A Dog in the House: An Update on Maizie!

So many of you have asked how our little Shih Tzu Maizie has been doing since we adopted her in January that I thought I’d give you an update. She was underweight and recovering from surgery when we got her. She had been dumped, starving and with a broken jaw, outside a local animal shelter. (You can read the whole story here if you missed it.)

For the first 6 weeks that we had her, Maizie’s jaw was wired. At the end of February she had another surgery to remove it. Everything went well, and after her stitches were out we were given the go-ahead to finally get her properly bathed and groomed. As you can see from this photo, she’s looking pretty spiffy now (the groomer put that jaunty red bandanna around her neck)! :-)

Some things have been a challenge because they were new to her, like walking on a leash (she frequently locks her little legs and won’t move, and even when she does walk, she won’t go far). We’re still having the occasional accident in the house when I don’t pick up on her “I need to go out” signal right away. She also has some difficulty eating because the vet had to remove so many of her teeth, poor pup.

But she’s come such a long way that we don’t like to dwell on her shortcomings. She can now go up and down the stairs on her own. At this week’s vet visit, she had gained some much-needed weight (she’s up to a whopping 8.5 lbs!). My daughter Lily even taught Maizie some simple commands, like sit, dance, lie down, and stay. I took a short video for you so you can see her in action!

Many thanks to everyone who has asked about Maizie and cared so much about how she’s doing. It’s crazy how in love we are with this dog after only a few months! She’s brought a lot of joy into our home, that’s for sure. You can see my original post with photos of how she looked when we adopted her here.

Guess what! We have a dog in the house. Meet Maizie, the 2-year old Shih Tzu we just adopted from a wonderful rescue organization called…
Maizie with my laptop in the sunroom 10-11
I left my laptop for a minute and came back to find Maizie had taken over. After catching an episode of Oprah Behind the Scenes…

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  1. says

    Julia she is doing just great and is so darling. Maizie is a fighter for sure!

    It is amazing how much our pets do mean to us and how much love there is!!

    I have a Giveaway from The Zhush I know you will love! Come & join!
    Art by Karena

  2. says

    Oh, what good news to hear that Maizie is doing so well! It just breaks my heart to hear what kind of shape she was in, truly. I’m so glad that you guys have found a new companion to love! My best wishes to you all (Maizie, too!)


    P.S. Oh yes, I have to tell you that one of our kitties is named Maizie, too! Funny!

  3. says

    She’s sooooo cute! I’m glad she found a family who is going to love her as much as she deserves to be loved!

  4. says

    Oh…Maizie looks so good! And I’m impressed with her tricks. But it was hard to pay attention to Maizie because your daughter is so pretty. You’ve got two girls there to be proud of.

  5. Dean says

    Too sweet! All that love is doing the trick! And I noticed you filmed in your new addition. :-)

  6. says

    It’s hard to understand how she can be so forgiving – I shudder to think how she ended up with broken bones in her face. It is lovely to see her happy and trusting with Lily.

  7. says

    I have this same breed and they are so strong and such little fighters! God bless her and you..we have this in common..come say hi 😀

  8. says

    What a beautiful little pup! It is so heart warming to hear stories of abandoned animals finding such loving homes :)

  9. Nita says

    People don’t realize that it takes time for shelter pets to come around. We adopted 4 kitties last summer, and the one Siamese still does not like to be picked up. She wants to be petted, by only me, and she can hardly stand being hugged. We don’t know what happened to her, but she went into the shelter in a trap or cage, so maybe it was dropped or something. One feral cat I took in years ago took 18 months to climb on my lap but after that, she was forever my lap kitty. :)

  10. Nita says

    PS-I am beginning to hate the ads here that flip you off the page you are reading and try to keep you in the ad, as I fight my way back to what I want to read…….grrrrrr.

    • Dawn says

      ( Try Firefox and the Ad Blocker extension – easy and free add-on and no more annoying pop-ups. I haven’t seen them so it works. You can still visit the sponsors’ sites listed in the side panel without having your online enjoyment rudely disrupted.)

  11. Kim says

    I am so glad to hear that Maizie is doing much better. She is such a cute dog.

    What a sweet daughter you have. I can tell by the video, that she loves Maizie very much.

  12. says

    I love animals, I have two dogs and I dedicate all the time that I can please people who have animals to care for them, otherwise they do not have a good post, I’m glad that things are better, hug for everyone!

