One of my favorite sayings is, “Dogs are welcome. People are tolerated.” As a lifelong dog mom and as a dog sitter this statement is very true. I love watching all kinds of dogs for day trips, weekends, or extended stays, but my favorite dog to have for my very own is a chihuahua.
In Dog Sitter Life, I wrote about my pug Fiona. She’s a great family dog and always fun and loving. I also wrote about my less outgoing handsome puppy mill rescue dog Stitch the Yorkie. In I Miss You All The Time, I wrote about my soul dog Gabby.
Gabby was the love of my life! We had a connection that I have never had with any other dog, and with few people. She got me! When she got sick and died I was so heart broken and lost without her.
Chihuahuas are notorious for being loyal to one person, and I was very fortunate to be that person. She only had eyes for me and we were attached at the hip. Two peas in a pod. She could look me in the eye and touch me like few people I have ever known.
Last summer, I spent the whole summer without her which made me sad because blue skies, sunshine, and soaking up the sun was the epitome of Gabby and me. My Instagram posts say it all… Blue skies, sunshine and Gabby….Another great day with Gabby… Summer Sunday Selfie with Gabby…
Well… the whole summer went by and I was pretty busy dog sitting and life went on. September came and for the first time in my life I didn’t have to go back to school. I started browsing rescue sites for chihuahuas. I was just looking because I could never replace Gabby. Most of the chihuahuas were mixed and none were teacup anyway. I would let that thought go and resume planning new vacations and living my new retired life.
Then I got it in my head that maybe I would volunteer at a dog shelter. One of the local shelters was having an event at a pet store near me, so I figured I check them out. I walked into the pet store and one of the volunteers was holding a teacup chihuahua! What are the odds? Arthur was the cutest thing, and I was so happy when she let me hold him. She kind of went off to do other things and left me with him. I texted my daughter and husband who agreed he was adorable, and showed no resistance in the idea of me adopting him. I held him for a long while, then I got this feeling of being disloyal to Gabby. I gave him back, thanked the girl, and went home.
I went home but I wasn’t happy… The next morning when I woke up I completed an online application for Arthur. How could there be a less than 1 year old teacup chihuahua available for me to rescue and then let it go?
We went off to D.C. to celebrate my son’s birthday for a couple of days. When we returned I had a very comprehensive phone interview and a home visit. We found out that Arthur was found walking the streets somewhere in Texas. He seemed really comfortable with my husband (haha) and was very social with the other dogs. Of course we passed the interview and visit. Then we headed back to the store to pick him up.
When we went to pick him up he was in a small carrier and seemed very nervous. I promised myself right there that I would never put him in a carrier again. We had to get a name tag, leash, and collar before we were able to adopt him. Arthur became Andy because all our dogs are named after Disney characters. Plus Arthur isn’t the greatest name for a chihuahua.
It is said that when adopting a dog it takes your dog 3 days to try to figure out their new home and family. 3 weeks to figure out that they will live with you and start a routine. 3 months to feel like part of the family.
Andy was very comfortable with my other dogs and any dog I was petsitting right from the beginning. He was potty trained which is a plus when you rescue a dog that was living in a foster home. He was leery of people and kept his distance which was weird since he didn’t mind it in the pet store when I met him, and with my husband at the home visitation.
It didn’t take long for him to gravitate toward me though. He was jealous of other dogs getting attention and started kissing me, and eventually letting me pick him up. One thing that was very different from Gabby was that he was very food oriented. I could lure him easily with promise of a treat. We figured his prior experiences of having to find food made him this way. To this day I have to worry about overfeeding him because he gets fat so easily.
In a short while, I became his person . Of course! He loves routine and hates when you waver from it. Andy loves to wake up at sunrise, jump all over me and kiss me to death, and literally go dancing through the house. Probably because he’s going to eat. lol
Andy makes friends with all the dogs. Our own, and our visitors.
Andy loves all the holidays. He participated in the blessing of the animals, Halloween and Christmas.
Andy is here about 9 months now and he definitely feels like part of the family. Like most Chihuahuas he is loyal to one person- me. He’s not really interested in any other humans at all. We have moments of real connection where we communicate with just our eyes. The sweetest thing he does is kiss and kiss my face incessantly then nuzzle under my neck where I kiss his head repeatedly making the muh muh sound. He nudges my ankle to pick him up which I do immediately. We are surely on the road to a lasting relationship.
Some people are dachshund lovers. Some love golden retrievers. Some families will keep adopting beagles. I’m a chihuahua person. They are my favorite people!