Snoopy is our 5 lb standard Chihuahua (Chi-wawa). He’s eight years old and has been with us for almost six years now. He came to us through our youngest daughter, Jeana. She had rescued him from a miserable life of abuse and neglect when he was about 9 mo. old. When she returned to college and was also working full time, she knew he would be too lonely with no one to be with him all day long – so, we were the lucky recipients of five pounds of love. We often say that he was the best gift we have ever received! – Until he came along, I was convinced that any dog under 50 lb. was pretty much useless except for night golf. It didn’t take long to learn that he had plenty of character and more intelligence than any other dog I’ve ever known. I can forget that he is not human for days at a time. When he occasionally forgets himself and acts like a regular dog, it’s almost a shock. If you have a Lab, or a Boxer, or a Jack Russell, you have a pretty good idea of the temperament and personality type that you can expect from your dog. _ If you have a Chihuahua, there is no telling – but it’s going to be different. They have very individual personalities, just like humans. Each Chihuahua is different because each has his or her own particular way of perceiving the world. They are thinkers, and seem to actively process everything.
One of the more remarkable characteristics that he has is his amazing memory. He never forgets a person that he has known for any amount of time. When Jeana’s friend Jennifer comes to visit (once every couple of years), he knows her instantly and is always thrilled to see her. – He has a number of treasures that he keeps track of as well, – these include a small rubber fish bath tub toy, his “Bad to the Bone” collar and about 500 small Milkbones. Every time we go through the bank drive up window, the tellers give him a Milkbone. Over the past 5 years, he has built up quite a collection, and he knows where every one is hidden. So far, we’ve only ever seen him eat two of the treats. The rest he regards as collectibles.
Snoop is not a clingy dog, even though he’s small. When there are no strangers around, he’s a very relaxed and laid back kind of a guy. He likes to hang out with us, where ever we are, but he also likes to have some time to himself, and will go off into a different part of the house and take a quite nap.
He’s a part of everything we do now, and our constant companion. Chihuahuas are very devoted to their humans and they really hate to be left alone. They aren’t for people who have to spend long stretches of time away from them. Although a lot of the articles on Chihuahuas seem to say that they are “one person” dogs, Snoop is happy with either Bill or myself – but happiest when we are all together.
Where ever we sit, he sits. Where ever we sleep, he sleeps, and if we go someplace in the car, he rides along (just try to leave him behind!). If the destination is a grocery store, one of us goes in and the other stays in the car with Snoop. If it’s a place like Home Depot, he can go in with us. Some restaurants here are pet friendly and if they aren’t, we don’t go there.
He’s not a particularly affectionate dog, he doesn’t lick faces or hands (unless you’ve just been eating ham), but I’ve come to realize recently, that he does give hugs. Occasionally – not as an every day thing. He’s not mushy. He’s been doing it for a while now, but I’ve been a little slow on the uptake. To hug, he will wrap himself around my torso when he sits next to me – not just lean against me but actively curving his body around mine and pressing up against me for several minutes to make sure I “get” it and understand that it’s not just an accidental “lean”. Awww – that’s so sweet, and all the more special because he doesn’t do it very often