Archive for Chihuahuas & Chiweenies

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FollowTheLeaderThank you so much for following this blog about animals and animal communication! I wanted to let you know, however, that I have moved the entire blog to my main website and that is where new posts appear. I hope you will hop on over there to catch up and sign up to follow me at that location. And if you have a blog too, please put that in the comments there so I can check it out. Thanks so much! LetaSignature


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Dry Eye Symptoms in Chihuahuas

Well . . . not pretty. Read:  eye infection.

That’s what happened to my precious Frida when I first got wind of the fact that she is a bit prone to the “dry-eye” symptoms that some Chihuahuas exhibit.

Frida - co-pilot of not only my car, but my heart.

Naturally, I was out of town. The first time ever since getting her as a pup, so it was my pet-sitters who had the dubious distinction of getting Frida through what was actually a pretty serious medical event. Three trips to the vet, three prescriptions, drops every two hours, and a week later, and Frida was doing okay and “out of the woods,” as they say, in terms of the safety of her right eye. On the other hand, having me leave her — she, who is glued to my right hip — plus being with new people, plus having to wear a Queen Anne’s collar so she couldn’t scratch her eye ………….. well, you can imagine. She was one sad little puppy.

Frida’s problem began with compications due to our high desert climate: namely wind and dust. Her eye became so dry and irritated that an infection was able to set in, and her eye quit producing tears.

But what I learned from this was that Chihuahuas are prone to dry-eye symptoms (or syndrome), so many of them may have this problem sooner or later. The message being:  Keep a close eye on your Chihuahua’s eyes!!

Fortunately, in our case, Frida recovered beautifully and does not have a chronic syndrome requiring daily eyedrops. I do monitor her eyes for tear production regularly, however, and would recommend doing the same if you have a Chihuahua. Also, I think one reason Frida fared so well through her eye trauma was due to the excellent nutrition she gets, the key factor being Super Blue Green Algae. Every day Frida gets a little raw meat plus high-grade kibble, but also probiotics and micro-nutrients all wrapped up into one — go here to check it out:


(Order as a “PC” and get a 20% wholesale discount. And actually, in Frida’s case, she splits her capsule with her buddy, Tucker, because she only weighs 5 lbs. so doesnt even need a full capsule! So if you have a small dog, this added “health insurance” is super affordable!)

Having a good balance of healthy flora in the system is known to be the first line of defense in fighting infection, so Frida’s little eye invaders didn’t stand a chance!

BUT! Taking even greater precautions, I ordered these goggles  which Frida now wears on our daily walk/runs (I walk, she runs). These definitely help keep out the wind and dust in those little low-to-the-ground eyes she has! All she needs now is an aviator cap, don’t you think?!

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Thank God for the Chihuahua!

I have recently concluded that the Chihuahua breed of dog saves millions of lives of unborn, unwanted puppies every year!

Pretty gutsy claim, huh?! HOW in the world could that be?

I just volunteered to help out at an all-day spay/neuter clinic sponsored by our local animal shelter.  We had four vets on duty for the surgeries, probably a dozen vet techs, and about three dozen volunteers for the day. Our goal was to spay or neuter 100 dogs and cats.

This day was anonymously underwritten by a private donor, so all spays and neuters were free, and the event was highly publicized. Folks were supposed to start checking in with their animals at 7:00 a.m. Volunteers for the morning shift were to arrive by 6:30. We could take 100 animals, period.

When I drove up at the appointed time there was nowhere to park, and the line of people with their prospective “sterilizees” wrapped around the building into the parking lot of the nearby Outback Steakhouse.  Some had apparently arrived as early as 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. in order to take advantage of this amazing offer to have their beloved 4-leggeds “fixed” for FREE. On a coooold, mid-winter, February morning to boot (thank goodness we didn’t have snow that day).

So what’s the deal with Chihuahuas, you may ask, and just how do they save puppies’ lives?

Well here it is. My own theory based on observation. So take it for what it’s worth.

About half the dogs we took in that morning were either purebred Chihuahuas or Chihuahua crosses. We had 3-mo.-old teensy, weensy, short-haired females, to 12-lb. long-haired blondes, to a litter of precious black “Chugs” (Chihuahua/Pug crosses), to one absolutely adorable pup in her pink “housecoat,” … you name it, we had just about every variety of Chihuahua or Chihuahua cross that could exist.

