Things that scare dogs on Halloween


Who Needs Ghost Stories?!
Guest RE-blogger: TinkerToy

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Happy Halloween everybody!

Mom said I could write another post for Halloween this year, but she hogged our computer so much I couldn’t get it done.  Sheesh!

But I didn’t want to give up the chance to say hello to all my fur and feather pals (and their two-legses), so I decided to try the “press this” thing on the one I finally convinced her to let me write last year.

I even repeated the links to some of the blogs of my buds on the bottom of this “reblog”, so you could get to be friends with them too.

Some of my Mom’s two-legses friends have some pretty cool Halloween offerings this year, and there are links to a few of those below as well.

I hope you like my Halloween post (I promise that it’s A LOT shorter than most of Mom’s stuff) – and that you’ll let me know that you took the time to click over to the original to see some of the photos I included.

If they weren’t so scary they’d be really funny!


Scary things done to dogs

TinkerToy here, reminding you not judge me for that. (Remember, I didn’t get much of a vote, and Killer wasn’t on the menu.)

That’s NOT me over there, by the way. It’s one of the scary things — done to a dog that looks a lot like me.

Mom wasn’t planning to let me at the computer for a few more weeks last year. BUT, since my first ever post, Blogging Tips from a Shih Tzu got more comments than any of hers, she couldn’t exactly think up a good reason to say no.

This is a reblog of my second ever blog post — and it’s about the scariest thing about Halloween.

NOT what you think!

I’ll bet you were thinking I was going to blog about the hateful two-legs who abandon dogs, the horrors of puppy mills, or dog-abuse.

While those are ALL very scary things indeed, my Halloween post is going to focus on what the two-legs do to us on this one particular day each year — just because they think it’s funny, and just because they can.

Yep – dog costumes!

Even before I was born, Mom had a Pinterest Board called Deck the Dog where she pinned all sorts of pictures of puppies and dogs dressed in all manner of outfits. She said it made her laugh. (Weird sense of humor, this two-leg I live with.)

THEN, shortly after she heard about the Halloween Costume Party at my Cheers bar down the street, I caught her looking for “ideas” – and not very many of them looked like pictures of anything she’s thinking about for her.

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August 26th is National Dog Day


Happy Dog Day to all my Friends!
and all the ones I haven’t met yet too!

Guest blogger: TinkerToy

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

My turn to blog again – yippee!

Tink here – and no jokes about yippy little dogs, okay?

I am trying to convince Mom to let me guest blog on more regular days – so help me out here and tell her you always love my posts (even if you actually like all that boring stuff she blogs about, okay?)

I mean what could be BETTER for mental health than cuddling up with an adorable dog who loves you bunches?  What could be more fun than a game of frisbee or fetch?  You have to admit that a walk in nature is a lot better when you take us along, right? WE find things you don’t even notice.

Did you know we’re co-evolved?

Mom says that those science guys she writes about say that since we’ve been domesticated for thousands of years, we’ve evolved to be part of your pack.  (Actually, you’ve evolved to be part of ours, but why kibble quibble over details.)

We really do feel your emotions, and we do our very best to make you feel really great.

Check THIS out:
Your dog really can read your emotions
Study: Dogs recognize dog and human emotions

Our VERY best — every single day

We try really hard to understand what we do that makes you happy and what you don’t like us to do, even when you’re mean to us when you haven’t communicated clearly and consistently enough for us to get it right.

Don’t get me wrong. Mom’s never mean to me, and she’s a pretty good communicator (for us 4-legses and everybody else) – but there are some 2-legses who need a bit of boundary training about how they treat their furry friends, and today is a great day to remind them to get some.

It’s best for us when you don’t ever use your mean voice – and hitting or shaming us is never necessary. We don’t ask for much in return (except maybe for a chance to guest blog a bit more often, Mom).

