My Shih Tsu - Teddy the Alpha Dog
Meet Teddy! He's the Eldest and the Alpha Dog
Pack Leader, that about sums up Teddy--or should I say Theodore Roosevelt Simmons. But he was anything but a pack leader when I first met him. Teddy was an 8-week old baby. Apparently the girl who owned Teddy's mother and father didn't think they would mate because, I kid you not, they were brother and sister. So when her female Shih Tsu became pregnant all she wanted to do was find the puppies new homes.
I wasn't looking for a puppy or any dog at the time. I had lost my sweetheart of a coal-black Cocker Spaniel three days earlier and was totally distraught. He'd developed epilepsy and had died unexpectedly as the result of a seizure. A co-worker called. She said she knew it might be too soon but wanted to know if I'd be interested in a "Maltese" puppy. She hadn't seen the puppies, just knew the owner, and said there was one left. I immediately said no and hung up. Then called her back and said, "Maybe I'd go take a look."
Teddy in his Regal Glory
The "Maltese" That Was A Baby Shih Tsu
Small breed with a big heart, great companion dogs
It was a dark and stormy night. No, really. I met the lady after work and when she brought the puppy out I recognized immediately that it was a Shih Tsu. My parents had owned a Shih Tsu and loved those big black round eyes. That did it. I left with the puppy. It was one of those terrible rain storms in Houston where the rain sheets and the thunder cracks and the streets went into full flood mode. I held him like a baby on my shoulder as I drove. The weather got so bad I had to call a friend to see if we could stop by and wait the storm out.
We finally made it home. Teddy's been with me ever since. I didn't name him right away. When he kept reminding me of a little dog with a huge lion's heart, I named him after Teddy Roosevelt. Hence, his name.
Teddy is a Literary Pooch
The Shih Tsu who likes "reading to dogs" programs
Given that Teddy came into my life on such a "dark and stormy" literary night, I guess it was only natural that he grew into such a literary pooch. Teddy loves to be read to and is a strong advocate of literacy. Children enjoy reading to dogs and the dogs are happy to be present and hear their words. It makes for a strong combination and unique environment to foster literacy.
Here my granddaughter is reading one of my books to Teddy. He certainly seems to listening with avid attention, doesn't he?
Everyone should have a plush Shih Tzu dog
While my Teddy is taken, that doesn't mean you can't have a replica of the little boy. Try this plush dog.
More on Reading to Dogs Literacy Programs - Library dogs, reading dogs, therapy dogs, and service dogs
- R.E.A.D. Therapy Animals
The mission of the R.E.A.D. program is to improve the literacy skills of children through the assistance of registered therapy teams as literacy mentors.
- Library Dogs
Children reading to dogs--what could be cuter?
- Study: Reading to Dogs Helps Children Learn to Read
Man's best friend can do a lot more than fetch and roll over. Research now suggests that dogs can actually help children learn to read.
Teddy is also a Published Pooch
Reading to Dogs, Playing Music to Dogs, Fun with Dogs
Teddy is a wonderful dog for a photo shoot. He's easy to photograph and wiling to pose any time. Photographs of him have appeared in a couple of travel guidebooks on Houston and on Texas that I co-authored. Never camera-shy, Teddy easily performed for the camera with little notice. Here, Teddy is listening to an outdoor concert performed by my granddaughter.
Teddy Knows His Job - He's the Alpha Dog
My own service dog, a hearing dog, a herder, a doggie babysitter
Today Teddy continues to be a comfort and a help to me. I've noticed that since I now stay home and take care of my 96 year old mom, whenever she calls my name Teddy barks and continues to bark until I come to the hallway by her room. He's also a busy boy making sure his brothers and little sister toe the line. Even Waco bows to the Terrible Teddy when he wants them to behave.
He's a busy boy each day. There are the cats that have to be talked to when they start whining. There's the monitoring of my mom. There's the constant play and tustle between Freddie the Maltese and Charlie the Pug that occasionally demands a referee, and there's little HoneyBun who sometimes needs a watchful eye. Even Waco knows it's best to stay out of Teddy's way when he's "on duty."
But who waits on Teddy? Well, I do. But Teddy has a bastion of adoring fans who make sure he gets the appropriate number of high fives, treats, and petting every time they see him. Teddy is an alpha dog and he knows it. So does everyone else in his world.
Teddy and his Lady in Waiting
The Shih Tsu Sweetheart
Teddy is simply a wonderful dog and a great companion.
A Closer Look at Life with Teddy the Shih Tsu - Shih Tsu dogs are terrific companionsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Know Your Shih Tsu Dog Breed - Spotlight on the Shih Tsu - Great dog companions
Shih Tsus have a noble heritage and are wonderful companion dogs. Teddy would like you to learn more about his breed.
More about the Shih Tsu Dog Breed - Small dog breed, good dogs, smart dogs, dogs good with kids
- AKC - Shih Tsus
A compact and solid dog, the Shih Tzu's long, flowing double coat is its most distinctive feature. The word Shih Tzu means "lion" and although this dog is sweet and playful, he is not afraid to stand up for himself! One of the most popular dogs in th
- Shih Tsu Savvy
The Shih Tzu is a very small dog breed that is incredibly loyal and comes from a long royal heritage. By nature they are bold, affectionate and energetic. They are prized for their appearance and intelligence, and continue to be an excellent companio
- American Shih Tsu Club- Animal Therapy
Shih Tzu make excellent candidates for therapy dogs. Their sweet personalities and clown-like antics are perfect for meeting and interacting with people in a pet therapy setting. Their ability to learn and perform tricks makes them a favorite during
We all have Bad Hair Days -- even Teddy
Dental Dog Chews - Teddy LOVES these. - These help Teddy take care of his teeth
Teddy loves these treats. In fact, all the dogs line up and sit to get their fair share. Their little mouths drool.
"Find the Birdie" Is a Great Game to Play With Your Dog - Teddy loves toys that mentally stimulate him
Teddy loves soft toys. He likes to suck on them. But one of his favorite games is to "Find the Birdie." It's a lot of fun to watch him get the birdie, then give it to me for a little catch before he settles down with the bird for some quiet time.
Teddy Loves His Squirrel
More dog toys, plush dog toys and dog toys without squeakers
Every morning Teddy has a dialogue with the squirrels that populate our backyard. He considers it his duty to help them stay in the trees. But in the confines of the house he's just a little teddy bear. His favorite toys are soft plush ones. Having a pet squirrel that he can carry in his mouth and then spend time mouthing makes him very happy.