When I send people home with their adopted puppy (or under socialized young dog) I tell them the story of Thea.
How I adopted a chihuahua partly because of a message from beyond and partly because of a bet.
I dropped Thea's very pregnant mother, Emma, off at her foster home (one of our amazing vets!) the same day as I picked up Joe's ashes. Joe was a 6 pound chocolate chihuahua monster. He was also a dear, sweet, loving soul that had congestive heart failure (and all associated breathing issues) when he was dumped at a shelter. He did not, to be polite, show well there. He came home with us to assess and by the time he died three + years later he was a huge part of our life. He actually became much more social with everyone and his adoration for people he knew was absolutely touching. Once Joe's friend it was for life - however he was a little "funny" until he knew you.
When Emma came in we knew her "puppy father" was a chihuahua - we had him too! As I dropped Emma off at the vets I joked quite loudly that if she had a chocolate female we'd know Joe expected the puppy to live with us.
Yup three chocolate girls were born. We didn't want a puppy. We had Laurice and Brody and were fostering whatever was in need. Two dogs were plenty and Brody was my heart dog. No room at the inn. Then I started screening homes for the puppies. Idiots poured out of the woodwork; well intentioned folks who had never had a puppy before; gentle good people who lived on farms and didn't think dogs should be indoors; people who worked 10 hours days then hit clubs all night; youth who lived with their parents and weren't allowed dogs; we had one applicant whose reference told me they wouldn't adopt a rock to them. The foster parents wanted one puppy. A client at the clinic wanted one puppy (the non chocolate male went to them). Another amazing vet was dithering over adopting one puppy. One puppy was going to be left. Back to screening. Back to calls that left me shaking my head. The number of people who wanted to be just like Paris Hilton astounded me.
Then somebody made me a bet. They bet a chihuahua could not be as friendly as other dogs and could certainly not do agility.(I wasn't an addict then but I was a little curious about the sport- hard to imagine life before agility now).
Thea came home permanently! (She and her sisters had spent time with us prior to adoptions happening to give Emma a break). Her first day with us my Mum and aunt and I drove to Montreal, stayed in a no dog allowed hotel and had dinner out. Thea was all of 1.5 pounds then so she just snoozed in a handbag. Yup - i ended up channeling my Inner Paris!
I was determined that Thea would be the best socialized puppy on the planet. I read voraciously and decided that she was going to do 10 new things every day for 2 months. Then 5 a day until I was out of things to do. Thea is the best socialized chihuahua on the planet. In fact she's an exceptionally happy well socialized any breed of dog.
LOL. I think we all have a little Paris in us!
Its nice to know that, with the right socialization, chihuahuas can be more than "little ankle biters."
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