An Anecdotal History

I was sitting with my darling pup in my lap one evening, visiting with a friend. Jim looked at my dog and asked, "What were they used for?" I smiled, pointed down at Miagi perched ever so royally on my lap, and said, "This." Thinking I had misunderstood him, Jim rephrased to, "Well, what were they bred to do?" I smiled and answered, "This."

Shih Tzu were kept (along with the Pekingese) in the Forbidden City of Peking in China. Like the Pekingese, they had eunuchs assigned to take care of the dogs. The eunuchs carried their little charges around on silken pillows, and had contests to see who could make theirs look most like a lion through breeding and grooming. There was a lot of prestige attached to producing the most lion-like dogs. What made this more interesting was that the lion is not indigenous to China, and they were bred to resemble what the Chinese had heard of lions! It seems the ideal was that the little dogs would end up resembling the Foo Dog statues we are familiar with now. 

Anyway, lest you say what useless little dogs Shih Tzu are, think of the eunuchs. "What do you do for a living?" "I carry a little dog around on a silken pillow and try to make it look like a lion." Enough said?

Contributed- very tongue in cheek- by Charlee Byford