes insane over them. When he finds one, he will harass you left and right to throw them and when the night is over, we have to hide them, so that he will quiet down and go to sleep! Levi is also very spoiled.. he gets plenty of bones and squeaky toys (which drive me insane because he has to destroy the squeaker-- and usually does so within minutes!).
Honestly, I have worked for numerous Animal Hospitals, Groomers, Wildlife Rescues, and more.. I've also owned numerous dogs (it feels so bad calling them that because they were ALL my babies!), but Levi has surpassed ALL expectations of what a loved pet could be. He makes me laugh when my face is stuck on a frown and when I'm crying.. this guy literally wipes my tears. While I am a BIG advocate for adopting pets from your Animal Shelter, and my next pet will be adopted.. Levi has been the greatest lil guy ever!
I want to leave you with a few tips about Shih Tzu's and their care:
--Shih Tzu's eyes water, and A LOT! Their hair will also grow into their eyes and if not properly groomed, can cause them to lose their eyesight (from hair poking at their eyeball). It's important that you keep this hair properly groomed and cleaned. (I've actually owned a Shih Tzu that had an eye removed due to eye trauma)
--Shih Tzu's are prone to ear infections. They need their ears properly cleaned and the hair pulled from them on a monthly if not on a every other month basis. I DO NOT recommend you doing this on your own. HAVE A PROFESSIONAL GROOMER DO THIS. End of story.
--Shih Tzu's NEED to be groomed, if not brushed. Their hair WILL get knotted. If they are not regularly groomed, they can get painfully knotted and it's animal abuse. You can brush them on a daily basis but I strongly recommend sending them to a trusted groomer because if you don't know how to properly brush, you WILL miss the correct areas to brush that are prone to knots.
--If you bathe your Shih Tzu.. DO NOT GET WATER IN THEIR NOSE!!! You can literally drown your dog because their nozzle is so short. (if you don't know what you are doing, don't wash them PLEASE, let someone else do it or just don't wash their face! Also, if you wash them, wash them with special dog shampoo and BE SURE you rinse them well or you WILL give them hot spots! Basically, if you think you've rinsed them enough- rinse them more because their hair holds soap more than you know!)
--Shih Tzu's need a good food, preferably one that is NOT canned food and does NOT have corn starch in it. Do your research-- Grocery store food= not a good diet.
All in all.. Love your Pet and treat them like family!
Jamie blogs at You Gotta Have Hart
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