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  1. Piper- So last night I have to go to my first dr visit, see I still scratch like crazy and mom says I need to get some meds... Missy Says she's going for moral support... should I be suspicious???

    it's pouring down rain, and we All know Missy won't go out into the rain.. I learned the hard way, I stayed out in the rain and worse when I was on my own so I don't care and me an mommy go out in it so I can do my business now, but not Missy... Anyway Missy kindly says I can borrow one of her raincoats to go to the dr...

    This Must be Missy's idea of a joke...

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    Missy- What?? I seriously Don't see the problem Piper!

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    Hey Look! I ain't never seen one of these before! Mommy says it's a booster seat so I can see out! Me and Missy are ready to go now! Oh and yeah I ditched that coat and mommy ordered me one of my own that fits! ;) 

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    Hey- Where'd Piper go??

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    Did somebody call me?? I thought I was just supposed to nap in here!

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    Oh hey I can see mom & dad now!

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    Oh Wow looky, I can see Lots out this way!

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    Oh Yeah This is Great!!

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    Sit down What? Why Mom?? This is Great fun!! Oh yeah Life is Good!

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    Well yeah the fun Did end when I saw we went to the dr... But Missy did stand up for me and protected me And put in a good word- ok Lots of words- to the dr for me.. she talks a lot to the dr!! The dr said I was a Keeper, I dunno what that meant but it musta been good huh? He said he thinks I'm about 3 1/2 yrs old, I weigh a bit over 12 lbs now and he said I could stand to gain to about 14 - 15 lbs. so I never will be as big as Missy, he said she had bigger bones! Oh and best part he gave me something for my itches!

    Mommy says we get to go on a Real Outting, and not to the dr, tomorrow! Can't wait to ride in my new seat again!!:bear:Piper

  2. Cato:

    Hi Aunties.  We have done lots of sniffy walks this week, but mainly with Dad, and he is dodging the camera (so Mum says).  So the only blog pics we have are when Mum took us to the Centre of the Universe today.  It was a bit grey, but it was warm and lovely and sniffy.

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    There is pink stuff EVERYWHERE, isn't there?  Mum doesn't know wot this is, but she says it is pretty.  Yeah, well...

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    This is Tara at the beginning, wanting me and Mum to hurry up.

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    We usually bring Dad on these Centre of Universe walks, cos he likes to go mountaineering with Tara.  But he didn't come today, cos he was working. :(  and Tara missed him terribly. :( she didn't even go up the biglongtall mountain range and walk along the top. :(

    This is one of Mum's weird pics.  It is some kind of bug thing.  There were lots of them.  And she thinks they are bug nests, but not spider nests.  Something to do with the caterpillar things.  They were a bit too high for me to see, so I don't really find them very interesting.

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    This is Tara doing one of her sneaky tail attacks.  :angry2:  I had to tell her off.

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    This is in a gap in the attacks.  We both got a bit hot.

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    But it was fun chasing her.

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    This is her cooling her tummy on the grass.  There were lotsandlotsandlots of dandelions!

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    We came along this path on the way home.  It was sniffier.  And there were some bees.  I think bees are a bit... um... mean.  I try and stay away from them.  When I remember.

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    I stopped running about when I got hot.  But Tara can't help herself.  And then she goes all floppy.

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    So we all sat down and had a big drink.

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  3. Oh Aunties and Cousins, were a bit excited. When Daddy came home from work today he asked me (I'm the boss) if we wanted to go to the seaside tomorrow. He said we could take our balls and towels and stuff to the beach too. 

    I said to him yes please , I didn't ask Donte cos he has to do what I say!!! Cos I'm bigger than him.. anyhow I think he was excited too... he was jumping up and down and bundling with Dad too.. 

    Mummy had a big smile on her face cos she loves the beach. 

    We is so happy we going on a mini trip tomorrow...  

    Mummy likes to joke when she gets in the car.. when we reach the end of our road she says...  Are we there yet!!! 😂😂😂😂 apparently we have a 2 hour drive to get to the beach... but we know it will be worth it... 😍😍😍 

  4. Aunties :o It's horriable what's happened to me just horrible...... Someone has stole my knickers and I can't find them anywhere. Mom said it's probably Matt...who ever that is cause after my bath and mom was grooming me she said something about someone called Matt. I think there were two or more of them that stole my knickers cause she said it plural..Matt's.  :sad?:

    My tummy is so cold when I go outside to pee and I hold it and hold it till I am busting....but all I do is lay down so it can stay warm, it's horriable Aunties and I don't know what I'm going to do. Mom says it's alright it will grow back but what is a girl to do when she hasn't got her drawers on to stay warm? Can you find those Matt guys and tell them to bring back my knickers? 

    I posted a picture of my knickers..they are pink lace  and fur....so if you see them please bring them back? :crying:

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  5. Zyna and luna

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    Roman
    Latest Entry

    Questions..

    in nov 2012 we bought Zyna..and i always said i never take a second dog anymore..

    but in feb 2014 after a time of thinking we bought an second one..Luna..

