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Ruth Fowler

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The Chihuahua Problem - America in Crisis?

Posted: 12/14/2009 11:13 am

California has tired of toy dogs! Besieged by cutesy images depicting Chihuahuas as timid, trembling creatures with a penchant for pink designer wardrobes and vacuous owners - think Paris Hilton, Beverly Hills Chihuahua and the annoying girl from Legally Blonde - Chihuahuas became the pet of choice on the West Coast. What could be better than a toy dog you can stuff in a bag, dress up like Barbie, accessorize with your outfit and has poop the size of a peanut?

Pop culture consumers desperate for a doggy like Paris flocked to wrestle a pup from the shelves of their local designer store, but apparently started to return the goods after forgetting to read the small print, included here for your delectation.

  1. Dog people are boring people. They talk about feces, watch The Dog Whisperer on Netflix, discuss organic brands of holistic pet food, refuse nights out on the grounds they can't find a petsitter, are often covered in suspicious excretions, look constantly exhausted and are unable to maintain a coherent conversation until puppy hits six months and can sleep through the night. Are you willing to join the cult?

    A child might be a better investment.

  2. A Chihuahua may look like a toy, but it's not a toy. This will become apparent when your adorable three-month old puppy sinks its fangs into your finger when you attempt to dissuade it from devouring your Louboutins.
  3. Chihuahuas may fit into a bag, but Mother Nature gave them legs. This suggests your Chihuahua, like most dogs, probably needs exercise in the form of a walk. At least twice a day. You may have to leave the heels at home.
  4. Dog clothes for Chihuahuas are really goddamn expensive. Unless you shop at Target. And who wants to dress their pup in Target? This is LA goddammit!
  5. Even if you have the 1k needed for vaccinations, micro-chipping and to spay or neuter your pup, your vet bills will be increased by the fact your Chihuahua will quickly develop the desire to fight with other dogs - particularly those which weigh about 300 pounds and are bred to hunt Tyrannosaurus Rex.
  6. The novelty of owning a small, cute dog quickly wears off after yet another elderly lady approaches you, snatches up your dog from the sidewalk, proceeds to deliver a sickening monologue in high-pitched baby talk, and tells you that you're bringing up your dog wrong. You're already twenty minutes late for work, but you're not getting away until she's told you all about Pooky, her own Chihuahua who died last year aged 20, no other dog could ever replace her, Pooky was so special, she just knew exactly how you were feeling, and she did this thing where she looked at you with her adorable face ...
  7. Even if their shit is microscopic, guaranteed there will be an anxious, snarling mother hovering next to you with little Johnny in a stroller when puppy goes potty. Should you not pick up the poop, said anxious mother will hunt you down.
  8. Chihuahuas - indeed, dogs in general - look really stupid dressed in pink and / or diamante.
  9. Chihuahuas are breakable. A pitbull you can happily hurl at the wall (I do not suggest this), but sneeze next to a baby Chihuahua and it may snap in two. A small, fragile, yet vicious Chihuahua - and kids? Uh-oh. Either or both is going to need medical attention after a short amount of time in the same room.
  10. SBD's. Small But Deadly. Chihuahuas have really stinky farts.
  11. Chihuahuas are enamored of the poonanie. It's disturbing to find your pooch excitedly licking your face after chowing down on your panties for half an hour.

I own a four month old Chihuahua I rescued on Venice Boardwalk two and a half-months ago. Because of this little 3 pound f****r, I have to leave my (no pets) apartment, I have nothing to talk about apart from potty-training, and my credit cards are maxed out on vet bills.

I love every minute of it.

But even as someone who grew up with dogs and worked as a dogsitter for years, I wasn't prepared for the amount of work one tiny little creature demands.

Which is why, when California is having a Chihuahua crisis in its dog shelters, presumably caused by the lack of foresight of owners purchasing these creatures, I find it vastly irresponsible to suggest the solution to the problem is to encourage more people to adopt these unwanted creatures without giving them an adequate sense of the work involved, and instead appealing to the same kind of pop culture, consumer drivel which caused the problem in the first place.

Look into those soulful little eyes. Can you stand the idea that this sweet little creature probably won't live into the new year?

Great idea. We fooled one lot of people into thinking their pup was going to be easy, cheap, compliant and fun, lets do it to the next lot. And keep deferring the problem, without really addressing it with adequate education.

Isn't that the American way?

 

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