And of course there were more people and animals lined up than we could take in one day (though we did end up sterilizing 110 animals!). So when we reached our 100 mark, we started taking names in order to schedule appointments for the late-comers later in the week (I was the name-taker). And guess what.  At least half of those folks whose names I took had, you guessed it …… Chihuahuas.  Some had multiples. I would get their name and phone number and then ask what type of animal they had, and what sex. “Well, I have three Chihuahuas, one Chihuahua-mix . . .” and so on.  I was chuckling to myself by the end of my name-taking duties.

By the end of the day, about 13 hours later, handing back the Chihuahuas to their owners, mixed in with wrestling the Pit Bulls and Rotties, I had a huge “Aha” moment! As follows:

* Lots of folks have dogs they can’t contain or can’t afford to have fixed.

* Unfixed dogs running on the streets equals unquantifiable numbers of unwanted puppies.


* If many of those dog lovers own Chihuahuas instead of just any old Heinz 57 variety of dog, and

* Since we all know Chihuahua owners are crazy and regard their dogs as something akin to royalty and tend to carry them around on satin pillows and dress them in ridiculous outfits . . . . . . . . . . . then

* Those folks’ Chihuahuas are not out on the streets reproducing  ………. (are you with me here?)  SO …………………

Chihuahuas, due to their revered status, are cherished and mostly kept indoors and coddled. So that, even if they are not neutered or spayed, they take the place of thousands of  dogs their owners could have chosen otherwise — larger, more worldly types — who would probably now be roaming the streets and filling our shelters with all those unwanted puppies. Got it?

Well, anyway, it’s just a thought and, granted, a weird premise.

Alas, our shelters are still overflowing with unwanted puppies and kittens anyway, in spite of the efforts of the noble Chihuahua. But it did occur to me that perhaps the Chihuahua breed is doing its part, simply by virtue of its prima donna’esque traits, thereby demanding so much attention it is rarely left to its own devices out on the streets!

Yes. This is Frida. Truly irresistible.

And I have to admit that, after all these years of disparaging the breed, I am totally enraptured by my own Chihuahua, a long-haired named Frida,

My precious Tucker, the ultimate Chiweenie!

AND my Mr. Personality Plus Chiweenie, Tucker (a Chihuahua/Dachshund cross). I have three other dogs too, of all sizes, including a Great Pyrenees, but nothing can quite compare with the Chihuahua spirit. I just can’t explain it.

Perhaps it’s because the breed has a mission to help save, by default, all those gazillions of other puppies’ lives!



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How Training Works – Just Use a Weiner … or not …


It’s after lunch and I’m trudging out to the barn where my car is parked, Bear and Charlie at my side, the cold wind blowing through our hair, the pocket of my parka stuffed with a package of out-of-date, slimy weiners. My intent is to start training Bear to get in the car, and Charlie is along to play the role of  “I will get that bite of weiner if you don’t hurry!”

The object, again, is to teach Bear to get in the car, something she has not done except under extreme pressure — and then only once — since I brought her home from the animal shelter last July. At that time two friends accompanied me to the car to help me load up Bear, because as a yearling Great Pyrenees she already weighed around 80 lbs. She shocked us all by literally vaulting into the back of the car before I could even get the tailgate all the way down. She threw up on the way home, but she came willingly. I guess she really, really wanted to leave that life behind — forever.

But once home — and she made it hers very quickly — she obviously decided never to leave again. The one time I took her somewhere, only to be evaluated for grooming, it took three of us to lever her up into the back seat of the truck, and she then refused to budge, much less get out, when the groomer came out to inspect her.

Having won a lesson at a highly acclaimed local dog-training school 4 months ago, I am now dealing with how to get Bear there for said lesson. She’s a very big dog and a very protective dog. She needs the work, and I need to trust that she will answer to me. I am assured that weiners are the key to successful training so out we go for our first lesson on “getting in the car.” We did pretty good. After 3 weiner’s worth of “Up!” — with said weinie bits carefully poised on the tailgate just out of reach — Bear finally succeeded in placing the top half of her body into the car in order to reach the prize. I figured that was enough for one day, especially given our numbing temperaturess right now, so we will pursue this again tomorrow. Charlie got his bites too and did his job very well.

I’ll admit. I was impressed. The weiner thing works really well!

But here’s another example of how training works:

Frida, my 5-lb. long-haired Chihuahua, has recently succeeded in RE-training me as to how she gets into my bed every night. She has slept with me, under the covers, since childhood and has her own footstool-leading-to-trunk-leading-to-bed staircase to get up and down with. She can scale this structure in less than the blink of an eye and usually just goes sailing off in a flying leap when she is motivated to get down for whatever reason.

“But no, Mom. I really like it best when you pick me up and PUT me on the bed.”