     

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  6. IMG_0280.PNGAs you know I have cut my babies down. I am trying to learn the Asian trim for Sassy Mae.  Will keep Willlie in the typical teddy bear cut for Tzu.  I wanted to show you a pic of Sassy Mae, I have a lot more practice to do but she does resemble the videos I have watched to learn the trim.

     

  7. As I'm sure everyone is aware, we had a VERY busy August (and September hasn't been much calmer, lol).  Our two litters are lovely and I am fielding inquiries about puppies constantly.  I sold Howie (the only boy in the Damon/Eve litter) early because the girl who wanted him had been on the wait-list for a long time and I didn't need another boy, but no one else gets sold until evaluations at 8 weeks.  We picked Polo up from Sarah when we brought Drake home and Polo is now living the life of Riley with Susan and Dean's good friends, who drove here to pick him up.  Lovely, lovely people.  Anyway, here's life from the dogs' point-of-view:

    Jack:  Mom couldn't get up-and-down the stairs to let us out for a couple of weeks so Dad had to do it.  We were out at all hours of the night and day, but now Mom can use the stairs again so we are back into our regular routine.  I got a bath at my friend John's grooming shop last week and then got to run-around his shop for an hour before Mom picked me up.  I love John.  I don't even mind when he trims my nails.  John says he can't believe I'm almost 12 because I still act like a puppy!

    Gus:  When your human can't get up-and-down the stairs to keep you on a regular schedule, it's time they hired someone else to do it.  Just saying.  Mom is finally able to get-around again and I am insisting on extra loving and cuddling because I was SO neglected for almost 2 weeks!  Mom says I still am and will always be her puppy-boy, and Drake and Corbin are jealous.  Take THAT, you two preening stud dogs!

    Katy:  I am still looking for new humans.  This latest insult is just to much for my Queenly self to deal with.  Oh, wait.  Mom just offered me belly rubs.  Later, gator!

    Drake:  We were off our regular schedule for a while because Mom hurt her foot, but we are back to normal now.  I toughed-it out like the good boy I am.  Corbin is being a dick because he didn't get the girl last time - too bad, Corbin!  Today we all got cheese cookies!  My favorite thing!  I got to clean Mom's ears!  My favorite thing!  Now I'm going to go lay on the deck.  My favorite thing!I

    Corbin:  I will never understand these humans, but that's OK.  Really, I SHOULD have had first crack at Minzy, but Mom and Auntie Sarah said no so here I sit like a freaking monk.  I'm not letting Drake forget my displeasure, either.  Mom told me today that if I don't stop it I'll be put in isolation, whatever the heck that is.  However, it doesn't sound good so I am trying hard to behave.  Mom says I will get a girl next year.  What is next year?  In the meantime, I will keep trying to be Mom's favorite.

    Eve:  I love my babies SO much!  They are very fat and sleek because I make wonderful milk they love and I take very good care of them.  We moved to the kitchen this morning and Mom says that tomorrow they will get a first try at kibble.  They won't like it because it won't be nearly as good as my milk, but - being kids - they will probably try it out.

    Dot:  I love my babies a LOT!  The are very fat and happy.  Today we moved to the guest bedroom where Eve and her babies were.  It is nice in here, but when I bark for attention it's harder for Mom to hear so that's a negative.  Mom says that GD and I did a really good job making our babies.  Well, of course we did!

    Elle:  I don't know what the other dogs are talking-about.  My schedule is the same it's always been.  Pen, play, brush, play, pen.  Eating at the right time.  I don't have to go to another dog show until the first weekend of October, so Mom says we have to go to training class the next two weeks so I won't forget how to act.  Huh?

    Kirk:  Mom says I have to be re-socialized and re-trained.  I don't know why.  About a month ago I decided I didn't like new things and people and I didn't like walking on a lead anymore.  Mom says she has been "humoring" me while all those new babies arrived, but that's over.  Mom says boy dogs are always "softer" than girl dogs and she thinks it's related to hormones (whatever those are).  Anyway, I have a feeling I'm not going to like this.

    Daddy's Nickles (the Damon/Eve babies):  We moved to a new big place today!  There are different noises and smells and we are very interested in them.  Human Mom says we will get to taste "kibble" soon and in a day or two we can try our legs out on the kitchen floor.  It's SO exciting to be puppies!

    The Dotlings (the GD/Dot litter):  We moved to a different place today, but that's OK.  We are still with Mama and she makes wonderful milk for us.  Human Mom picks us up and cuddles us and talks to us a lot, but it will be a bit before we can do more than lick her nose.  We are not three weeks old yet!  But soon we will become "puppies", Human Mom says.  That sounds like fun!

    And on top of all this one of the cars is dying so we have to replace it.  Wish us luck!

  8. Sunlite
    Latest Entry

    Not my story but it's too good not to share!
     