And, of course, we hope you’ll make sure that we know that you love us too by the patient way you treat us, and because you do things for us that we can’t do without you (like giving us fresh water every day, a comfortable place to get warm and stay cool, feeding us the right amount of healthy food — including lots of healthy TREATS — and giving us toys to play with while you’re busy!!)

We do our best barking to protect you, but today is a very good day to remind you that sometimes we need you to protect us too.


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TinkerToy’s Trip to the Woods


Getting away is REALLY FUN!
but getting Mom to do it is tricky

Guest blogger: TinkerToy

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Everybody needs to get away – and so do their Shih Tzus!

Mom’s friend Sam decided that unless he kidnapped us, she would never stop writing stuff to help people and step away from her darned computer, and I would never get to see the rest of the world!

So he drove up from Knoxville, Tennessee and we all headed off to Cumberland Falls State Park in Corbin Kentucky – in the Daniel Boone National Forest.  Mom says it’s known as The Niagara of the South.

You can’t really tell from this picture – only how beautiful it is – but the waterfall forms a 125-foot-wide curtain that plunges 7 stories into a gorge through the rocks of the Cumberland Plateau.  The river is sided by big flat rocks like you see in the background, too, and strewn with huge boulders.

It’s magical in person; even the two-legses talk about the wonderful smells in the air. And there are more trees than I have ever seen in my whole life – even in the park or around the little lake we visit on our walks at home.

And wait ’til you read about the special rainbows.

The mist of the falls creates the magic of the moonbow, only visible on a clear night during a full moon. And, guess what?  An earthquake spoiled the one at Victoria Falls, so if you want to see a moonbow, this is the only place you can!

ALSO, it’s one of the few places in the world where you can see spray rainbows at the base of the falls on every sunny day.

First, a great car trip

We stopped a lot on the drive so that Sammy and I could stretch, Mom could go to the bathroom, and I could mark the territory so all the other 4-legses would know I was there, but we finally we started seeing signs that we were almost where we were going.

Roads got bumpier, for one thing – and the trees were a lot closer together and closer to the roads.

But, I meant that we REALLY started seeing signs that we were almost there.

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A Shih Tzu’s take on Brain-based Coaching


April is Counseling Awareness Month!
and I can tell you all about how great coaching works

Guest blogger: TinkerToy

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Coaching Series

People coaches and dog coaches have a lot in common

And so do their clients! We all like treats and fun and attaboys — and we all hate the nasty voice!

Some coaches do that tough-love thing, but Mom doesn’t believe that the nasty voice ever works.  It just makes us too scared to keep trying.  She doesn’t even do the nasty voice when she tells me no.

And we all LOVE it when we can suddenly do something we never could before — it’s just that the things that 4-legses and 2-legses figure out how to do are different.

Mom coaches over the phone and I hang out in her office and listen in. She says the only reason I’m allowed to stay around and eavesdrop is because I can’t tell anybody except other dogs.  They don’t care anyway – they don’t even know these 2-legses.

But I’ve learned a LOT about 2-legs coaching that way, and Mom decided to let me tell you some of her coaching secrets (besides fun and laughing – there’s always a lot of that when she coaches).

FIRST you have to be ready, willing and able

Even the coaches who don’t know the first thing about how the brain works say that, but I don’t know why any coaches put it that way – kinda’ dumb if you ask me. What makes more sense is able first, then ready, and willing last of all!

When I was hardly bigger than my mom’s two fists I wasn’t able to do a lot of things I can do now easy-peasey.

Even once I got a little bigger, my tiny brain was still learning about things like eating crunchy food and running.

It took a while for my brain to be ready before it could even think about being willing to learn to do more – like where it was okay to go to the bathroom, and tricks for treats.

Not that babies are looking for coaching – that would be silly – but when grown up two-legses are sick, or in the middle of something they don’t need help with, or recovering from an operation, they might not be ABLE to add coaching to what they have to manage right then.

My Mom wants me to be sure to add that anybody who’s an active addict will never be able until they are clean and sober for at least a year and working a program. 

