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0 In Lifestyle

Instagram Pups Helping Hurricane Harvey Animals

Instagram dogs take care of their own. This is the best community ever when it comes to supporting one another. (If you know of someone on Instagram please let me know. Leave a comment here or on my Instagram @loveakasha.)

Please visit some of my Instagram friends and shops who are donating proceeds to animal rescues and shelters in Texas. Including running an online auction!


Honey is raising money to help animals in Hurricane Harvey. Visit her shop, it’s gorgeous! She just released 2 bow ties and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Austin Pets Alive. ??


United Paws Group

United Paws Group is an organization on Instagram that helps animals in need. They are currently running an online auction, Friday, 9/1 – Sunday 9/3 6pm EST. 100% of all proceeds will go to: Montgomery County Animal Shelter MCAS, Conroe, Texas AND Houston Pets Alive.

So if you are on Instagram, visit United Paws Group, and bid on one of the auction items posted!


New York Dog

For the next two weeks, 100% of proceeds from Gizzy’s Etsy shop will be donated to Austin Pets Alive! They have pins, stickers, apparel, and wrapping paper! Stock up now and help out a friend in need!


Haus of Hound Co

$5 from each hat purchased in their shop will be donated to rescues and shelters like Austin Pets Alive and Houston Pets Alive! Logo designed by my friend, Shannon and hat made by Ripley & Rue. Looking forward to more collaborations to help Hurricane Harvey Dogs!


KoaBear Bandanas

KoaBear ran a promotion to help Texas and donated 50% of proceeds!

Dog Love Repeat

An exclusive, limited edition T-shirt. Visit their shop. 100% of profits from the sales of these t-shirts will go to Best Friends Animal Society to assist our animal friends who are victims of Hurricane Harvey. ????


Puppy Parties NYC

**? GIVEAWAY TIME ?** They are raising funds to support Austin Pets Alive and their relief efforts in the wave of Hurricane Harvey. Details below and on their Instagram page on how to enter. Check out their giveaway prize post too, it’s insanely awesome.


1️⃣ Donate a minimum of $10 to Austin pets Alive [donations must be dated between 9/2/17 and 9/9/17 to be eligible]​
2️⃣ Send they your receipt via direct message on Instagram or email

0 In Lifestyle

Hurricane Harvey Animal Rescues: Donations + Updates

[I will be updating this post as the rescues priorities change.]

The Hurricane Harvey animal rescues that are making a difference.

What’s happening in Texas is insane, y’all. The Hurricane Harvey aftermath is overwhelming. And thinking about all the animals left behind that had nowhere to go is heartbreaking.

I’m hoping to make it very easy for folks to help animals. Here you will have the latest updates from the rescues that I have seen this past week that are real, genuine, caring, no-kill, angels.

I see these questions on Facebook and Instagram often…
Can someone tell me a good animal rescue I can donate to?
How can I help? What do they need?

Below is a list some of the animal rescues I see kicking ass. (These are just a few. If you know of one you love, tell me.) These rescues are the ones I’ve seen working hard to help the ones on the front line. They are helping all the displaced animals in the Houston area by vetting them, checking for a microchip, and transporting to make room for more Hurricane Harvey animals to save. [ PLEASE MICROCHIP YOUR PET ]

YOUR MISSION: Check out the rescues listed below. Donate money to a rescue today. Follow them on social media.

They have been really good about letting people know what they are needing most. Money is always an amazing help for rescues. It allows them to buy what they need at the time they need it. Sometimes people feel that money isn’t personal enough. But it is. It is perfectly perfect.

I’ve also listed their Amazon Wishlist if I have it. Remember to always use Amazon Smile gives .5% of your purchases to your favorite charitable organization. It adds up and every little bit helps! This allows you to help at no extra cost to you.

Rescues in Houston Making a Difference:

They would like you to send them something from their Amazon Wishlist. Donate, fill out a temporary foster application, or volunteer. They have a volunteer schedule posted. They need IMMEDIATE short-term foster families who can take a foster pet or pets for a few short weeks so our displaced foster families can get back on their feet. To learn more about fostering for RPM, please go to

UPDATE 9/2: Rescued Pets Movement needs about 14 vans for next Thursday’s transport to Colorado, and we cannot find any available to rent. Does anyone have a cargo van (must have air conditioning and ventilation) who could lend their van from Thursday morning until Saturday afternoon? ALSO, we need about 18 VOLUNTEER DRIVERS for that same amount of time. You do not need a CDL but you do have to have a good driving history and like animals! Please email me at Thank you!

