I have chihuahuas. A lot of them. More than a couple…. Okay, four. I have FOUR chihuahuas. Don’t judge me, I can explain. It all started with Peter Jennings…
I was 22, fresh out of college, and working as a waitress in Lexington, Kentucky, when I met the love of my life. He was six weeks old, and only weighed 1.5 pounds when I met him. He was a tiny Chihuahua-Pomeranian mix that was brought to the restaurant by one of our regular customers. The customer’s female dog had just had an unexpected litter of puppies (this is why we spay/neuter), and he was looking to either give the pups away or ditch them somewhere. Naturally, I took them all.
I brought the pups home in a box that had formerly housed a crock-pot. They looked like little black hamsters scrambling around the bottom, and as soon as I sat them down, Peter began to trample his smaller siblings in an effort to get to me. He was handsome and debonair, just like my favorite ABC news anchor, and I knew immediately that he was “the one.” I was able to find homes for his siblings, and “PJ,” as he came to be called, stayed with me and became my constant companion. That was ten years, and about five dogs ago.
Since that time, Peter Jennings and I have been inseparable. I had always considered myself to be more of a “big dog” kind of girl, but one look from those bugged-out chihuahua eyes, and I was done. When PJ was only three, he herniated a disc in his back and was temporarily paralyzed. I was still a fairly inexperienced dog owner at that point, and was seriously considering the possibility of putting down my best friend. Surgery was expensive and risky, and it was not guaranteed that Peter would ever fully recover. After much debating, and many vet visits, we decided to put PJ on a 6 week crate confinement and steroid regimen. Once he was out of “crate jail,” I started taking him swimming in the lake to regain the strength he had lost in his hind legs. Over time, PJ made a full recovery, and to this day, is able to enjoy walks and swims with his brothers. I formed a deep bond while taking care of my inured little buddy, and as the years went by, more and more “handicapable” dogs found their way into my family. There was the geriatric and morbidly obese “Tito,” followed by one-eyed “Abraham,” then paraplegic “Charlie,” and finally hairless “Harvey” with the autoimmune disease. Tito passed away a few years ago at the ripe old age of 13, and the rest of the boys and I now live in sunny St. Petersburg, Florida. There is definitely never a dull moment around here, and I sometimes feel as though I’m running a one-woman kennel, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Taking care of these specially-abled pups is one of my greatest joys, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!
UPDATE: Peter gained his angel wings and crossed the rainbow bridge in the Fall of 2017. He was a beloved companion for 11 years, and I will continue to adopt the “un-adoptable” in his memory.