This is where the madness all began! It was 2010, the children had been begging for a dog for years. I did NOT like dogs. I know, I know, that seems hard to believe now but I really didn’t. When I was a kid my family had Rottweilers. They were wonderful dogs that we took the training of seriously but I had a lot of experience with some not so well trained “bully” dogs and it really put me off. Training a dog takes a lot of hard work and patience and with three kids I was already teetering dangerously close to the edge of my patience! I also hated that doggie smell in a house and dog hair??? NO THANK YOU!!! I already had plenty of cleaning to do!!
That is when the Shih Poo craze began. 2010 was the year we spent time with three different Shih Poo dogs and I discovered some very important facts, they don’t shed as they have hair not fur (somehow I neglected to remind myself that grooming then becomes a big deal!), they really don’t smell, they are small and easy to just haul along with you no matter what crazy activity your kid wants to try next and finally, and possibly most importantly, I really liked all three dogs! They have a wonderful sweet temperament and are just so lovely.
So the research began. It took me months to find a dog! I called ever breeder I could find and they wouldn’t talk to me. The problem is my house was already kind of a zoo. I am raising three extremely loud neanderthals (possibly an insult to neanderthals). EVEN after the first few breeders had turned me down I and requested the little loud things be quiet they took that as an invitation to see just how much noise they could really make. Trust me, they make Grand Central Station seem like a library! After many “Just how many children do you have?” comments I began to think we just couldn’t get a puppy! The reason is, and I respect this reason, Shih Tzu are tiny delicate dogs. They are quite breakable. Small children really can’t be trusted around such cute cuddly yet breakable bundles of fur.
As Christmas draws near many puppy breeders (and puppy mills) try to plan to have the “impulse Christmas present litter”. Lucky for us! We found a kid on a farm who wanted some extra Christmas money so he breed his Shih Tsu with his friend’s Toy Poodle and we found him! I took all the kids and some friends on the long drive to see the puppies. Godzilla was the runt, clearly. But we wanted a girl and the other girl was already taken. We only had to hold the delicate little ball of fluff to know that she was right for us. She just loved everyone. She was so tiny!
While we were there it turned out the kid had also tried breeding his Boston Terrier with a beagle. My son found that litter – I don’t even know where he got it from but he sniffed it out and attempted to walk out with his wonderful new “farty friend”, his words not mine. As cute as that little thing was I was in no way getting a dog that was a real dog. I hated dogs…. so I had to pry the cute little thing from my sad boys arms. He went home and dreamed about that little dog for four long years. More on that on Pixel’s page…
Conveniently Godzilla was going to be ready to leave her Momma in time for Christmas! So of course we planned to have her under the tree. I picked her up in secret 2 days before Christmas and she stayed at our friend’s house until Christmas night when I snuck her back into the house. When the kids came down for Christmas morning there was a large box with a red ribbon on it with some curious squeaky sounds coming from it. (Getting her from our room to the box in the morning without them noticing was quite a trick!)
Godzilla took a long time adjusting. At first we thought perhaps she had been dropped on her head. She couldn’t figure out food and water and was terrified of everything! Her reflection in the dishwasher would have her shaking! She didn’t leave the kitchen for months. Never adventured or was even slightly curious. She just wanted to be in your lap. But what a lover! She just wanted to cuddle 24/7. I was adamant that dogs do not sleep on human beds. That lasted 3 nights (I almost had her trained!) Dad came home and couldn’t take her cries and put her in the bed with him. Go figure Dad is still her favourite human to this day!
Godzilla became the easiest dog I have ever known. She was easily potty trained, never strays I’m not even sure we introduced her to the leash for the first 2 years. She will walk in the woods with us and is not at all prissy – but oh the grooming issues after that! For a tiny dog she can walk for miles no problem. She never, ever barked (boy that would change with siblings!). Her only issue is she gets so excited to see Dad and can be somewhat scared of his deep voice, so we often have little puddles of overexcited pee to clean up. For how cute and sweet she is it doesn’t even really matter. Excluding of course when the kids think it is funny to get Dad to use his gruff voice when she is on Mums lap!
- Name: Godzilla. Her first vet visit they were taking bets on what kind of dog that was coming in with that name. When she came in they could not stop laughing. A close contender for a name was Hulk but the kids decided she wasn’t green enough.
- Born: October 13th, 2010. She is first dog so I have all her paperwork in a nice little organized folder!
- Breed: Shih Poo – 1/2 Shih Tsu, 1/2 Toy Poodle
- Size: Small enough to trip over as she is constantly under your feet and very quiet. Weighs about 10 pounds.
- Color: Black and white like a Panda Bear. She has the bandit mask around her eyes.
- Distinguishing Features: Her nose couldn’t decide whether to go Poodle or Shih Tsu so she has a little of a longer Poodle nose with the under-bite of a Shih Tsu.
- Nicknames: Zilla, Beast, ZillaBeast, Beastie.
- Theme Song: “Frère Jacques” – I used to sing that to my daughter and she sung it constantly to her as a puppy.
- Personality: Sweet! Sweet! Sweet! Give her a lap and she will stay there forever. She loves to ride in the car or just follow you around. Gets a little too excited with new people or any people. No loyalty, will go home with anyone, even jumped in the mailman’s truck once!