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Life Lessons From My Chihuahua

What I've learned after five years with a dog breed I never wanted.

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Those yappy little ankle biters...

BBC / Via bbc.com

If you had asked me six years ago which dog I thought was THE WORST I would have told you the Chihuahua. Who would want a dog so small it barely even counts as a dog? A dog that never shuts up and just barks at the highest pitch imaginable for hours on end? A dog that you can tote around in a literal tote bag? Nah thanks.

Oh wait...

Via attackofthecute.com

Turns out, Chihuahuas are THE BEST. Even if the one I adopted came with the moniker Monster. I have never carried him around in a purse because he's independent as fuck and not about that life. While he does bark if he thinks I'm being threatened, he quiets down as soon as I assure him we are safe and not about to be murdered. And while he weighs in at a lean seven pounds, he is just as much a dog as the 70 pound boxer my parents have.

Here's what I've learned from five years with a dog I originally never wanted:

Take the Leap

Monster will literally dive head first off of the couch or the bed or really any high surface he is on without even hesitating. Is that stupid? Kind of. But I like to look at it more as him having a place to be and knowing the fastest way to get there is by relying on himself instead of waiting for someone to come around and gently set him on the ground. He's got dog things to do, like secure the perimeter and eat garbage and judge the neighbors, he can't sit around forever hoping someone will notice that he isn't in the most advantageous spot for those activities. He's got to make it happen for himself. And while it's nice to have a helping hand every now and again, sometimes you've just got to make your own way, even if it means potentially injuring your back because you are a little dog and the distance from the bed to the floor is a bit more than you bargained for.

It's Okay to Be Particular

Chihuahuas are not known for their extensive friendliness. While they can be social when they choose to be, they probably won't greet you at the door unless you're the Chosen One. Chihuahuas have a tendency to favor one person, and if you happen to be that one person then you are #blessed, my friend. But more than likely you will not be a part of that exclusive group, and then you will be subject to sideways glances from said Chihuahua and supplementary cuddles when the Chosen One is unavailable.

And that's okay. You can't welcome everyone into your life with open arms. You have to be a little choosey sometimes when it comes to the company you keep. Cut out negative people and save your energy for those that truly matter to you.

Cuddle at Every Opportunity

me / Via my life

That is a picture of Monster after he burrowed his way into my hoodie because god forbid he just lay next to me on my college futon. As I type this, Monster is splayed across my lap because sitting by my side is TOO FAR. At night, he curls up under my arm or in the 90 degree angle my legs make when they're bent because we have to be in physical contact. And you know what? I fucking love it.

If there is one thing this dog is passionate about other than food, it's cuddling. And honestly, people should be more passionate about cuddling all around. Why can't we all just cuddle together and be happy? Screw fuck buddies (no pun intended, but also you do you), I'd like a cuddle buddy!

Never Give Up On Love

me / Via again, my life

This lesson sounds cliche, and maybe it is, but that's not what matters. What matters is the fact that a six year old dog whose previous owners left him in a trailer park when they moved onto bigger and better things can still open his heart and love again after being abandoned.

The first night my roommate and I brought Monster home, he had no idea what was happening. He timidly crawled onto my lap, shaking the entire time, as I watched Jersey Shore. Maybe that's why he was so confused. Dogs can't talk, so I guess we'll never know.

After only a few days of living with me, he had decided that even after his heart had been broken and his entire life had changed overnight he would trust me. He jumped on his hind legs in excitement every time I came home from work or school, he wagged his tail and wiggled his butt whenever he got a belly rub, and he diligently binge-watched Netflix with me. To this day, I have never seen anyone or anything so happy as this dog seeing me after I've been gone for an extended period of time. Ever since that first car ride home, he's been at my side.

Literally. You read that paragraph about cuddling right?

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