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Friday, October 1, 2021

the cute little pets - Shih Tzu !!

Pre-script :  Senkanthal park, the other day had very very few visitors inside .. .. with its greenery, some beautiful flowers, it provided good place for stroll inside the park – then I spotted an young girl holding a curly small pet – was not even sure what sort of animal it was !  .. .. when enquired the friendly girl stated it to be ‘Shih Tzu’ .. .. .. a small toy dog with woolly hairs all around; the fur appeared to have grown over its eyes too, all over the face and body and it more liked a small woolen bundle of happiness.  Thanks to the owner, who gracefully allowed me to take couple of photographs .. .. nice gesture, thank you madam !

How much do you like a dog ? – some of us are scary, more so of street dogs, more so, when walking on a road alone early in the morning or in darkness ! – there are some of my friends & relatives who are so fond, of them that they feed and take care of them with affection.

In the modern  world, people have less time and the finer things in life are not appreciated.  In the bustling city life inside concrete jungle, there is nothing as nature at all. The chirping birds, squirrels are not found as their habitat is lost.  – many of that changed with Covid pandemic.  People suddenly had more time at home and started looking at newer things including trees, flowers, birds and pets. Many found solace in having pets. Some would quip that humanity is slowing losing their tolerance and first should love fellow human beings before patronising pets..  Your pet-owning experience will be most enjoyable if you carefully consider which pet best suits your family, home and lifestyle.. .. owning / nurturing a cat or a dog could have its innate trouble – for many having a home aquarium brings colour and amusement into their lives.  

Pets are  often smaller animals kept for companionship and enjoyment, though there are strange and weird pets elsewhere.  Mostly pets are domesticated animals, which would obey commands and do things that would please its master [is that what is wanted everywhere !] – man’s interaction with animals is boundless – there are wild animals [or is animals in wild more appropriate], livestock, laboratory animals, working animals, sports animals, breeding animals kept for food and making money – there are few others which are kept for their loyalty, playfulness, singing prowess, beauty and other characteristics.  Believers claim that pets would help relieve stress – but you need to love your pet and believe on this to really enjoy and get some health benefits !

Now to the little dog seen at the park –  it had a plush coat that certainly would require  frequent  combing or brushing.  Upon making a web search, understand that this pet is costly – some web putting the price as high as Rs.30000 and that its celebrity owners include Nicole Richie, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Colin Farell, Bill Gates, and even Queen Elizabeth II.

The Shih Tzu   is an Asian toy dog breed originating from Tibet. This breed is well-known for their short snout and large round eyes, as well as their ever growing coat, floppy ears, and short and stout posture. Although small in size, they are notorious for their largely fun and playful personality, and calm and friendly temperament.  This breed needs exercise, but not much more than a daily walk around the neighborhood, or a run though the park.  

The Shih Tzu is a snugly built little animal with a solid, sound structure. It stands from about 8 to 11 inches tall at the withers, and should weigh from 9 to 16 pounds. Its body length is slightly greater than its height, and it should be physically proportional all over, neither too short or too small, but a true miniature breed dog. In movement, it moves with effortless, smooth strides, showing good drive and reach, with the head and tail held high.  Its hair is double layered, full, dense, and lush, and grows long and straight, past the feet.  This breed is categorized as brachycephalic, meaning that the muzzle and nose of the Shih Tzu is flat.  The eyes are round and wide, but in contrast to some other flat muzzled dogs, the eyes do not bulge or be too prominent.  The Shih Tzu has a lifespan of 11 to 16 years.  

The name Shih Tzu Kou, or Shih Tzu, translates to “mini lion,” the moniker given to it in deference to its lion-like appearance. The name is likely based on the word for lion, “shishi.” The lion was highly esteemed in China for its connection with Buddhism, since it had a long tradition as guardian of the temples and palaces.  Though has a Chinese name, it reportedly originated in Tibet but the modern version developed in China in the late 19th Century, when the Dowager Empress Cixi ruled the kingdom. When the Dowager Empress Cixi ruled during the latter part of the Qing dynasty, the Shih Tzu were held in great regard, and were kept as special house pets.   The Empress reportedly  was very jealous over her dogs and was not keen to share them  with foreign dignitaries or friends.  

In 1934, the Shih Tzu Club of England was founded  and the breed was officially recognised by the Kennel Club (UK).  Further read that when  China underwent its Communist Revolution, the Shih Tzu breed all but disappeared. This may not have actually been caused by communism; a contributing factor was the 1908 death of the Dowager Empress Tzu Hsi. When she died, the breeding program fell apart, and it became nearly impossible to get a Shih Tzu. Because their numbers dwindled down to almost nothing during the first half of the 20th century, every Shih Tzu alive today can be traced to one of 14 dogs — seven males and seven females — that were used to rebuild the breed.

Interesting !  and many thanks to its owner, who gracefully allowed her and the pet  to be photographed.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
17th July 2021. 


  1. would it not have been much better if you have identified yourself too !! - thanks