She says that first they have to be available for change, with a mind that’s not cloudy or thinking about drugs and stuff.

Next you have to be ready

The time has to be right and you have to make room in your days.

  • I’m never ready when I’m really sleepy, for example, not even to play some of my favorite games.
  • I’m not ready when other dogs are around either.  We all  have to have private time with our coach to be able concentrate on what were up to.
  • And I’m never ever gonna’ to be ready to cut back on my time with my fans at my Cheers bar (where everybody knows my name), even for all the best treats in the world!

Some of my mom’s earliest clients didn’t seem to be ready to make room in their schedules at all — not even for all of their appointments over the phone.

They kept missing them over and over – or calling to say that something had come up, like it was the very first time instead of mostly.

They kept themselves too busy to have time to even think about coaching tricks during the week, or do even the simplest coaching homework – like making a list of their challenges or something – and they weren’t ready to say no to something old  to make room for something new.

They just weren’t ready period, no matter how much they said they wanted their lives to be easier and better.

Poor Mom had to tell them to come back when they were ready. Even when she first started out and really needed the money, she never kept coaching anybody she couldn’t help.

Like CATS, for example – most cats don’t want to be ready.
They practically dare you to try to make a difference with them.

Different Rates

Mom does whatever she can to make coaching affordable for most anybody who really wants it, but she gives me the family discount (meaning free, since I don’t have any way to get money anyhow I barter with kisses).

But sometimes 2-legses haven’t made room in their budgets for their coaching fees – or else they spent the money they set aside on something they suddenly decided they simply had to have.

That meant they couldn’t keep coaching long enough for things to turn around in their lives (even for group coaching, which doesn’t cost as much as coaching with Mom privately).

That’s another way you have to be ready – for about six months for most 2-legses, according to Mom – which sounds long but really isn’t when you consider that your whole life can be more fun after you pick up a few new tricks.

Anyway, you can keep coaching for as long as you want once you know the basic tricks – even years for some of her clients.  There’s always more to learn, and she really helps 2-legses get things done from week to week, so life moves forward easier and faster.

Last but not least you have to be willing

Mom says that mostly means it has to be your own idea.  It won’t work if you’re doing it because somebody else decided it would be good for you, for example – or threatened you into it.  You probably wouldn’t let it work – like those cats.

Dog clients don’t have to worry about the next part, but 2 legses also have to be willing to tell the truth to their coach, even if that means they have to be willing to feel a little embarrassed sometimes (like when I get caught tearing up paper, for example – whenever it tempts me the room is covered in confetti before I can stop myself).

And you have to be willing to keep getting back on the horse – even though I don’t know if you have to actually be able to ride a horse to be able to get a coach.

I don’t think so, but I’m not really sure about that part.  You can ask my mom before you sign up for it, anyway.

The fun starts once you decide you are able, ready and willing!

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TWO important messages from TinkerToy


Spotlight STAR-dom arrives!
as Dog Appreciation & Awareness Days slide right by
Guest blogger: TinkerToy

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

#1 – My episode is finally up and going!

TinkerToy here again (and remember, only Mom calls me that to my face).

Remember too that I told you in my last guest-post that my good friend Bacon was going to make me a star? Well, I am sooooo excited. My SpotLight Thursday interview is finally online!

You can even read a sneak preview below, just as soon as I make you aware of something that might be even more important.

#2 – I’m worried that Mom might be losing her marbles!

Did anybody else notice that her monthly
Awareness Calendars
have been leaving off the most IMPORTANT days?

I really don’t care much if nobody remembers that February is National Pet Dental Health Month. I mean, I don’t think many of my bloggin’ buds want to get their teeth brushed more often anyway.

But I do think it’s pretty darned important to know that
February is Responsible Pet Owners Month, don’t you?

I think even Mom agrees, but is it on her calendar anywhere this month?  No it is not.