    Jesse Newton with Kelly McQueen Newton.

    August 9 at 7:23pm · Little Rock, AR ·

    So, last week, something pretty tragic happened in our household. It's taken me until now to wrap my head around it and find the words to describe the horror. It started off simple enough - something that's probably happened to most of you.

    Sometime between midnight and 1:30am, our puppy Evie pooped on our rug in the living room. This is the only time she's done this, so it's probably just because we forgot to let her out before we went to bed that night. Now, if you have a detective's mind, you may be wondering how we know the poop occurred between midnight and 1:30am. We were asleep, so how do I know that time frame?

    Why, friends, that's because our Roomba runs at 1:30am every night, while we sleep. And it found the poop. And so begins the Pooptastrophe. The poohpocalypse. The pooppening.

    If you have a Roomba, please rid yourself of all distractions and absorb everything I'm about to tell you.

    Do not, under any circumstances, let your Roomba run over dog poop. If the unthinkable does happen, and your Roomba runs over dog poop, stop it immediately and do not let it continue the cleaning cycle. Because if that happens, it will spread the dog poop over every conceivable surface within its reach, resulting in a home that closely resembles a Jackson Pollock poop painting.

    It will be on your floorboards. It will be on your furniture legs. It will be on your carpets. It will be on your rugs. It will be on your kids' toy boxes. If it's near the floor, it will have poop on it. Those awesome wheels, which have a checkered surface for better traction, left 25-foot poop trails all over the house. Our lovable Roomba, who gets a careful cleaning every night, looked like it had been mudding. Yes, mudding - like what you do with a Jeep on a pipeline road. But in poop.

    Then, when your four-year-old gets up at 3am to crawl into your bed, you'll wonder why he smells like dog poop. And you'll walk into the living room. And you'll wonder why the floor feels slightly gritty. And you'll see a brown-encrusted, vaguely Roomba-shaped thing sitting in the middle of the floor with a glowing green light, like everything's okay. Like it's proud of itself. You were still half-asleep until this point, but now you wake up pretty damn quickly.

    And then the horror. Oh the horror.

    So, first you clean the child. You scrub the poop off his feet and put him back in bed. But you don't bother cleaning your own feet, because you know what's coming. It's inevitable, and it's coming at you like a freight train. Some folks would shrug their shoulders and get back in bed to deal with it in the morning. But you're not one of those people - you can't go to sleep with that war zone of poop in the living room.

    So you clean the Roomba. You toss it in the bathtub to let it soak. You pull it apart, piece-by-piece, wondering at what point you became an adult and assumed responsibility for 3:30am-Roomba-disassembly-poop-cleanups. By this point, the poop isn't just on your hands - it's smeared up to your elbows. You already heard the Roomba make that "whirlllllllllllllllll-boop-hisssssssss" noise that sounds like electronics dying, and you realize you forgot to pull the battery before getting it wet. More on that later.

    Oh, and you're not just using profanity - you're inventing new types of profanity. You're saying things that would make Satan shudder in revulsion. You hope your kid stayed in bed, because if he hears you talking like this, there's no way he's not ending up in prison.

    Then you get out the carpet shampooer. When you push it up to the rug - the rug that started it all - the shampooer just laughs at you. Because that rug is going in the trash, folks. But you shampoo it anyway, because your wife loved that damn rug, and you know she'll ask if you tried to clean it first.

    Then you get out the paper towel rolls, idly wondering if you should invest in paper towel stock, and you blow through three or four rolls wiping up poop. Then you get the spray bottle with bleach water and hose down the floor boards to let them soak, because the poop has already dried. Then out comes the steam mop, and you take care of those 25-ft poop trails.

    And then, because it's 6am, you go to bed. Let's finish this tomorrow, right?

    The next day, you finish taking the Roomba apart, scraping out all the tiny flecks of poop, and after watching a few Youtube instructional videos, you remove the motherboard to wash it with a toothbrush. Then you bake it in the oven to dry. You put it all back together, and of course it doesn't work. Because you heard the "whirlllllllllllllll-boop-hissssssss" noise when it died its poopy death in the bathtub. But you hoped that maybe the Roomba gods would have mercy on you.

    But there's a light at the end of the tunnel. After spending a week researching how to fix this damn $400 Roomba without spending $400 again - including refurb units, new motherboards, and new batteries - you finally decide to call the place where you bought it. That place called Hammacher Schlemmer. They have a funny name, but they have an awesome warranty. They claim it's for life, and it's for any reason.

    So I called them and told the truth. My Roomba found dog poop and almost precipitated World War III.

    And you know what they did? They offered to replace it. Yes, folks. They are replacing the Roomba that ran over dog poop and then died a poopy, watery death in the bathtub - by no fault of their own, of course.

