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My Shih Tsu - Teddy the Alpha Dog

Updated on July 17, 2014

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

Teddy in his Regal Glory
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

Melissa & Doug Giant Shih Tzu Dog - Lifelike Stuffed Animal
Melissa & Doug Giant Shih Tzu Dog - Lifelike Stuffed Animal

While my Teddy is taken, that doesn't mean you can't have a replica of the little boy. Try this plush dog.


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-visits-the-Houston-Dog-Show-2010copyright-Vikk Simmons
Teddy-visits-the-Houston-Dog-Show-2010copyright-Vikk Simmons

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

Teddy and his Lady in Waiting
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 companions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Young Teddy fully groomed.Share is not part of Teddy's job description.Teddy has been known to lick his lips at times.Teddy sits with Riley and Beau.Baby Teddy gives a peek.Teddy loves his soft plush toys.Waco, Teddy, and Freddie have a laugh.
Young Teddy fully groomed.
Young Teddy fully groomed.
Share is not part of Teddy's job description.
Share is not part of Teddy's job description.
Teddy has been known to lick his lips at times.
Teddy has been known to lick his lips at times.
Teddy sits with Riley and Beau.
Teddy sits with Riley and Beau.
Baby Teddy gives a peek.
Baby Teddy gives a peek.
Teddy loves his soft plush toys.
Teddy loves his soft plush toys.
Waco, Teddy, and Freddie have a laugh.
Waco, Teddy, and Freddie have a laugh.

Know Your Shih Tsu Dog Breed - Spotlight on the Shih Tsu - Great dog companions

The Shih Tzu (Terra-Nova)
The Shih Tzu (Terra-Nova)

Shih Tsus have a noble heritage and are wonderful companion dogs. Teddy would like you to learn more about his breed.


We all have Bad Hair Days -- even Teddy

We all have Bad Hair Days -- even Teddy
We all have Bad Hair Days -- even Teddy

Dental Dog Chews - Teddy LOVES these. - These help Teddy take care of his teeth

Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews, Small Dog, 30 Count
Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews, Small Dog, 30 Count

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

Outward Hound Hide a Bird Fun Hide and Seek Interactive Puzzle Plush Dog Toy by, 4 Piece, Large
Outward Hound Hide a Bird Fun Hide and Seek Interactive Puzzle Plush Dog Toy by, 4 Piece, Large

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.

squirrel dog toy
squirrel dog toy

Teddy Loves His Squirrel

More dog toys, plush dog toys and dog toys without squeakers

AKC Squirrel Dog Toy, Large

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.

Teddy wants to hear from and so do I. Love Shih Tsus? - Share your favorite breed and stories with Teddy

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    • WindyWintersHubs profile image


      6 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Nice to meet Teddy and he does pose wonderfully for photos!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image


      7 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Teddy is adorable. I'm normally a cat person, but our family did have one dog over the years -- a rescue -- a sweet Golden Retriever, Baron! He was pretty special.

    • TheLittleCardShop profile image

      Malu Couttolenc 

      7 years ago

      Shih Tsus are good companions and very cute dogs. Loved the story about Teddy. :)


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