AND – ahem!National Love Your Pet Day was this past Monday, February 20 – an important day for ALL of us. I sure don’t remember getting a bunch of extra cuddles and treats at the beginning of this week, do you guys?

And TODAY is February 23,
and I’ll bet nobody knows what that means.

It’s National Dog Biscuit Day!
(no kidding – Google it)

How is everybody supposed to remember to stock up
if Mom can’t remember to list it in that calendar?

Even if it’s too late to go buy some, there are online videos showing two-legses everywhere how to cook the kind you make at home. But has Mom set FOOT ONE in that kitchen all day?  No she has not!

I don’t think she even knows what day it is.

Do what she says, not what she does

She constantly checks those Mental Health Awareness calendars to keep her on track (no worries there, she never had a sense of time, my Mom) – but how is she going to remember these really important days if she doesn’t even put them in her calendars?

She’s always telling clients and students, “If it’s not in your book, it’s not in your life.”  Harumph! (I checked, by the way – and there’s nothing really important to ME in even one of them.)

What could be better for mental health than a happy little dog by your side?  (OR cat or pig or rabbit and all – but it IS National Dog Biscuit Day, ya’ know).

I don’t know about you, but snacks make me a pretty happy little dog.  And as long as she’s forkin’ ’em over, I’m gonna’ be RIGHT by her side.

And guess what else she didn’t remember to list?

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The World’s only Dog who’s a real-live PIG


Spotlight STAR-dom!
Thanks to the world’s only dog/pig
Guest blogger: TinkerToy

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Let’s hear it for Bacon!

TinkerToy here again, reminding you that nobody really calls me that but my mom.  My friends call me Tink.  And I want to tell you about one of them – Bacon. (Yes – that Bacon – the one who writes the Dear Bacon advice column, not to name drop.)

Well, I just found out he’s also a producer!
And he’s gonna’ make me a star too!

He has this interview show online called SpotLight Thursday, and he just asked me to be in it.  Just like that.  Right out of the blue.

And guess what else?  It’s gonna’ be ALL about me – sorta’ like that Actor’s Studio interview show Mom loves where all kinds of stars answer questions about their lives, only it’s online – on a blog.

So, of course, I want to tell you all about HIM!

Way back before I dubbed him an official member of The Canine Club, Bacon was born a miniature pot bellied pig.

His parents adopted him when he was only three weeks old – and he’s been one of my blog buddies since my debut guest-post, Blogging Tips from a Shih Tzu.

He has his own quarters at the Hotel Thompson — and he blogs and journals and otherwise tells all about practically everything and everyone in his life, including his adopted blogging brother Houdini (who’s a dog-dog like me), his forever Mom and Dad (who tells the world’s corniest jokes, but don’t hurt his feelings), his purr sibling Hemi, and a whole kennel’s worth of pet rocks.

The pet rock invasion began when one of them, Bashful, began traveling. He suddenly started to make a whole lot of friends who really liked to be around him.  They sorta’ followed him back to Hotel Thompson for his visits home and just decided, one by one, that they would stay. So now they’re all part of the family.

They also have their very own reporter – Journalist Rocky the Squirrel (Keeping [his] paws on the nuts of the world!”)

(Read all about all of them – and see their pictures – HERE)

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TinkerToy’s FIRST Meet and Greet for 4-legses


Inspired by the ones hosted by 2-legses
(but we 4-legged bloggers have a lot to say too!)

Guest blogger: TinkerToy

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

It’s never too late to party with us! 
Comments never close here – so leave your calling card.

CALLING ALL DOGS
cats, squirrels, pigs, hamsters, rabbits, rats, turtles, even parrots and budgies

We can do it too

If you’ve been over to PuppyDoc’s blog, you already know she’s not a real dog.

Her actual name is Phoebe and she’s a 2-legs who is also a super doctor with a HUGE heart — but who can blame her for adopting a great nickname like that, huh? (She explains why on her own blog, so jump over there if you want to know the back-story.)

