Mutts Matter: Barney, the Independent Shih Tzu
Meet Barney, a sassy, independent-minded shih tzu on his way to a better life.
Hey, you guys. My name is Barney, and I’m a proud and independent shih tzu. I’m still a young, active pup at two to three years old, and I weigh about 20 pounds. I’m the perfect age: old enough to know what I want and what I like, but young enough to be playful and excited about exploring the world around me. I’m a very sweet dog and obviously adorable, but I’m still learning to trust and figure out how to be part of family.
I was rescued from Prince George’s County as part of a cruelty case. My former owner got mad at something and kicked me in the face, and broke two of my front teeth. I will never understand why that happened, or how a grown man could be so cruel to a young pup like me, but I didn’t let it break my spirit. Thankfully, animal control got involved and rescued me from that very scary place I once called home.
Moving on, I’m ready for a fresh start and to realize the potential of what life can be. Sad things happen to good dogs and good people all the time, but I’m resilient, and I’m not going to waste my second chance. My luck changed when I got hooked up with Mutts Matter and they introduced me to my awesome foster parents, Claire and Cameron. Claire is one of their resident shih tzu experts and she really gets me, and understands that I need time and space to settle into a new environment. She also knows how spruce me up so I look like a proper shih tzu—please note my fancy ponytail.
Claire would tell you I’m a pretty good dog and self-sufficient. I take direction well, understand “no,” am fully housebroken, and get along fine with the other two shih tzu pups who live here. Sometimes I’m interested in them and sometimes I’m not. I’m a dog who’s just fine on my own, and can keep myself entertained with my toys for hours. My two favorite things in the world are going for walks and toys, toys, toys. I don’t discriminate—soft toys, squeaky toys, chew toys, balls—you name it and I’ll play with it. I even try to take them with me on the walk sometimes, just to make sure they’re safe. I like to play fetch, too, and may not always want to give you the ball back, but am always open to a toy trade.
I do have a few personal space issues that I’m working through. Claire and I have had a few debates over the crate. I don’t mind the crate as long as the door is left open, so I can come and go as I please. It also has to be large enough that I don’t feel too contained in there. I’ll even go in on my own sometimes just to take a nap or chill out, but if you want to put me in there when you leave for work, I can get cranky if I don’t have the proper incentive, like, say, a Kong filled with peanut butter. My friends at Mutts Matter think that I might have suffered some sort of trauma in the crate, or was kept in too small of a space, so I would do best in a home that doesn’t need a crate, or is willing to help me work though this issue with lots of patience and treats!
Other than that, I’m a sweet, playful dog who listens well and can entertain myself. At home, I will engage you and let you know when I want affection. I’m also pretty good on social outings. Claire and Cameron just started taking me to the dog park, and I did well interacting with other dogs and people there, letting the patrons pet and adore me for my cuteness.
I would do well in a home as an only dog, or with a calm, smaller dog who respects my personal space. I’m not a fan of having other dogs or people startle me when I’m sleeping. I can be a little cranky when woken up suddenly, but who isn’t? I would be fine with older kids, and mostly need a family who will love me, commit to walk and play with me daily, and adore me for the great dog that I am.
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