The Chihuahua was particularly cute when I came home from work today. Ears pinned back, body curling with glee, tail vibrating, he slipped out the door, unable to wait for me to enter. Instead of hightailing it into the park the way he normally does, he stayed to shower me with greetings. Although I poke fun at this dog, I appreciate his cuddly, affectionate, always-available-for-comforting nature, and the way he gazes at me with adoration in his eyes. Whenever I pick him up, he relaxes like a rag doll, totally compliant, grateful for the attention.
After dinner, it was my idea to go for a walk in the park. For some odd reason, I wanted to leave the Chihuahua at home this time, but the child insisted on taking the dog as we usually did.
Maybe it was the angle of the sun, but something made the scene in the park magical, with the first rosebuds opening and the slightly crisp air still warmed by the setting sun. The Chihuahua was, as always, thrilled to be alive and with his people.
We walked and ran through the roses to the casting pond and back. Close to home, the frisky Chihuahua bucked and charged, freeing the end of his leash from the child's hand. Off he flew, toward the nearest dog.
Our Chihuahua is not like other Chihuahuas. Ours is loving, trusting, and fearless, totally. He never seemed to realize that his size was diminutive, or that some dogs lacking in sophistication might mistake him for a squirrel.
The ensuing events are a bit hazy to me, as if shock set in from the outset. I was aware of a dog brawl, and afterwards I heard my dog crying mightily. My child was bawling. I clutched the sides of my face in horror, unable to move or comprehend. The owner of the attacking dog tried to pick up my Chihuahua, but my dog snapped at him and staggered over to me, bleeding from the belly.
My neighbor drove me and my family (boy and Chihuahua) to the emergency animal hospital. A heroic effort was made to save his life, but our little chico died tonight.
So far, the aftermath has been unbearable. The house is filled with the toys he loved so much, which he was constantly presenting us with, hoping we'd play fetch. His Pooch Perch is stationed proudly at the window, where he kept vigilance until his people returned home. His little teacup of water awaits him. I can't bring myself to remove his things, which have become suddenly sacred.
In my mind's eye I see him proudly prancing about, doing his utmost to teach me all about the joie de vivre which was his specialty. We were lucky to have him, if only for 10 months. Thank you, chico.