By Reg Hernandez
Photos by Arlene Costillas
In the realm of Toy dogs, there is arguably none more lively and bold than the feisty Chihuahua. People that have interacted with this breed have had reactions that range from “Oooohhhh!” and “Aaawwww!” and possibly, “Ooowww…ch.”
They are known to be fiercely loyal to their owners. Confidently playful, the Chihuahua is an intelligent and alert companion, always ready to romp and quick to bark when calling attention to guests or visitors. While a fun and loving attitude is easy to expect from dogs that have no physical adversities to face, these characteristics shone through even as fate levied a handicap upon one as lovely as Saiky.
Saiky is a three-year-old Chihuahua who was born without her two front legs. One can imagine the initial worry that comes when you notice an offspring is differently abled. Arlene Costillas remembers the early months when her Chihuahua gave birth to Saiky. “We had to assist her when she was nursing from her mother and then (feed) her in the succeeding months,” Arlene recalls.
Considering the spirited nature of the breed, “We initially kept her indoors at first so she could roam around without hurting herself.” Pretty soon, Saiky developed her unique technique of getting around. “Sometimes she walks and runs on her two hind legs,” Arlene proudly relates.
Today, Saiky behaves and plays like any other dog, and with a zest that is exclusively hers. Saiky shares her brand of positivity and love with Arlene’s large family of pets, which includes seven Chihuahuas, two poodles, seven cats, and two turtles. It seems that this dog sees herself as being not unlike the other animals, and demands no special treatment for herself. While it would be easy to assume that one born with her condition would probably be temperamental, Saiky is “malambing” despite her circumstances.
But she is, indeed, special. On occasion, she will stand and dance to music to the delight and amazement of the people that meet her. For Saiky, it literally takes two (legs) to tango.
Saiky is no stranger to the limelight as she was once featured in a TV news program. The decision to join Animal Scene Magazine’s ‘My Pet’s Life’ contest last December 2016 was made so that Arlene could continue to “share the story of my two-legged Chihuahua,”
Saiky’s infectious enthusiasm for life is truly inspiring and worth sharing. Arlene exclaims, “It is a privilege to live with a handicapped pet because it gives me the strength to fight when faced with life’s challenges.”
This appeared in Animal Scene magazine’s June 2017 issue.