  13. says

    Julia, this is so cute! I missed your first post about Maizie, but I think it’s great you took him in. I love animals and I love it even more when people take care of animals in need. Go you!

    Your daughter and Maizie form the cutest couple ever, by the way 😀

  14. says


    I’m not sure if it’s the pregnancy hormones already kicking in, but I almost cried reading the fact this lovely dog went through so much and thank God, she has you guys. I can see how much you guys love her. That’s beautiful!

    She’s so adorable! I’m so glad she’s doing better. Your daughter looks so much like you! She’s so sweet.

    Thank you for sharing this with us. :-)


    Luciane at HomeBunch.com

  15. says

    Such wonderful news. She is beautiful! We strongly believe in animal rescue adoptions….so glad yours is working out so well.

  16. says

    Maizie is a good girl! Thanks so much for the update, Julia. Our seven year old Westie still will not go up and down stairs. She cries until someone carries her…and she weighs almost twenty pounds!

  17. says

    So funny that she goes onto the rug when she sits. My yorkie does that too. Those little dogs don’t want to put their bum on cold tile! :)

  18. says

    Maize looks like she is coming right along…..it’s obvious from the video that she wants to be a good girl :) Your daughter is just adorable as well…..it really comes through how much she loves this little dog.

  19. Donna says

    Julia, being new-ish to your blog, I missed the original post about your getting Maizie. Now that I have read both it and today’s posts, I am sitting here with tears in my eyes—–eyes full of pain as I read about the mistreatment Maizie and her littermates suffered (I can’t even begin to imagine anyone breaking the bones in a small animal or child!) and happy tears, too, as I see that Maizie has found her forever family who will love her and treat her with love and respect! I am soooo proud of your family for taking its time to find the “right fit” and then to be willing to take in this sweet pup and nurse her back to health!…….now YOU are an angel on earth! Thank you for restoring this young dog’s life! I wish you many many happy years with Maizie. My first dog (out on my own) was a solid black Shi-tzu whom I loved dearly. He lived over 14 yrs! I hope you have at least that many good years with yours, as well. By the way, you take the prize, too, as best dog name I’ve heard in forever! Maizie is CUTE and the whole play on “amazing” is just great. Thanks, Julia—-your post really made my day! : )

  20. Leigh says

    Maize is just darling! Try & be patient with the house training. I have 2 little dogs & our vet would continually tell us to be patient with the little dogs as they take longer to house train (for some reason?). So glad to see Maize is doing so well! Enjoy!

  21. says

    Both my girls wanted to sit and watch Maizie and Lily. :) She’s such a cute little dog–you can tell she has a nice temperament. Lily does a good job with her! So happy for you guys. :)

  22. karin/lifeinsmallchunks@blogspot.com says

    Dogs are amazing and add so much love and joy to our homes and families. Mazie is adorable (and so is your daughter!).

  23. says

    Love it!
    Rescue dogs are the absolute most loving, loyal and sweet. I have two rescues with abuse histories, and can’t get enough of them!
    Thanks for sharing Julia!
    Happy Thursday to you!

  24. says

    Thanks so much for the update! I cannot even tell you how wonderful I think it is that you guys took a chance on a pup with some special needs. She had really flourished in your home! (And oh my, that tounge is just too cute!)

    PS – I love the Martha Stewart food and water bowls. 😉

    • hookedonhouses says

      She has a matching Martha Stewart dog bed that she loves, too! :-)

  25. says

    Dogs have a way of reminding us that love really is a two way street. You give love, you get love.
    We had a dog that that was terribly abused before we got her, she couldn’t show enough love to us for rescuing her. She will forever be in our hearts. Now I have to go blow my nose and wipe my tears!

  26. says

    Julia, I’m rather new to your blog too, so I had missed Maizie’s story, which is truly heartbreaking. I don’t understand how people can be so cruel, but it makes me want to “put down” the owners, not the pets. So terribly glad that Maizie has found you at last… it sounds like your family can give her the love, patience and respect she deserves, and I’m sure she’ll repay it many times over with her gratitude.

    Hubby and I also have soft hearts for strays. My latest “find” was in the forest: two tiny little kittens, discarded in a forest ravine along with someone’s McD’s trash. From the moment I picked them up, they’ve purred whenever held. Thank goodness I decided on a photo trip through the woods that day, and thank goodness you were looking when Maizie needed you.

