My mommy, Samantha, came up with the name Heidi Pawza when she made me my own space in the living room. She laid down the rug patterned with green leaves; put my little doggy house on it and my favorite toy, polar bear.
Hi, my name is Heidi and I found my mommy in 2009. I was boarded at a kennel’s Samantha worked at. Samantha told her mom one day that this cute little doggy was homeless, me. My parents had left me at the kennels and said they did not want me any longer and do what you want with me. I was heart broken once again and wondered why people kept leaving me. I don’t understand; I am not a bad dog, very cute and loveable. Samantha fell in love with me immediately.
At the time, my mom was not allowed to have dogs where she lived. It was a nice apartment in El Cajon, CA- two pools, jacuzzi, exercise room and central air. My new mommy gave this up to find a dog friendly place for me.
I ended up going home with another client from the kennels who had a number of other dogs. This lady kept me for only a week and brought me back to the kennels saying I did not get along with her other dogs. I had been abused and abandoned multiple times and had some issues that needed addressed by someone loving and patient.
Samantha told her Mom, we have to take this dog. The kennels agreed to keep me until my new mommy could find a place.
Four weeks later I had a new home with a loving mom, G-ma and a kitty to play with. My mom no longer had a pool, jacuzzi, exercise room or central air, but I had a forever home! My mom worked and worked with me to get me socialized and trusting again. The problem with the first lady was that I did not like hyper dogs in my face and would growl and snap at them. I am a hundred percent better today and am the alpha dog of my home and will lay down boundaries to any four-legged foe that enters!
Today I am a happy loving dog and so happy even when going for a walk. I have a very unique personality and I am more “sensitive” than my siblings. All dogs can sense our emotions, but mine is heightened. I know when my mommy is going to come home and when she is going to wake up. I do not do this all the time, but many times.
I think I was a cat in another life, I would rather play with a cat, than a dog other than a chihuahua, my favorite breed. My mom rescued an 8 week old kitten last year, 2011, from a friend that passed on, Aida Reyes. My mom named the kitten after her, but we call her Rey for short. Rey in Japanese, Rei, (pronounced ray) means spirit. I mothered the kitten and would not let her out of my sight for a month. I am still protective of Rey to this day!
Lexis visiting Heidi Pawza. Lexis is my sister golden retriever, she came to live with us about 3 months after me. Lexis came from the same kennels, so we were already friends. Her owner no longer wanted her so she stayed for a night at my home and has been here since. Lexis is the perfect sister for me, she is very laid back and watches over me and vice versa. Lexis loves the beach (like me). I am the sand dog (like digging holes) and Lexis is the water-loving dog.
I have my own FaceBook page, too.
My mom and G-ma would not trade me for any of the amenities they gave up. Me and Lexis were not the only dogs (or cats) abandon at the kennels! P.S. We now have a pool again!
About my Breed
Americans commonly pronounce the Shih Tzu as SHEET-zoo ; however, the actual original Chinese translation is, “sure-ds.” In the Chinese pronunciation the “ds” is pronounced the same as the “ds” at the end of the word “words.” It is Chinese Mandarin, and translates directly to ‘lion’. That is where the term “lion dog” comes from.
The Shih Tzu is a small, sturdy dog with a body that is slightly longer than it is tall. The head is round and broad, and wide between the eyes. The square muzzle is short, with an inch or less from the tip of the nose to the defined stop. The nose is broad, with well-open nostrils. Nose, lips and eye rims are liver on liver colored dogs, blue on blue dogs and black on all other colors. The teeth meet in a level or under bite.
The large, round eyes are dark in color, but lighter on blue and liver dogs. The large, pendant, low-set ears hang down and are covered in abundant hair. The back is level. The muscular legs are straight and well-boned. The high-set tail is carried over the back and is covered in abundant hair. Dewclaws are sometimes removed. The double coat is dense and long, flowing down over the dog. The hair above the eyes is often tied in a topknot. There is a profuse beard and mustache and the hair on the muzzle is short. Coat comes in all colors.
The Shih Tzu is an alert, lively, little dog. It is happy and hardy, and packed with character. The gentle, loyal Shih Tzu makes friends easily and responds well to consistent, patient training. It makes a very alert watchdog. It is courageous and clever. Playful and spunky, this affectionate little dog likes to be with people and is generally good with other pets. Some can be difficult to housebreak. The Shih Tzu needs all of the humans in the house to be pack leaders, with the rules of the house made consistently clear. Owners who allow their dogs to take over may find them to be snappish if they are surprised or peeved.
They will be obstinate as they take their stand and defend their top position in the pack. Heidi is the alpha dog of the house, no matter how big the other dog is. They may bark obsessively as they try and TELL you what they want. These behaviors are NOT Shih Tzu traits, but rather behaviors brought on by the way they are treated by people around them. Give this dog rules and limits as to what it is and is not allowed to do.
Prone to slipped stifle and spinal disc disease caused by a long back and short legs. Also ear infections, eye problems such as cherry eye and early tooth loss. Tends to wheeze and snore and can have respiratory problems. These dogs gain weight easily and should not be overfed.
The Shih Tzu is good for apartment life. These dogs are fairly active indoors and will do okay without a yard. This breed is sensitive to the heat.
These little dogs require a good daily grooming using a bristle brush. When kept in a long coat a topknot is usually tied to keep the hair out of the dog’s eyes. Some owners prefer to have them trimmed to make the coat easier and less time-consuming to care for. Keep the ear passages and area around the eyes clean. Shih Tzus have sensitive eyes that need to be kept clean.
Sixteenth century documents and paintings show dogs resembling the Shih Tzu. The Shih Tzu is said to have descended from crossing the Lhasa Apso or Tibetan mountain dog and Pekingese, in the city of Peking in the 17th century. The dogs were favorites of the Chinese royals and were so prized that for years the Chinese refused to sell, trade, or give away any of the dogs. It was not until the 1930s that the first pair was imported to England, when it was discovered by English soldiers during World War II. The Shih Tzu was recognized in Britain in 1946. The AKC recognized the breed in 1969.
Source: Dog Breed Info
- Weekly Wag: What Personality Type is Your Dog? (thedogwalkersandiego.wordpress.com)
- Weekly Wag: Does Your Dog Have ESP? (thedogwalkersandiego.wordpress.com)
- How to Give Your Shih Tzu a Teddy Bear Cut (thedogwalkersandiego.wordpress.com)
Hi, interesting article. I have to disagree about your emphasis on shih tzus barking and being so vocal. Most sources (I researched well before choosing the breed) say that they are quieter than other small dogs, and that is certainly my experience. I asked the breeder how noisy they were. she has a pack of about 5, and has bred for 30 years. She said that, like any dog, they WILL bark, but they are content to stop after a few barks, do not yap, and don’t make noise just for the sake of it. I now know several of these gorgeous little dogs, and completely agree with her.
Of course, a lot depends on the owner and how the dog is treated by the owner!
Hi Jo, the resource i got that from Pet MD said they are barkers. I have 2 in my home and one does not bark hardly at all. So thanks for drawing that to my attention. I guess I did not put that in the post. And she does stop after a couple of barks. She never barks at doorbells, other dogs. She barks a couple of times when she wants to go outside to potty and come back in. My other shih tzu barks all the time, but he is blind. Every time he hears a noise, he barks. thanks
i added to my post about my 2 shih tzus. thanks 🙂