Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Little Guy

I never discussed Chico on this blog, and so while his sad end was a surprise to everyone my attachment to him would have also come as a surprise. Let me tell you all a little about Chico and how much joy he brought into my life.

Stef and her dad have been fostering dogs through the New Mexico Dachshund Rescue since December 2009. Prior to Chico they had one other dachshund named Candy for about a month that was adopted. In the middle of March Chico had arrived.

I remember Stef telling me that they got this scrawny little runt that was very shy and afraid of everyone. If someone tried to reach for him he would run away. If you tried to pet him, he would cower. He also was very hungry and would scavenge at all times for food. She was told he came from an abusive environment.

She would send me pictures of him over the phone because I hadn't had the opportunity to come visit and introduce myself. Everyday she would tell me stories of him running away (from herself and her dad) and just being very shy. I remember those phone calls very well.

I also remember the day I met him. I came over after work and parked my car outside the gate. Her dogs (she has 4) were waiting outside playing around and Chico was playing amongst them. The pups (as I refer to them because they are all so tiny) came running to me as per usual, but Chico (the 5th one) remained skeptical of me and kept his distance. A lot of distance. I called to him several times but he just sat there watching me. Finally I sat on the ground and called his name one more time.

He dashed right for me and as cliched as it sounds, he jumped right into my arms. It was love at first bite, because literally he began to playfully bite my hand which became a ritual of ours from then on. Every time I visited Chico would greet me with a playful bite which would prompt me to respond, "Ahh he's got me!" Stef was surprised to say the least because that was really the first interaction he had with anyone. He then began to warm up to the rest of the house and really found a place that would make him happy.

He had the funniest mannerisms for a dog. Sometimes he acted just like a cat. I would watch him play with his toys and I would play with him. I would wave his toy around on the floor and he would stick his paw in the air and prepare to pounce on it. And then he would.

A few times a cricket would get into the house and he would play with the insect. He would watch it hop and then try to pounce on it gently, never to cause any harm. One time there was a bullfrog outside the back door to the house. He barked at it several times and would walk up to it and get into pounce mode. He would then jump back when the frog jumped, startled that such a thing could exist. I'll miss watching him pounce and play with everything he could.

My favorite memory of him stems from a favorite pastime of mine, basketball. I brought my basketball over to Stef's house to get a little exercise after work. Chico and the other pups came outside to observe. Everyone was afraid of the mystical bouncing ball except Chico. When the ball came near him he would crouch and stick his paw in the air like he did with all his toys. When I would bounce the ball low enough he would try and catch it in his mouth. It was hilarious to see him try to stick this thing that is about the size of his entire body into his mouth. But try he would to no avail. As I drove to the hoop he would give chase, and together we basked in the glory of a made lay-up. I'll miss sharing my favorite hobby with my little guy (as I frequently called him which would prompt Stef to reply, "He's a little guy!").

My last memory of him comes from the other night, when I stayed the night. I picked him up and put him in bed with me. He would lay ever so still for the entire night right by my side under my arm as he had done many times. Usually the dogs get up at around 5am to go potty, but he didn't move. He slept with me right until I had to get up and get ready for work. I'll miss cuddling with him.

I'll miss just being around him. He was always so fun to play with and so friendly, with me especially. Whenever I came over to visit, he would run at me, greet me with a bite, and then shake his tail so hard his butt would shake too. Stef and I would sing, "Shake it Chico, shake it!" To which, he would do so even more.

Sometimes I would try to bring him on the couch to chill with me, but he would kindly decline by backing away cause he just wasn't ready to relax. When he was ready he would come over to me and me only and look up at me. When I brought my hands down to his level he would jump right in for me to haul him up. Then he would just lay on my lap.

I always admired how he could sleep in just about any position (and I have a ton of pictures of him sleeping in a lot of positions). I used to attribute that to his abusive former life, saying that he was never loved so he had to learn to sleep in any way possible. I would then tell him, "Don't worry Chico, I love you." Stef would always tell me how he was doing on the rescue website (to be adopted), and I secretly hoped nobody would want him so I could adopt him when the time was right. Stef would say, "Nobody wants him." To which I would reply, "Don't worry Chico, I want you." I like to think he knew what I was talking about and that the thought of living with me made him happy.

Chico, I'll miss you a lot. You truly made me happy when I was feeling sad and your absence can never be filled by another dog. It's gonna be hard without you buddy. You'll always be my little guy.


Mom said...

What a wonderful story, Chico would be so happy to the tribute you have given to his memory

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful. Chico loved you so much. God bless him.

Stef said...

This is beautiful. Chico loved you so much. God bless him.

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