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A Shih Tzu Helps His Mom Heal

My husband was traveling all the time and I was lonely. I had been going through a lot of health challenges also. When a client of mine had lost her dog, they found a lady who had a litter of Shih Tzu puppies and brought one home. I fell in love and really wanted a dog. I waited two weeks and finally contacted her but she only had one little boy left. After hearing my story, she said I could come meet them but she still wasn’t sure she wanted to let the little guy go. He was the sweetest of all the pups. Trained easily and laid in her arms like a baby for cuddles and tummy rubs. Once we met, she decided that this little boy was a good fit for me and conceded to let me take him home.

He was so smart from the get-go, so easy to train and such a good dog. The first thing he did was put me on a schedule! I had car accident injuries and fibromyalgia that was getting worse every day and other issues no one was figuring out. I also had lungs like someone with emphysema even though I had only been exposed to second- and third-hand smoke. My little Jax insisted on getting up and going to bed at the same time right off and he would whine at me until I did this with him, and boy did he live for his walks! So as a serious dog owner, I did everything to please and make his life as happy as possible.

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After about a year we noticed how much my health had improved. Those walks had become longer and longer and more frequent. I felt better so started eating better and the schedule of sleep helped a lot too. My lungs were clear two years later and I was able to return to work as my fibromyalgia liked the sleep, exercise and better eating.

That’s not all — my little guy would sleep right up against me but we noticed some odd behaviors in the night. Jax would wake me up sometimes by either nuzzling me and nibbling my hand or even more aggressively by standing on my chest and licking me and whining. We could not figure out this random behavior until my husband noticed a pattern in my snoring in conjunction with Jax behavior. I would quit snoring for longer periods when he would be more aggressively trying to wake me. I happened to be at my doctors for something else and we were discussing how much my dog had helped me. When I told him this behavior he asked me some additional questions and ordered a sleep study ASAP. Turned out I have sleep apnea and stop breathing regularly. Boy, that explained so much!

I now have my BiPap and sleep better, which again helps my other health situations dramatically. When I was in agonizingly, horrific cranial pain from a car accident with air bag injuries, my Jax would lay by me on the bathroom floor while I was throwing up or just crying and screaming in agonizing pain. If I had to go through that by myself I don’t know if I would be here today.

This little guy saved my life. He is a true hero!

-Cynthia G.