Chihuahuas are wonderfully spirited little dogs full of love and energy! Anyone who knows them can tell you how lively their personalities are. I have 5 chihuahuas, 3 of which are puppies. Susu, Ginger, Cori, Fen, & Cinna. I'll be sharing my thoughts here on everything from health issues, to food, to fashion and fun for the small dog.

I hope you enjoy the blog, leave me a comment and follow along!!

-- Michelle K.

While the main dog here is the Chihuahua, I believe the information here is valuable and entertaining to any small dog owner.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Stranger Safety Needed for Small Dogs!!

I ran across a news story this morning that really made me stop and think.  Do we need to teach our small dogs 'stranger safety' much as we do with our children?

I am constantly hearing about the importance of socializing our dogs to accept and be friendly towards strangers and I do believe that is a good thing.  But for those of us that have small animals, it may also be wise to teach our dogs not to approach a stranger without invitation.  And why should we assume that others will be kind to our animals?  While most people enjoy seeing small dogs and our cute little furbabies, the unfortunate reality is that some people are just mean and small dogs are fragile.

-- Case in point.. An 11 yr old boy was walking his chihuahua near him home when the 5 lb chi ran to 'say hello' to a stranger.  In the end, the woman grabbed the dogs leash and tossed the dog away from her breaking his neck and killing him in the process.  

Now, the woman charged claims the chihuahua was nipping and biting at her pants leg.  And I certainly think the force was excessive given the size of the dog but realistically we cannot always expect others who are unfamiliar with small dogs to understand how truly fragile they are.  And we certainly shouldn't assume that strangers on the street are 'dog friendly'.

This is such a heartbreaking story.  Ultimately it is our responsibility to ensure the safety of our beloved pets.  Whether it should be or not can be debated til the cows come home.  The truth is if this little chi had not approached this woman to begin with he would still be with his family. 

Asking permission before greeting someones dog AND before allowing your dog to greet a stranger is not only good manners but it's also a safety issue.  Simply approaching a dog without invitation is well known to be dangerous and can incite a dog to possibly bite but often little thought is given to the danger we may be putting our dogs in when we allow them to greet new people.

And I think its time we dog owners become more aware of these dangers when allowing our dogs to approach others without invitation.  Often owners of small dogs simply assume that others would never see their dogs as threatening or hostile because of their size.  Or we just cant see how someone could hurt something so small cute and innocent.  This is simply untrue.  Some people are afraid of small dogs too. And in the real world, animals and children are harmed everyday by people with ill intentions.  We must not assume that the lady on the street is nice and open to meeting our little angels.  We must stop and think about whether that man on the corner is someone we would want our dog to meet.  It's a tough line to walk balancing keeping our dogs people friendly and people safe but it is a line that must be walked.

Keep your dog on a leash or contained in some way when out and about so that you are in control of the situation at all times. Make it a practice to always go through the formality of asking if your dog may greet a new person.  This not only protects you from possible legal situations, it also protects your small dog from possible injury or emotional trauma from an encounter with someone who doesn't like dogs and just simply didn't want to meet yours.

Stay Safe and Have Fun!!

To read the full news article referenced above..

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Chihuahua Puppies Birth to 9 weeks

I've got so many things I want to blog about and lots of fun exciting things coming up in the near future but for today I thought I would take a short little trip down memory lane and post some baby pictures of the little chihuahua puppies.  The blog has been getting some new readers who havent seen them as newborns so today I'm just going to sit back, enjoy my coffee and let you see just how much they have grown.   By the way, if you notice the snowflakes on the blanket that will sort of give you a size reference too. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mindfulness in Dog Care

I think everyone agrees that dogs are very intuitive and emotional creatures. They know when their humans are sick, sad, happy, stressed, etc. There are dogs that can detect low blood sugar in diabetics and sense oncoming seizures in epileptic patients. Studies show that dogs can even detect cancer as well.

Dogs are amazing animals that have spend thousands of years living by our side and they have learned a few things about us too. Probably more than we know about them. They detect subtle scent changes in us as our hormones and body chemistry changes and everything you do changes these chemicals whether it's a calming release of serotonin or a quick surge of adrenaline. The reality is your dog does have a sixth sense about us.

But how often do people look at that in terms of their dogs care and daily routine? Do you take time out just to appreciate your dog and be fully engaged with them each day? Or are you 'multi tasking' all the time?

If you are always 'multi tasking' then your dog is never getting you fully and I believe they know this instinctively. We all have times when we toss a ball while watching tv or working around the house. I always have a dog in my lap when on the computer.. usually Susu. However its important to give each dog one on one 'mindful' time too.

I find that my dogs are calmer and more satisfied - less pestering if I take the time to just fully engage with them. Then they get what they need and move on rather than continuing to bring me the ball hour after hour in mindless tossing and fetching.

I also find it really benefits me and my relationship with my dogs. I just pet them in a more mindful state. I like to just close my eyes and think about my dog.. what is special about them.. how much I love them.. appreciate the silky feel of their fur.. listen to them breathe.. and sigh.. I do this with each of mine daily for at least a few minutes each time I hold them and I do believe they understand those feelings of love and appreciation. Often even my high energy Ginger will close her eyes and rest her chin on my chest during this time.

I also do this when my dogs are stressed to calm them. I will get close to them and think about how safe they are and how much I love them and how I am protective of them. This really does a lot for my boy who is the nervous type.

I just feel that if our beloved dogs know when we are sad, sick, happy, etc they must just as easily know if we are distracted, tired, annoyed or loving, appreciating, and enjoying them for what and who they are. And I dont know if a dog could be a mind reader but they do know our emotions and I believe that dogs do understand and respond to their owners energy. And using that mindset, I like to 'send' energy to my dogs as needed. Maybe its calming, or reassuring, or just plain love. I spend a lot of time expecting my dogs to respond to my language so maybe this is a way to talk to them in their language. Body language and energy. Quirky yes, but a very enjoyable close time for me and my dogs.

Dogs are special. Take a few quiet minutes and just project that energy out to them of how loved and special they truly are to you. I for one really believe thats the language they understand from us the most.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Contact Voltage: A Hidden Danger to You and Your Pets

I was really surprised to find that pets have been electrocuted in cities all over the world from stray contact voltage.  This is caused by fraying of underground power lines or damaged or missing plates on lamp posts, etc.  Weather including rain and snow / salt can make this even more dangerous.

There have been deaths in NY, PA, London and other places throughout the world.  This is more of an urban danger than a rural one but any city can have hidden dangers.  When you are walking your dog be mindful of metal objects including lamp posts, man hold covers, fences, etc.  Anything metal can pose a risk if for some reason it has come into contact with an electrical current.

 Sam: electrocuted on Thanksgiving Day while on a walk with his owner 11/25/2010

Sebastian: electrocuted by contact voltage from a lamppost in May 2008

--  And those are just two of hundreds of beloved pets that have been killed by stray contact voltage.  Be aware of this hidden danger and protect yourself and your pets from this very real problem.

Here are a couple of websites for more in depth information on this phenomena.

And if you run into a hot spot, you can report it here..