Delivery Address:
Rescued Pets Movement
2317 W. 34th Street
Houston, TX 77018

From their Facebook page: “The coming weeks are CRUCIAL! We will need your help during this time the most. The road to recovery will be a long one for many animals and their families. And let’s not forget those animals still hoping to find their forever homes! With your continued support in this long haul, we will be able to provide this journey for as many furry friends as we can!”

So strap on your boots and fill out our applications!
To Volunteer:
To Foster:

UPDATE 9/2: The BARC shelter reopened yesterday, and Friends For Life rushed in with a gift: a supply of dog and cat vaccines! Houstonians can search for their lost pet at BARC from 9am to 5pm both today and Sunday at their location at 3300 Carr St; BARC is closed on Monday and then open again on Tuesday Sept 5th.

They are moving their HQ to Beaumont, Texas as of Thursday night. Tom, one of the founders, has been going LIVE on his Facebook page and letting us know what they are doing. He is going on hardly no sleep, losing his voice and getting pets to safety. Give them a follow and like their Facebook page. They are transporting to Austin but taking pictures and cataloging all the dogs so they know where each is in case their owners are looking for them.

UPDATE 8/31 9:30PM: They have saved 600-1000 dogs TODAY alone. And about 400 cats. They had about 450 volunteers in Katy, Texas. And 8 vets. They were stationed at Katy Mills Mall in Katy, Texas. But are moving to Beaumont where they are most needed. Austin Pets Alive will still be in Katy, Texas. But Safe K9 is going to save about 200 dogs in Beaumont. (He just gave out his phone number for people to call him while he’s driving to Beaumont.)

UPDATE 9/2: They are working with the Cajun Navy to rescue all kinds of animals in the area. The Houston SPCA has taken over in Beaumont at the Ford Pavilion and he will be giving the money donated to him to them. As well as supplies. He brought a lot of awareness and got people to rally and bring in supplies from all over.

From their Facebook page: “If anyone is near the Kennels at Champion- 7015 Belgold Dr 77066- many of our dogs are boarded there. They are safe, but the kennel is working on a skeleton crew & could use volunteers. If you are safely able to get there & would like to help, please leave your name & contact number in a comment below & we will call you to arrange a time.”

We’re going to need monetary & supply donations in order to help as many animals as possible. Monetary donations are best made through our PayPal YouGiving link since no processing fees are taken out & 100% of your donation will go completely & directly to the animals.”

ADORE Houston
5225 Katy Frwy, Suite 500
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 910-8000

They are going LIVE from their Facebook page too. This is their important note: “If you are able, adopt or foster a dog or cat TODAY to help make space for animals that may be rescued from Houston. This massive operation will require all hands on deck, and we will need everyone’s help to Save Them All!”

They will have “a command post and staging area at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Conroe, Texas. The center will be the base of our rescue and reunion efforts for the pets in the greater Houston area displaced by Hurricane Harvey.”

They are working closely with the local shelter (MCAS). You can also donate directly to the Montgomery shelter. The facility can hold 1000 pets, they are currently at about 200 as of Friday, September1, 1PM.

1,500+ RESCUED: Austin Pets Alive! has taken in more than 1,000 animals affected by Hurricane Harvey, and will take in another thousand by this weekend. They are stationed at 5000 Katy Mills, by the Bass Pro Shop in the parking lot. (Katy, Texas) They will be there through the weekend. There are volunteers there all night. If you have an animal, you are encouraged to drop them off there. They will let us know if they have to move further east.

Austin is the largest no-kill city in the USA. They are running out of space at their temporary location for in-kind donations from the public. If you are able to contribute, they prefer monetary donations at this time so they can buy supplies as they continue to be needed. You can donate here. They are going LIVE on their Facebook too. I just saw a man get reunited with his dogs. This is why microchipping pets matter so much!

Update 9/2: They are working hard to determine the history of the animals so that they can make sure to help reunite them with their families if they are separated from them. Visit their Town Lake, Tarrytown and offsite location for animals who are ready for adoption! They have transitioned back to working with animals who are not waiting for an owner and need to work towards adoptions. APA has partnered with Houston Pets Alive and will work from their indoor facility and anymore animals that come in will go there. See below…

Through Friday any donations will be matched! To donate, their Paypal address is, They also have a t-shirt fundraiser. Consider buying one for you, your friends, and family! Their website has good info on lost and found pets, low cost clinics, and help after Harvey.

Update 9/2: They are at 8710 Stella Link Road, Houston, TX. They have owner surrendered dogs there ready for adoption. They are still accepting found animals. The strays will be transported to the Best Friends Society holding ground at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds to give owners the time and chance to reunite with their pets.