    So, mad props to Hammacher Schlemmer. If you're buying anything expensive, and they sell it, I recommend buying it from them. And remember - don't let your Roomba run over dog poop.

    iRobot Hammacher Schlemmer

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  9. Before Monkey had to be on Royal Canin hepatic formula, we had just opened a new bag of his dog food, a 6.8kg bag of Acana, which usually would last him more than three months. Since we were able to lower his liver numbers by a big chunk, we thought that it would be a good idea to mix his regular food in to see if come next checkup, it will affect the numbers. Before pouring out a portion, I asked my husband to shine a light in and check for molds. He said it would be fine but I insisted he check it first before the kibbles gets mixed up inside.

    What did he find but two spots of hairy mold on the top. :crying:

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    It must be because it was summer here and it was super hot and the moisture got trapped in there. This didn't happen to us before.

    I searched immediately if that was still safe to eat because I didn't want to throw the bag away - it was a big expense for us. I know it wasn't really safe but I was hoping to be proven wrong. Internet failed me. It was unsafe. 

    Jokingly, I asked my husband how much Monkey's antibiotics cost. He answered me, "His blood test cost 2/3 the price of the bag."

    Putting it in that perspective, it became easier for me to throw the food out. I still find it such a waste. Had I known it wouldn't last that long (we opened it in April) I should have just given it to my cousin. I remembered how sick Monkey was a month back when he had diarrhea and vomiting. It was not worth the risk of getting him sick.

  10. "Pawz"ing to blog

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    Pawz4me
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    I am very, very tempted to start crating my cats at night.

    I think as a species they must have hired some very good PR people to convince us that they're easier pets than dogs.  It's all lies. ;)

    That is all.

    :coffee::coffee::coffee:

  11. Graciesmom37

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    Graciesmom37
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    So snow has come to eastern Ontario. Miss Gracie loves being out in the snow. Problem is she becomes a snowball. She was covered yesterday. Today, I am going to try boots. Wish me luck.

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    separation anxiety is a threat of separation from their mother. Yes, I am starting to have now  since I am going to leave on October and I can not carry him with me (Schat) to Netherlands. I have to prepare myself and of course Schat when I leave, Now he is currently in my mom en aunt's place (same house). I know he will be love and care . However, there are things that I cannot understand which is my feelings and I know Schat also do the same.

    Vet advised me to let Schat live with them and me just visiting him. at least he knows that he will be there for such a long time/day/months. I am starting to bring all his stuffs for him to be comfortable in the new house. The big adjustment now is I have to sleep n my house without him. I really do miss him but I have to do this for the benefit also of Schat.  

    I am not happy with this kind of set up but I have to be in control because I know when the time comes I have to leave Schat, he will look after me. I know 3months is just 3months but still I am going to miss my one and only baby. :( 

    ***the photo below was taken during the time we will go to his vet for the monthly vaccine. It is his first time to use a baby stroller (we borrowed it only).

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  12. Mackenzie

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    Mackenzie15
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    Hello everyone im new i need some help or advice. My pup is 2 years of age. Hes a shih tzu and his name is otis. I am really worried the past 4 days he has been biting his tail as it looks irritated but i looked and there is nothing there and he will walk with his tail on an angle instead of normal how its curled and straight. Not bent to the side. Does anyone know what this could mean??

  13. NutellaTheTzu's Blog

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    NutellaTheTzu
    Latest Entry

    Hi everyone! I'm new to this site, my Shih Tuz's name is Nutella or Ella for short, she is a pure chocolate and will be brought home in nine days because she is not yet eight weeks, she is very tiny, she is a teacup puppy so she fits in my hand. :rolleyes: She is so so precious. Comment about your pups or ask me stuff so I can get to know you fellow Shih Tzu lovers! :D

  14. Kmoon's Blog

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    Kmoon
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    Hello, I am Kmoon and I am new to Chattertzu :bye1: . 2 years ago I adopted a Shih Tzu from a Los Angeles dog pound. Her name is Owl and and she was a year old when I adopted I adopted her, she is now 3. Owl is a very friendly shih tzu and gets along with other dogs. She enjoys going to the dog park and eating bacon dog treats. She is a little smaller than most shih tzu and tends to get skin allergies. Anyways I hope to continue using chattertzu. And Also I have a question for you guys, Do you guys think Owl is a purebred shih tzu or a mix? Some people say she is a purebred others say she looks more like a malshi or shih tzu mix. (extra note: I groom/ cut owl's hair myself so critiques are welcomed) :puppy:

    (I don't know how to add more pics) :huh:

  15. Kosmo's Blog

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    I'm REALLY WANTING ALL INPUTS FROM OTHERS WHO HAVE MALES ABOUT NEUTERING. WHEN IS................THE RIGHT TIME TO NEUTER AND WHY???????? I'VE HEARD 6-8 MONTHS. MY SHIH TZU WAS HUMPING THINGS AT 13 WEEKS AND NOW HE IS DOING WHAT MY HUSBAND IS SAYING IS MARKING HIS TERRITORY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD TO SHOW DOMINANCE WHEN WALKING. I'M THINKING I NEED TO GET HIM DONE NOW........ AND WONDER IF WE SHOULD HAVE DONE IT BEFORE 6 MONTHS. WHAT DO YOU ALL THINK AND HOW MUCH DID THE BEHAVIOR IN YOUR DOG CHANGE??????????? DOES IT MAKE THE HIGH STRUNG OVERLY ACTIVE DOGS CALM DOWN???????? HOPE LOTS OF YOU SHARE YOUR STORIES AND HELPFUL INPUTS. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE.

