Monthly Archives: September 2014

My Little Predators

I’ve been watching a lot of animal documentaries, especially those pertaining to wild Canines and canine-type animals such as the Hyena. When discussing the play behavior, the narrators often express that when young predators¬†play, it is getting them prepared for hunting when they grow up.

As I’ve watched my dogs play, I often wonder why they play. I’m sure their play behavior is a throw-back to their wild roots. Still, the pet dog doesn’t have to hunt for it’s food (that is unless you use food puzzles). I know some breeds were bred to hunt, but what about dogs that were strictly bred to be lapdogs? They exhibit the same predatory instincts that hunting dogs and even wild dogs exhibit.

My youngest, Clara, even stalks her sisters. She also has learned that instead of directly pursuing Molly, who is fast despite her short legs, she watches Molly and determines where Molly is going to turn at and cuts Molly off, knocking her off balance with the precision of a Cheetah knocking an Impala down. I can’t get enough of watching Clara perform this predatory ritual time and time again.

It’s still amazing that despite the fact that they’re Shih Tzu, they still have the drive to chase and catch. If the prey were small enough, I’m sure they’d play with it until it died.

Once, Molly and Haley even chased down a rabbit and caught it. We managed to get the dogs off of it and the rabbit hopped off no worse for the wear. While the adrenaline pumped through me, I felt angry at my dogs for picking on a poor, wild rabbit. The next day I realized that the stupid rabbit ran right toward my dogs and that they were doing just what dogs did. Quickly I went from being angry to being amazed, to bragging about it. My toy dogs caught a rabbit that was almost their size! Even friends were impressed.

I know I started out this post with a question as to why dogs play. I know that it is a throwback to their wild ancestry, but why do dogs still have the urge to play? Of course adult humans enjoy playing as well. Why do adult humans still play? Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but I love to play–especially Minecraft and the Sims–simply because it is fun. So, I have to say that I think domestic dogs play more out of the sheer fun of playing, but if it helps hone their predatory instincts that’s just icing on the cake.

Until next time…play like your owner is not standing there and knock her¬†over or trip him up.

A Funny Looking Shih Tzu

My mother commutes half an hour to and from work and she worries about her little Toy Poodle mix that is left home alone. I think my mother is more concerned about the dog than the dog is actually concerned. Ebony usually hops up on the love seat and sleeps the entire day. Still…

I decided that I’d look into getting Ebony a companion. I scoured the Internet from local rescues, animal shelters, and CraigsList. I even looked at ads in different areas of the state as I was willing to drive up to a couple hours to pick up a dog.

Pretty much all that I tried failed. People didn’t email back, or the dog was already adopted, or the “re-homing fee” was too expensive. It became an obsession. The more elusive the dog was, the more I wanted to find it.

Then I came across an ad for a Shih Tzu. The adoption fee was $40. There was no picture, but I sent a text anyway. There was a response and the dog was still available. I made arrangements to pick her up on Friday; that was two days away. I knew that the person would give the dog away in that time. It had happened to me time and time again.

The person also sent me pictures of the dog. It was a cute gray and white dog…well kind of cute. It looked like a funny looking Shih Tzu to me. Still, I was determined to have her for my mom and Ebony.

On Thursday, I confirmed that I was still meeting the person. We were still meeting. I was scared though. Anything could happen in that time.

Friday morning came. I took care of the animals and left the house. I finally got there and picked up the dog. She was heavy. She smelled of dirt and outside. Her snout was oddly long for a Shih Tzu. I didn’t care. As long as she was healthy she was fine. Her name was Veve. I took her home and introduced her to my dogs and Ebony. I expected a lot of bickering or yelping, but they all wagged their tails at each other and then that was it. She was part of the pack.

She looked very funny-looking compared to my Shih Tzu girls. Her snout was obviously too long. Her head was all wrong. I decided there were two reasons for this: either she was a poorly bred Shih Tzu or, most likely, she wasn’t a Shih Tzu at all, but a breed that shared common features with a Shih Tzu. At first I thought she was a Havanese, but her head and body didn’t match.

While mother cooked lentils, I did a quick search about the difference between the Lhasa Apso and the Shih Tzu. Though they have many similarities, the biggest difference between them is the shape of the head and the length of the snout (something that is difficult to tell when the dogs have long hair). I showed mother the picture of the Lhasa Apso and it matched that of the dog. Suddenly she went from being a funny-looking Shih Tzu to a lovely little Lhasa Apso.

We renamed her Nikky and because it was so close to her old name she responded to it immediately.

Mother, Ebony and Nikky are getting along. Last night Mother told me that Nikky and Ebony were chasing each other up and down the stairs. She sent me a picture of Nikky sleeping. I think this is the start to a beautiful friendship.

Until next time…don’t forget that even though you’re a funny-looking Shih Tzu, you’re a beautiful Lhaso Apso.

One Lap…Three Lapdogs

New blog title; same wacky posts.