JustOneMorePet

Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Good Dog: Small Dog, Big Heart

Illustration by John Cuneo

by Wells Tower – June/July 2014  –  Garden &  Gun  –  Cross-Posted at Just One More Pet

The nervous work of owning—and finally loving—a Chihuahua

For many years, I thought that owners of small dogs harbored stunted souls. Parents of infant beauty queens. Weird bachelors with pet stairs by their beds. Adult hoarders of dolls and teddy bears. People deranged by an obsession with the adorable.

Then, in my late twenties, when I was living in  New Orleans, a good friend of mine found a bedraggled Chihuahua in a ditch and brought her home. It was a comical, toothless animal with a bullfrog’s tongue that would slap her in the eye on the recoil. That dog had a lot of ditch trauma to work through. She needed to sit on somebody at all times or she got the shakes. I was home most days, so I let the dog make use of my lap during business hours. When I moved back to North Carolina, I was surprised to discover a Chihuahua-size hole in my life.

So I started looking for a dog. I knew I wanted a pound animal, though not for any lofty moral reasons. I wanted a desperate dog, one without high expectations of whoever took it in. My family had dogs when I Deformed Chiwas a kid. The bunch of us should be arrested for how we let those animals down. They were outdoor dogs too disgusting to pet. We let ticks get on them and grow as big as minié balls. When the family went out of town, we’d leave the dog on the porch with a bag of cheap food. Eventually, they’d get sick of us and wander off. So my track record with dogs wasn’t the greatest, but I figured one otherwise bound for the gas chamber couldn’t really gripe about winding up in my care.

I spent long hours at the keyboard, browsing head shots at an online clearinghouse for discarded dogs. A Chihuahua was what I was after, but I didn’t want it to be too grotesque: too bug-eyed or hog-snouted or bat-eared or obviously rodentlike. Looking for an ungrotesque Chihuahua is like trying to find a dignified clown. It took a good bit of time.

At last, I found a candidate. The head shot showed a creature with a long, aristocratic nose and smart, Dobermanly ears. Her eyes were large but not hyperthyroidal. They seemed to reflect intelligence but also the right measure of desperation. She was waiting on death row at the dog pound in Winston-Salem, ninety minutes from my home. I gave them a call to see if the dog had yet been gassed. “Nope, she’s still here!” an exhaustingly jolly Southern voice exclaimed.

“Oh, you will just love this crazy little creature. We call her Tinsy, but you could call her Teensy-Meensy-Weensy-Eensy! She is that small! She’s one of them little reindeer dogs, you know. She’s just always bouncing all around on them little teensy reindeer legs. She is kinda licky and kinda barky but she’s a funny little ball of fun.”

Annabelle May 09Funny Chi

I was in the market for a lap sleeper, a hot-water bottle in canine form. From the sound of it, this reindeer dog embodied much that is dislikable in the miniature breeds. But I had committed to paying the dog a visit, and I make it a point never to betray a promise to the incarcerated. I went and had a look. The lady I talked to on the phone dragged Tinsy out from where she’d been hiding behind a file cabinet. Tinsy, who was maybe a year old, had been found walking the streets of Winston-Salem naked. Like most women found in this condition, she was not in the greatest shape. She resembled a dog the way those caiman-head back scratchers resemble an alligator. Her face was okay, but the rest of her body was a bony rod upholstered in bald gray skin. I had seen rats with prettier tails. Hers was without a whisker and looked as though it had been set afire and extinguished under the needle of a sewing machine.

“You wanna hold her?” the shelter lady asked me, wagging Tinsy at me like a dishrag. I did not want to hold Tinsy. I wanted to leave the room. But Tinsy was thrust into my arms. This dog had long, scraggly talons, and she clung to my sweater like a bat to a screen door. I grimaced. The dog grimaced. “That’s a wrap!” cried the shelter lady. “That is your dog. She is absolutely your dog.”

I wanted to tell this woman that I wanted Tinsy like I wanted a case of shingles, but courage failed me. I wrote a check for the adoption fee. Then I carried the dog to my car and began calling every softhearted person I knew to see if they would take this creature off my hands.

At home, I took to my couch and fretted. What business did I have with a dog? I traveled for work eight months out of the year. And this dog? I didn’t want to look at her much less look after her for the twenty years Chihuahuas can expect to live. (The oldest living Chihuahua is 32+). Then the dog, who had been busy peeing on my bedroom floor, wandered over. She tilted her head at a sympathetic angle, then she jumped onto the sofa and clambered onto my shoulder, where she pulled herself into a sphere and went snortingly to sleep.

How easily we are gentled. The plan to ditch her got ditched. I started calling her Edie, whose vowel sounds she hearkened to as she had her prison name. I loaded her up on ludicrously expensive foods: Alaskan salmon, mutton jerky from New Zealand. She doubled her weight, from two pounds to four. I put her through expensive mange treatments, fed her fish oil, greased her in vitamin E to regrow her hair. After a couple of seasons, she fluffed out and the knobs of her spine receded. She began to look less like a back scratcher and more, as a friend described her, “like a cross between a wolf and a flea.”