  16. 2 better than 1
    Latest Entry

    My hubby brought Lyric to her first vet appointment. He just checked her over and said we have a happy, healthy puppy. She gets her next round of shots next week. The vet and techs said she was "very cute....and she knows it". Can't say I disagree with that! They also love Pippin when he comes in to visit. We have a great vet! It took us a couple of years to find him, but I think we will be using him for a long time. He saw Lyric today at no charge...not many vets do that any more!

  17. Shih Tzu Saga

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    Sailor is doing wonderfully. Friday, he had his first appointment with the groomer. Went in looking like a "dustmop," as Scott affectionately calls him and came out looking like a real Shih Tzu! Rhonda gave him a great hair cut, clipped his nails, trimmed his feet (I can't believe how tiny they are without all that hair!), and made him look so handsome with that red bow! I know he feels soooooo much better.

    We're having a little trouble in the potty department. I can understand Sailor not wanting to be outside for long, but he's going in the house now. I'm really going to have to either keep him in the crate or on my lap until we jump this little hurdle. I think the biggest thing I've got to get used to is the poo-eating. YUCK!

    Sailor is so much fun! He makes us laugh when he does his little zoomies around the house or when he attacks his toys. Even Scott is warming up to him! LOL

    What a lovie baby. We are having so much fun with him. He's not so scared of things anymore and really interacts with Tyler and Blackie. Now that they're used to him, they watch out for him being under their feet.

    He's fit right in perfectly, just like I knew he would!

  18. CATHY AND BUBU's Blog

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    My bubu is now 12 weeks, and he loves people. He loves giving kisses. He's laid back when I am, and active when I play catch with him. He loves to follow me everywhere, especially when I'm cooking in the kitchen. He won't eat unless I'm right there watching him eat. He drinks water like theres no tomorrow, and causes him to throw up. He'd drink so much water that when he burps, he pukes. he loves rice with anything I make for dinner much better than his dog food. He eats his Nutri-Cal every morning with his dog food. He pees like a champ all day , at least a dozen times! He hates his crate. He loves dirty laundry. He hates wind, air or blowing on his face. He's ok with baths, but seems like its the least fave thing he likes to do. He pees when he gets excited or when he gets scared. he doesn't like being touched on his head. He likes to sit on my lap when I'm driving. He understands "NO" , "knock it off", Go Eat, Go Poop, Go Catch. :D :(

  19. DarknessHayz's Blog

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    Hayz
    Latest Entry

    Here Are Two Pictures Of Flossy.

    Flossy's Story.

    We were looking for a dog, (she had at least 4 owners in the 4 weeks of leaving her mum, the prevous owner didnt want her, he wanted to spend money on achoel, rather then a dog :D ) and we got Flossy 1st July 2005, she came into the house, she was so small, (ill never forget that day), she started jumping all over Sniffles. Then at 12 weeks we nearly lost her, we took her to the vets and they did a hunia operation and said'while we are at it, we spay her too' so me an dmy mum agreed. Her heart stoped once. Flossy by then had sattled down with us. I took her to my dads house as a treat, (my dad wasnt fussy on dogs until he saw Flossy), and my dad fell in love with her. Flossy loves it down there too. I know she cant speak, but i know shes happy. Then Sniffles died, she didnt have anyone her hight to chase around any more, all she did was lay down where Sniffles was before she died! Flossy tried to play with Carrie, but to her it was the same. We get Honey and Jack, and Flossy, she loves them, plays with them all the time. She never rests... and gets into trouble a hell of a lot with Honey And Jack.... thats the joy of having Flossy!

    flossy.jpg

    Flossy Under One Years Old

    flossy-2.jpg

    Flossy Two Years Old.

    Sadly i lost all my photos of her when she was a puppy, when i had a trojan... :(.

  20. Cackle's Prattle

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    This is a first for me, never having had a blog before. I'm not too sure anyone would be to interested in the stuff that's floating around in MY head.....but Sunlite has assured me it's a fun thing to do, so here it is, my first Blog Entry.

    Hmmm weather right now, is cold and windy, hope it rains soon our water tanks are getting low. Weather is a boring subject. This is harder than I thought.....

