Last week, we looked at cuddling dogs in general and Oreo and Ling Ling in particular. We found out that sometimes it’s a question of who is cuddling whom. Continuing with our saga of cuddliness, we move to our third dog, Tilly Tot.
Shih Tzu On, Shih Tzu Off
Speaking of Tilly, whoever had her before we found her had trained her to stay off the furniture. She would only come up if you specifically invited her. Our ruffian youngsters, Ling Ling and Oreo, jump up on any of the padded furniture whenever they please…and we let them.
Disclaimer: Before we go any further, let me once again proclaim my proviso. I am not a pet expert in anything except loving my dogs. If you prefer to keep your dogs off the furniture and/or off your bed, that’s perfectly fine with me. If you have a super way of training your dogs, for goodness sakes, tell me. Don’t look to Puppy Dog Tales as the ultimate authority on how to groom, feed, and care for your shih tzu. You might find different ways to love them, or pick up some pointers you didn’t know, but there are plenty of other sites to find expert advice on the technical side of looking after your pet. /disclaimer off
Okay, back to Tilly. She pranced in delight at becoming one of the family, despite the almost overwhelming waves of jealousy that Ling Ling exuded towards her. Tilly loves being up on the bed and cuddling…with Daddy mostly. He is the Brad Pitt of doggy heroes for the canine groupies in our family—oh, wait, and for me too! Anyhow, all three dogs adore him. So it’s no wonder that Tilly loves being with him, especially in his recliner in the living room or on the bed at nap time. However, at night she prefers to sleep in one of her many cozy little beds around the house.
I just counted them…6 proper dog beds and 4 dog floor pillows! Believe it or not, Tilly will sleep in all of them; of course, not at the same time. Mind you, the other two can sleep in any of them if they want, but the lure of their daddy doggy hero draws them to cuddling with him in bed at night. So, if you count dog-type riches by ownership of doggy beds, then Tilly must be one of the richest dogs in the world!
Getting There and Back Again
This next point isn’t exactly about cuddling but has a lot to do with getting to and from the cuddling target area. As you might have noticed, shih tzus are not exactly high off the ground when they are standing still. They can leap and jump, some better than others, but at a standstill they measure only 1 to 2 feet off the ground. That means that leaping up on high beds is difficult. If you want them there, you might have to help.
The point of this, however, is jumping down. If they start too young, they can create back problems later in life. This is true of all small dogs, and especially ones with long backs like dachshunds. Tilly is the smallest of our bunch and she can’t always make it up on her own. She jumps down on her own, but I am thinking we should start lifting her down, because it seems to be quite a jolt to her little system.
Ernest’s Interim Solution
Ernest came up with a solution that seems to work splendidly for Oreo and Tilly. Ling Ling is far too independent to use any kind of aid but the other two are delighted with their ramp. Actually, it’s just a box that Ernest built. It’s long enough to give them room for a run up onto the bed and half the height of the floor to the top of the bed, so it lets them jump up on the bed in stages.
This solves the problem of jumping up on the bed; unfortunately, neither of them uses it for getting off the bed. So I’m still trying to lift them down whenever I can. With Oreo being so overweight, lifting him presents a problem for me, but I can manage lifting little Tilly okay, if I’m around when she wants down, This is rare. I’ll let you know how that goes. In the meantime, if you have any solutions for this problem, I’d love hearing them.
Do you let your dogs up on the bed with you?
If they are small, is there a problem getting
them up and down from high places?
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(Next week watch for “My Hero Dog – with Dorky Deb – Part 1”)
Text and photos (except where otherwise indicated)
are copyright © 2013 by Sandra Bell Kirchman.
All rights reserved. (Volume 14-4.4, April 26, 2014)