It's Turkey Day!

The Shih Tzu Family didn't travel for Thanksgiving this year. Normally, we would have been in Florida visiting Shih Tzu Lola and Papa but they were traveling to see Shih Tzu Mom's sister. So this year, we went over to Shih Tzu Nana and Paw Paw's house!

I put on one of my cutest outfits. The cuter you are, the more likely someone will "accidentally" drop a piece of turkey near you.

I scouted out the food situation as soon as I got there. There was lots to choose from!

If there was a chunk of the ham missing later, I had nothing to do with it. I have no idea what the turkey taste like either. That is what I am telling Mom anyway. Shhh.

I got lots of cuddles from Shih Tzu Dad's family while we were there. They just couldn't put me down!

After snuggles with the ladies, I had to get my guy time in and watch the game. I don't know how they pay attention to anything with those phones out all the time!

Even though I "didn't eat the turkey", for some reason I was pooped! I hope you all had a fun-filled holiday as well!

Let's Go to the Expo!

Shih Tzu Mom and I recently ventured into the city to go to the Atlanta Pet Expo. I'm always up for a ride in my stroller so we met my chihuahua friends (who just got a new stroller of their own) and went exploring.

I made some new fur friends...

As well as human ones! The very nice State Farm lady gave me a bacon treat. She broke it up into little pieces and hand fed me every last one.

Of course, we couldn't get out of a pet event without Shih Tzu Mom buying me something to wear. I ended up with this hat. Everyone at the booth thought I was just too darn cute not to have it!

Happy Halloween!

We had such a great response last year when we asked our friends on Facebook to help us decide which costume Lucky should wear for Halloween that we did it again this year! With all the adorable options out there, Shih Tzu Dad and I had a hard time narrowing it down to four choices (one for each #TooCuteTuesday in October). Thanks to everyone for liking the pictures and joining us in deciding which one Lucky should model this year. It was such a close race that we included our Twitter followers in the vote this time.

So which one is the winner?

Fireman! I think this was Lucky's favorite costume too (if he just HAD to pick) because it has the least annoying hat. As usual, Lucky was a great sport for letting us parade him around in multiple costumes and we hope you enjoyed seeing them and all the other #TooCuteTuesday pups on our Facebook page.

Hope all our friends have a fun and safe Halloween!

Top Dog at the Paw Fest

This past weekend we dropped by Paw Festival 2015 hosted by Top Dogs Pet Boutique. The boutique always has the cutest things for all the fur babies in our lives and we were excited to meet up with some friends and explore the booths. Plus, proceeds from the event benefited local pet rescues and we always like helping them out when we can.

Lucky donned a casual but dapper outfit, perfect for the occasion:

We arrived and noted the schedule of activities: fashion show, kissing contest, raffle and more! We asked Lucky if he would like to be in the fashion show competition but he declined. He knew he would win with just his first dashing look at the audience and wanted to let the other pups have their moment in the spotlight. How gracious!

We made our way around the booths as Lucky was particularly interested in checking out the food vendors. There were many a natural treat to try here, some chicken yumminess there. Lucky insisted we not miss a single one.

Even though he would not be showing his stuff during the fashion show, Lucky made sure to give his best regal look to whoever stopped to admire him.

After a few laps around the festival and a stop in the shop to check out the raffle items, we headed home. Lucky was very pleased with the goodie bag we brought back filled with free samples. Now if only we would just leave them within his reach and look the other way...

Meningitis Update

Hello Friends! Hope you are having a wonderful weekend. I wanted to take this opportunity to let you all know how Lucky's meningitis is progressing. He's been having monthly check-ups to make sure the meds are doing what they are supposed to. He only has to take the steroids now and his dosage has been lessened with each check-up. The doc says he is doing great and we should be able to get him down to the smallest dose of steroids taken every other day. He will likely need to be on them the rest of his life to hopefully keep the meningitis at bay for good. If he were to miss any dose, it could come back. And the doc says if it does, it will be with a vengeance! So Shih Tzu Dad and I make sure he gets that pill on time, every time!

