Friday, September 5, 2008

Laptops and Lap Dogs

For those who imagine Chihuahuas to be foul tempered little yappers, let me be the first to say the reputation is completely undeserved. Chihuahuas, when raised right, are sweet and loving dogs. And their size is perfect. Since Chihuahuas are smaller than your average cat, the dog food bill is practically non-existent, and crates, beds, and other doggie equipment are small and correspondingly cheaper than the large versions. A small herd of these little economy dogs is currently milling about in my family room, so I should know.
The Chihuahua population explosion started when my niece Trish moved to North Carolina from Florida. Trish, like nearly everyone else in my family, is owned by Chihuahuas. Everything would have been fine if we hadn’t had to make an emergency trip out of town, leaving Trish to wrangle six Chihuahuas on her own. Her little Pebbles fell in love with our little Leo and before we knew it, Pebbles had gained a couple of pounds and was waddling around looking like she’d swallowed a cantaloupe. Soon the family Chihuahua count was up by four.
Two of the babies have moved on to live in other homes. The remaining two are still here, doing their best to permanently endear themselves to us. They are doing an excellent job and it’s going to be tough to say good-bye when those new parents come along. Still. I don’t want to become one of those collectors like I keep hearing about on the news. You know the ones I mean, the sad cases who simply can’t let go. Eventually they end up with five hundred dogs and a wicked carpet cleaning problem. Besides, I have only so much lap space, especially when the pups have to share with my laptop and my three grown Chihuahuas.
Even though all of them put together don’t add up to one regular sized dog, it’s really hard to write when tiny canines trot across the keyboard at odd moments. Today I told them if they’d let me have mornings free to stay upstairs and write, I promised to spend the rest of the day downstairs providing lap space, occasional treats, and regular walks for all. I’m not sure they heard me.

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