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Bouts of barking irritating owner

Updated: March 9, 2012 8:01AM

Q. My partner recently moved in with me. My S***-Zu, Chloe, has been with me for about two years. We recently added a Rottweiler, Boscoe, to our home. The dogs get along well, the problem is that when Boscoe runs outside or gets excited, especially when my partner comes home, Chloe goes crazy barking (while her tail is wagging). What can we do to get her to stop this irritating behavior?

A. Don’t mind Dog Lady if she vents a little: Your dog is a Shih (S-H-I-H) Tzu (T-Z-U), a breed originating in China.

Shih Tzus resemble adorable stuffed animals but they are real dogs — full-fledged barkers with all the instincts of a used-to-be-wolf. When your dog lived alone with you, she probably had no cause to get all riled up. You know her barks are happy because her tail wags. If her eruptions annoy you, cordon her off from the crowd. Or distract her and train her to hold her tongue by rewarding for silence.

Q. We lost Bayleigh, our cocker spaniel, after nearly a year of dealing with megaesophagus (enlarged esophagus) and bouts with bloat. During the final bout, we rushed her to the emergency clinic. The attending veterinarian confirmed the bloat by X-ray and took her away for what he described as a simple procedure. A half an hour later, he handed us a dead dog, saying simply, “Her heart stopped.” I remain convinced he euthanized her.

A. Veterinary procedures and animal pathology remain a mystery to most dog owners. We can’t know, we can’t tell. And, in a few cases, neither can the vets.

In taking Bayleigh to the emergency clinic, you went to the limit to find a resolution for her immediate painful bloat, which is frightening when it occurs in dogs. And you will never know how, why or what happened behind closed doors. You will just have to keep faith she died the way the attending vet said she did.

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