The Shih Tzu is one of the most beloved Dogs in the Philippines. Hailing from the East, these lovable furry friends bring so much joy to their human guardians, as Sophia and Krystelle Co of Velaris Shih Tzu tell Animal Scene, what with these canines’ endearing personalities and elegant appearance.
LOVE KNOWS NO BOUNDS
Krystel and Sophia proudly assume the roles of devoted human guardians of not just one, but three cheery companions! At the heart of their story are two lovable Shih Tzus named Lizzy and Reese who, with their wagging tails and soulful eyes, have woven an unbreakable bond.
The Co family’s love for Dogs knows no bounds. Tali is a charming Coton de Tulear, whose arrival into their lives is like “ a bouncing ball of energy.” A treasured gift from Krystel’s friend, Tali brings a new dimension of joy to their already paw-some pack.
Recognizing the significance of their companions, they made a thoughtful decision to adopt the moniker “Velaris Shih Tzu” across their social media platforms. This carefully chosen appellation not only unites their beloved companions under a singular banner, but also serves as a captivating prelude to their future endeavors.
BUNDLE OF JOY
Reese and Lizzy, just like other Shih Tzus, are affectionate and gentle companions. They thrive on human companionship and form strong bonds with their family members.
Sophia recounts a particularly endearing memory from when Reese was still new to their home. Referring to the canine’s cluelessness, she says, “Reese [was] something else when she first [came] home. She [was] . . . like a human baby.”
Krystel chimes in, mentioning that Reese has a very sociable personality. It’s no wonder she became the prime candidate for good-natured teasing among the Co siblings.
Named Clarisse by her previous human guardian, Reese came to join the Co family when she was already two years old. “The name sounds old-fashioned, so we changed it to Reese,” says Krystel.
But the transformation of her change didn’t stop there. Reese was often affectionately referred to as “Reet-reet”, since the Co sisters’ youngest brother who was three years old at the time had not yet mastered the pronunciation of the letter S.
“WHO’S A GOOD GIRL?”
One aspect that stands out about Shih Tzus is their remarkable adaptability, which makes them wonderful companions in various households, according to the Hill’s Pet website. Krystel says, ”It seems that Reese and Lizzy are generally tolerant of Tali’s spirited behavior.”
Of course, there’s also a limit to their patience. “Lizzy has a knack for putting Tali in her place,” Krystel shares, describing a scenario wherein Lizzy snapped playfully at Tali when she overstepped her bounds.
Reese, on the other hand, used to play the role of an overseer, keeping Tali’s antics in check. But Krystel adds, “Recently, Reese seems to have decided that enough is enough. She’s not afraid to stand her ground and join in the playful tussles.”
Both Lizzy and Reese play pivotal roles as models for their pet accessories business, but it’s Reese who particularly enjoys the spotlight and the presence of cameras. In contrast, Lizzy seems to wear a perpetual air of displeasure whenever a camera is pointed in her direction.
A charming anecdote shared by the Co sisters involves Reese’s adventurous spirit during one of her shoots. Driven by the urge to follow her humans, she decided to leap over a slightly tall table to follow them, showcasing her daring nature. According to Sophia, Reese’s landing wasn’t the most graceful, as her chest made contact with the surface first.
The American Veterinary Medical Association emphasizes on their website that caring for an animal companion is an endeavor that requires sustained and profound commitment, involving continuous learning and personal development.
In the case of the Co family, they made a thoughtful process prior to welcoming Reese into their household. They conscientiously took into consideration the health needs of each family member, all of whom contended with allergic rhinitis.
Krystel aptly points out that while certain Dogs like Shih Tzus are often labeled as hypoallergenic due to their reduced propensity to trigger allergies, it’s important to recognize that no Dog can be entirely free of allergens. The degree of hypoallergenicity can also vary depending on individual factors.
Future human companions should take the imperative to interact with the Dog firsthand, especially if they are grappling with specific medical conditions. This proactive approach allows human companions to gauge their own tolerance levels and make informed decisions about the compatibility of a Dog with their health.
Information from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology website indicates that no breed can be considered completely hypoallergenic. However, some might shed less than others.
THE CHALLENGE WITH FLAT-FACED BREEDS
According to information from the American Kennel Club, Shih Tzus, much like other brachycephalic breeds, often encounter respiratory issues due to the shape of their head, face, and airways. Their upper airways are comparatively constricted, leading to difficulties in both breathing and temperature regulation.
Because of this, the Co family took into consideration the lineage of Reese tracing back to Lizzy’s pedigree. This decision stemmed from their observance that Reese exhibited a robust resistance to getting ill. “It must be genetic,” as theorized by Krystel.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE ADOPTING A CANINE
Here are some considerations before you adopt a Shih Tzu or any other Dog, according to Scollar Personalized Pet Care.
One of the first things you notice about Shih Tzus is their undeniable elegance. Their long, flowing coats and distinctive appearance give them an air of regal beauty.
Caring for a Shih Tzu involves a combination of love, attention, and proper care. Regular grooming, including brushing, bathing, and keeping their eyes and ears clean are all essential to maintaining their health and appearance.
Despite their luxurious coats, Shih Tzus are surprisingly low-maintenance when it comes to grooming.
Daily brushing, according to Krystel, keeps their fur looking fabulous and prevents tangles, making bonding time between them even more enjoyable.
Including a good quality conditioner is important. “Shampoo alone makes their hair brittle and hard to comb,” Sophia explains.
Using conditioner as part of your grooming routine, as noted by Josie Turner in 2020 in the Animal Wise website, can significantly improve the softness and shine of your Dog’s hair. Conditioner helps restore natural oils that might be lost during shampooing.
It is crucial to ensure that animal companions thrive with a well-rounded lifestyle. To this end, a balanced diet and consistent exercise are needed. Engaging in daily physical activities, such as brisk walks or indoor playtime, undoubtedly contributes to their overall wellness, keeping them in high spirits and good health.
Speaking of dietary matters, it’s intriguing to note that Reese’s nutritional intake is curated with care. On a daily basis, Reese wakes up to play and eat her treats. The Co sisters feed her once a day, every after lunch. “Her food is Orijen Six Fish, which contains a high amount of protein, thus we only serve her small portions (half a scoop).” They add that Reese does not ask for food after her meal.
On occasion, they introduce variety by incorporating boiled pork or beef into her regimen. This practice, devoid of seasonings, serves to elevate her kibble experience, albeit infrequently.
This deliberate approach arises from past encounters where the enticing nature of boiled meat led her to bypass the kibble — a rather understandable “sayang” situation.
According to Dog Child, Dogs benefit from a variety of protein sources. It is recommended that human companions choose their Dog’s protein sources based on their specific needs and preferences.
If you’re ready to welcome a furry ball of happiness into your life, consider opening your heart to the wonderful world of Shih Tzus, where every day is filled with tail wags and cuddles.
TRICKS AND TREATS
“Reese’s favorite treats are dehydrated or freeze-dried,” Krystel shares. She also likes the natural sweetness of fruits, especially mangoes. The inclusion of melons, watermelons, oranges, and strawberries underscores her diverse taste profile.
This shift also allows the Co sisters to establish a connection with small business owners behind these treats, fostering a community of like-minded individuals dedicated to the welfare of their animal companions. “Small businesses are more open to sharing on how they make these treats,” as Krystel conveys. Likewise, this enhances their ability to make informed decisions about Reese’s diet.
According to a blog post in the Canine Bible website, freeze-dried Dog food and treats provide enzymes and nutrients that balance the gut and boost immunity against bacteria, allergies, and yeast. Without artificial ingredients, they aid digestion, reduce stool size and odor, and improve breath.