    Both the tzu are asleep. I think they know when mum is on the computer it's time for a good sleep, she's bound to be there for some time LOL

    Husband is home today sitting in a chair and watching me type.....very very annoying and rather offputting

    ok that's it, first blog

    urru for now Cackle

    Wonder do you sign blogs?????? :)

  21. princessphoophoo's Blog

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    Evacuating from Rita was one of the scariest experiences in my life. I live in a mandatory evacuation zone which was scheduled for evacuation on Thursday at noon. I decided to leave Wednesday at 1pm, just as I got home from work. I had already made hotel reservations at a Holiday Inn in Fort Worth which accepted pets (no freakin’ WAY were Princess and Murphy going to be left behind or stuck in a shelter. Not when we have alternatives.).

    I cannot describe how difficult it is to look around at your belongings and your home and quickly sort out what matters most to you so that you can pack it up and leave everything else with the possibility you may never see it again. All the stuff you always thought you couldn’t live without is seen in a much different light. “I can’t live without my television!†When I have to choose between gadgets and sentimental items such as my late grandmother’s handmade paper dolls, the gadgets stay behind.

    I wasn’t the only one leaving. If you’ve ever seen the movie Independence Day, you probably remember the scene in the beginning when the aliens have just arrived and everyone is packing up their cars to get out. That’s what my area looked like. Everyone gearing up to leave.

    Armed guards stood in stores limiting people to 2 cases of water. Everything was being boarded up and shut down. Police were everywhere making sure people behaved themselves.

    Leaving

    It’s a good thing I left so early, but I had the hardest time leaving my family behind. My stepdad works at NASA and had to stay to shut the place down. Mom wouldn’t leave without him (they’re soulmates), so they were going to leave at Thursday at 3am (with Murphy) and meet me in Fort Worth. We all had reservations at the same hotel, so we’d be together. I kept hounding them to leave earlier, but they couldn’t. If I hadn’t had Mom’s promise that they were going to be okay and meet me up there, I don’t think I could have left.

    When I was on the other side of Houston, I stopped at a gas station to get a map of Texas. I have a map of Houston, Louisiana, Oklahoma and even Florida (I’ve taken lots of roadtrips), but no map of Texas. Because it was almost 100 degrees C outside, there was NO WAY I was going to leave Princess in the car. I thought that because I was just getting a map and getting out, it would be okay to take her in with me, especially given the circumstances. That jackass behind the counter threw us out! Waving his arms up and down in the air, he literally screamed, “OUT!! OUT!!! NO!! NOT ALLOWED!!†Princess and I had to stand outside the door and beg people to get us map. Finally, one young lady did and she got us a GREAT map. Even had all of the labeled back roads and such.

    Next, I had to pee. Apparently, the jackass behind the counter wasn’t going to let us in so I could potty, so I tried the Wells Fargo bank on the other side of the parking lot. After some light begging, that gentleman let Princess and I (the bank was closed mind you) in so I could use their bathroom. I didn’t get to pee again until I was well outside of Austin several hours later, but this guy saved my bladder.

    Princess took the trip really, really well. She’s my travel buddy and has been on several long roadtrips with me. We’ve even driven to Atlanta and Kansas City together. She’s the best little travel companion. As long as I keep her full up on French fries (they stave off car sickness), she sleeps the entire way. Perfectly content in her crate with her woobie. I stopped as often as I could to let her stretch her legs, but for the first 7 hours of the trip, I totally forgot to give her water. Seven hours!! What kind of rotten Momma am I?! I just kept feeding her fries all the way. Between the fries and the Harry Potter on audio tape, she was a happy puppy. Even happier when I finally got it through my head that she ju-u-u-u-st might be thirsty.

    The entire way up there, I kept calling my parents to let them know where I was and that I was safe and to keep making them promise that they were going to follow me.

    I was getting so tired on that drive that for the last hundred miles, I kept having to pull over in rest areas and picnic areas just to rest my eyes for a moment. I was so tired that I was getting really dangerous on the road and almost went through a barricade. I got a brief second wind when I saw a sign that said “Fort Worth 50 milesâ€, but the headlights that kept shining in my eyes just made me want to sleep right then and there.

    I made it to my hotel around midnight. By that time, I had been up and moving since 5am, had barely eaten, was worried sick about my family and terrified that I wasn’t going to have a home or a job to go home to. Exhausted and stressed, my good nature (if there was any of it left) was running thin.

    The 2 receptionists at the counter were yakking on the phone about their weekend plans. I stood there fuming and trying to get their attention. One of them covered up the mouthpiece, looked at me and said, “Do you have a question?†in a very annoyed tone.

    I lost it. I saw red and yelled through my gritted teeth, “No! I have a reservation!!†I’m a normally very sweet person, but I quickly got really nasty. When the other one interrupted our “conversationâ€, the twit to whom I was speaking actually turned to talk to other person, and then quickly thought better of it as I think my head was rotating by that time. I even yelled, “Oh no! Go ahead! Don’t let ME bother you!†She checked me in, gave me my room key and told me to have a nice stay. “Where’s the room?!†“Oh it’s around back. Is that where you parked?†If I don’t know where the room is, how the hell am I supposed to know where to park?? I parked out front like every other dumbass Sweetheart!â€

    It was 1am when I finally got to the room, got the essentials in the room, walked the dog and turned on the news to find out where Rita was. Nevermind a shower, I was too tired. Finally made it to sleep about 2am…almost 24 hours after I had gotten up last time and 1 hour before my parents were to leave Houston.