Anyway, she hosted this big Meet-and-Greet Party where some of my pals and I left links to our blogs. I guess it was a great party for Mom, but not so much for me.

No offense, PuppyDoc, but I had to scroll through screen-loads of links to 2-legs’es blogs to find the ones written by possible blogging buds for ME.

So I thought I’d throw a party of my own to see if I could host a spot where us 4-legses stand out because we’re the only ones there (no offense to you blogging birds, btw – you are more than welcome too).

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The REAL Christmas Elves


Santa couldn’t do it without us!
Proof that we can do more than cuddle or blog

Guest blogger: TinkerToy

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

My FIRST Christmas post (and my first sort-of reblog)

Mom found this video and said I could use it in my first Christmas post.  It was originally posted by Xena on her Black Butterfly blog with the following introduction:

I never get enough of this video. It’s produced by Fresh Pets.

The music is festive, but really loud,
so you might want to lower the volume on your speakers
before you click on the little triangle thing in the middle.

Source: Santa’s Canines (and Felines) Make Toys | We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident

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Sleeping with the Enemy: Mom’s N-24


How N-24 affects the rest of us
With a special take on the topic from Guest Blogger TinkerToy

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Comorbidities and Sleep & Sleep Disorders Series

“When you hear hoof-beats,
think horses not Zebras”

Most doctors are repeatedly exposed to that little ditty from their earliest days in Med School, encouraging them to always consider the simplest explanations first.

It’s not bad advice for many of the disorders and diseases they’ll come across in the patients who will walk through their office doors seeking diagnosis and treatment.

It just turns out to be exactly wrong when it comes to recognizing chronorhythm disorders – disorders of sleep TIMING.

November 24th is N24 Awareness Day

As explained in last weeks post, N-24 Awareness Day is almost upon us:

N24 Awareness Day was first organized in 2012 to help raise awareness of chronorhythm disorders – those affecting sleep TIMING – and particularly to increase awareness of one of its lesser known manifestations: Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Syndrome.

It is also known as hypernychthemeral syndrome, N24, N-24, or free-running sleep disorder.

It is a severe, chronic and disabling neurological disorder that causes an individual’s “brain clock” to be unable to stay in sync with “nature’s clock,” the 24-hour cycle of light and dark on our planet.

For many years it was believed to be rarer than those of us who live with it know it to be, and to affect only the blind – supposedly the only individuals unable to “rephase to light.” SIGHTED sufferers were excluded from the studies, and are still today.

How can medical science expect to find what they fail to seek?

N24 Awareness Day – or N24 Day – is now observed annually, gathering participants as increasingly more people become aware of sleep timing disorders, recognizing their own sleep-struggles when they read about the symptoms.

Many have been MIS-diagnosed with insomnia, narcolepsy, or “simple” sleep apnea, because MOST doctors, therapists and coaches remain shamefully unaware — unable to recognize clear symptoms of an entire class of sleep disorders: those that are the result of chronorhythm dysregulation.

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THIS will REALLY Scare you!


Who Needs Ghost Stories?!
Guest blogger: TinkerToy

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Scary things done to dogs

TinkerToy here, reminding you not judge me for that. (Remember, I didn’t get much of a vote, and Killer wasn’t on the menu.)

That’s NOT me over there, by the way. It’s one of the scary things — done to a dog that looks a lot like me.

Mom wasn’t planning to let me at the computer for a few more weeks. BUT, since my first ever post, Blogging Tips from a Shih Tzu got more comments than any of hers, she couldn’t exactly say no.

This is my second ever blog post — and it’s about the scariest thing about Halloween.

NOT what you think!

I’ll bet you were thinking I was going to blog about the hateful two-legs who abandon dogs, the horrors of puppy mills, or dog-abuse.

While those are ALL very scary things indeed, my Halloween post is going to focus on what the two-legs do to us on this one particular day each year — just because they think it’s funny, and just because they can.

Yep – costumes.

