The Chrysanthemum Dog
Coco the Shih Tzu Mix has been a favorite at Wagging Tails since her first visit in January 2012! This pint-sized pup has a spunky attitude that lights up the room when she plays with her friends in the Lounge during Playdays.
The Shih Tzu, which means “little lion,” has several distinctive characteristics that you can see in Coco, including the flowing hair that grows from her face in all directions. This flowing hair has earned them the nickname “Chrysanthemum Dog” because it makes their faces look like flowers.
Poised and elegant, these regal dogs were originally kept by royal families during China’s Ming Dynasty, but they are by no means unapproachable. Originally bred to be friendly companions, just like Coco, they love nothing more than making friends and greeting strangers everywhere they go.
These sturdy little dogs aren’t held back by their small size. In fact, one legend says that Buddha traveled with a dog matching a Shih Tzu’s description. Along their travels, thieves planned to rob and murder Buddha but his little Shih Tzu changed into a ferocious lion and chased them away. With the Buddha’s life saved, the fearless lion changed back into the happy, loving dog he had been before and Buddha kissed his loyal friend on the head. Some believe the white spot that many Shih Tzu’s have on their heads is the mark from Buddha’s kiss.
These energetic dogs are easy to love. Coco’s outgoing personality brings out the acrobat in her and she loves jumping into your arms to show her affection. And we love spoiling her and loving her back.