We recently ran into a conflict of the meningitis when we took Lucky to his annual wellness appointment. Lucky has possibly the rarest form of meningitis which is auto-immune. He didn't get it from an outside source, like a tick. His body just turned on him. Since there is little to reference for this form of meningitis in dogs, the vet recommended he get as few vaccinations as possible. They just don't know how his immune system would react. So Lucky got the three-year vaccine for rabies and that was it. We monitored him closely afterward to make sure there wasn't any reactions and he seemed fine.

So all-in-all, Lucky is doing fabulous! If you were to meet him, you'd never know anything was wrong. He's such a mellow, happy puppy and we plan on having him around for many years to come.

The Well Bred Bakery

Did I ever tell you about that time I had the treat of my dreams? It was in Asheville, NC. Shih Tzu Mom and Dad found a bakery in the Biltmore Village called Well-Bred Bakery and Cafe. Right when you walked in, in the biggest glass jar you ever saw, was a mountain of cheddar dog biscuits! And I don't mean those silly hard cookie things...these were soft, flakey, mouth-watering biscuits. I had been a very good pup that day so of course they bought me a pack.

I couldn't wait to get one of these bad boys in my mouth. I waited patiently as Mom unwrapped the packaging.

As soon as she got it out, I tried to snatch it.

O. M. G.

I had never tasted something so delicious in my life! Mom and Dad were totally holding out on me all this time. Mom managed to get it back before I could swallow it whole. That's the best way to eat you know.

I have to eat it in pieces? Sheesh.

She tortured me by making me eat it slower. Something about choking, I'm not sure. Didn't she know I was a big dog and could eat a big treat? Even with this silly method of treat dispersion, the biscuit disappeared much too quickly.

Let me lick your fingers. There might be flavor left on them.

I realized though once I stopped chewing that, in fact, it was quite the hefty biscuit (don't tell Mom). I decided I needed to rest my tummy.

Until next time, cheese biscuit!

Let's Take a Stroll(er)

While in North Carolina, we visited the North Carolina Arboretum. It was beautiful place; with hiking trails, gardens, an amphitheater and both indoor and outdoor exhibits. Shih Tzu Mom had a wonderful time finding different places for me to pose.

What can I say? The camera loves me.

We spent most of that day exploring. There was so much to see and Mom and Dad loved taking pictures not only of me, but of all the wonderful scenery.

After a while though, I got tired. My little legs can only take me so far! Luckily, we brought along my brand new stroller chariot! Shih Tzu Dad ordered it online just in time for our trip because he knew I deserved to be transported like the prince that I am!

Once I got in the chariot, it was smooth sailing from there. While we were on the trails and going through the wooded areas, Shih Tzu Mom kept the top open and I smiled and waved to all my admirers. Everyone thought I was so cute in my chariot and kept pointing me out to their family and friends. When we got to the sunny garden areas, we latched the top on so I wouldn't get too hot from the sun.

We had a wonderful time and it was a great day enjoying the outdoors. I hope we go to lots of other places where we can bring the chariot and I can ride around in style!

Where to next?

A Room with a Tzu

Sometimes when Shih Tzu Mom and Dad go on trips, they are at places that don't allow fur babies. For instance, when they went on their honeymoon to Alaska. I think if they had just shown the cruise ship director a picture of my cute face, there would not have been a problem. They probably would have given me my own stateroom. Just my opinion. Anyway, they don't like leaving me behind (even though I have a great time visiting my Scottie friends) so for their first wedding anniversary they wanted to go somewhere that I could join them.

They decided on the pet-friendly city of Asheville, North Carolina. My fellow furry friends are often allowed on the patios of restaurants, in the shops around town and of course in the plethora of park space. It sounded good to me so I made sure Mom and Dad grabbed the food and snacks and hopped right in the car.

They didn't let me stay on the floor of the front seat for safety reasons but I was excited for our trip anyway!

When we got to the hotel, I immediately inspected our room. Had to test the bed first of course.

Ah...this is the life!

Finally! One that was the right size for me. I made sure Mom and Dad took note of this. I don't know why they keep buying those silly "small dog" beds at home. If we had a bed like this, I might even share with them.

