Sunday, June 12, 2011

Love and Chihuahuas

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” --Mother Teresa

Chihuahuas are an interesting breed. They can never seem to get enough affection. I write for ten to twelve hours a day, and the entire time I am working, Chewy is sitting on my lap, nudging my hand with his nose, begging for love. There seems to be no end to the love and affection Chewy can give, or for what I feel for him, and the other little creatures God has brought into my life.

The chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog, named after the State of Chihuahua in Mexico. Its history is a mystery. It has been traced to the Techichi, companion dogs to the Toltec, according to the American Kennel Club. It is also believed that the appearance of Chihuahuas in Europe began in the time of Christopher Columbus.

Chewy, our chihuahua, first made his appearance last year, creeping out of the forest during a thunderstorm and walking up to my stepson, shivering in the rain. We were convinced that he was lost as chihuahuas are very popular in this area, but we tried for over a month to find his owner and finally concluded he was abandoned. Abandonment to dogs is an unforgivable act of cruelty as dogs want nothing more than to love and please their owners, as Chewy demonstrates from the time he wakes up until he goes to sleep.

Chewy thinks of himself as a big dog, and I have read that most chihuahuas do believe, in their minds, that they are larger than their actual size. I like to tell people we have our two chocolate labs for companionship and the chihuahua for home protection. They supposedly attach themselves to one person--and that would be me, though Chewy does show affection to my husband and stepson, and eventually warms up to others. Because they are fiercely protective, they are known for being temperamental, but this is just their protective nature. Chewy's alternate names are Chewchewcabra and Chichihuahua.

Chihuahuas are long-haired and short-haired, but Chewy is short-haired. This does not, however, prevent them from shedding. (Insert sigh here.) Their fur can be any color normally found on dogs. Chewy is fawn, but we refer to him as the "yellow dog," since he compliments the chocolate labs so well with his coloring. Chihuahuas are also prone to eye injuries because of their protruding eyes, and to hypoglycemia, particularly when puppies, because of their size. They live to be around 17 years old, and sometimes older.

Chihuahuas like to burrow. Chewy loves to wait until we are sleeping, then he jumps onto the bed and burrows beneath the covers. I find him on my feet every morning. Sometimes, if I get up in the middle of the night, he will jump onto my spot, slide beneath my pillow and pretend to be asleep.

Our little Chewy has brought a tremendous amount of joy into our lives. Adjusting to a small dog has been a challenge to a family more familiar with large breeds, but the love and affection shown by chihuahuas is contagious. I believe God's creatures instinctively love until it hurts, then love some more, and as their pets, we learn to do the same.

No comments: