Sunday, October 25, 2009

Chico's Story

While I'm not sure why I ever bought Shiver, I specifically sought out Chico.

When I first bought Shiver, I'd already had Frisky (Fox Terrier) and Scratches (Siamese/Himalayan mix).  Sadly, they both passed on and that left Shiver on his own.  He ADORED all the attention he was getting being an only pet but he HATED being left alone.  At the time, I worked in a town about 45 minutes away so I wasn't able to come home for lunch and he was alone most of the day.  I found that when I'd go outside for even 5 minutes and come back in, he'd just cry and cry and cry and cry when I came back in.  It was painfully obvious he didn't like being left alone so I set out to get a friend for him. 

Frisky died first and then Scratches the cat, leaving Shiver on his own.  I wasn't ready for another kitty so it was quickly decided another dog was in order.  Didn't even have to think twice about it ~ the next dog would also be a chihuahua.

I checked the local paper and asked around, everyone kept telling me to check Craigslist.  I was a little hesitant about it but I did it anyways.  And about 6 weeks later, I found Chico!

What drew me to him was the posting said he lifted his back legs up when he walked.  Not both at the same time, he'd lift one up one for awhile and then switch.  My sweet little Fox Terrier Frisky did the same exact thing!  I remember questioning the vet about it and he said there was nothing wrong with her and that it was a common trait of that breed. 

The ad also said that Chico spent most of his time outside because they had a new baby.  I got him Thanksgiving weekend so it was already getting pretty cold.  Short hair chihuahuas don't have a lot of hair so that really got to me. 

When I emailed the poster, I was told that they originally got him from someone who kept him in a crate for the first year of his life and only let him out to go potty and to breed.  He was given little to no human affection.  They'd paid $100 for him and were asking the same price for him.

We set up a date and time and I went to see him.  They had already named him Chico and it seemed to fit so I decided to keep it.  He was so tiny, especially compared to Shiver!  Shiver is a big chihuahua anyways but I didn't realize just how big until I saw Chico.

I spent probably about an hour there, cuddling him.  Not sure why I felt the need to stay so long, it certainly wasn't necessary!  But the guy didn't seem to mind and didn't make me feel uncomfortable or like I was inconveniencing him or anything.  He gave me 2 shirts, a leash, his shot records and Chico's registration papers.  He kept saying how his dad didn't want Chico around the baby but then he'd talk about how he wanted a German Shepard.  Honestly, I think he just wanted the German Shepard and he didn't think it and a Chihuahua would mix well together.

The whole drive home I kept wondering how Shiver would react to Chico.  Surprisingly, it seemed almost like they'd never been apart.  They immediately got along from the start.  Shiver has to be dominant at all times and Chico lets him be.

The next weekend I took him to the vet for a checkup and to get current on his shots.  The owner told me Chico had all of his shots but his shot records showed he hadn't had any since he was a puppy.  He was already 2 years old at that point so he clearly wasn't up to date!  The vet checked him over and said that it poor little Chico's ligaments were popping out in his back legs.  It was probably uncomfortable when he walked which is why he'd lift one leg up for awhile and then switch.  He suggested surgery which I opted not to do only because Chico is so itty bitty, it scares me.  The vet said to just watch it then and it does seem to have gotten better. 

I decided not to send in his registration papers.  He's just a pet and isn't going to be a showdog.  He doesn't need to be registered to be a house pet.  I'm not going to sell him or breed him so really, there is no need to send in the paperwork; it would just be a waste of money.

Chico is very laid back.  He's quicker to bark than Shiver.  Once Shiver hears him, he'll start up too.  There is a pizza commercial on TV where they ring a doorbell.  Everytime this comes on, Chico barks.  I always tell him it's just the TV but he doesn't seem to believe me. 

He is usually very outgoing whereas Shiver is quite shy.  This surprises me since he was locked up the first year of his life and didn't receive much affection, if any.

He LOVES to cuddle.  He loves to sleep on my chest and snore loudly.  He also loves to cuddle up to me at bedtime.  I enjoy this too. 

He has several toys he likes to chew, unfortunately Shiver thinks all the toys are his and he steals them as soon as he sees Chico playing with them.  Most of the time Chico lets him.  But he absolutely LOVES, LOVES, LOVES his little rawhide chews and will fight till the death to keep those.  And he wins every time!

Chico likes to "mark" things which I'm not happy about.  If I bring something new into the house or rearrange things, he thinks he needs to leave his special scent.  He did this at all the booths at the dog walk too!  I don't know how to stop this.  I yell at him when I see him do it to discourage it but it hasn't made a difference. 

Chico loves to walk.  Somedays he really good about it, other days he zigzags and wants to be everywhere at once.  And of course, he has to pee on everything. 

Whenever people see me out with my boys, they always want to pet Chico first.  I think it's because he's smaller so they think he's cuter.  It makes me feel bad that Chico is getting more attention because Shiver really is just as cute and adorable.  Chico isn't always so nice to little kids, he tends to grumble at them and has been known to nip at them.

He HATES, HATES, HATES to have his nails clipped.  He never bites me but he growls and fights me the whole time.  It's not a pleasant experience for either of us.

He's very active but he's not hyper like Shiver.  Shiver is content to lay down next to me for hours at a time; when he decides to be active, he's hyper.  Chico likes to lay down next to me too but not for hours at a time.  He likes to run around the house from room to room and check out what he might be missing.  I live by myself so if I'm not in the room, he's not missing much.

Shiver isn 't an outdoorsy kinda dog.  He'd be happy staying indoors all day everyday.  Not little Chico!  He can spend hours and hours outside!  He runs around the yard sniffing everything, barking at any noises he might hear, wagging his little tail all the while.  He's great fun to watch.

This is Chico's story!

3 showed me some love:

Martine said...

Thanks for sharing Chico's story. He sounds like a little sweetie, I'm glad you were able to find him.

xo martine & the kiddlets

Tiffany and the Munchkins said...

It's so nice to know the background behind Chico and why he is a part of your family. He sounds like such a joy. As for his marking habit, has he been neutered? Bentley had already begun marking some when we had him neutered and this behavior decreased A LOT after the surgery. But I wouldn't neuter a dog strictly for that purpose. Sometimes it doesn't even work. Have you thought about getting him a belly band? They are pretty inexpensive and they work really well. We have one for Bentley for when we go to places where there is the potential for others dogs to have marked, like pet stores.

As for getting his nails clipped, all I can offer is my experience. Bentley has always been okay with nail clipping but Lexi hated it. We switched to a dremel (the Peticure) and she fought hard at first but after a little tough love doing one nail at a time, so finally realized it was okay and gave up fighting. Now I just lay her in my lap and dremel away. Have you tried treating him every time you bring out the clippers? If he can learn to associate the clippers with a treat he may be more cooperative.

Thanks so much for sharing Chico's story!

MsTypo said...

Chico's story is great. Thank you for sharing how he became a member of your family. :)

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