Her name was ........
Princess Ama Wei China Doll.
When you sound that out, it seems to say "I'm a wee China doll," and she really was. Her doggie momma was Empress Mai Lin Shu, and her daddy was Rock and Roll Bon Ton Bo, but we knew him as Bo.
She was born on Jun 1, 1993, the fourth and last of the litter. Somehow I felt she was a special little dog right from birth. The owner of her paternal grandfather wanted to buy her, but I was afraid she was going to breed China, and I was concerned. I knew she needed to stay with me. When she was six months old she had a grand mal seizure. If I had let her go to that woman, she would probably have died with the stress of childbirth. I knew it, I knew it!! I'm so glad I kept her.
Mai Lin with her babies just a couple days after birth. China is the one facing the camera, 2nd from the left.
Second from right.
Ali had just come to live with us just days before. He was just six weeks old. Mai Lin accepted his so well, that she allowed him to come in the crate to visit with her and the babies. Here he is tiptoeing in. It was amazing how gentle he was considering his young age.
Ali became the "teenaged babysitter" for the puppies! Here he is with China. Mai Lin would leave him in charge while she went to eat or to potty. He would just lie down and stay with the little ones. He often would bathe the babies! He was an amazing "big brother."
Ali played with the babies, too. He was so cute! Here he is "wrestling" with them. China is on the right, making a getaway, I suppose!
This is Ali in the center playing tug-of-war with China, in front, and Mai Tai at the back. Mai Tai went to live with my daughter TL, and still is there.
China and Mai Tai together were no match for the mighty Ali!
Even joined by their brother Hoppy, they couldn't win. Chi is right next to Ali in this photo.
My pups were just like kids. Give 'em toys and they'll play with an old sock. Give 'em a bed, and they'll sleep on a box!! That is China, Hoppy, and Mai Tai.
Mai Tai and China, best buds.
Another friend was our cat Tigger, the gentle giant. He loved to lay in the grass switching his tail while the little ones tried to catch it! China is right on that task!
The whole family, momma Mai Lin, Ali, China Doll standing up, Hoppy and Mai Tai in front. The fourth pup, a little black and white boy named Pandi Bear had already gone to his new home, the home where we got Ali.
China Doll, Hoppy, and Mai Tai.
This was their very first bath! China is in the middle. No one is particularly happy!
She begins to grow up. She was probably about 8-10 weeks in this photo, and we were finally able to put a little bow in her hair. Moms of Shih Tzu are just as eager to put bows in the hair as moms of human baby girls!
And here was one of, if not the, first bone. We used to get round bones, the only really safe ones, for them and they loved them so much!!
By now Hoppy has gone to his furever home. Mai Tai, on the left, and TL are living with us at this time. Ali is 2nd, then China and momma Mai Lin.
We're still growing, and Tigger is still a bestest friend.
Mai Lin and China are playing here, jumping around and look at the fur fly!
Still playing, and aren't we pretty these days, fully grown and with long, beautiful fur!
We still like to share food, especially when we get an ice cream cone all our own!!! Mai Tai on the left, Ali in the middle and Chi on the right.
And we still have to take baths. You'd think grown up dogs could chose, but no!
And wasn't she a beauty? She really was an adorable girl, mellow, gentle, loving. This girl pranced almost all the time. She had a happy spirit and it showed in how she carried herself. Yes, a special little one.
And yes, I sometimes went overboard! They didn't ever seem to mind, however, and I had fun creating their different head dressings.
Later on, I had her clipped short in the summer.
She had such a laid back outlook on life.
And she had the sweetest little face in the world.
The groomers enjoyed dressing her up, too.
I joked that she thought she was a Christmas present, but truth is .... she was a gift for sure. Not just at Christmas, but all her life she was a bonus in my life that I wouldn't trade for anything.
Enjoying the fireplace on a cold winter night with her buddy, Ali.
And when we moved to this house, she made herself right at home while I painted. This was about March or April, last year. She was approaching her 14th birthday.
Another grooming day. Aren't they cute? Ali and China were buddies from the beginning and it lasted forever.
Just a sweet picture. No story about it.
I think her final weeks were better for the addition of Joey, Max, and Sam. She played with them as much as her body allowed, and she was happier and more active than she had been for a long while. I'm glad she had them to brighten her life.
And just a few days ago I caught China in this relaxed moment. She seemed to be thinking about something. Was she perhaps reviewing her life? I hope it was as happy as I believe it was. She was certainly loved and loving.
I miss her, but I'm glad she isn't hurting and that she is with Mai Lin.
Goodbye, my girl.
I miss you.
I hope you knew how much you were loved.
I miss you.
I hope you knew how much you were loved.