After making sure the rest of the room was to my liking I felt like checking out the view. I liked what I saw and couldn't wait to start our first adventure...

What did we do in Asheville? Stay tuned!

What's the Dog-nosis?

Recently, Lucky, Shih Tzu Dad and I took a trip to visit my sister. Lucky enjoyed having a brand new yard to sniff and pee on and also having more people to give him belly wubs and treats. It wasn't until the last day before we were scheduled to leave that Lucky started feeling bad.

It started around lunchtime. Shih Tzu Dad was petting Lucky's back when Lucky let out a yelp. Shih Tzu Dad carefully ran his hand along his spine again and when he got to Lucky's neck/shoulder area, he yelped again. At first I thought he might be sore, we had done a fair amount of walking at a farm the day before. We made sure he rested the remainder of the day. He walked around a little slower than usual and didn't eat as much but you could pick him up without any problems.

The next morning, when we were set to head home, it was worse. You couldn't touch him let alone pick him up. When he tried to walk, he yelped. Even if he was sitting still, and you walked by him and moved the floor, he yelped. I called the vet immediately to make an appointment for as soon as possible. We managed to get him in his travel crate and carried him around in there instead of trying to pick him up again.

When we got to the vet, they examined him and said that it seemed as though he had a slipped or ruptured disc in his spine. I went over and over in my head when that could have happened. Did he jump off the couch and land wrong? Trip in a hole or on a rock at the farm? The vet referred us immediately to a surgeon who was able to see us on an emergency status in between appointments.

When we got to the surgeon, they confirmed what the vet had said, they thought it was a ruptured disc as well. We scheduled the surgery for that day and we left our little buddy in very capable hands.

The surgeon called not long after I got home. He said when they did the pre-surgery dye test to find which disc it was, they didn't find anything wrong with any disc anywhere in his neck or spine. He said there was another explanation for hypersensitivity and pain in the spine. It could be meningitis and that they had ordered the test and blood work to confirm. Lucky would need to stay overnight in the hospital until they got the results.

We heard the next day that it was in fact meningitis. They were not sure what caused it, as there are many possible sources, ranging from an ear infection (which are common in floppy eared dogs) to a tick bite. They sent off more blood work to test for the cause. They had a series of medications to give Lucky so he had to stay in the hospital one more night.

We were able to pick him up the next afternoon. They brought him out to us and he was very drowsy from all the medication and had many shaved spots where our poor baby had to have all his medications and tests done. The veterinary assistant who had looked after Lucky said he was doing better from yesterday and that he had even eaten part of her turkey sandwich. She claimed she hadn't wanted it all anyway but we all know what happened. Even loopy from drugs, Lucky can still charm poultry away from any one with that adorable face!

They sent us home with a barrage of medicines to give him over the next two weeks; the end of which he will need to go back for a check-up.

We haven't heard back yet on the possible cause of the meningitis but over the past few days Lucky is looking and acting more and more like himself. He's been a bit wobbly and is learning to walk all over again. His appetite is back and his tail is wagging! Hopefully he continues to improve and we get a good report from the vet on his check-up day.

Snow Day

Snow doesn't often happen where we live. When it does, we are over cautious because we know the state isn't equipped to deal with even the smallest amount of winter weather. Last year during what we called "Snowpocalypse", Shih Tzu Mom and Dad got stuck in their cars for 20+ hours on the highway because of trucks overturning on the snow and ice and blocking the roads. Scottie Mom had to come to the rescue at one point and bring Shih Tzu Mom food and water until she could make it home. Shih Tzu Dad made it home first and I was a very good boy and hadn't made a mess in the house even though I was alone for a very long time!

Needless to say, this year when Shih Tzu Mom heard that the forecast called for snow, she got permission to work from home and stay off the roads. This benefitted me greatly because I got more treats and belly wubs than on a normal work day! When the snow began, we went outside to explore. I was annoyed because it was starting to get hard for me to sniff out my normal spots in the yard.

Mom, is this it? I can't tell.

When it got a little thicker, we went out on the back porch. Shih Tzu Mom loves seeing my little paw prints in the snow, but I personally liked licking it up.