From their Facebook page, “SAVE Rescue is committed to hold ALL found animals IN THE HOUSTON AREA! While so much help is being offered, and is much appreciated, we want to be sure that when the water goes down, pets can be reunited with their owner.”

They need temporary fosters, people to transport current dogs. Supplies for fosters, office supplies, see their Amazon Wishlist. It takes about $150-$200 to get a dog fully vetted. They recommend that if you find a pet, to take it to the closest shelter to where they were found. So they can have a better chance of being reunited.

They posted that Friends of Wharton Animal Control needs major help. Boats are able to launch from Loves on Highway 59.

They are taking animals that were in the shelters before the storm hit so that they can make room for all of the lost and displaced pets. They picked up 62 pets from Houston Humane Society and 21 from Baytown City Shelter to make room for more lost Harvey pets. There main focus is saving animals and will update about how to volunteer and adopt.

You can send in donations from their website, or send checks to:

MuttNation Foundation
c/o Flood, Bumstead, McCready & McCarthy
PO Box 340020
Nashville, TN 37203

They partnered with Tall Tails Rescue for a gigantic rescue that consumed social media as we all prayed for 100+ dogs and cats to be saved before the flood water got too high. Dallas News covered the story.  They do not need any more crates, or volunteers at this time. Mainly all about the Amazon Wishlist.

Update 9/2: They have place all dogs with a rescue or foster! All but 2 who need vet care. A german shepherd and a chow. If you have experience with these breeds you will be moved to the front of the application line.

They shuttle dogs up to Wisconsin. They have passed their goal of 5K to purchase another transport vehicle to be able to transport 60 dogs at a time. Watch their WI news feature. They ask that if you want a pet, to please consider a rescue animal. According to the video, they are in need of heartworm and flea and tick prevention.

From their Facebook page, “Tomorrow 4 vehicles loaded with donated supplies from amazing supporters in Wisconsin and 12 volunteers will make their way to Houston; then will load up Sunday morning with healthy vetted dogs to take back to our partner rescue groups there. Please join our team in saving dogs lives!”

This organizations purpose is to raise money for rescue groups across Harris County, Texas. All money donated to their emergency fund will be immediately disbursed to rescue groups across the area who are helping animals.


I just want to say thank you to everyone who is helping all the animals get safe. I am at a loss for words. All smiles.

I came across a super extensive list of rescues and animal shelters in the path of Hurricane Harvey by 911 Foster Pets. These are NOT all no-kill. So please be mindful and ask questions before you take a dog to one on their list.

I do love the 911 Foster Pets mission. Foster. Foster. Foster. This will be a big deal in the coming months. Please consider if you have space and are able to foster some of our Texas animals until their owners are found.

(Here’s an awesome article that goes into more detail about what you need to be mindful of. And it includes even more rescues.)

I know other areas affected by Harvey need lots of help too. So if you are in Rockport, Corpus, Refugio, or any small town along the coast and know of an animal rescue that is working to save and help all of our displaced animals, please comment below. I want to be able to direct people who are looking for help.

2 In Lifestyle/ Wellness

4 Ways to Test Your Shih Tzus IQ?

Leona the Lion, Photo Credit: @mrmarinnyc

How intelligent is your Shih Tzu? Want to know their IQ? Watch this video and take your Shih Tzu through the four ways to test and keep score.

What does intelligence in dogs even mean? It means that they are highly trainable. Although I have to say Akasha has ME trained very well. If you’re here and have a Shih Tzu, then you know exactly what I am talking about.

She didn’t do too well with Leona’s video tests, so I’m hoping with a little more practice, Akasha will surprise me. Although I’m perfectly happy with my high maintenance sassy tzu!

Our East Coast Shih Tzu Expert is Leona the Lion.

She is a 3 year old Fashionista and YouTube Sensation living it up in Brooklyn, NY. We’ve been friends on Instagram for a while and we hope to meet her and her dads IRL (in real life) one day!

Check out Leona’s video as her daddies walk her through the four ways to test. And if you’re not subscribed to Leona’s YouTube channel, do it! Her videos are absolutely adorable and will be sure to make you SMIZE.

(ahem, for all you Tyra Banks, Top Model fans)

If you want to go a little further, Dognition, Find the Genius in Your Dog, is a good next step. Play MORE science-based games and learn more about how your Shih Tzu’s mind works. It includes games, tools, and reports.

I’m already geeking out at how fun it’ll be to discover Akasha’s hidden talents. I mean come on, a FULL personality report on my Akasha. YAAS PLEASE! We’ll make sure to report back with how she does.