    Fort Worth

    I spent most of the next day worrying about my parents and watching the news. The phones were in and out; I didn’t know where they were and I kept seeing the news reports on TV. The gridlock, the bus explosion, the reports of people being held up at knifepoint for supplies, the gas running out, cars running out of fuel on the side of the road and the idiot governor of Texas saying that everything was going okay despite a few “glitchesâ€. It was one of the worst feelings in my life, not knowing where my family was or if they were alright. It was one of the best when my phone rang and it was them…still in Houston. Slowly inching their way towards Austin and NOT stuck in the I45 gridlock. Heavy traffic, but Daddy’s truck holds a lot of fuel and they were fine. Had snacks, water and everything.

    They’d keep reporting back throughout the day, and every time I saw their number on my cell phone’s caller ID, I’d answer, “Where are you?!†That was it. Eventually, Dad answered with, “Hi Erica. How are you doing?†in a extremely calm voice to which I replied, “Where are you?!â€

    It took them 18 hours to drive from Houston to Fort Worth and when they got there that evening, the hotel had lost their reservations. Luckily, Daddy got them another room. He has that special gift. It’s amazing. They were so tired. Mom and I dined in the hotel restaurant and brought him up a plate of food which had biscuits that were so rubbery, they held their shape when you stretched and squished them like Play-Do. I kid you not. I made a muscle man out of one.

    It was that evening that the hotel decided to have its annual fire alarm test…without telling any of us that it was just a test. Six floors, one working elevator…you do the math. It ain’t pretty. And after THAT, the people in the room across from mine had to be thrown out by no fewer than FOUR Fort Worth police officers.

    The forecasts still had Rita barreling down on Houston and making a Tropical Storm pitstop in Forth Worth, so we went to the local grocery store to grab some food and water to keep in our hotel. We stocked up on some extra books as well. Just in case.

    At this point, I’d like to mention something. It was my friends who were calling to make sure we were all safe. Including Sunlite. A few of my other pen pals (with whom I’ve been conversing for over 5 years) were calling to make sure we were okay and to get updates. Not the rest of my relatives, one of whom is a Weather Channel addict. It was my friends, and I’ll never forget it. It was such a comfort. I didn’t feel so alone.

    Friday night, while my family slept, I stayed up watching the Weather Channel. It wasn’t until about 2 hours before it made landfall that they actually knew where it was going to hit. While I’d never wish a hurricane on anyone, I was so thankful that it didn’t hit Houston. I finally fell asleep, worrying about how to get home.

    Going Home

    Saturday morning, we had an emergency family meeting. We decided to try and beat the traffic going home and go ahead and leave the hotel. This meant no shower, leave with the clothes we were wearing and pack up as quickly as possible, which we did.

    Anticipating a lot of heavy traffic, we took the backways home. We had topped off our gas tanks in Fort Worth and it was a good thing. All the gas stations were out. About halfway home, we found the ONE gas station in a tiny, po-dunk Texas village (it didn’t even have a sign to announce that you were there) within hundreds of miles that still had gas. It closed up right when we were leaving after having filled up.

    We finally got close to home later that night. It was so strange to drive through my area and see virtually nothing open, everything boarded up and almost not a soul on the streets. I started crying with relief before I even pulled into the parking lot at home. My apartment complex was still standing. Leaves littered the ground, some units were boarded up, and there were hardly any cars in the parking lot, but it was still there.

    I walked in and started crying harder. My home was still there. I even had electricity and running water. After packing all my stuff back in, I called Sunlite and cried all over her. She was the best. She just let me bawl my eyes out.

    For I don’t know how long, I kept walking around my apartment touching the walls to make sure they were still up, flipping light switches on and off and turning the faucets on and off. I was so thankful that my home was still there.

    As my parents were unloading the truck at their house, police came by and watched them to make sure they weren’t looting.

    The Humor

    Okay. Y’all know me well enough that I have to share the humor and there was plenty.

