Month: May 2015

Izzy and the Crazy Chihauha

Whenever I ask Izzy whether he wants to visit Ellie (his Maltese friend who lives around the corner), his head cocks, his eyes brighten, and his tail wags furiously.  He pulls me excitedly as we walk down the street, often turning to wait for me as we round the corner, as if to say, “Come on, come on!  She won’t wait for us!”  Obviously, he loves his little girlfriend.

In order to get to Ellie’s house, we need to pass by the big yellow Victorian house (that’s always decorated for holidays) and the Chihauha that lives in a fenced-in area on the front lawn.  That’s the dog that chased us down last year, knocking me on my butt and freaking out Izzy.  The dog is nasty.  Plain and simple.  He barks (translation: yaps) constantly, running back and forth along the fenceline, growling at anyone who passes by.  You know that if he gets out, he’ll rip into your leg.

Usually, Izzy will ignore the dog, happily bouncing past because he knows he’s excited about going to Ellie’s, but the other day, I think he just had had it with the yappy Chihauha.

We made it to Ellie’s house, the two dogs played, and Izzy wore himself out.  On the way home, we passed the yellow Victorian again, and the Chihauha went ballistic.  Casually, Izzy walked the fenceline, looking the little yapper right in the face.

You’re behind the fence, acting the fool, Izzy seemed to say.  Is that really necessary?

The Chihauha charged the fence, in a barking frenzy now.  Izzy was way too close for the other dog’s comfort.  Izzy stared him down, unmoving, then when the dog came close, Izzy lifted his leg.  Perfect score. Right in the Chihauha’s face.  The other dog shut up immediately.

As Izzy bounced happily down the street in front of me, I couldn’t stop laughing.  Boy, how I wish I was a boy dog sometimes and could have the last laugh the way Izzy had.  Bravo, little boy.  Bravo.

Izzy and his best friend, Elllie the Maltese

Izzy and his best friend, Elllie the Maltese

Watch out for EAGLES!

Shichon owners are in love with their “teddy bear” babies, as I can attest.  Our little dogs have great temperaments, are known for being cuddly loves, are fairly quiet, and do not shed.  Always playful, they make the perfect family pet, and they’re pretty smart (though some can be stubborn).  Whenever people see Shichons on the street or at a dog store, the instant reaction is “Awww, isn’t he cute?”  Owners of Zuchons, as Shichons are often called, band together to discuss their pups, talking about the best food to feed them, comparing cute antics and some even share photos of their dogs dressed in various costumes.

I belong to a couple of Facebook groups of Shichon owners, and we carry on about our dogs, commiserating when one of them has an operation or is about to be spayed or even when one has his/her first haircut.  (I know it’s silly, but I’ve also received some great advice and shared some info about what works for Izzy and the types of food he eats.  It’s definitely great to have that community.

When one of my FB buddies wrote the other day about her female Shichon’s battle with a giant eagle, we were all aghast.  Even more shocking was the photo of the poor pup with five huge holes in her side – where the eagle’s talons had been!  Thankfully, the pup’s human mom was close by and able to chase away the eagle, who had the pup in its talons and struggled to fly away with it.  After a quick emergency trip to the vet’s, the dog is on antibiotics and recovering from both the physical damage as well as the emotional.

Shichons are little dogs, usually less than 15 pounds.  Izzy is barely 17 pounds and most Shichons are smaller than he is.  Because they’re fast, furry and often a light beige or white, they can be mistaken for other small animals such as rabbits and mice by flying predators like hawks and eagles.  High-flying birds scan the ground constantly for what will constitute lunch or dinner, and they’re not always right about which small objects would make a good meal.  If you scan the internet, you can find plenty of exciting videos of eagles snatching babies off the ground or attempting to fly away with a deer or wolf in their talons.  Normally, eagles weigh less than 10 pounds and usually can only carry a 3 or 4 pound animal, but every once in a while they break the rules.

Raptors aren’t the only ones lying in wait for small animals.  Coyotes, bobcats, and even raccoons will drag away a small dog or cat.  Dog owners who live in the country or the mountains have to be exceptionally careful to keep an eye on their pets because a hawk, owl, eagle, coyote, bobcat or other predator can steal a small animal in the blink of an eye.  It’s important to be vigilant in order to keep our animals safe.

I’ve had some close calls with Izzy and larger dogs (as I wrote about earlier), but as much as I watch the birds when we go for our walks, I’ve never thought about worrying that one of them would swoop down and carry my pup away.  But now I worry.