Monday, April 25, 2011

Chihuahua Public Service Announcement

About a week ago we made the tough decision (confession: the decision wasn't that tough) to get rid of our chihuahua. Jay and I had grown tired of Sadie long ago but had held on to her because the boy liked her. (The girl has always been indifferent at best.) Finally though, after having to pick up chihuahua crap one too many times, the boy gave up. I think his exact words were, "Why do I do this?! That dog isn't even nice to me!" Of course he was right, the dog wasn't that nice to him. In fact, the cruel irony of it was that the only one the dog liked was me. So this really was a losing situation for all involved-I didn't want her around me but because she wanted to be around only me, she was pretty much starved for affection. (Well, for a chihuahua.)

To those of you who've never owned a chihuahua it may seem as if I'm being cruel, which is why I'm taking a few moments out of my time to share with you some tidbits that I had to learn the hard way.

*Chihuahuas tend to latch on to one person. In this situation that person was me. When we first got Sadie six years ago this wasn't much of a problem, but as life got more hectic spending time with her just started to feel like work. It was as if I had a third child. If I sat down, she jumped in my lap. If I walked around the house, she followed me. If I went in the bathroom, she sat by the door. This went on for six years. I know you're thinking that she just loved me, but it wasn't that. It was more like she was forcing me to love her. Which brings me to my next point:

*Chihuahuas have a strong sense of entitlement. They assume that no matter what they do, it's going to be okay with you. And if it's not, screw you, you better get used to it. There were numerous times that Sadie would jump in my lap and I'd push her away only to have her jump back up not ten seconds later. There's a woman in my neighborhood who has two chihuahuas and when I was explaining this to her I ended my statement with the phrase, "Chihuahuas are just so dumb." She looked at me and said, "No, they aren't dumb at all. Just really disobedient." Well, there you go. (For the record, this woman loves these dogs and says she'll never own another breed. Clearly she's off her rocker.)

*Chihuahuas are notoriously hard to housebreak. After six years, Sadie still never went one full week without pooping in the house, despite our best efforts to train her. If she needed to poop, she didn't let the minor fact that she wasn't outside stop her. She would poop wherever she was. In the kitchen, underneath the dinner table, right in front of me as I sat on the couch, etc. What made matters worse was that she just didn't care. Chihuahuas, unlike other dogs, aren't eager to please their owners. We'd be cleaning up after her and she'd be dancing around us wagging her tail. Her lack of shame always really bugged me.

On the off chance that you guys don't believe me and think that I just had a defective chihuahua or that I didn't devote enough time to training her, let me assure you that in the years that I owned Sadie I spoke to a lot of other chihuahua owners and the general consensus was the same.

My best friend, Dawn, had to put her chihuahua to sleep last year, after something like fifteen years of servitude. After a short period of grief she soon realized how much better her life was. It wasn't long before she was bragging about NOT having to pick up poop. (I have to admit that I was kind of jealous of her at this point. Misery loves company.) When I told her that we were looking for a home for Sadie, she was definitely excited for me, saying, "Your quality of life is about to greatly improve." She also admitted that even though her dog has been gone for over a year, whenever she sees something black or brown on the floor, maybe a Lego or other small toy, her first reaction is to assume it's dog poop.

In writing about all of this, I'm not saying that chihuahuas are bad pets for everyone. I know a lot of happy chihuahua owners. That woman I mentioned earlier? She's older and her husband has to travel a lot for work, so I think she probably likes the neediness of chihuahuas and doesn't mind them following her around all day. But I think that chihuahuas aren't the best pet choice for most families.

As for Sadie, Jay wasted no time finding her a home. Within a day of Monty declaring he had had enough, Jay talked to someone through work who had owned a chihuahua before and was looking to own one again. In my mind this was the perfect person for Sadie to go to-someone who knew what chihuahuas were like but yet wanted one anyway. (As much as we were all sick of Sadie, we weren't going to let her go with just anyone. We wanted to make sure she'd be loved.) I sent her this picture to seal the deal:Last I heard, Sadie was snuggled in the lap of her new mommy.

27 comments:

Maria Rose said...

I am glad you found her a good home! Obviously I am an animal advocate, but it doesn't serve anybody (human or animal) to have a crappy (pun intended) living situation. You did the right thing and found her a good home and gave yourselves a break from feces!

P.S. My sister-in-law had one that would regularly poop on her pillow.

Tammie said...

maria: i dont doubt it one bit.

and i completely agree. initially i felt bad about even thinking about getting her a new home, i just figured she was my responsibility and my cross to bear. but now i look at it like, shes with someone who actually WANTS her, and thats a good thing.

beck said...

