Nappy – The Shih Tzu version of Lawrence of Arabia

“It is so warm and sunny here. I can walk on the beach without my leash. I can run up and down, back and forth to my mama and papa. I feel free. I am going for a walk every day, I play outside every day, and I get treats just for doing that. This is so much fun. If I feel warm, I can just run in the water and get cool. This water tastes kind of funny though. It makes me thirsty after I drink some. But it cools me off when I wet my paws. Oooops that big wave came and almost took me all the way in. I am not going back in there. I am just going to run in the sand and stay close to my mama.”

Well, this is what I think Nappy (my little white shih tzu) thought of our trip to Gulf Shores Alabama, last month.

This was the second time that we took Nappy on a road trip with us. When the day comes that we prepare for the trip, you know that he knows something is up. He is looking at us, as if telling us, that we had better not leave without him. If he could talk and think he would tell us what to take with us for him to play, or better yet, he would be getting his own suitcase ready for the trip. When the morning of the trip came, and saw our suitcases piled by the back door, he knew something was going on. But when we put his harness and his leash on, he was literally jumping up and down from joy. We couldn’t hold him back in the house to get the rest of our stuff before all three of us piled in the car. He was so excited and happy. He rushed to do his business, and ran back to the car, not the passenger side door, but the back door of the car where we usually let him sit when we take him for rides. I find it amazing of how much, just a little dog, can absorb after being with us for almost three years.

From what I have heard from other dog owners, some dogs have a hard time when they are traveling. That is not the case with Nappy. He is quite the traveling dog. He adjusts quite easily being in the car for hours. He sleeps most of the time during the trip. He might wake up and stand up on his hind legs to look out the window, just to see what’s going on, how come we slowed down, and why we disturbed his sleep, but then he will curl up at the corner of the back seat and fall asleep. Other times he will just lay on the seat and stare straight at us, knowing that we are in front of him; as if making sure that we are not going anywhere without him. Of course, these road trips are quite a treat for him, because he eats quite well.

Since he was a puppy, I gave him boiled chicken breast, per the vet’s instructions, so that he can grow strong. Ever since, he loves chicken. Therefore, when I cook it for us, I will cook a piece of chicken breast for him also. On this road trip, I made sure that I cooked some chicken, chopped it up in tiny little pieces, put them in ziplog bags, and kept them in the cooler. When we would stop and eat ourselves, I would take a bag, pour the chicken contents in his bowl and he will be in his glory. This way I knew that he would be eating something, since I noticed that he wouldn’t eat his regular dog food on a road trip at other times. Even though dog experts say not to feed your dog if you are going for long trips, just in case they get motion sickness, I decided against it. I felt more comfortable by giving him something. Of course, I made sure that he also drank plenty of water, and spent about half hour after his meal with a nice long walk so that he can digest and do his business.

When we first arrived at the condo, we weren’t sure how he would react to the beach and the new environment. He walked in every room, sniffed every corner, and then settled on the couch. The complex we were staying, allowed small dogs only, and since the owner of the condo had a small dog, we felt more comfortable being there with Nappy.

From the moment we took him for a walk on the beach, I knew he was in his glory. I noticed how much he loved the beach, the freedom he had to run without his leash. I saw him smiling, if dogs do actually smile, running back and forth, ahead of me, behind me, getting wet in the water, sampling it, sneezing and looking surprised as if wondering why it tasted funny. He made sure though that he stayed close to us. In the beginning, we were afraid to let him run without his leash, thinking that he might run away. But he didn’t. He ran just far enough, making sure that he can still see us. Like a toddler, staying close to his parents.

We spent a week in Gulf Shores, and I knew that Nappy missed the beach when we came back. If it was meant to be a vacation for us, it was definitely a vacation for Nappy. Ahh, it’s a dog’s life. In my next life, I want to come back as a shih tzu.

Just a note: In some of the pictures, you will notice that he has squatted down on the sand. That’s when he reminded me of the camels in the movie “Lawrence of Arabia,” thus the title of this article.

1 comment:

Melanie C. said...

I just stumbled across your blog. Little Nappy is adorable! I adopted my 8 yr old Shih Tzu, Buddy, a couple months ago. We're still learning about each other, but I don't know how I got along without him! We live in Wisconsin, and I'm wondering how he will still get his exercise during the long winter. Buddy also loves car rides and feeling the wind on his face. Aren't Shih Tzu the best dogs ever? They are misunderstood sometimes. I look forward to seeing more of Nappy!