  27. says

    This is awesome! I’m so glad she has a forever home with you guys, and will get the love and attention she deserves. Sometimes I wonder about who really takes care of who in human/pet relationships. I get so much out of having our dog Brooklyn in my life, that it seems like they are really here to help us, rather than us here to help them.

  28. says

    What an amazing story (her name is so fitting)! I’m so happy for your family and for Maize. I bet she’ll be walking on a leash in no time–I think the fact that she is responding so well to other commands with treats is a good sign.

  29. says

    I’m so happy little Maizie is doing so well!! What a sweet little munchkin she is, just adorable!! And it really is amazing how quickly we fall in love with our little furry family members isn’t it? They are such pure, sweet souls.

  30. melissa sloan says

    Oh goodness! Thanks for the update and sharing the video…how wonderful. You guys are the perfect family for little Maizie – what a blessing! Thanks for my happy thought for the day :-))

  31. says

    She looks bright eyed and happy. Thank you for sharing your updates and inspiring others to open their hearts and homes to animals who need safe haven and compassion.

  32. says

    Maizie is so cute! I’m so happy that she’s doing better. How awesome that your daughter has taught her some tricks. It was cute to see her trying to eat that treat, you could tell she had teeth missing. Our cats that passed away last year had lost several teeth in the last few years of their life and they took so much time to eat. However, their appetite was still there! LOL!

  33. Cheryl says

    I have tears in my eyes. Oh she is doing so well. You are all wonderful for what you have done for her. As an owner of a rescue dog who also came from a bad home, it just touches me to see her thriving. And good job Lily on the training!

  34. says

    Maizie is amazing :) Love watching Lily with her.
    About the food thing… we had a mini-doxie who had periodontal disease and over the course of her 15 years she lost all but 2 teeth. From age 3 to 15 I fed her #3 baby food. Turned out she was also our healthiest dog and I wonder if the baby food was the reason.

  35. says

    What a sweet dog (and daughter!). Thanks for taking the time to give us an update on Maizie’s progress. It’s wonderful to see what love can do.

    Side note: We’ve had success with a mini bell that our Bichon rings when she needs to go out. I can hear the bell from anywhere in the house, so I don’t miss her “signal.” To train her we rang the bell ourselves anytime we brought her outside. It only took one day of training. Hope that helps!

  36. Mia says

    Thank you for giving Maizie a home. Having worked in rescue for several years, I know there aren’t many folks who would take on a project like Maizie. May you have many years of loving companionship with her :)

  37. says

    Being a proud owner of a Shitzu myself, you guys have added a wonderful, loving , smart dog to your lives. If i could have a houseful of those little rascals i would. I am so grateful for people like u to take in a abused doggie and give her love . It pains me to hear or see what some animals have to go thru. How could some people be so cruel? Maize is adorable and u can tell she is happy and loved. There is a reason she made it thru and that is to be loved by u……

  38. Julie says

    What a darling dog and she is so lucky to have found such a loving family and home. Looks like a perfect match!

  39. says

    Yay for Maizie! She is so precious, she looks great, what a little survivor! It’s heartwarming to know she got her happy ending, a family that loves her. Thank you so much for giving her a happy, loving home, and for this adorable post {and cute video with her bff Lily!} Julia! It made my day!

    P.S. I love her green bandanna! Jaunty is the perfect word to describe it, and I swear that’s precisely how they act upon returning from the groomer’s!

  40. Dawn says

    This always gets to me and makes me tear up.

    I love happy endings and am so glad that she found your family and vice versa.

  41. jennifer says

    I echo Anita-the ads you have on your website are a deterrent…..

    • hookedonhouses says

      I’m working on figuring out why they’re doing that. I do apologize for the annoyance. They’re popping up on me all day long, too, so I understand how frustrating they can be! -Julia

  42. says

    I’m so glad to know how Maizie is doing! She is a darling, and I know just what you mean about how much joy she’s brought to your house–there’s just something so special about a dog, isn’t there?

    You should take a look at the way this post looks when it comes up on the screen. In the “still” shot of the video you took, your daughter looks JUST LIKE YOU! An amazing resemblance! She’s a doll, just like her mom. :)

  43. Su says

    God Bless you and your family for giving that (your) beautiful furbaby a forever home. Maizie will surely bless your family for years to come.
    We have a boxer named Harley who is also a rescue. He was only 25lbs at a year and a half old when we got him. We have had him almost 3 years now and he is a healthy 69lbs! He still has some issues from his abuse – scared to death of loud noises or raised voices and really doesn’t do well with “change” (typical male).
    When we got new furniture for the living room, he stood in the yard and watched the neighbors take the old couch away (we’re bad and always let our animals on our furniture) and when the NEW stuff came, he wouldn’t go into the living room for a month! But he is VERY loving and loyal! He is our 5th boxer (4th rescue!)