Sounds like you did the right thing for all concerned! I'm sure she will fit right in at her new home and you can breath a sigh of relief! xo

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you never took the time to research out the personality and the traits of the breed before getting one... In my opinion the dog is better off in a new home than living with you... And or the record I own 3 dogs of differnt breeds and would never consider trading them off just because one was attached to me... In my opinion you are primarly pond scum and don't a pet or to raise childen in my opinion...

Tammie said...

beck: i do think it was a good decision. everyone involved seems happier.

anon: to say that i got rid of her because she was attached to me is a bit off base. also, i was familiar with the breed beforehand had but had no idea how difficult owning one would be. in fact i dont think a lot of people are truly familiar with the difficulties in owning the breed, which was why i wrote this.

but yeah, im probably not fit to do much.
;)

~*Gumbo Soul*~ said...

bahahaha! "someone who knew how chihuahuas are and still wanted one anyway." That part gave me the giggles. Anyway, YES, every chihuahua I've ever met is exactly like that. My hubby's grandmother owns like 4 of them and I always refer to them as the "rodent brigade." I always said I'd never own a chihuahua or even a chihuahua mix puppy EVER, but we have a chihuahua/mini dachshund hound mix and she has like the PERFECT energy/temperament for our family. She is proving difficult to house train potty wise which I'm sure comes from the chihuahua, but at least she's TRYING to please us and shows shame if she has an accident.

~*Gumbo Soul*~ said...

PS- Don't worry about ol' anon up there either. I've found new homes for pets that weren't the right fit for our family too, so we can sit next to each other in hell! At least we won't be down on the seventh level with the people who just bring them to shelters to be killed off!

Tammie said...

theresa: ive been wondering how life with your puppy was going! hopefully the dachsund part will eventually cancel out the chihuahua part.

and thanks for the support in regards to my latest anon. commenter. (i was just thinking how it had been a long time since i had one...) but yes, i completely agree with you-i no longer believe in keeping a pet who isnt a proper fit and i dont see anything wrong in finding a loving home for a pet. and frankly, i was tired of having to worry about poop.

also, hell is starting to seem like a good place because all the people i love are gonna be there with me. ;)

~*Gumbo Soul*~ said...

Oh yes, it's THE place to be in the afterlife. LOL All joking aside, I REALLY believe that it's better for everyone, especially the pet to find them a better home. At least Sadie is now with an owner who is better suited to her needs. And even if you had researched the breed, there was still a chance her individual personality wouldn't have meshed with yours or your kids. The dog we have is the exception of the litter. All of her siblings are really yippy and obnoxious. But Trinket (as nadia named her... lol) is really low key and relaxed. Way more our speed. LOL

Carla said...

Pond scum - yeah, that's the first word I would use to describe you! Um. NO.
I personally think that the fact that you recognized that it was time for Sadie to live elsewhere and that you did not give her to just anyone shows quite the contrary. It indicates that you do care for her and wanted the best for her.

Tammie said...

carla: thank you. we had no intention of taking her to the pound/shelter and we didnt even want to go the route of putting an add in the paper because we could never have been sure she'd have a good home. although she wasnt right for us we knew she'd be right for someone, fortunately it didnt take us long to find that someone.

daphne said...

I think you made the totally responsible decision, especially since I know you would have kept her until you found the perfect home for her. She was awfully cute and I'm really glad she's with someone who will appreciate all her... quirks. It's a win-win! And yay! No more dog poop in the house!

After our weekend doggie adventure, we totally want a dog. But we'll make sure it's not a chihuahua. Terri has already vetoed (not that I voted for one, uh-uh.)

Dear anon: why are you people always anonymous? I'm pretty sure Tammie could take being called pond scum by someone who didn't take the time to read her post correctly and realize that she was actually being responsible and kind to Sadie by finding her a more suitable home. So next time, sign your name and grow a backbone.

PS: also we are all heathens here too, so you might want to lurk elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

You absolutley did the right thing by finding a hoome for Sadie. It wasn't fair to your family or to Sadie to be in a home that wasn't the right fit for her. That does not make you a bad person. It makes you a responsible one. The reason I am anon is I don't know how to open an account here! At any rate, ignore the jerks that have nothing nice to say to you..PS maybe if anon told you who they were you could have anrranged for a box of chihuahua poop to be delivered, smoking, to thier doorstep.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

You still have Liz Lemon? Keep us posted on how life has changed. I find this interesting as all get out. I so get this!! You did the right thing for your family and for the dog.