“No man should have a dog like that,” my cousin once said to me. “We’re not careful enough. You could drop the Sunday paper on her and break her back. It’s like getting a crystal set. No guy should have a thing that fragile in the house.”

And it’s true. Owning Edie is nervous work. A few years back, I nearly lost her. Summoned from the house by the sound of raving crows, I went out to check on Edie in the yard. She was absent from her usual sunbathing spot. In the lower corner of the lawn, I saw a barred owl, spreading its wings over a small, still gray form. Edie was too heavy a piece of live cargo for the owl, so the bird was patiently trying to murder her. I nearly had to kick the bird off of her. A talon had made three bloody divots in Edie’s head, but no lasting damage was done.

At nearly twelve, Edie is deep in middle age and, repairwise, is not much less expensive than a ’55 Studebaker. I’ve put far more money into her mouth than I’ve put into my own. Before I got Edie, I’d have said that a fair definition of an insane person is somebody who takes out a thirty-three-hundred-dollar cash advance to pay for exploratory liver surgery for a dog. I did that three years ago. But when you get accustomed, every night, to a warm gentle presence stretching herself across your clavicle and easing you into sleep, it becomes as dire a habit as barbiturate abuse. Addicts do crazy things to keep withdrawal at bay.

It’s weird. One day, you’re a twenty-eight-year-old man of traditional tastes and accoutrements and the next, you’re a forty-year-old bachelor with a four-pound, big-eyed, molting pussy willow of a dog.

Still, I do what I can to keep the grotesquerie contained. When people ask what kind of dog I have, I tell them, “I don’t know, I got her from the pound.” I do not carry Edie around in a Snugli. I have never bought the dog shoes or a hat. I would like to tell you that my home contains no doggie sweaters, and that there are not dog stairs by my bed, but this would not be true.

For those of us who love small dogs… Chihuahuas, Chihuahua Mixes, and miniatures of any type, we know that they are great pets and are always happy when just one more person discovers how special they are or another person or family adopts must one more small dog… just one more pet of any kind.  Every pet deserves a good home! (JOMP)

The Fam thumb in Frame

“For the Love of a Pet”

Our gang of Chihuahuas and Chiweenies (JOMP)

Photo by The UCLA Shutterbug

February 27, 2015 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Chihuahua, Chiweenie, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Animal Moms – Happy Mother’s Day 2013

clip_image001

clip_image002

clip_image003



clip_image004

clip_image005
Doggie Moms 3
clip_image006

clip_image007

clip_image008

clip_image009

clip_image010

clip_image011

clip_image012

clip_image013

clip_image014

clip_image015

clip_image016

clip_image017

clip_image018

clip_image019

clip_image020

clip_image021

Doggie Moms 2

clip_image022

clip_image023

clip_image024



clip_image025

clip_image026

clip_image027

clip_image028

clip_image029

clip_image030

clip_image031

clip_image032

clip_image033

clip_image034

clip_image035

clip_image036

clip_image037

clip_image038

clip_image039

clip_image040

clip_image041

clip_image042



clip_image043

clip_image044



clip_image045

Doggie Moms 7

h/t to Liana Smith

May 13, 2013 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, animal behavior, animals, Animals Adopting Animals, Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Wild Animals | , , , , | 4 Comments

Single Black Female – a must read

Single Black Female

This has to be one of the best singles ads ever printed. It is reported to have been listed in the Atlanta Journal

Love the response this ad got!!

SINGLE BLACK FEMALE seeks male companionship, ethnicity unimportant. I’m a very good girl who LOVES to play. I love long walks in the woods, riding in your pickup truck, hunting, camping and fishing trips, cozy winter nights lying by the fire. Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand. I’ll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me…. Call
(404) 875-6420 and ask for Annie, I’ll be waiting…

clip_image001

Over 150 men found themselves talking to the Atlanta Humane Society. Winking smile

The shelters are overflowing with pets who need temporary foster homes and forever homes… If you have the room in your home and the love in your heart… please adopt just one (or two) more pets. 

And if you are able, support rescues and shelters and if you know of someone who is financially struggling, help them to keep their pet.

Also, please join the fight to change laws and restrictions and to make it possible for shelters to allow homeless and battered individuals and families to take their pets to the shelter with them.

Checkout SoftPaws… The Purrfect litter!!.. Easy, Healthy for your Pets and Economical even with shipping costs… Lasts up to 2-months before needing to be changed

A portion of each bag of SoftPaws purchased is donated to a rescue or shelter.

July 30, 2012 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, animal behavior, Animal Rescues, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, Help Familie Keep Their Pets, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Stop Euthenization | , , | 1 Comment