I feel as dim as a burned-out lightbulb, but I finally got it as I lay there in the dark last night listening to Frida’s pathetic whimperings and wooflings to be picked up and put in bed: “Damn! I’ve been trained!” I thought, as I threw back the covers, reached down, and lifted her tiny body up into our cozy nest.

And she didn’t even have to use weiners. Go figure.

Frida ... guess where?

I’m just a bit embarrassed here ……..

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Pound Puppies = Problem Poops

This is just another way of saying:

  • Rescue dogs usually have upset tummies. Or . . .
  • Shelter dogs have digestive problems. Or . . .
  • Yuk! What’s wrong with my new dog?!

Any way you want to put it, this fact is usually paramount for the dog or puppy you bring away from a shelter or rescue situation. Same goes for cats, kitties, and horses. Why?

If this looks stressful to you, just think what it feels like to him.

Stress. Poor nutrition, possibly even starvation. Emotional anxiety. Grief. Any or all of the above, and more, often plague the rescue while on the streets or in the shelter. They’ve lost their families, or been abandoned, are totally confused and trying to figure out where in the world they are.

This has recently been brought to my attention once again by the arrival of ‘Bear,’ an unspayed, year-old Great Pyrenees female I rescued from the animal shelter 12 days ago. Meet Bear, my number six (yes count them, SIX) dog:

Bear at the shelter. Stay tuned for a follow-up picture and report soon!

Bear was picked up at the landfill in Taos, NM, pretty bedraggled, and then spent a few weeks behind bars being evaluated for aggression (emotional stress) before being spayed and put up for adoption. I heard about her and did a ‘meet & greet’ with two of my other dogs, and listened to her and to my heart about her disposition. I approved, she approved, and my other dogs approved. So she was immediately spayed and home with me the next day.

All is well, and Bear is the perfect ‘peaceable kingdom’ candidate already, just two weeks in. But she came home ravenously hungry 24/7 and burping all day every day. She was underweight, her stool loose, her coat rough and matted.

Chiweenie Tucker now, hale and hardy.

Ah, yes. Shades of my last rescue experience two years ago — bringing little Chiweenie Tucker home from the shelter. Tucker, who now weighs in at 18 lbs., was only two-thirds of that weight when I got him, and his diarrhea was so bad we feared for the worst.

Or Hank, the 29-year-old Quarter Horse I rescued from starvation several years ago. His was a very extreme case and required a carefully orchestrated re-introduction of food and supplements  into his life.

Some of my particular ways of rehabbing rescues include top quality food (I use Flint River for the pre-prepared part of my dogs’ and cats’ diets), Simplexity’s  Super Blue-Green Algae products, especially probiotics to replenish their depleted natural resources, and the herb powdered Slippery Elm (the inner bark) to soothe their highly irritated digestive tracts. There are different variations of these nutritional elements, and other things I use as well, but everybody who comes in as a rescue gets very, very special food and care until they are back to balance. As an example, you can read about Tucker’s special diet HERE.

Just be prepared if you rescue an animal. Don’t expect them to be the picture of health and perfectly well adjusted the moment they come to their new home. Give them time, love, and attention. Just grit your teeth, start brushing out the mats or bathing out the dirt, and customize your new animal’s diet and exercise program. You can bring them all the way back and make them gloriously beautiful, healthy, and happy. They never forget and are grateful to you forever for it.



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The Long-Haired Chihuahua

I had to laugh out loud yesterday when a comment to my last blog post, Cowboy Hash, came in — NOT about the hash recipe, or the childhood memories I shared, or the rare and pristine Devils River therein described.

But NO. The commenter was asking me, pure and simple, for current pictures of Frida, my little long-haired Chihuahua.

Frida ... today

Seems she, Kim, has a 4-mo.-old male long-haired Chihuahua who has lost his baby fuzz and she is wanting to see what he might look like when he grows up. Ha!!

What IS it about these little tiny dogs that so captures our hearts? Without a doubt, my blog stats reflect that the majority of my readers come to my site to read about Chihuahuas and Chiweenies (a cross between a Chihuahua and a Dachshund). Not about animal communication, or horses, or life in New Mexico. Just about the wee ones of this variety.

Baby Frida with Chiweenie pal Tucker

I am constantly surprised that the Chihuahua/Chiweenie traffic continues, but am absolutely delighted to accommodate it by posting regularly about these miniature dog breeds that have us wrapped around their little dewclaws.

Not a perfect shot, but this shows off the fluffy tail and expansive ears of the long-haired Chihuahua, in this case Miss Frida.