Anonymous - You big chicken shit. You spew crap and can't even post your name. Tell me again who us pond scum?

Tammie said...

peggy: oh yes, liz lemon isnt ging anywhere, shes well behaved and a perfect fit for our family. in fact, she IS our family.

Tammie said...

by the way: you guys are all the best, thank you for the support.

i had no idea someone would actually get upset at me for finding a loving home for a pet who was making my life unhappy.

Stephanie Meade Gresham said...

Who still says pond-scum? I mean, if you're going to be anonymous maybe you could give your insults a little more spice.

And I think the important lesson here is that you found a happier home for everyone involved. I live with a mini-pincher who bears mild resemblance to a chihuahua in behavior and body. I only now and then come across a "tootsie roll" on the carpet (once monthly perhaps) and can easily pawn him off on someone else's lap around the place when I get tired of his clingy personality.

May the force be with you, Sadie. And may your new owner be bendy at the waist.

~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

I think you're kind of like a hero of sorts....Putting up with that crap (literally) for so long. I never would have lasted six years. I had a puppy with worms that lasted exactly six days in my house. I was tormented about making the decision to hand over that pup for weeks afterward. But, it was definitely the right decision as I had small children crawling around on the floor at the time. Hmmm....Kids and dogs. There are days I wonder if I made the right choice in which got given away. Just kidding -- in case anon wants to lurk and spew on my blog.

Dani said...

Sounds like a good deal all around.

I thought I wanted a chihuahua for about 2.3 seconds.

Yeah. Not so much.

Catherine said...

The only thing I would say is if ever you find yourself in a position where you can't keep a dog or cat ask money. If you feel funny about asking for money then donate it to your local SPCA or other animal shelter. The sad fact is that some people get 'free pets to good home' and use them as bait when they train their fighters or sell them to labs for experiments.

hester said...

Glad you had a happy ending. I also don't know how you lasted 6 years and I don't feel quite as annoyed about all the dog poo I pick up off our grass, now.

Daphne's comment about "we're all heathens here" really cracked me up. Thanks for making me smile, Daphne.

lvankuiken said...

Good for you! We had to find another home for our miniature labradoodle (which was a gift from a well meaning grandmother). I tried to train her for 6 months. 6 months of her pooping in her crate and then rolling in it, which necessitated us having to then bath her and her crate. I finally gave up. It just wasn't working.

We found her a wonderful home with someone who was completely aware of her "challenges" and was home all the time to work with her. The last I heard, the situation was working well for all concerned.

The fact that you found your dog another home does not make you a bad pet owner - it makes you a good one! You cared enough to find a good home for your pet. That says a lot.

victoria said...

I didn't know my husband's mother is a chihuahua. Sense of entitlement is an understatement -- and calling me 20 times a day demanding attention. And I'm sure she'd poop on my pillow if given the opportunity.

Jen C said...

being an owner of a Chihuahua in which I can't sit down without her on my lap or anywhere without her following...I had to laugh about the comment that they are just disobedient...I was going with dumb as well. This isn't my first Chihuahua, so I knew what I was getting into, but I wanted her to attach to my son! Of Course, it didn't work that way.

Tammie said...

jen c: thats exactly how i wanted it to be too! she was supposed to be my sons dog!!!

Visty said...

Wow, I am jealous that you have anonymous haters. You know your blog has transcended to a new level when you get those. I've never even gotten one.

I think you did right by Sadie and yourself. She gets to have someone to herd and bully, and you get to stop cleaning up poop. What's the harm? It's not like you put her in a bag and left her on the highway to get run over.

Anonymous said...

Hello Tammie,

I'm glad you took the time and effort to find your chihuahua Sadie a good home. I comend you in not taking her to a the pound or shelter. Sounds like both Sadie and your famil are enjoying a better quality of life. You are so not pond scum. I love the manner in which you brushed off that coment.

I am the owner of a very pampered chihuahua. Everyone in my family adores her. I guess we lucked out because she was quite easy to potty train; it took two weeks. She has never had an accident but we have her on a schedule and do not deviate from it. She can be extremely yappy and is possesive of her family. She is also jealous of any attention I pay my two other dogs (a 25 pound American Eskimo and 14 pound poodle); she tries to compete with them and be the center of attention. She mellowed out once she discovered they were stronger than she is. While she does want constant attention, she also gives lots of love in return.

Glad everyone is happy with the outcome of Sadie's new living arrangement.