After a few moments, however, the novelty of the cold stuff wore off and we headed back inside. Fun as it was for a few moments, I much prefer snuggling in a cozy bed. Stay warm friends!

One Social Shih Tzu

Hey there, Lucky here. Have you ever had that awkward moment where your parents had what they thought was an awesome idea but really you thought they were crazy? And then you went along with it anyway because you love them? I almost had a moment like that. Shih Tzu Dad had this "great" idea to go climb a mountain with Shih Tzu Mom and me. I gave him a look:

Did you forget that I have short little legs, Dad? *Sigh* Fine, but I'm telling you that you are going to have to carry me about five minutes in. We gathered our water and snacks and got in the car. When we arrived at the mountain, it was packed! They must have heard on Facebook or Twitter that I would be there and rushed to get a good look at me or my autograph or something. Mom and Dad are not used to the fame of having me as a pet though so they decided not to stay; crowds just aren't their thing. We turned around and headed to the dog park instead. Woohoo! No mountain today.

When we got to the park, I showed Mom what social networking really meant. I made lots of fans friends right away:

Wow. That one is fuzzy.

After all that meeting and greeting (and marking), I was pooped! But you know what? I didn't even get a chance to rest, the ladies just wouldn't stay away. This one particular cutie just came right up to my bench and kissed me!

I thought heck, why not, and invited her to stay. We had a good time until I tried to take the date to the next level...she apparently wasn't feeling it. Sheesh, women and their mixed signals!

Overall, a great day of not climbing a mountain. I have a sinking feeling I haven't escaped that fate but for now I am just going to enjoy this weather and playtime!

5 Reasons To Love a Shih Tzu

Why be a Shih Tzu Mom? You might as well ask why I need to breathe. But I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been asked this question. I could go on and on about why I can't live without my Tzu but I attempted to narrow down the list:

1. Loyalty and Devotion
The fierceness of the love Shih Tzus have for their parents is beyond measure. Lucky cannot be in a room without one of us in it. He doesn't need to be playing with us or even interacting, just as long as he knows we are there. We waits patiently for us to get home from work and greets us everyday as if he hasn't seen us in weeks. He makes sure any new person he meets is okay with us before allowing them to be near.

2. Love Bug
If Lucky had his way, we would snuggle with us all day and just be forever in our arms. He will lay with you even if there isn't space or a comfortable position to be in. As long as you are holding him (and possibly giving belly wubs), he is the happiest pup alive. This goes for any of our friends as well, he will sit in any lap and receive any lovin' that is sent his way.

3. Attitude
Don't get me wrong. This may sound like a negative but we love all the quirks Lucky has. Shih Tzus are notorious for their personalities. Lucky's biggest (and cutest) attitude trait is that he is dramatic. At first we thought maybe it is just with us, but it was confirmed one day when we picked him up from the groomer and she says, "Is he dramatic at home? He was cracking us up!" Apparently, any time that someone walked by him while on the groomer's table, he would collapse and look pitiful. Don't you want to save him from the lady with the scissors? Lucky is also the master at the dramatic sigh. Oh, you aren't going to give me a piece of your chicken? Sigh. You are going to keep watching TV right now and not get in bed? Sigh. Then, once he has conceded to the fact that you aren't doing what he wants, he ignores you. Call his name? Nothing. Poke him? Nothing. But you can tell he can hear you because he rolls his eyes and the cute tuffs of hair above them move. All of his dramatic acts are just the cutest thing and it probably annoys him that we laugh when he's trying to make a point!

4. Did You Hear That?
Speaking of quirks, Lucky also makes a symphony of different sounds. He has the normal bark for the stranger at the door but it goes much beyond that. He has his pitiful cry when he pretends he hasn't eaten in weeks so you just have to share your dinner with him. He has what I call his "harrumph" when he is trying to intimidate or act macho. He just forces as much air as he can through his nose in one breath. Then he has his "don't move me, I'm comfortable" grumble when he doesn't want to get up in the morning or if he has found a good spot on the couch. Then of course, the adorable snore and internal squeaks when he tries to bark in his sleep while dreaming.

5. That Face
The picture says it all!