Adopted: Zoë

Quick Facts:

  • Breed: Shih Tzu
  • Gender: Female
  • Age: 3-5 years old
  • Size: 12 pounds
  • Good with…
    • Dogs? YES!
    • Cats? Not tested
    • Kids? Yes! 12+ (I’m scared of quick movements)

**Zoë has lots of application, hard to believe right? Please hold off for a couple of weeks to apply. Thanks!**


I’m an adorable, joyful, playful but shy little pup looking for a loving home with another dog!


I came from a situation where the people weren’t very nice to me. And while I am absolutely loving learning now that people can be amazingly sweet and kind, I am still quite cautious and will cower or run and hide when humans move too quickly or reach for me (especially over my head). If people let me take my time, watch them from a safe distance, and then come to them when I’m ready, I feel much happier and safer, and am then happy to get attention and pets!

It takes me a while to trust that people won’t hurt me, and am for sure more relaxed and confident when there are other dogs around. This allows me to build new trust both from my own experiences of now being treated kindly, and also from watching the other dogs interact so happily with my foster parents. I am starting to breathe easier in this new, much better life, but will need patience and gentleness for a while moving forward (and other dogs in the home)!


I am truly a deeply sweet and lovable pup! I’m also becoming playful and more outgoing! When I first came to my foster home, I was afraid of the squeaky dog toys, but now I shake them and run with them all the time, haha!! Once I know you and have established a bit of trust, I will come to you for attention and some petting, but need you to sit quietly on the floor and only reach out slowly for my chest. If you reach over my head, it really scares me! But please know that I am never snarky or snappy in any way when I get scared, I just run away, cower, or hide.

I’m super food motivated! I haven’t yet met a food or snack that I don’t love! Sometimes, I get so excited I take treats like an alligator (chomp!), but most of the time, I’m very gentle. I don’t have many teeth though, so soft food and treats are best, but really, I’ll eat just about anything. The rescue folks think I didn’t have enough food in my past life, and was clearly never given tasty treats, but despite that, I don’t whine or beg for food (such nice manners)! I do sit close by when the humans are eating though, because they always give me a treat when they are finished!

I’ve been to doggie daycare a few times (before Covid), and had a grand time playing with dogs of all sizes! I bounded around and liked to get right into the center of the action! And when I got tuckered out, I would just sit and watch from the sidelines. Fun!

I enjoy the company of my humans, and I’m accepting and seeking out affection more and more in the months that I have been here. I’m ADORABLE, so the humans want to pet me and pick me up and snuggle me all the time, but they need to restrain themselves (which they do!) because I am not so comfortable with those kinds of things. This could change over the long term, but it’s also possible that I might never be a cuddler/snuggler, so I’ll need a home where either way will be ok and whatever my needs are will be respected. I do like sidling up to my foster mom and dad and giving them sweet kisses sometimes! Please don’t think that just because I don’t want to be snuggled, I don’t appreciate everything you do for me.

I most definitely need a home with at least one other dog. I want to be able to play, and I feel so much more relaxed in the company of dogs. I sit close and snuggle with the other dogs in my foster home a lot, but I also like my own space sometimes.

I love going outside! Sitting in the sun is one of my favorite activities! I also love to walk around and smell things! Romping on my own in a fenced in yard is always a fun time, but I’m also good on a leash. I don’t even pull! I’ll do my business outside, but admittedly, I will still use a pee pad inside sometimes. It’s hard to completely give up that habit, since my foster family has one down all the time for a couple of much older dogs in the house who can’t always hold it. It’s sometimes too convenient to pass up!

If there’s not much going on at home, and everyone seems to be sitting quietly, I’ll sit quietly too. I like to find a comfy bed (I also really like crates with beds inside of them) on which to hang out. I will likely choose to do it in whatever room you’re in. I don’t like to be alone! I don’t usually cause any trouble, but if it’s nearing mealtime, I can get a little restless and chew on things out of frustration!

Speaking of mealtimes…they are definitely my favorite times of the day! I get breakfast and dinner plus a small snack before bed, and I’m always a good eater! You will have to be diligent not to give me snacks every time I give you those puppy dog eyes, or I might double my weight in no time!

