Not being an aficionado of smaller breeds of dogs, and certainly not Chihuahua’s, I was surprised at a few factoids about them. My experience was generally limited to the Taco Bell dog and yappy little vicious wee monsters, barely registering on my dog-o-meter. Now, sure, Pika’s father may have some, um, trust issues, and his bark registers in octaves that could break glass, and likes to whip that sucker out at a moments notice for sustained periods of time. However, they can be rather adorable snugglers, as Pika’s mom has spent many an hour on my lap. Really, it was her I was rather fond of, she is quite special.
Oh, I am not being fanciful when I say I honestly thought of whisking her away with me.
So that was my introduction. Still, if you’d asked me just a few months back if I’d get one for myself, knowing as I did that my Irish lassies days were numbered, I would have said I wanted a cat.
I missed having a cat. Missed the cuddling up beside me, the ease of cat ownership, as they require less than dogs. Cat’s fit in, I suppose, are more suited to my life, the solitude of an introvert. I had my cats for 20 years, and I do still miss them both.
Though, too, one does have to be careful of becoming a hermit. I am very prone to the life of a hermit, seriously. So, when the chance to have a wee Chihuahua came along, I thought, why not? Could be just the right thing for me, bit of both worlds. You know, and keep me from becoming a shut-in.
See, I’ve never been keen on smaller breeds of dogs, considered them, more or less, just a mere fart in a wind storm doggo’s, truth be told. Always loved the bigger breeds. Growing up grandma had a Weimaraner, we had a couple Doberman Pinscher’s, and I had a Rottweiler/Shepherd mix too, back in the day. Irish was a Golden Retriever mix of some sort, all of them wonderful in their own way, and I love larger breeds, so I just never imagined myself with a small dog.
Yet, here I am, with my very own fart in a wind storm.
What have I learned? Well, Pika is feisty and fiery, brave and clever. She thinks nothing of making her pint-size presence known, when she’s doing her guard doggy duties, and it surprises me still. One minute she’s this adorable package of cute, and the next barking her little head off at eardrum shattering pitch, making sure that dude over there, or the one walking by, knows to stay clear of HER person.
I’ve learned, that Chi’s are not your average little dog, like at all.
To be honest, she is all the stereotypes people have of the Doberman. Like that most people don’t see Dobies as family dogs, when in fact they are loyal, gentle, graceful, and very family orientated.
Now, Chi’s on the other hand tend to be a bit more skeptical of the wee brats, and stick like glue to one person, tend to be a one person type dog, and everyone else is suspect. Chi’s are lifers.
Chi’s, just like Dobies, are very protective. And I do love that she has some of the Dobie markings, like the eyebrows and colouring.
But, did you know that they make good guard dogs in part due to their exceptional hearing?
With those great big ears, they are highly sensitive to even very distant sounds, more so than many other dog breeds. Their size has made certain evolutionary adaption. For instance, knowing well beforehand something threatening is coming when you are small is a decided advantage.
I’ve seen this personally, as she hears things that Irish NEVER could have. Barks like nuts when she hears someone at our door, and unlike my sweet Irish, remains suspicious and wary towards all humans who are not me.
Case in point, few days back accidentally left a garbage bag out on the table outside my door. Well, all day Pika kept barking, and I couldn’t figure out why, till I saw the squirrels had got into the bag. She heard them, clear as a bell, right through the brick wall, could hear their tiny little feet near her domain.
Over the last month and a half she’s been here, I’ve learned to trust her alerts, even as young as she is, she has a keen instinct, she’s very astute.
She really is this pint size guard dog, eh? The advanced warning system, but in a much smaller size, she fits my place as she fits my life, and in my purse.
Well, she fits in my purse for right now, but not for long. I have a feeling she is going to inherit the temperament of her ma, but the beefy stature like her pop.
Oh, Pika Poo, funny, and sweet, fierce and protective.
Recently I’ve learned there are two recognized types of Chihuahuas, smooth coat and long coated, in either category of Deer head and Apple head versions.
Pika is a Deer head, and therefore will grow a bit larger than the Apple Heads, weigh a bit more, up to about 13 lbs (5.89 kg).
Deer heads also tend to have fewer issues than the Apple heads. Though, course, the AKC (American Kennel Club), as always, has decided the breed standard is the one with the most health issues, the Apple heads. Which only really means you can’t show Deer heads. But really, doggy pageants are for a certain type of person, and I’s ain’t the person. The issues Apple heads have stem from their pushed in nose and soft spot on the top of their head, called a molera. Much like my experience with Dobies, my beloved doggy-o, Jinx, she was a giant swerve left of standard, and that was what made her special.
The history of the Chihuahua you know is rather intriguing, and are considered to be one of North Amercia’s oldest dog breeds, up there with Alaskan Malamutes and the Carolina Dog.
The breed goes back at least 1000 years, to the Aztecs, where they have found pictures and statues of them. Seems as though they may have been revered in some way. They do know they were carried around, and they slept with them, little portable water bottles with a lot o’tude.
It is said the Aztec believed they had healing properties, and a touch of magic about them, which I have to admit I tend to think is spot on.
My lil Chi, she is a touch of magic, that is for sure.