This post is by Dottie, Candy and Flower: three Shih Tzu girl doggehs who were rescued from a puppy mill.
The sisters have their own blog called Same Shih Tzu, Different Day, largely written by their person, which is updated almost daily detailing their progress since rescue. I’ve featured their blog in my Website of the Week.
When I first saw the girls I thought I looked a lot like them – more so Flower and Candy. I wondered if we were related and still do.
I think their person did a super brave and amazing thing when she took them in to her home and loved them, even though it hasn’t been easy.
I wanted to share their story with you and so I asked them to write a guest post for my blog. Each of them has written their own account and this is what they had to say.
• • •
Dottie (born September 17, 2005)
Candy, Flower and I were so happy that Sadie asked us to guest blog.
We’ve known Sadie for a couple of months and we like reading her blog. When Sadie asked us to do this, she said maybe we could talk about what it was like being in a puppy mill and how life has been since we left. I am not exactly sure what a puppy mill is but since I’m the oldest, I’ll tell you what little I remember.
I was given the name of Dottie Rose Ann. I honestly can’t remember much about the first five years of my life but my American Kennel Club certificate says I was born in Miltonvale, Kansas.
My parents’ names are Rose and Ringo Boy. I know that I am a Shih Tzu. I guess I’m a little different than some Shih Tzus because I kind of look like a small Dalmatian. I’m black and white but I have black spots called “ticking.”
During those early years I lived with lots of other dogs — some males but most of them were females, like me.
When I was very young they mated me with a boy dog and I had babies. I had more babies after that, several times. The other females that lived with me had lots of babies too.
We never got to keep the babies. One day they would just be gone. I once heard someone say that many of them went to stores where they were sold to humans and became pets.
When I was about five and a half years old, a human visited me which was very strange because we hardly ever saw humans.
I was sitting outside in a chicken coop type kennel with five other Shih Tzus. At least two of them, Candy and Flower, were my half sisters; we have the same daddy. I don’t know if the other three were related to me and I can’t remember their names. The two humans talked to each other and then the new human loaded us all up in a vehicle and drove away with us.
We were afraid because we were leaving our home and we didn’t know where we were going. My whole body was shaking when the human put us in her car.
Eventually, she took us somewhere where they gave us shots and felt all over our bodies to see if we had any problems. They didn’t think I did.
We were told that we were going to a place called Colorado. A few days later another new human visited us. She put me, Candy and Flower in a car and drove away with us.
That human took us to a home. We later learned that these humans rescued dogs and found them forever homes. When she took us inside her house we were scared but excited because we heard dogs barking. It was just like what we were used to! Only these dogs weren’t in kennels. They were roaming around the house. We watched them in astonishment.
The new human showed us where we would sleep. It was an area with carpet and a fence around it. We felt relieved because we didn’t know what we would do if someone let us run around like that, especially in a home. For a while, we mainly stayed inside our pen.
Another human lived there – a man. He got up at 4 a.m., so we got to eat very early. After we ate he took us outside to a long, narrow place where we could run up and down.
Soon they changed our pen so that we could go in and out when we wanted. Mainly though we just stayed there in our comfortable dog beds unless someone came and got us.
After I had been there a while, I started liking the human. I found out her name was Barbara. I got to the point where I didn’t really want her out of my sight. I followed her around and she let me sit on the couch with her. Sometimes the man would sit there with us.
At Barbara’s I noticed Candy leave for a while and then come back. The same thing happened to Flower. I didn’t know where they went.
After living with Barbara for about four months, another human came to see us. We were very afraid. We thought maybe we’d have to leave our home again. I didn’t want that because I liked living with Barbara.
We huddled together in the corner. Flower and I sat in front of Candy because she’s smaller than us and we had to protect her. The human talked to us and finally we let her feed us some yummy chicken jerky.
The chicken jerky human came to see us several times. While she was there, she took us outside and tried to get us to play but we mainly huddled together until she pulled out the chicken jerky.
About a week later, Barbara put us in her car again which made us afraid. When we stopped we were taken into a different house. The chicken jerky human was there. We got to wander around the living room. We were jumping around and playing with each other.
The chicken jerky human tried to pet us but none of us wanted her to. I shook and shook and shook. She talked Candy and Flower into eating some food but I was too upset to eat.
I soon got hungry, so I let her feed me. It would take me too long to tell the whole story but we finally started trusting and liking the chicken jerky human. And now we call her Mom.
A man lives here too. Mom says to call him Dad but we just call him the Treat Man. He gives us treats whenever he comes home. Besides that, we try to stay away from him. We just don’t feel comfortable with men humans.
Each morning Flower and I run upstairs. Mom used to let us in her room and we’d scratch on the bed until she petted us. Then, we’d bark and bark, and finally she’d get up. Recently she’s been closing the door and sleeps later so we have to wait longer to see her.
Once Mom is up she goes to the kitchen and puts yummy stuff in our bowls like cottage cheese and kibble. Sometimes, she gives us other stuff that we don’t like. I sit with her in the kitchen until she has everything together and then she opens the door. Candy, Flower and I fly outside. Yum! We love breakfast! After we eat, we wander out to the yard and do what Mom calls “our business.”
