S'Dandi Shih Tzu
All Rights Reserved
2000 - 2008
Sally and Dick Watkeys
8235 Outer Drive South
Traverse City, MI 49684
Graphics courtesy of:
S'Dandi Shih Tzu
Just BePaws . . .
“Mister, does this dog belong to you?” inquired the kids from across the street. They were holding a dirty, matted, black/white Shih Tzu.
“No,” answered my husband, “but, we’ll take it.” What else could we do?
Dick put the dog in one of our x-pens while he waited for me to return. What I saw when I got back, was the most pathetic, little thing. She was scared to death and matted to the skin.

First on the agenda was a grooming followed by a bath. Using a #15 blade, the coat came off in one piece. What really surprised me was that she behaved very well as I carefully trimmed, groomed, cut nails and bathed her. Also very surprising was that she was such a cute little Tzu. She was not what I’d always imagined a stray would look like. Every bit a Shih Tzu in structure, type and temperament, we took her into the RV to meet the other furry kids. The only problem was that she was in full-blown season, and that meant she had to stay crated for the first weeks of adjustment. This was not exactly how a rescue should start.

Folks in the neighborhood told us they had seen this dog for the last several days roaming the streets. Dick had seen her earlier that day following someone walking down the street of small town, USA. We think she was trying to find her owner. Where did she come from? What had happened to her? Why would someone not search for this young lady? Unfortunately, she can’t tell us. There are no answers. One thing I knew for sure, was that I would find the very best home in the whole world for her. She would never again have to face any other days running unloved in a frightening world. No one has inquired about her before or since she left with us to head for the next showsite. It’s just too sad to think this can happen to any of the dogs that we breed.
Even crated, I could see her begin to bloom from daily interaction with people and animals. She ate well, loved going outside to potty and best of all, didn’t bark. She also began to give good hugs.
As usual, at shows our beautiful breed always attracts attention from the spectators. This show was not an exception. One lovely woman commented on the dogs saying that she had a 13 year old Shih Tzu at home and had recently lost a much younger one. She asked if I had any puppies available? I didn’t, but then thought of this rescue girl, that we were calling Maggie. After the ring, we walked together out to the RV for her to see our Maggie. It was love at first sight for them both. BUT…only if everything worked out for Maggie. I also required a home visit to see if this would be a good fit, especially since there was an older dog in the home.

Things just fell into place. Lee, prospective owner, lived just across the empty field from the RV resort where we had reservations for the week following the show. I walked across the field with Maggie in my arms for our first visit. Maggie seemed calm, Lee held her, “old girl, Lil Bit,” was fine with the furry intruder. We made an appointment the following morning to take Maggie to Lee’s vet to have her thoroughly checked out. Bloodwork was all normal, fecal check showed no worms or parasites, heartworm check was negative. This dog, that looked to be a little over a year old, was in very good health. An appointment was set for spaying the following week so Maggie would never have to worry again about being bred. She spent that night with Lee.
Everything was going along just fine. I was encouraged that Maggie had finally found her “forever” home. The only glitch was that Lee’s plans included a trip to Florida, her former home, for a week and a half. She didn’t want to board Maggie which might make the adjustment to all these new things more difficult. It really wasn’t a problem, since we had made reservations to stay across the field in the RV park waiting for the day to head to the National.

Maggie moved back in after her surgery and learned to be a “real” dog. The transition was fast. If you’ve ever watched a flower bloom, beginning with the bud, the unfolding of the petals through to the full beauty of the flower, you can visualize the magic that happened to Maggie in those two weeks. She went from a frightened, cowering girl, to a most delightful, loving dog very quickly. She started to play with our other Tzu, sat on top of the couch on her own pillow watching the world, walked on a lead instead of trying to flee when outside and impressed the other campers with her style and beauty even in her very short, new “doo.” She truly amazed us with her capacity to learn to play, to love and to be a dog.
Maggie, now Ginger, is truly home in the “most wonderful place in the world.” When we came over to visit, she ran to us, jumped in our arms for a hug, and, quickly, rushed right back to Lee. She is one lucky dog, but if you ask Lee, Maggie isn’t the only one that is lucky.
Small Miracle