    Gas Prices

    It was 11 hours of hard driving to get from Houston to Austin to Fort Worth. I wasn’t going to take Interstate 45 because of the gridlock. As soon as I got out of Houston, the traffic cleared and I didn’t have any problems getting gas either. Something that really amazed me was that the good gasoline was cheaper in the rural areas than the regular stuff in Houston…and some of the locals were refusing to pay that price! “You’re not willing to pay $2.59 for Supreme? Would you mind moving your car so I can fill up then?â€

    Potty Break

    After about 8 hours leaving Houston, I had finally passed through Austin (I was really surprised at how small Austin is compared to Houston) and found a rest stop where I could pull off and actually go to the bathroom. No pets allowed my butt! Princess came with me. I rediscovered how difficult it is going to the bathroom with an excited dog attached to one wrist. Unzipping my pants became a personal challenge which took several precious moments and there were a couple of times Princess jerked so hard my head hit the door. While I was on the potty, Princess poked her head under the wall between my stall and the one next to me. She scared the living daylights out of a cleaning lady. “A RAT!!! IT’S A RAT!!!†I don’t know what they feed their vermin in Austin, but I’d like to think that Princess is cuter than a rat. When I told my coworker that story, he shook his head and said, “That lady doesn’t realize how close she came to getting beaten.â€

    Railroad Crossing

    Once, when we rotated drivers and Mom was driving with me in the back of my car, we were stopped at a railroad crossing. We were following Dad, but someone else cut in front of us so that he could roll down his window and talk to his wife who was driving anther car. After traffic in our lane moved ahead a little, this guy and his wife were still talking. Dad backs up, gets out and approaches the man in front of us. Mom and I sat chanting, “Don’t get shot, don’t get shot.†Everything worked out and we pulled around to follow Dad again.

    The next railroad crossing, I was driving in my car myself with Princess. We come to another set of tracks and have to stop for traffic. Not wanting to be separated again, I look both ways and, seeing that it’s clear, rest on the tracks. After all, it’s just an ordinary red light. We should be moving soon. As I’m waiting, the railroad lights go off, the arms start coming down and there I am, stuck right in the middle of the tracks. I can SEE the damn train coming. I honk my horn and just as the arms are about to box me in, traffic moves.

    The Bed

    While in Fort Worth, Princess and I had a king-sized bed. I have photographic evidence that she can take up the whole thing. I’ll post it as soon as I get the film developed. She and I had a little tiff over the bed. I didn’t feel like sleeping on the edge with my butt hanging over the edge.

    Miss Barks-A-Lot

    When we were leaving the hotel, I let Mom hold on to Princess so I could check out unhindered. It took a few minutes, and when I came back out I took Princess’s leash back and started babytalking to her. “How’s my little angel-poo?†Mom gave me “The Look†and started, “Angel???? This dog is no angel! She was throwing a fit the minute you got out of her sights!!! She has absolutely no leash etiquette whatsoever!!!â€

    I look at Princess and in a babytalk voice ask, “Awwww….Is that true?†as I pet her little head.

    Mom then automatically starts defending the dog, “Don’t get mad at her. She just loves you so much.â€

    It Would Be Open

    There is a Chinese restaurant down the street from where I live. It’s been there for years. It has the worst food. It’s been investigated for paying slave wages and illegal immigrants. In the midst of every other business closed and boarded up, it was open and hopping with business. Having learned from experience, I still opted for a granola bar and a bottle of water for dinner.

    Gas

    Houston is the energy capital. When we got home, the energy capital we call home was completely out of gas. Houston…out of gas. I still can’t help but chuckle.

    The Shower

    Having to leave Fort Worth so quickly meant not taking a shower or brushing teeth or changing clothes. By the time I got home, I was sticky, sweaty, smelly, dirty and exhausted. I just wanted a hot shower. Unfortunately, there was no hot water. Just cold. I still washed my hair twice and scrubbed every nook and cranny. Freezing cold, but feeling great.

    The Conclusion

    Evacuating from Rita was one of the scariest points in my life. I could have lost everything. Many did. I learned a lot about Texas. San Antonio and Austin were wonderful to us during the evacuations. Dallas and several small towns were not. Just watching Dallas’s own news channels, I learned that they didn’t open their shelters until close to the last minute, claiming “fatigueâ€. Small towns were refusing evacuees gas, wanting to hold on to it for themselves. Many evacuees were actually chased off with guns.

    On the other hand, San Antonio sent people to help reopen Houston stores because so much of our population was still out of town. Many of my coworkers went to Austin and at the shelter, many Austin residents were picking up Rita evacuees and taking them home. My own coworker and his girlfriend spent the weekend at a couple’s house who just said, “You can come home with us.â€

    I won't forget the friends that called me when my other family didn't. I won't forget how kind some other Texas cities were and I sure as hell won't forget the ones that weren't.

    I'm so thankful for the family I have (meaning my parents), my doggies, my home, my wonderful car who didn't let me down and my friends.

  22. ziggynemo's Blog

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    Someone needs to calm me down!! I have been an emotional wreck. Ever since Johnny and Heather sent us an invitation in the mail, I had a reality check I guess and I realized my baby, my only child is getting married in 27 days. You would think I am the one walking down the isle. I am worried about every little detail right down to the end of the reception and sending them off into the night. LOL

    I think I need some help! :) I honestly havent been able to sleep well or eat well in the past few weeks, well at least I have lost 11 pounds!! LOL

    27 days 27 days 27 days...

  23. buyingcollegedegreefakediplomas

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