Gained: 10 Ounces & a Ton of Wisdom

Friday - 10 Weeks Old & a Wise Ole Soul!

Frida - 10 Weeks Old & a Wise Ole Soul!

It has been soooo long since I’ve raised a puppy. Not just a few have passed through my life, but it has been many years since the last young one. Most of my animals are rescues, but Frida was a different kind of choice: one of a litter of a friend, not a breeder. Someone who birthed only one litter of pups and who wanted to place each of them with great care and not for money. To my mind, this kind of choice is almost the same as a “rescue” — all puppies need the best home possible, be they from a puppy mill, a rescue organization, a kill shelter, or, as in this case, a private individual.

So, anyway, I did choose to take this tiny, long-haired Chihuahua puppy, who weighed in at 1 lb. 9 oz. when I brought her home 3 weeks ago, and who I named “Frida” because she was an independent spirit like her namesake, Frida Kahlo.

We weighed Frida again last night, on my food scale, and she has gained 10 ounces! She now weighs 2 lbs. 3 oz.! She doesn’t look much bigger than before, but oh has she grown in character and mental maturity.

Watching such an enchanted being morph into consciousness as quickly as Frida has is a rare experience. Something I had almost forgotten about. She seems already to have learned many of the lessons it takes most of us humans a lifetime to master:

When to Jump and When Not to Jump: After going willy-nilly off a too-high step during her first few days here, hence having to run on her front legs with her tail-end straight up in the air for three feet until she could catch her balance so as not to flip over backwards, Frida has learned what is a safe height to jump off of and what is not. How many times have YOU made the metaphorical “too-high” jump before learning your lesson? (I’d be too embarrassed to admit my count.)

When to Run for Safety: When the alarm sounds — in this case the sudden chaotic barking and howling of Frida’s co-canines — Frida runs for cover .  .  . or for my arms if I am nearby. She knows she is still too little and too young to join in the fray. This applies to coyotes carrying on close to the house too. She is quite happy to watch and listen from under a piece of furniture or from my arms. Couldn’t we take a lesson here?

When to Take a Break: When you get tired, for Pete’s sake rest!!! That is Frida’s motto. She plays ferociously in between naps, but isn’t too proud to say “Uncle” and hit the sack with her favorite houseshoe when she is pooped. And at dusk?:  head for the playpen next to the heater and ask to get in if nobody notices it’s your bedtime. It’s safe and snug there, a known territory, with food and water nearby for midnight snacks. What more could one ask?

Where to Place One’s Loyalties: Who butters Frida’s proverbial bread? Me. And Frida has learned that. I feed her, provide comfort, offer a safe haven during her tiny storms. She returns all those favors with undying devotion and love, already bonded to the point where she keeps a steady eye on my whereabouts every waking moment, whines when I leave the room or house without her, and follows me closely when I take her outside. Not a bad lesson:  loyalty where loyalty is earned and deserved.

I haven’t had an in-depth conversation with Frida yet, but she shows me her intentions clearly and frequently and is one of the staunchest little individuals I have ever had the pleasure to know. She is a true joy, and I feel blessed to have her as part of my large animal family. Frida makes my heart throb.

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