I sleep in a wire crate in the adult humans’ bedroom. I might someday like to sleep in bed with a person, but I’m not sure yet. For now, I really like my crate. It has a soft bed and blanket in it and I feel nice and safe in there. I very much like having my own safe space even though I also want to be where everyone else is!

Overall, I’m super sweet and extremely good-natured. My foster family says that I have already come a long way from the very scared pup I was when I arrived to their home 3-4 months ago. They didn’t want me to be up on the website until I had gained enough trust and stability that it would seem reasonable for me to start looking for my forever home. They think I am at that point now. Though I will continue to need a lot of patience, love, and reassurance, I feel confident enough to meet my forever people. My foster family keeps telling me how unbelievably good and painfully cute I am. I’m not sure what that means exactly, but it seems to always come with big smiles and very soft loving eyes, so I know that’s a very good thing. 😊


Adults: I love gentle, calm, soft-spoken adults! I am living with two adult humans and they are wonderful. They let me take things at my own pace, which is so very crucial for me. They let me decide when I want to be petted, they don’t pick me up or make me sit in their lap, and they don’t yell or scream loudly in any situation, even when they are watching sports or politics!

Kids: I am also living with a 12-year-old girl. She is also wonderful, and is very kind and thoughtful in her interactions with me. Sometimes though her movements seem really sudden and that scares me, even though she doesn’t mean them to be that way at all. I would do best in a home with kids who were 12+ and who were gentle, calm personality types, so I don’t accidentally get scared too much.

Dogs: There are 5 other dogs in my foster home! I hit the jackpot! I truly adore being around other dogs, take comfort in their presence, and have a lot of fun playing with and hanging out with them. I am a little territorial about my food though, so I eat away from the other dogs to avoid any issues. I really love living in such a full house, but as long as I have at least one dog sister or brother, I’ll be a happy camper!

Cats: Sorry, no cats in my foster home, so we have no idea how I would do with one or more of them. If you are perfect for me in other ways, we could try to suss this out together.

Favorite Activities

  • Snacking! More snacking! Mealtime!
  • Romping! Playing with toys!
  • Sitting in the Sun!
  • Running around with other dogs!
  • Did I already say snacking?


When I came to my foster family, my fur was in terrible shape, I had patches of bare skin, and much of my skin was red, inflamed, and very itchy. So uncomfortable! We saw the special dermatologists at Cornell Vet Hospital and they diagnosed it as being yeast. They tell me that Shih Tzus are prone to yeast infections, and that my previous family letting the yeast grow for such a long time is why it had gotten so severe. I’ve been on really good medication for the past few months, and it’s helped immensely! I feel and look so much better now!

Another thing that my previous family neglected was my dental health. I don’t have many teeth, and my new vet said that my jaw was broken at some point and did not heal properly. It doesn’t cause me any pain, but because of the way my jaw healed and how few teeth I have, I need to have soft food. If you feed me dry kibble or hard treats, I just swallow them whole, which is not healthy or safe. So, I get kibble that is soaked in warm water (so it softens up), mixed with delicious canned food. It’s perfect! I love it! Pieces of cheese for treats (soft!) are healthy and economical and most importantly, super tasty!

I got spayed since coming into rescue and everything has healed up perfectly. I’m up to date on my vaccinations (including bordetella so I can go to doggy daycare), am on regular monthly heartworm preventive, and wear a Seresto flea and tick collar. I’m a healthy and happy girl!


That’s me…Zoë! I’m happy and playful, adorable and sweet, and a joy to be around. My foster parents say that nothing feels better than seeing me take some brave new steps toward trusting people, and they want to make sure that the home I go to will be one that will help me continue this trajectory, at my own speed. Thank you so much for considering opening your home to me, and I look forward to meeting you!

If you are interested in adopting me, please fill out an online adoption application and live close to Ithaca , Syracuse, Binghamton, Rochester, or Elmira. We do home visits on every applicant, and can’t do home visits where we don’t have local volunteers.


Comments are closed.