02 November 2008

Things we are learning from the Chihuahua.

Thing One:

She weighs 9lbs. We don't have a bathrooms scale, but my mom does. Gary likes to weigh dogs. He knows what they all weigh and remembers what they weighed last time we were in L.A. Black Beauty, new to his dog weight database.

Thing Two:

She loves being a pet dog. She is learning to play with toys. Runs on the beach. Walks on her leash. Sits or does a hoochie dance for treats. Sits on laps. Plays with the other dogs. Is freakishly, uncontrollably happy. She is a normal, regular old, good dog.

Thing Three:

Everyone loves the Chihuahua. Well, almost everyone. Some people I meet on the street, look at her and right off say, Not A Chihuahua Person. They go to pet Gustavo. But a lot of people, love her. She likes people and she LOVES other dogs. They love her. Even Otterpop likes to play with her. She is a wild, bouncy maniac when she gets going.

Thing Four:

She is certainly the cause of Otterpop's stress. When Otterpop is not around the Chihuahua, she is way less stressed out. A dog trainer friend said to separate Otterpop from Ruby. For a month. I tried it for a day or two. That made it worse. Otterpop isn't stressed out when she is around Ruby and not the Chihuahua. When she is away from Ruby, she starts to freak out and get more nervous and more nervous and then, when she sees her, almost explodes and for a while, that explosion meant she wanted to attack Ruby. Especially the more they were separated.

Noww that I figured that out, keeping them together makes them both happy and calm.

When she is around the Chihuahua, and there are other stressy things, say a tiny person dressed as a cat yelling on your front porch about treats, or a guy thumping around under the floor muttering about subterranean termites, or just a lot of action in general, she is a sack of nerves. The nerves make her stare weirdo at Ruby. But, and Ruby says THANK YOU, no more attacks. Although I can't say they are gone forever. I am watching her. Being away for the weekend certainly made it amplified like her brain was enclosed by a tin roof and hail was pounding on it non stop.

Thing Five:

No chihuahua around? That stuff not so bad. Normal, Otterpop butthead stuff. Not freaky, zombie dog. I am not kidding. Last week, I thought I was Angela Jolie and someone had pawned this snarling thing on me that looked like Otterpop but had a different brain. It was not Otterpop. So the Chihuahua has some kind of special powers over Otterpop. Is a magic chihuahua, but perhaps not in a way that is nice magic for Otterpop.


At this moment, I have 4 damp dogs that had a great walk in the rain, played around, all sleeping and giving off damp dog smell which is a bad smell but a smell I am used to. Maybe things are getting better, and Otterpop's wiring is going back to normal. I don't think it's there yet, but I see Otterpop in there again. But is that a good thing to keep a chihuahua that does that?

I got her a coat. Black and tan and red plaid. A little leather collar and a name tag. Her very own crate. But I am hearing a voice tell me that keeping her isn't a good idea. Thought it was, but she is causing internal strife that may or may not keep coming back. Otterpop is a weirdo, my friends. Some day, will tell you the story of finding Otterpop and fixing Otterpop. Another story, for another day.

Always thought of myself as a Make It Work At All Costs type. Fix the dog. Fixed Ruby. Fixed Otterpop. Those were my broken dogs. Gustavo, not broken. Black Beauty, not broken. But in my mind, have kept thinking of her as the foster and was off and on whether she would stay or go. Was or wasn't the cause of Otterpop's breakdown. And am now quite clear. Was, and maybe it can be fixed or maybe it is almost there. And will not put Otterpop or Ruby or Gustavo at any kind of risk of breakdowns because I wanted to keep Chihuahua. So maybe I have to find her a new home. Not sure. We are going day by day here.

Thing Six:

Poor Black Beauty. If she knew I wrote this. Don't tell her if you see her. Have her show you her special trick she's so good at called coming to her name and sitting. But I think Thing Learned Number Six might have to do with trusting an instinct and doing what's right for all the dogs.


Ellen said...

Painful when you have a choice like that...when it feels like either choice comes with costs.  You don't smell of wet dog, it's just integrity...and maturity to listen to your gut when you'd rather turn it off.

Elf said...

Every time that I have added a dog to my household, it has been at least 2 months before everyone seems to be acting "normal" again.