Our Chihuahuas

Our current brood

We have four Chihuahuas.  Two is a good number unless someone is always home for a lone dog.  A lone dog will be OK for a working household with no one home during the day if the dog has adequate shelter available to it from the sun, heat, cold, and intruders.  But, they are happier and better off with two or more when no one is at home during the day.  How many is up to you and your local zoning laws and such.  Many cities limit households to two, three or four dogs.

Read on for the comings and goings of our Chihuahuas over the years.

Enchilada comes to us in 1973.

Enchilada at about 2 months It all began with Enchilada.  In 1973, someone was given a Chihuahua puppy, very young, and dropped it off at my place until they could find a place to live that would take pets.  Three months later, the dog wouldn't leave with them, and she became the spiritual matriarch of a rather amazing clan.  Enchilada was a brown short coat, about 5 pounds in good trim.

Enchilada was too young when I got her, and she had to be fed with formula from an eyedropper.  She had no shots and lots of worms, and was quite uncomfortable and unhappy.  It took about a week with shots and pills and a sunny, friendly disposition emerged that never left her.  She weaned herself by stealing a piece of Pizza and running off and eating it under a chair where we couldn't reach her.

Taco comes to us in 1984.

In 1984, my wife wanted her own Chihuahua, and she fell in love with Taco at a pet store.  He was depressed and wasn't eating.  He was too young, too.  My wife held him and sheltered him while we collected the right food and bowls, and by the time we got home he was quite content and happy.  When my wife went to put him down for the first time, he leapt mouth first in the food bowl, allaying all fears about his not eating.  Taco grew up into the most amazing dog, physically and mentally, taking care of the other Chihuahuas while keeping the premises free from cats and other threats.  Taco was a light tan short coat.

Princess comes to the family in 1984.

Again in 1984, my mother wanted another dog after her beloved toy Poodle died.  She was mightily impressed with Enchilada and decided that she would break with tradition and get a Chihuahua.  She got Princess from a breeder. About eight years later Princess was orphaned and came to live with us.  Princess was a white and tan long coat.

Our first loss in 1991.

Enchilada lived to the ripe old age of 17 and was nearing her 18th birthday.  We were planning a party, but she didn't make it.  She had been blind the last two years of her life and deaf for the last four, but Taco had taken care of her.  Taco took her out to the yard in the morning, then brought her back to the garage and through the doggie door a little later, and other such as necessary in her growing infirmity.  She was healthy and happy to the last, but we couldn't have taken care of her properly without Taco.

Demi comes to us in 1994.

We bought Demitasse from a breeder in 1994.  We should have known that something was amiss when the breeder wanted to meet us in the driveway of an in-law at night, and it turned out to be a dark house with nobody home.  She was sold to us as a teacup, and she grew up to be the biggest Chihuahua that I have ever seen anywhere.  This is the only Chihuahua that I know of that jumps fences and can outrun cars.  And she has an amazing gentleness and grace.  She has adopted as her own every puppy we have brought home since we got her.  Demi is a reddish brown short coat.

Our second loss in 1996.

In 1996 we moved.  There were some repairs on the house the day of the closing and some bricks were moved that blocked the bottom of the fence.  The first day after closing, we had the dogs over getting used to the new yard, and Taco dug out where the brick was missing and was run over and killed.

Mocha and Manon come to us in 1996.

A few weeks later we bought Mocha and Manon, litter mates, from a breeder.  Mocha's ears never came up.  He is the lop eared Chihuahua you see on this site.  Manon, pronounced mono, is a classic beauty, if a little chubby as a pet.  They are both chocolate smooth coat Chihuahuas.  Manon is a French word for "little flower in the forest."

Our third loss in 2001.

In 2001, Princess passed away suddenly of a stroke.  She was 17.  Manon was doting over her for the last two years of her life, when her blindness, deafness, arthritis, and other problems were mounting.

Papillon comes to us in 2002.

We found Papillon in an ad in the paper.  He was a pet shop puppy for four co-ed's in a dorm -- an illegal dorm pet.  Papillon is quite capable of filling a dorm suite with entirely too much life for the end of the term, and they wanted a good home for him.  He is now a part of the family.  Papillon is French for butterfly, because he is forever in motion, flitting about the room.  His ears bobbing about are reminiscent of a butterfly.  He is a magnificent dog, with unending effervescence, fine configuration, and he is our smallest Chihuahua at about 4 pounds.

Our fourth loss in 2002.

In 2002, Mocha developed stomach cancer.  By the time we realized how ill he was becoming and found out what it was, he was terminal.  It happened very fast.  He was 6.  This is very young for a Chihuahua or any dog to develop cancer.  His sister Manon is very healthy, and she misses her brother as well as Princess.

BeauGeste comes to us in 2002.

BeauGeste came to us a few weeks after Mocha died.  Beau Geste (his name is one word) is a French phrase meaning "beautiful gesture."  He is a tri-color, black and brown on white.  He is unrelentingly positive, cheerful, and gentle.  The other Chihuahuas have their favorites among the others, but all of them love BeauGeste.  Because of his bloodline, his AKC papers aren't supported by the breeder until we neuter him, and we haven't done that because his wonderful disposition makes that unnecessary.  Look for the mostly black and white tricolor in the photos section.

Demitasse Dies in 2009

Demi died suddenly and quietly in her sleep on March 30. Our vet tells us that it was probably an embolism that was the direct cause of death. She suddenly started losing weight in January and we were giving her special gourmet canned food while our other Chihuahuas were eating dry food. We had her thoroughly checked out in February and her blood work gave her a clean bill of health. Still, she seemed to be less comfortable this last few weeks.   Demi played with the boys occasionally to the last, and loved everybody.

The Personalities

The patriarch is now Manon. Manon is demure, coming out to play when we come home after being out awhile and occasionally playing with BeauGeste.  Papillon is a ball of fire, and will go and get a toy to play tug with before he will stand still and be scratched.  He is very jealous of Manon, which is probably because both he and Manon are more  the man's dogs, while Demi and BeauGeste are more the woman's dogs.  BeauGeste is the consummate schmoozer, and has a knack for charming anyone, dog or man.  We use BeauGeste for pet therapy in social work, and he is certified.  BeauGeste will retrieve paper napkins and other booty, which Papillon will shred, and they are a team.  Papillon and BeauGeste chase each other around the furniture at least once a day, and Demi often joins in.

Other dogs we have used in pet therapy in the past include Enchilada, Princess, Taco, Manon, and Demi when she was younger.