In case one hasn’t figured it out yet, I am a dog lover. Like, stop you on the street and ask to pet your dog kind of nutty dog lover. I’m obsessed. I think it embarrasses my younger sisters at times when I stop unsuspecting humans so I can pet their adorable pooches. I can’t help it. Dogs are awesome. They don’t judge, they are who they are, there are no pretenses. They are love in a furry package.
I have always had dogs. When I was a child we had a brindle Great Dane, Brandy, one of the best dogs I have ever known. We also had a German Shepherd/Lab mix, Lucky. That was my mom’s first baby. I may be the oldest but sometimes I think she loved that dog more than her kids. It irked me when I was a kid but as an adult I get it.
I was twenty when Dane came into my life. My feisty little chihuahua. There is a whole long story of why and how a chihuahua but the important detail is that I was ignorant. At that point, back in 2001 I didn’t know about breed specific rescues. I knew you could go to the pound or a shelter but as far as I knew it was luck of the draw. I also knew pet stores were bad. I had heard of puppy mills. Way bad. So I thought I was being responsible by reading ads in the newspaper because those were breeders, right? (hahaha so misled was I).
At the time I got Dane, I was debating between an English Bulldog, Chihuahua, or a Sharpei. Sharpeis, I read, were not always welcoming of other dogs. They could be aloof. We had a German Shepherd already so that seemed like a bad idea. English Bulldogs were stupid expensive. Chihuahua it was. I really wanted a female dog. I called a few ads and found one that had only one chihuahua left. I asked if it was male or female. The woman told me it was a male. My heart dropped a bit. I asked the color and she said the magic words, brindle. I am a sucker for brindle coloring on a dog. I didn’t know chihuahuas could come in brindle. I decided I had to go see him. Imagine my horror when he was at a pet shop. I was only going to look. Famous last words.
When my mom and I got there I fell in love. The instant Dane was placed in my arms he was mine. I couldn’t say he was friendly but he wasn’t vicious either. He was ADORABLE. We put him down on the ground and he walked around sniffing away. Again, not friendly, rather aloof. He bonded with me almost instantly.
My mother held him while I drove away from the pet shop. He stared at me the entire ride to my grandparents house. They fell in love with him on the spot. To my delight he followed me everywhere I went. I had never had a dog choose me before. Our other dogs, while they loved everyone, favored my parents. I was hooked.
After a brief visit at my grandparents house we took Dane home. He seemed to mesh well with our household. In fact in the first 8 hours or so of having him he didn’t make a peep. I was so happy to not have one of those nasty yapping chihuahuas I had always heard about. Dane and Lucky two (another long story), got along great. They attempted a little play or they ignored each other. Dane was curious about our cat. She wasn’t as thrilled with him but she tolerated him.
Then dad came home. Dane growled. Dane barked. Dane was suddenly noisy. My dad had always complained of chihuahuas being angry, little ankle biters. This did not bode well for their relationship. I was in shock. This little three pound angel was not acting very angelic at the moment. That was the first evidence of Dane’s dominance/aggression/whatever the heck it was, which I will go into in future blogs. Today’s blog is just about bringing him into our lives.
Despite their rocky beginning Dane and Dad bonded very quickly. That night when I went to bed I put him in a box with a blanket the way they always say to. Within a few days that idea was abandoned and my little guy was sleeping in my bed with me, all snuggled up at my side. To this day eleven years later that is still my favorite part of the day, when we crawl into bed and fall asleep. His peaceful breathing is my favorite lullaby. That is the story how Dane came to be a part of my life.