5 Things My Chihuahua Taught Me


My little chihuahua Goliath (the brown one on the left) died last week. While he was only about six pounds, the impact he’s left on my life much larger. I lost my father to cancer in September 14, 2003, as the leaves were just boasting their autumn colors, setting the Arkansas countryside afire with color.

Those first days — I have little recollection. The fog of grief is powerful, and it’s able to obscure many details. One thing I do remember is waking to find a tiny puppy on my chest. My husband knew I was lost–and wanted me to be found again. What better way to come back to the land of the living than to have a puppy to take care of?

Little did I know how much he was taking care of me.

Here are 5 things my chihuahua Goliath taught me.

1. Size bears no importance to authority. Even though he was the smallest of our three dogs, he was definitely the Alpha. The other dogs listened to him and obeyed his commands to check the yard for intruders, to get OFF his pillow, to let him go first at the food bowl. I remember this as I rapidly become the shortest in my house!

Goliath as Study Buddy

2. Sometimes just being there is enough. There are so many times I was upset or sick and Goliath would join us, sitting on our laps or nearby. It’s not as if he could sing me a love song, send flowers, or convey words of wisdom to help me with my problem. But he didn’t have to–his warm puppy presence cheered my heart and slowed down my manic mind.

3. Resting is important. I’m a type A personality and find it hard to just relax. Even if I’m in front of the television, I’m often writing, grading, planning, researching, returning emails–long into the night. Goliath was the King of Comfort. He would always find the fluffiest pillow, the coziest blanket to lie on. He had to keep up his strength as Alpha in case the family needed his help barking. He learned to do this in power naps–VERY powerful naps sometimes lasting 22 hours out of the day. He was like a bully baby.

G resting

4. Protecting the family is a duty. Goliath took this job seriously. Well, he took the job of telling the other dogs to take it seriously seriously. This is how it works. Rocky will perch on the top of the recliner, peering out the window into the dangerous neighborhood, scanning for gang activity or potential killers (or postmen). If a threat hovers, Rocky will sound the alarm, waking Goliath, who will join in the warning call. Lucy, the German Shepherd and self-proclaimed Family Police Force will burst out the doggie door with enough power to shake the house, teeth bared. Usually it’s just a squirrel (we call him Henry and he loves to mess with Lucy–but one day…). Goliath was more of the Police Dispatcher.

5. Dogs (and pets) are irrevocably part of the family. They accept us in any manner we present ourselves: grouchy, unshowered, whatever. That day when he just rested his head on my hand for the last time–I knew that would be forever seared in my memory as a day I lost a dear friend.

Goliath enjoys a puppy cone

Rest in peace, sweet friend. In my heaven, I’ll see you there–and I’ll bring the softest pillow in the world, and a puppy cone.

For Your Entertainment: My Chihuahua Does the Sexy Dance.


That’s Goliath on the left. He’s my 10-year-old chihuahua.He weighs around 6 pounds, which for Chihuahuas is a bit on the chubby side, so I’m supposed to keep an eye on his “fat pockets.” Every time I say “fat pockets” I think of the “hot pockets” theme. That’s just wrong.

On the right is my grandpuppy Rocky, as in the boxer, because they both have a death wish and aren’t so smart.

But this post is about Goliath’s Sexy Dance. It’s his way of proving to the world that despite the fact that he’s a senior citizen and blind in one eye and has grey fur, he still feels that he can BRING IT.

Every time I let him in my room, the first thing he does is what we have called the “Sexy Dance.” Our breeders say it is Goliath’s way of strutting his stuff.

It’s freaking hilarious–and you are WELCOME.

Goliath’s Sexy Dance

Summer Vacation and Chihuahuas With Fat Pockets


Confession time: I’m concerned about my chihuahua’s fat pockets. I took him to the vet thinking he had tumors and he said that they are most likely pockets of fat since Goliath has gained a few pounds in his old age. When you only weighed 5 pounds to begin with, gaining a few pounds is like gaining 50 for us. I’m supposed to “monitor” them, kind of like women do breast exams. What I’m monitoring for, I couldn’t tell you–I guess I’m supposed to call the vet if they get bigger or anything. Since he can’t do anything about it I’m unsure what my calling him would do.

Me: “Hi. Is this the vet’s office?”

Vet’s Office: “Why yes. This is the Veternarian’s office. Can I help you?”

I guess I should be happy for the clarity–I wouldn’t want to accidentally call the VA office to tell the nitty gritty details about Goliath’s fat pockets. I’m not sure they’d be so concerned.

Me: “Yeah, um, this is Tina Bausinger and I’m calling with Goliath’s monthly fat pocket update. They seem to be a bit swollen this week, but I can’t tell if that’s because he ate the neighbor’s dog food for a few days before I noticed. Also, he may have scarfed a bit of fallen taco.”

Vet’s Office: “Um. Okay…”

Me: “It’s not his fault, really. I mean, who doesn’t love a good taco? Sometimes I’ll eat three of them without even thinking about it.”

Vet’s Office: (Clearing throat) “Well, I’ll certainly let Dr. Johnson know about Goliath’s progress.”

Me: “So that’s it? I mean, what happens next?”

VO: “I’m not sure what you mean.”

Me: “Do I bring him in for a fatty ultrasound or something?”

VO: “I don’t know that’s necessary.”

Me: “Well, should I change his diet to Skinny Champions instead of Little Champions? I mean, I’m trying to be proactive here.”
VO: “I’ll get back to you.”
Me: “Ok, I’ll be waiting.”