During the day I sit in our corner with my sisters. We have three dog beds and we take turns sitting in different ones. I also really like sitting on the couch with Mom. I have a hard time getting up on it though because I can’t jump as well as Candy and Flower. Mom has to help me.
Mom uses her computer a lot on the couch, so I just lay there. Usually it’s just us but sometimes Flower tries to get up so I growl at her. When Mom hears me do that, she scolds me and says I should let Flower come up. Thankfully, Candy has only tried that once.
When we go outside Mom tries to get us to play. Sometimes I wander around and smell things or I might chase Candy or Flower. Usually I just sit on the porch by Mom until she lets me go inside.
Mom got us lots of toys but I don’t really like to play with toys. I like treats. I love chicken jerky, apple and chicken, and chicken and sweet potato.
We’ve eaten hamburger a few times.
On my birthday we went to McDonalds and got hamburgers for my party. I liked the hamburgers but I hate car rides. I don’t shake anymore at home but I do shake in the car.
I don’t like anyone touching my face so it makes it hard for Mom and the Treat Man to groom me. I also hate the leash.
I don’t like baths and the black thing they use to trim my fur that makes noise. It makes me nervous and sometimes when I get nervous, I blow bubbles out my nose!
Candy (born Cyr Frosty Iris Candy, April 30, 2009)
Mom says that I am the independent Shih Tzu. I don’t know what that means but I love sitting outside by myself.
After we eat, and Candy and Flower go inside, Mom lets me sit on the porch as long as I want – unless she has to leave, of course.
I like to wander all over the yard smelling everything. There is a big building in the yard — a shed — and I like to sit in front of it and just look around. I also like to sit under the ATV trailer, especially when it’s warm, because there is lots of shade there.
Sometimes I like to run around in circles very, very fast. When I do, Flower chases me. Mom says I hop like a rabbit. I heard her tell the Treat Man that she read that some dogs hop because they have hip dysplasia, whatever that is. Elsewhere she read that all shih tzus bunny hop!
My sisters and I love food but I’m a little pickier than they are. So I weigh several pounds less than they do. And they steal my food when I’m not looking!
I like when the Treat Man comes home at night. I get really excited when the door opens. He talks to me a lot and we always get a treat. He holds them over my head and I stand on my hind legs and jump for them. Dottie and Flower can’t do that!
I don’t usually run up the stairs to get Mom in the morning. More often I wait excitedly at the bottom of the stairs.
She’ll hold out her hand and let me bite it! SO much fun! Sometimes I bite her finger or her wrist. And if she doesn’t have stockings on I bite her toes! I follow her into the living room and we all try to bite her. She says Flower and Dottie have “soft mouths,” so she doesn’t feel it as much. I think she likes me to bite her. I don’t ever hurt her, though. It’s just fun.
I do like being outside but I don’t like wearing the leash. Mom and the Treat Man have to give me treats when I walk.
Like Dottie, I hate the sound of the clippers so I try to bite them when I get groomed.
When Mom gets out the vacuum cleaner, I run upstairs. I used to go in one of the bedrooms to escape the noise but now the doors are always closed.
Mom said she gets tired of cleaning the carpets after us. She had to roll up the pretty rug we used to play on in the living room. She said we made it smell.
Since I can’t escape into the bedrooms anymore, I either sit in the hall on a blanket, in my corner in the dining room or under the table.
Mom and the Treat Man try to get me to sit on the couch with them sometimes. I’m very happy sitting on my dog bed or near Flower.
Flower (born Cyr Golden Flower, April 13, 2009)
Dottie told you where we came from so I’ll tell you about when I met my human.
We were staying at a house with several dogs and a cat, and a woman and man who took care of us – oh, and a teenage human who really scared us.
One day, the human we now call Mom came to the house. I was afraid.
I didn’t like being picked up. It made me so nervous that I pooped!
My Mum was told I was a “special needs” dog. Truthfully, when I’m afraid, I still poop when someone picks me up. Mainly it happens when I’m put on a grooming table or someone puts a leash on me or makes me ride in a car. But it’s getting better because I’m not as afraid as I used to be.
When Mom first took me home, I didn’t want her to touch me. I fought a lot and tried to bite her. After a while I let her pet me occasionally. Now I let her do it all the time. I would get a lot more petting, chest scratches and massages but when I jump on the couch Dottie growls at me.
I don’t like it when Treat Man tries to pet me.
I heard Mom say she wondered why I’m so afraid of men. I don’t have many memories of my past, so I can’t say why. Mom said it’s probably because a man was mean to me or maybe it’s just because I was only ever around women. Or, maybe it’s just because that teenager was so loud!
Mom says I am excitable – probably because I get overly excited about certain things such as waking her up in the morning. I can’t help it. I jump all over the place. And I get really excited when I get breakfast or treats. If I hear barking outside, I get excited. It’s only because I think the dogs are coming to play with us.
Other outside noises scare me. I hate car and motorcycle noise. And I’m jumpy when Mom moves her leg or arm too quickly, so she tries to move very slowly.
In all, I really like living here. I would like it better if that man wasn’t here. Mom says he is a nice man and we will grow to love him. I’m not sure about that, but at least he gives us treats.