The groomed Shih Tzu

Our pet Shih Tzu, Oscar, has been suffering under the unusual August weather. It’s actually quite warm, and his long coat is more useful for colder weather. So this morning we had him groomed and doesn’t he look cute?

Oscar! Come here!

Imagine the scene. Out on a pier, I’m lying on the wooden beams over the low tide surf on the rocks below and I’m calling to my dog. Thankfully Oscar obliged and I made this photo as he walked towards me with his tongue half-hanging out of his mouth. There’s Jacinta in the background, she’s almost 9 months pregnant in this photo, but you probably can’t see the bump in this small image!

Shih Tzu playing ball on the beach

Our pet Shih Tzu, Oscar with a tennis ball in his mouth on Garrettstown Beach a few weeks before Adam was born last April.
He loves running after the ball, but the poor little doggy is a bit lame right now. We took him to the vet who couldn’t find anything wrong. This has happened before and he recovered so fingers crossed he gets better this time too.
The strange thing is, it only affects him when he’s walking on pavements or roads. On grass he’s almost fine, and at home you wouldn’t know it from his running around! Dog psychology?

Eye of the Shih Tzu

This is Oscar, our Shih Tzu. He has been a part of our family for just over a year now and he’s very devoted to my wife Jacinta. He loves playing with me too, but I know who he’d save from a sinking ship!

We were worried what would happen when the baby came along, but Oscar has been great. For the most part he has ignored Adam, but if a stranger should lean over Adam and his mom then Oscar will be out to growl and sometimes bark! That would be great if there was any danger but it’s almost always a friend or family so it’s become an annoyance we need to look out for.
Poor Oscar doesn’t get the same amount of attention as he did before baby but in general he behaves better, so that’s a good thing! I think he got a little cocky and just a little too confident of his place in the family hierarchy.

Alone in the park

A dog, a tree and a park bench in the Lee Fields, Cork.

I took Oscar, our shitzu, for a short walk at the Lee Fields a while back and made this image during what was a fairly uneventful walk. Neither of us was in the mood for a walk but we had time to kill.

Dog in a lampshade

Poor Oscar. It’s not bad enough that he got the snip but he had to wear what looks to all the world like a lampshade for two weeks. This was only a week after he moved in with us last Summer and the poor fella was not impressed.

Thankfully he got over it remarkably quickly and doesn’t have an aversion to lighting fixtures as we suspected he might have.

Our Oscar is quite a needy little character. He loves human attention. This faq on Shih Tzus is quite good, although it does contradict an earlier page I read that said they are a one human dog. Oscar definitely prefers Jacinta to me, but he goes crazy when he sees me after an absence too!

He sleeps in the kitchen and up to recently we kept the door closed to stop him coming upstairs but unfortunately he has the door half-ruined from scratching and his whining and barking kept us awake many times.
The solution? Train him and be more strict. He’s not allowed upstairs now and I leave the kitchen door open at night. No scratching, no whining. Sometimes he sneaks upstairs and we find him curled up on the landing but a quick and sharp, “Oscar! Get down!” and he’s scurrying down to his bed again.

So, it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks. Well, a middle-aged one at any rate.

Dog on the beach

Oscar ambling along on the beach at Garretstown in Co. Cork. He never liked the beach, there’s just too much dirt and gravel and sand and just plain yuck, but he had a great time that evening. I don’t think Shih-Tzus are the most adventurous of dogs! Compare this picture with an earlier shot before he was groomed. Quite a difference eh?

Under Irish law, dogs should be kept on a lead in public places at all times, and really should not be allowed on a beach but I made sure he did his business before we went anywhere near the sand! He’s so timid he rarely left our side the whole time, and I had the lead in my pocket, just in case.

I spotted a horse in the distance and the hoof marks were visible in the sand, but I was too late to get a shot of the horse and rider this time unfortunately.

This page on Shih Tzus describes Oscar perfectly:

The Shih-Tzu is an alert and spunky little dog. Happy and hardy, endowed with loads of character. They are royally dignified, courageous and sometimes arrogant. This breed does well with polite, careful children. The gentle loyal Shih-Tzu makes friends easily and although obstinate can respond well to consistent patient training. A very alert watch dog, the Shih-Tzu likes to bark, but is usually quiet inside the house. They are stubborn and clever. Shihs can get snappish if they are surprised or peeved. Playful and lively, this affectionate little dog needs to be with people and are generally good with other pets. Some can be difficult to housebreak.

Oscar in the grass

Oscar sitting patiently for us while we finished a bbq at my sister-in-law’s house!

This required quite a bit of work because I had to clone out his lead, 3 garden chairs and the side of the bbq. Is it obvious where?