Skip to main content

The Boys Lose their Grandma

The boys know something is up. We're gone for long periods of time, and they've seen more of our family coming and going than ever before. People are always dropping in and staying the night. And then we're all gone again for hours.

They haven't had their bath or brushing like they always did. Their walks to the lake have become non-existent. When their mom and dad come home, they don't do much more than fall on the couch and sleep. And through it all the boys are the most patient, caring little guys you could ever wish for.

Although they don't know exactly what's going on, we know they will never see their Grandma again because Grandma is in the hospital and, after being poked and prodded and tested for the last month, we are told there is no hope for recovery and she is simply being kept comfortable until she takes her last breath which, we believe, will be at any time.

The boys became close to Grandma when she stayed with us for seven months. Grandma had surgery on her hand and was supposed to be here for about four weeks to recover. However, with complications and further surgeries, she was here for almost a year.

Every night as she slowly made her way to her bedroom, the boys would run ahead and go into her room. They'd check it out, sniffing every nook and cranny, and then return to the doorway when all was clear. When she woke up in the morning, the boys were waiting to greet her with their tails wagging and their bodies wiggling with joy. It put a smile on her face every day and, after she went home,she said the one thing she missed the most were the boys greeting her each morning and coming to say goodnight. During the day, they would sit with her in her chair and cuddle with her. They never worried that she limped and walked with a cane...they would patiently wait for her. They never saw her twisted, arthritic hands...all they felt were the warm caresses those hands provided each and every day. When my husband and I went on vacation, Grandma was always the first to volunteer to house sit with the boys so they didn't have to go to a kennel. 

The boys continue to run into "her bedroom" and look around even though Grandma is not there.  They sometimes will sit in the room and have a little nap. It seems to bring them comfort to be in her room. Last night we noticed the little nightlight we placed next to Grandma's bed was on. We did not turn it on as we don't really even go into that room. But perhaps this is Grandma's way of letting us know that even in her comatose state, she still comes to visit.


Popular posts from this blog

Ear infections

Dogs with long, floppy ears are prone to ear infections, and Shih-Tzus are certainly not immune. My oldest just got treated for one.

At first, I didn't even realize he had an infection. When I was growing up, we had a Lhasa Apso and whenever she got the infection, there was a distinct odor that came from her ear so we knew it was time to go to the vet. However, when I checked my oldest, there was no odor so I let it go longer than I should have because I thought that it was just overly itchy and perhaps a bit irritated because of this scratching. I realized something was wrong after my husband told me he got up in the middle of the night and found our oldest scratching his ear and crying. That was enough to convince me something wasn't right. I immediately made an appointment with the vet and, lo and behold, he had an ear infection.

So what are the signs? Assuming there is no odor (which is a dead giveaway), this is what you need to watch for:
1. repeated scratching of the affec…

Grooming the Shih-Tzu's eye area

The eye area, and the face in general, are the hardest parts of grooming simply because you need your dog to sit perfectly still in order to cut away in these delicate areas.

The most important tool? Sharp, snub-nosed scissors. I picked mine up at a holistic pet shop where the owners regularly show their dogs so they had a lot of expertise in grooming and actually cater to people who groom their dogs for show, so they had all the right supplies. However, many pet stores carry grooming equipment. The owners explained to me that the snub-nose is most important because if your pet does move, there is no pointed tip to harm them.

Now I have trained my boys to sit still by using voice commands...speaking gently to them and raising my voice slowly and adding firmness if they continue to squirm around. Now they will lay in my arms or sit quietly on the floor while I groom their face. This method of training requires an inordinate amount of patience (which, thankfully, I have). However, I know …

Shih-Tzu hairstyles

I, for one, am fascinated by the hairstyles given to Shih-Tzus. In particular the "top knot" seems to be the thing to do with this breed.

Although my boys have short hair, I've found some links for those who are a bit more adventurous and want to give their dog a bit more panache.

1. Shih-Tzu top knots - illustrations of how to tie the top knot, show knot and puppy knot.
2. A casual Shih-Tzu top knot and the illustrated guide to the Show knot (curling iron required. Really!)
3. One of the most fabulous pics I've seen of a Shih-Tzu. I have no idea how they got the dog to look so perfect, but I suspect it took quite a few hours and hairspray was involved.