Written by Brenda Fiehn of Texas
I was on vacation when I got a call from my housekeeper (not as fancy as it sounds here in Mexico) saying that she had taken in a little stray Shih Tzu. She said she didn’t know if she had done the right thing, but she hoped she had. I assured her that she had, but asked her to keep him separated from my two dogs in case he had fleas or worms, etc.
My housekeeper told me how a guy had rang the doorbell with the little dog in tow, and asked if he was ours (we have a Shih Tzu doormat). When she said it wasn’t, he went on to other aparments. She went on with her work, but when she passed by the front door a few minutes later, she heard scratching from the other side. The guy had given up and left the poor thing by itself, and he was begging to come inside.
I got home a couple of days later, and the sight that greeted me just melted my heart. I say a small gray Shih Tzu with huge eyes and rough hair that just begged to be loved. He would get up on his hind legs like a circus dog for minutes, wanting to be picked up. He was extremely affectionate, but scared easily. I knew in that moment that he had found his home with us and my dogs, who happened to be Shih Tzus as well!
So, I took him to the vet the next day, and he was found to be in good health overall, and about two years old. He was skinny, his eyes had sun damage, probably from being kept outside with little or no shade and his stomach was very dark from the sun, too. And his fur! It just stuck up everywhere; the coarsest I had ever felt.
That night, he slept on my bed with his canine roommates. Luckily, they all played nice and got along very well, since Luigi, as he was named, was very submissive and did not want to cause any trouble. He positioned himself on my pillow as a hat on my head, and would alternate from that spot to a “cave” made from the other pillows on my bed. I just wanted him to feel safe, loved and secure.
He tried to bite my daughter once, when she was carrying a tray and tried to move him with her foot very gently. This and other actions have led me to believe he had been physically mistreated at one time.
It’s been five years since the day he came asking to be let in, and I give thanks for him every day. He follows me around everywhere, even on bathroom trips in the middle of the night.
We took a few pictures to show a little love and care can do wonders! I have no “before” photos, but believe me, he looks a lot better. His stomach is a very nice rosy pink now, and he reached his healthy weight. See the Rest of Luigi’s Family Photos Here
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