When a person hears the phrase, “Man’s best friend,” without a doubt, “dog” will be the word that will enter that person’s mind. I totally agree.

I started with medium-sized mixed breed dogs. I had a toy dog, my Shih Tzu, for more than a decade, and was really attached to him.

Then I got hooked on large breeds such the Boxer, Belgian Malinois, Doberman, and Bull Mastiff. One day, while having a nice conversation with my cousin Larry Tan—who is also a fellow pet enthusiast—he mentioned what he considered to be the specific traits of a Chihuahua. I mentioned to him that I had also experienced taking care of a miniature Pinscher, which is also a toy dog. I got intrigued with how my cousin described the Chihuahua. The physical structure of a Chihuahua didn’t interest me in the past, though.

After the conversation, I got curious about the breed. Immediately, I began my research, and luckily, my good friend Johnny Filart bred and showed Chihuahuas in dog shows. He gladly assisted me with the information I needed. He mentioned that he had a litter available. I visited his place, and Johnny let me choose from the litter.

Frankly, I was not that excited about owning a Chihuahua since I was fond of large breeds. When I went home, I simply allowed the dog to settle, not knowing it was the start of my journey with the breed known as Chihuahua. My children were most excited about him, and they named him “Puchie.”

Since I am quite a busy person, I immediately acquired the services of a dog trainer to teach Puchie the basic obedience commands. It fascinated me how quick Puchie learned “sit,” “stay,” “sit up,” and “shake hands.” Puchie also consumed a small amount of food. It was a surprising relief compared to the large dogs I was taking care of, as a small food intake meant small feces, making the Chihuahua a neat dog to care for. There are two types of Chihuahuas: short and long-haired. The short-haired type sheds more often. But because of their size, they are very easy to bathe and groom.

Chihuahuas are the world’s smallest dog and I am really wondering how such a small stature can pack so much character. They are a good fit for a personality like mine, an introvert who needs a companion. Puchie joins me on my evening walk around our neighborhood, and he makes me feel like a Doberman is guarding me. He patiently waits for me to give him affection after I take care of my other pets. He’s a great companion when I work alone in my office; he sits or lies down quietly, then barks alertly when someone knocks or rings the bell.

When he is alone, he amuses himself by chasing cockroaches. He is the pack leader of his pet friends, which include our rabbit, guinea pig, cat, and even our Indian star tortoise. I recommend Chihuahuas for teenagers and young adults. They are not for beginners because of possible health issues and its character/behavior. For me, having a Chihuahua means having a great companion inside and outside our home.

 

This appeared in Animal Scene magazine’s June 2017 issue.