Even before I was born, Mom had a Pinterest Board called Deck the Dog where she pinned all sorts of pictures of puppies and dogs dressed in all manner of outfits. She said it made her laugh. (Weird sense of humor, this two-leg I live with.)

THEN, shortly after she heard about the Halloween Costume Party at my Cheers bar down the street, I caught her looking for “ideas” – and none of them looked like pictures of anything she’s thinking about for her.

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Blogging Tips from a Shih Tzu


You can learn a lot about community from a puppy
Guest blogger: TinkerToy

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

My ten and a half pound fur-baby just turned two. It seems like only yesterday I wrote the post about going to get him when he was just a teeny-tiny.

Like most teens (in dog years), he is obsessed with staying in touch with his pack – and he has some great ideas about blogging. I’ll let him tell you in his own words.


Happy Birthday to me!

TinkerToy here.  Don’t judge me for that. I didn’t get much of a vote, and Killer wasn’t on the menu.

I was born on October 8th, two years ago. I’ve been watching Mom blog for all that time — watching and waiting, trying to be good.

She said that if I let her work and didn’t distract her, I could try it myself when I was two.

This is my very first blog post — and it’s about blogging.

Dogs do it better

Modern dogs spend a lot of time indoors, you know. You two-legs don’t give us a lot of time to interact, so we’ve had to work out another way to connect.

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STOP Judging Purse-dogs!


Unless you also DRAG your little kids
(in which case, I have judgment about YOU!)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Tiny dogs have tiny legs (duh!)

It recently took a great deal of will-power to over-ride my impulse to smack a college student who [loudly] opined to his friends, as they passed me during a walk with my brand new teeny-tiny puppy, that “some people” needed to let their dogs out of their “purses” to walk for themselves.

I am full-grown, tall and have long legs.

My little Shih Tzu pup is about three months old, weighs less than five pounds, and has legs that are less than three inches long.

While he needs (and seems to adore) the exercise he gets trotting along beside me on our walks, the amount of time he is able to keep up without exhaustion is limited.

Humans can’t trot alongside horses for very long either!

Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar for a reminder
of how links work on this site, they’re subtle (scroll UP for it) ==>

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ALL I want for Christmas is . . .


A Shih Tzu Puppy
I’ve been so lonely since my little Tabitha died

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

I guess Santa got my letter

Some of you were aware that I finally decided that, apartment ready or not, sharing my life with another Shih Tzu was exactly what the doctor ordered to turn this miserable year around.

I’d love to be able to rescue but, like almost everything else, it’s a bit more complicated in my case.  I am highly allergic to all cats and almost every other breed of dog, so if I am to remain breathing I must make sure the animal I live with is a purebred Shih Tzu.

Source: officialshihtzuclub.com

Source: officialshihtzuclub.com

The very idea of buying a dog activates my own black and white thinking – in spades!

After much investigation, I finally found a breeder I trusted, put a deposit down before making final payment on one of the most adorable little puppies I’ve ever seen.  I was just about to hop on a plane to go get the little guy when everything blew up in my face.

Won’t anything ever go right again? was my reaction,
tears of disappointment streaming down my face.

If you’ve been following along since the gang mugging, resulting medical drama, forced move, FOUR repeats of iPhone failure, the auction where everything in my rented storage space was sold after they couldn’t reach me by phone, etc. – this year alone – you’ll understand that was not quite the over-reaction it might otherwise seem to be.

Getting back on the horse

On the recommendation of Lynn Fontaine, the wonderful and spiritually generous original breeder, I spoke with Twana of Pe-Kae Treasures – a breeder she had known for quite a while (and only a day trip away by car).

SO . . . while this article auto-posts, Peggy Ramundo and I are in her car and on our way to pick up my little Christmas puppy.

Oh yes, there really IS a Santa Claus!

ShihTzu in car

Source: officialshihtzuclub.com

Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

Wanna’ see his first baby picture?

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