All of that said,  I have NO idea what the standard for a long-haired Chihuahua might be, having never owned a Chihuahua before, much less a long-haired Chihuahua. I ended up with my tiny tidbit, better known as Frida, against my better judgment because she was so adorable I couldn’t not take her home. And she has, of course, become the apple of our household’s eye — all 4 other dogs, 2 other humans, and 1 cat included.

Frida playing 'King of the Mountain' (in this case 'Queen of the Household')

So. To really see what a long-haired Chihuahua is supposed to look like it might be best to go online and Google for images and breeders and so on. Meanwhile, I personally happen to think that Frida is probably the be-all-end-all in the long-haired Chihuahua category.

Check out the ears here. One would think she could fly!

So to satisfy Kim and possibly others, I’ve posted a few new pictures of Frida throughout this post, taken just before publishing.

This pic shows off Frida's rich caramel coloring.

The only thing I don’t really have, and will add later if I can get it, is a picture of Frida trotting along carrying her glorious tail like a flag waving in the wind. She does this especially well when accompanying me to the barn at horse-feeding time. She really flaunts those tail feathers because they convey the attitude of a REAL long-haired Chihuahua and more than make up for her minus 5 lb. pint size!

If you are lucky enough to have one — a long-haired Chihuahua that is —

Need I say more?

don’t worry about what he or she looks like. Just know you are one of the chosen . . . and glory in it!



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The Frida Factor – Join The Frida Fan Club!

The Indomitable Frida

This really isn’t about my Chihuahua puppy Frida.  It’s about those spirits among us whose lives are charmed. Everything goes their way, they enjoy excellent health, and they exude non-stop joy and jubilation.   I call a being like this a “Frida,” and that IS because my Chihuahua puppy by that name is one of them.

I know you probably have a Frida in your life, so I invite you to join the Frida Fan Club and tell us your Frida story. Meanwhile, here’s mine.

My precious, tiny, long-haired Chihuahua, Frida, has,

Frida & Her Surrogate Mother, Charlie

her entire short life (1 yr. at this point), inspired great admiration in everyone who meets her. And for all the right reasons — because she embodies what we’d all like to be full of: love, joy, devotion, exhuberance, and much, much more. Maybe it was no accident I named her for the great Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo, whose spirit was indomitable and a legend in her own time. Because Frida is exactly that: an indomitable spirit. (Plus, she has this big eyebrow thing going on like Kahlo did, which is what made me think of that name in the first place.)

Frida & Best Chiweenie Friend, Tucker

Everyone who meets Frida wants an exact replica. And just a few days ago I received a blog comment begging me for information about how to find a Chihuahua puppy just like her.  I must admit I was sorely tempted from the get-go to keep Frida in tact so we could churn out multiple baby Fridas and spread magical Frida energy out into the world. But, alas, we all know there are way too many unwanted puppies already, and I would being doing no service to perpetuate this trend. So Frida is no longer viable as a breeding candidate. Sigh . . .

The big question is: what makes

A candid shot that shows Frida's highly evolved yoga skills

up the Frida spirit? And how do we engender it, nurture it, find it, recognize it? And what can we do to bring it to full fruition in any and all animals that we share our lives with?

My answer is I don’t know, but I don’t think we can make it happen. Frida came by her incredible personality traits seemingly from birth. And her personality is different from that of her four siblings, though all experienced the same

Frida at 5 Weeks

positive early start. When, at five weeks of age, Frida tried to drag my daughter across the room by her thumb, I guess we knew then that she was special and would make her mark in the world. So maybe the Frida Factor is genetic.

Or maybe, if as some believe, we get to choose who we’re going to be in any given lifetime, one can simply make the choice to BE a Frida, to live a charmed and charming existence, spread light, and not have a care in the world. The Buddhists believe that human souls can reincarnate as animals, and I’ve had more than one animal tell me that they have been an ascended master in a past lifetime. If all of this is true, then I feel doubly blessed, because I am quite sure Buddha himself chose to come spend a stint here on Earth in the body and spirit of my little Frida. Wow! How did I get so lucky?

Frida, 1 yr. old today, Feb. 20, 2010. Happy Birthday Frida!

I know you have, or have had at some point, a Frida in your life. So I hope you’ll join the Frida Fan Club and send in your story, and I’ll make sure it gets put out in blogdom to help spread Frida light and joy! Meanwhile, if you have a Frida in your midst right now, just hang onto your hat and enjoy the ride!



Teeny Chihua or Teacup Coyote?

Chihuahua Versus Chiweenie

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