Saturday, September 08, 2007

Hot puppy breath


My fate as a dog owner has been sealed. Forget the Yorkies, the masses of terriers, the golden retrievers. Forget the German Shepards, the Siberian Huskies and the cocker spaniels.

I have fallen in love with the Chihuahua. As soon as that tiny white puppy was placed into my arms and I looked into his tiny brown eyes, I was hooked. Finished, finito, done. Never to venture out into the world of dabbling dog breeds again. While I still have a list of dogs I'd love to own, my first puppy purchase has been decided--the Chihuahua.

It all started at work yesterday when everyone was fluttering around in high spirits because of a going-away breakfast we were having for one of the employees. Their arms filled with cinnamon rolls, strudels, muffins and fruit, the cynical journalists were on a sugar high and actually pleasant for once. One of the new girls brought up her dog and asked about local dog parks, and that lead me to my most favorite subject besides food: puppies. As I babbled away about my love for puppies, she interrupted me.

"There's a store over on The Road that sells puppies," she informed me as I clasped my hands in delight. "You can take them out and play with them and hold them. And on weekends, they have adoption days."
While my liberal colleagues began to all try to one-up each other on how many dogs they'd rescued and whose dogs had the most problems, therefore making it the most compassionate rescue, I was too busy looking up the puppy store. When I found the website, I squealed in excitement. For the rest of the day, adrenaline pumped through my veins. The only thing I could think or speak was, "Puppiespuppiespuppiespuppiespuppiespuppiespuppiespuppies."
Puppies consumed my thoughts for the entire day. As Libby and I perused cuteoverload.com, I dreamed of what kind of puppies I might pet. I fantasized about their delicate skin, their soft fur, their tiny little tongues. I couldn't wait to feel a squirming mass of fluff in my arms and the delicious heat of puppy breath on my cheek. I desperately needed to hold a puppy. Ever the causal one, I informed Ben of this on the way home.

"BABY!" I screeched into the phone. "There's a store on the Road and they have PUPPPIES! And you can pet them and hold them and love them and snuggle them and cuddle them and oh my God they have puppies! Puppies puppies puppies puppies puppies! Do you know how long it's been since I've seen a puppy? Do you? I need a puppy! I need hot puppy breath on my face, kisses on my nose! I need to pet a furry fuzzball!"

Ben, to his credit, wisely stayed silent.

As soon as I got home, I demanded that we go to the puppy store (again, and immediately). Scarfing down dinner (I do have my priorities) I bounced impatiently until we got in the car to drive over there. The drive seemed to take an eternity, with Ben taking an extraordinary long time to dawdle with unnecessary things like stopping at red lights and trying to find a parking space. Rushing into the store, I stared in horror at the mass of chaos before me. Apparently, I wasn't the only one who wanted to pet a puppy. I was going to have to tackle twenty children and their idiotic parents to pet a puppy. Obviously, I was the most important person here. Priorities, people.

Flinging myself against the plastic cage windows, I ignored the tentacles of doubt curling in my tummy. Several puppies looked sad as they stared out of their wire and plastic prisons. Several were asleep. Several were energetically bouncing around and eager to come out and play. I scanned the windows, noting poodles, labs, shiz tzus, an abundant amount of Yorkies...but where were the Chihuahuas? They had promised me a Chihuahua.

"There he is!" Ben pointed to a tiny white Chihuahua nestled in a little girl's arms. "Why don't you ask her if you want to pet it?"

"I'll wait," I demurred, eyeing the little twit who was holding the only Chihuahua in the store. I am ashamed to say visions of tackling her or ripping the puppy out of her arms did occur to me. Instead, I distracted myself by cooing at a Alaskan snow dogs and envying his beautiful blue eyes.

"Look, honey!" Ben cried, knocking an elbow into my side. "The keeper's got the dog now! Go ask if you can hold it!" I made a beeline for the keeper, who handed over the tiny dog. And that's when it happened.

As soon as she handed me the tiny white Chihuahua, I felt a sense of peace come over me. The dog, no bigger than my palm, looked up at me adoringly. I held him to my chest, right underneath my collarbone, and he immediately snuggled into me. As I looked down at him in awe, his tiny head swiveled around and looked up at me.

"Hi baby," I cooed, ignoring the chaos swirling around me. "You're just as sweet as you can be, aren't you?"

The dog delicately reached up and licked my lips, once, twice, three times. Satisfied, he burrowed into my clasped hands and promptly fell asleep. As I stroked his tiny back, shivering as he sighed in happiness, I knew at that moment there was no other dog for me. This tiny creature had just cemented my fate to a lifetime of tiny Napoleonic dogs who would be forever mistaken by my father as an overgrown rat.

While my childhood dog of a Pug would always be dear to my heart (and I'll own one, don't worry about that) and my dream of a cocker spaniel like in Lady of the Tramp may never be realized, I knew that Chihuahuas would be prancing in my life and heart for many years. While Princess and Rascal have brought me great joy, love and delight, this minute canine stole my heart as no dog ever has as he lay breathing softly against it.

I suppose it only appropriate to thank the original white Chihuahua who won us over, Ace the Chihuahua. For although I had to give back the tiny sleeping dog, I know that I at least have one every time I go to Shreveport. Until then, I'll continue to ignore the now hollow feeling on my chest, and the lack of warm puppy breath against my cheek.

It won't be long until I have two Chihuahuas of my own.



4 comments:

Mama K said...

This story made me want to cry and laugh out loud! (Actually, I did.)I want to get in the car, go by Longview Texas and bring you your own white chihuahua to SA. I can just see you holding that "baby". You were meant to be a 'puppy mommy'. How did you ever give it back???? Someday....SOON!!!

Mom said...

I still think you could have a puppy even if you work all day. when they are babies they sleep alot any way. Its a shame to not get one when you want it that bad. If you get two at the same time they would keep each other company and they are so much fun when they play.

Marie said...

Oh my goodness! Are you sure you're not me??? I love chihuahua's and I have been writing stories and drawing pictures ever since I could pick up a pencil and crayon. When I was 8 I used to write plays for all the kids in the neighbourhood to act out. We put them on behind a blanket hung over a skipping rope in the garage, the audiance seated in plastic woven lawn chairs. They were spell bound, or at least I like to think they were!

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