    And on another note – as far as the “ringing a bell” to go potty, my mom did the same thing with her German Sheperd. But she would take Sam’s paw to ding the bell everytime she let him out. (had it sitting on the floor by the door) Didn’t take long at all for him to learn!

  44. says

    Thank you for posting this…Maizie is absolutely adorable and such testament to how much joy and love a rescued pup can bring to a home. Lily and her are quite the team…such a sweet video. It’s so nice to see her happy, well, and obviously feeling right *at home*!
    xo J~

  45. says

    Kudos to you for adopting this little cutie. Look at her stance in the photo — she’s proud and ready to go!

  46. says

    I can’t believe I missed the post about this getting this sweet little pup. Bless you guys for finding a place in your hearts to care for her. I am a huge animal lover so the thought of any animal being treated like that really breaks my heart. I just step on a snail and I burst into tears. We are planning on adopting a dog in need of some love soon too. I think I’m going to have trouble not taking home every animal in the shelter though!

  47. Cheryl says

    Oh that is great news!! I’m sure all the love she’s getting has played an important part in her healing. I think Olivia has the same sweater as Lily, or at least very similar. Her Nana bought it on a trip south probably at the Cracker Barrel. Too cute.
    Now that we’ve conquered Disney we’re on to looking for a puppy of our own. On that note, I wanted to tell you that when we were at Disney last week they had Toon Town closed for construction and Mickey and Minnie’s houses had to be taken down. Your pics are the reference I’m going to use to show Olivia what their houses looked like. I went on you tube and there is a video someone took – you can see through the fence a little bit. I wonder if their new houses will have granite counter tops and vaulted ceilings?

  48. says

    Awwww… Julia!
    Maizie looks so sweet!
    It’s so nice to know that she has a chance at living a happy life with a family that loves her. What you all did was truly admirable. Wish there were more people like that in this world – it would definitely be a better place!
    God Bless you and your family and little Maizie, too!

  49. says

    Thanks for the update Julia! It’s great to see Maizie is doing much better. It’s hard to believe how incredibly mean people can be towards animals.

    Hope you will do another update on Maizie in a few weeks time.

  50. toni says

    Please help!!! How did you get Maize to walk on a leash when she would lock up her legs and refuse to move. We just adopted a puppy who is more stubborn than a stone. I have been searching the internet for how to train her but all the advice is about dogs that pull, not dogs that refuse to move. One site said I should pull her – that sounded cruel and unlikely to work to me. Any suggestions for gentle but firm training to solve this imovable dog problem would be greatly appreciated.


  51. missy says

    Julia, Thanks for the update on Maizie. what a lucky little girl. Bless you and your family for taking in that sweet thing and not letting her be put down. My rescue dogs have been the best friends I’ve ever had. Dogs Rule!

  52. says

    Welcome to the rescue family! It’s so good to feel that not only did you save your pup but you made a space for a new pup to be adopted behind her by making space at the rescue. Adoption is the way to go! We have been so happy with our sweet little black pup! We are going on a year now of him being a part of our family, and what a difference he has made, he’s changed me for the better. Congrats to you and to Maizie on getting her health back and having the wonderful life she deserves!

  53. says

    I just had to write and tell you about our little Shih Tzu, Sadie. We adopted her this past winter. The same thing had happened to her. She had been on the streets for a long, long, time and our daughter found her. She tried to find the owner but, she never did so we took her. I love her so much and her sister, Dixie too. The same thing happened to her too. Someone threw her out of a truck on our road and she came to our house. She was only six weeks old when we got her. She looks part terrier and schnazer. They love each other so much and play together so well. I don’t know what I would do without either of them now. I can’t understand how anyone could hurt a little helpless animal. No matter how they are treated they still love you unconditionally. Sandra

  54. Denise Maynard says

    I just love this story of your new dog – good for you and your family. Love is very healing and I know this little one, who has been through so much has healed so much from the love of all of you.

    I absolutely love your website/blog. I enjoyed vieiwng the one on Mary Tyler Moore’s apt. I so want a new place like hers! I’m visualizing this for my next home. It need a little yard however because I have a rescue dog as well.

    Keep up the good work! Give a hug to Maize for me!