Shih Tzus are loving and cute as hell, but it’s also important to keep them mentally and physically healthy. Playing games can be fun for you AND your Shih Tzu. Get that play time, quality time, bonding time in and give your Tzu a big (((HUG))) from us!

If you’re Shih Tzu Obsessed like we are, make sure you head on over to our Lifestyle posts and get your fix! And if you want to be a contributor on Shih Tzu Culture, email us at to let us know. We would love to hear about you and your sass!

Make sure you are following us on Instagram! Say hi and we will make sure to follow you back!

@shihtzuculture   |   @loveakasha


0 In Lifestyle

Find Your Perfect Shih Tzu Groomer

Want to find your perfect Shih Tzu Groomer? Where you take your Shih Tzu to get groomed is of the utmost importance. You are trusting someone else with the love of your life. Do not assume they all know what they are doing.

There are some crazy stories out there so just find a reputable groomer by doing a little research. This list can help you.

  • Do they have a certification and the training to back it up? Groomers are not required to have any official certification. If they have one then that’s a good sign.
  • Does their business have rave reviews? I usually check on Yelp and read EVERY comment made. And see what groomer has the best reviews.
  • How many years experience do they have? Obvi the more the better.
  • Straight up ask is they have ever had any accidents. And check to see if there have ever been any complaints made.
  • Do they hand-dry or do they use a cage dryer? Hand-dry is the way to go. Why take chances on that cage dryer not working like it should.
  • Let the groomer know your shih tzu’s quirks. The more they know, the better prepared they can be. For example, Akasha thinks she can fly. So I tell them that. Do not even for 1 sec leave her on the table by herself.
  • Is your shih tzu groomer familiar with the different haircuts and styles? Puppy Cut, Teddy Bear, and Top Knot?
  • Be specific and let them know what you want once you find the perfect shih tzu groomer. Give them a photo of the haircut you would like. What to cut, what not to cut. I’ve learned this the hard way. Everything from them cutting Akasha’s beard and eyelashes and bangs too short. ARGH it takes sooo long to grow those bangs out. And where did her beautiful long eyelashes go?

If you take your shih tzu to the groomer like I do, please use this guide to find the best, perfect one for you.

I usually take Akasha every 4 weeks. Sometimes it’s just for a bath. Other times it’s a full groom or a maintenance cut. (That’s where they just clean up her face and trim the nails and body). At home we have a daily grooming routine that I will write more about in another post. For now, I just want to help keep your shih tzu safe and happy! Here is who Akasha approves of in Houston, Texas.

If you have a perfect shih tzu groomer in your city, let me know so we can share with Shih Tzu Culture community!


0 In Lifestyle

Top 3 Shih Tzu Groomers in Houston, Texas

Akasha’s groomer recommendations… Based on her styles and cuts in her four years of life. I am VERY particular with where she goes. I ask a lot of questions and give them specific direction on how I want her hair cut. Don’t cut the bangs, eyelashes, or the face/beard, just trim. We grow all those out. The space needs to be a safe and patient environment.

The Best Little Dog House in Texas

We have only been here a couple of times, but I really like the vibe and the small dogs only rule.

Photo credit: @BLDHTX (Akasha at daycare getting cuddles)

Akasha has been to The Best Little Dog House in Texas for daycare and a haircut. The people there are the good dog-loving people. They are active on Instagram and that for me sealed the deal. I love that I can see all the action throughout the day. John the groomer is Fabulous! Akasha looked amazing. I like that it’s a small room with not much activity from other pups. It’s a safe space and low stress for our pups. They only allow small dogs, up to 35lbs. Another plus from me. No offense to big dogs, you’re cute too! Just gives me another layer of safety and security for Akasha.

802 W Gray St,
Houston, TX 77019
(713) 533-1117

Photo credit: @BLDHTX

Photo credit: @BLDHTX

The Pet Barber

Akashas first groomer ever was Paul at The Pet Barber. He’s the owner. She always walks out looking like a Tzuperstar. They know how to groom Shih Tzus and are really good at the teddy bear cut. (And I see a ton of Doodles here.) I’ve only ever let Paul and Lauren cut Akashas hair. And Lauren only after I knew she was very familiar with Akasha after watching Paul. This place has multiple groomers in one room with dogs walking around. Akasha stays in the small dog area. Or you can choose to not have them in the play area and in a kennel instead. They get the Love Akasha / Shih Tzu Culture Seal of Approval! They are opening another location very soon with much more space for daycare, boarding and training.

1417 Richmond Ave.
Houston, TX 77006

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