Wednesday, April 11, 2012

MAXI-mum pup

Not the best picture of a fesity, adorable little guy but Maxi, in person, will capture your heart.  Technically, he's barely grown - at just over a year he still has all that puppy exuberance, mixed with shyness and an obvious need for gentle handling and patience.

What strikes me about this little guy is that he is just figuring out how to actually walk - which tells me in his previous life, someone bought a pup as an accessory and forgot to let him be a dog.

One of my pet peeves is the lavish adoration of celebrities who are either unaware or don't give a damn how silly unthinking fasionistas emulate them.  Puppy as accessory. Dog as toy. 

Small breeds like the Chihuahua are particularly prone to being victimized together with Yorkies and other "toy" dogs.  First, there is NO SUCH thing as  a 'teacup' dog - what you're buying if that is what the "breeder" (and it would be a backyard one as no legitimate breeder would pretend such a breed exists) has created - often at a terrible expense to the dog in terms of mental, physical and emotional health.  A blog called Barktopia puts it very well here - in short, they explain that what you are buying or seeking is a premature pup which will most likely come with a host of issues.

Now size aside, a dog is a dog is a dog and SHOULD be allowed to be such. Which means, LET the dog WALK ... Maxi above with a lot of help, patience and loving on the part of staff and volunteers is finally figuring out what being a dog IS.   Which is one of the things I am loving about the new THS - their willingness, enthusiasm and expertise with "fixing" the dogs that have been messed up by igorance - sometimes malicious, sometimes just dumb.

Simply becuase a dog is small does not mean he does not possess all the natural instincts of his bigger cousins.  That means he needs regular walks, stimulation and the chance to explore his world on his own feet.  It means he must and should be trained in the same way and to the same standards as a  larger dog.  Manners are manners whether you're 5 lbs or 105 lbs.

Maxi's nature is clearly one that is affectionate, bright and full of a boundless curiousity.  A California rescue group beautifully captures the nature of the dog (which may surprise some people):

The Chihuahua, the most ancient canine breed in the North American Continent, traces its origins back approximately 3,000 years. In its infancy as a breed, the Chihuahua was kept as companion dog of Aztecan royalty- analogous to the reverence of cats in the parallel Egyptian culture of the Pharaohs. .... Chihuahuas were companions to kings, which explains their noble, fiercely loyal and possessive attachment to their masters, which perseveres to this day along with the same alertness, devotion and intelligence.
And a chihuahua allowed to be a dog is a wonder indeed.

Maxi is a small, feisty, loving and energetic dog who deserves a great home.  Come down to the THS and meet him in person and while you're there, meet all the other wonderful animals for adoption!

1 comment:

  1. THS is a good place now. And you're absolutely right, even small dogs should be allowed to be dogs. Treating them otherwise creates all manner of issues.