The Daily Chihuahua Story


The story started like many rescued dog stories: a lost dog, some kind people, and a decision to open a heart & home.

Chapter One: Almost a Midnight Snack

Late one night in mid-January of 2014, a little Chihuahua was cornered by a bobcat behind the garage of a home in La Canada, California.  The homeowner went out to see what the commotion was about, and saved the little dog from certain death as the bobcat’s dinner.

Unable to keep her at his home, the man gave the Chihuahua to his neighbor Mary to care for while they searched for the owner.  She had no collar, no microchip – no identification with which to find her people.  They put up flyers in the neighborhood, posted on the lost dog websites, craigslist, called local veterinarians, pet stores, and shelters.  Weeks passed, but no one claimed her.

Mary fell in love with the sweet, friendly little girl, but couldn’t keep her long term.  She posted dozens of pictures on facebook, hoping someone would also fall in love and adopt her.  Several people expressed interest, but nothing ever came through.

Chapter 2: A Little One Looking for Love

Meanwhile, I read Mary’s stories of how gentle, smart, and loving she was.  And the pictures of her little zombie eyes and wrinkled forehead kept drawing me in.  Even though I like dogs (and have always had a fascination with the Taco Bell Dog), I’ve always considered myself a “cat person,” and never imagined I would actually adopt a dog.  I felt drawn to her, but at first it didn’t occur to me that I could take her in.

She was so cute, surely someone would take her!  But as time went on, no one did.  Her sweet face kept popping up on my facebook newsfeed, still looking for someone, still in need of a forever home.  The clock was ticking, and I started thinking… “what if that someone is me?”

Chapter 3: The Decision to Share a Home

I did the Pros & Cons list thing.  I called my mom and my closest friends to ask if they thought it was a good idea, and they all said a resounding yes!  I googled dog care and chihuahua care and how to know if adopting a dog is the right thing, and on and on.  I knew it was a big decision, a lifetime commitment to be responsible for another being, and I didn’t take it lightly.  Her eyes kept looking at me from my computer screen, and finally I just contacted Mary and said, I want to adopt her.

So on March 4, 2014, I brought her home to my apartment in Beverly Hills, California.  Her name became Renni, and the rest, as they say, is history.  We’ve had many adventures already, made a lot of new friends, and have both learned and grown so much.  I thought I was going to be helping her, but in truth, she has helped me far more – and more than I ever dreamed possible.

Chapter 4: Two Lives Forever Changed

As we go forward with, we’ll share more of our story.  Every day there’s something new!  Life with a dog is a constant learning process.  Like any relationship, there are the ups, the downs, the awesome, the angst, the fun, the frustration, and the love.  Above all, and every day, the love.

She is without a doubt, the nicest, cutest, smartest dog that ever was.  I know there are many dog people out there who feel exactly the same way, but this is a whole new world for me, and everything she does is fresh and new and exciting to me.  And like many pet owners, I’m eager to share it with anyone and everyone.  She is now my almost constant companion and I cannot imagine being without her.  I never knew this depth of connection was possible, and I try every day to be the best “dog-parent” I can be.  Every day she inspires me. This little doggie has changed my life!

Chapter 5: The Real Chihuahua of Beverly Hills

Renni is friendly to everyone: dogs, people, children, other animals. Sometimes she’ll have a reaction and be afraid of a person or another dog, but that’s rare. She’s quiet, calm, and generally very well-behaved. She’s also very athletic and loves to run and play. Every day we hear how she’s not a “typical” Chihuahua. She loves people, and people love her – even people who don’t normally like dogs at all. A friend made the comment that “She’s like a real dog, only small.”

We do a lot of community activities together, and are out and about in the neighborhood all the time on our walks. We meet many people and dogs along the way. Most are surprised at her easygoing friendliness, active curiosity and playfulness, and her gentle loving demeanor. And, over and over, we hear how different her behavior is from what people expect of Chihuahuas: She’s a “real dog,” only small. I started saying she’s the “real chihuahua” of Beverly Hills. And so she was.

We’ve since moved to Arizona, where our adventures continue.

Chapter 6: Real Chihuahuas Have Goals!

Goal One. To share our adventures so that others considering adopting a Chihuahua (or any dog or pet) will do it, and stick to the decision.  It’s a major lifestyle adjustment and can be a real roller-coaster!  There were times at the beginning when I wasn’t sure I could do it, and thought that I’d made a terrible mistake.  Knowing what others have gone through, and having others to talk to and share with can help us make it through the uncertain times to the sunshine on the other side.

Goal Two. To show people that Chihuahuas are Real Dogs, only small!  The stereotypical yappy, snapping, snarling Chihuahua is not a reality for us and for many other great dogs and their people.  But there are many Chis who do behave in that anti-social way. Sometimes it’s a nature issue, and sometimes it’s a nurture issue.

In the course of doing research about how to take care of Renni properly, I discovered that Chihuahuas are one of the most prevalent dog breeds on the streets and in shelters.  They get popular because of a movie or a celebrity owner. Backyard breeders and puppy mills produce them by the thousands. So people get them, but don’t know how to train them or deal with them as dogs rather than accessories. Then in a few months or a year or so, the dogs are given up or just thrown away.  This breaks my heart.  Such wonderful animals – homeless, unloved, and very often killed because there aren’t enough people to take in all the abandoned pets.

So, as we continue to build, we’ll be adding resources for training, care, and community to support the emotional and physical well-being of Chihuahuas and their owners. We intend to bring more awareness to the deplorable industry that is puppy mills and backyard breeding, and support the fight against these practices.

Goal Three. To inspire, motivate, and have fun!  The world can be a pretty horrible place these days, and we all need to smile, laugh, love, hug, and dance a little more.  If we can be part of that for you, that makes us even happier! Everyone deserves a chance at Chihuahua Love!

And the Story Doesn’t End There…

As we share our continuing adventures on DC, sometimes I will post in my voice, and sometimes it will be Renni’s voice on the blog. Thank you for joining us!

Lisa, AKA Renni’s Mom