The shelter named her Olive. She was abandoned during the week of Christmas, and she was taken to the shelter by kind people. The shelter volunteers saw that there is a whole lot of life left in her tiny, elderly self. They sent her to the veterinarian, where she was evaluated ... her health is good for a little girl her age. (she may be as old as 16.) She had a dental (which required extraction of all but one of her few remaining teeth) and she was spayed and vaccinated and put on antibiotic drops for an eye infection.
I saw her picture on Facebook yesterday morning. A friend of mine shared her photo ... and there was something about that little face that got to me. (The dog was being fostered at my friend's vet's office).
photo from Facebook
I kept myself busy with piddly things yesterday, all the while I was trying to keep my mind off of the little chihuahua. The more I tried not to think about it, the more it ate at me. At 2:00, I called the vet to ask about 'Olive'. They told me that she is a spunky, sweet little girl who really needed a warm home and someone to love her. I told them that I would like to meet her to see if she could be part of our family.
I should mention at this point that it had been snowing since about 11am. Fortunately, the snow was beginning to let up when I loaded our current dog Ruby into my Jeep and headed out. The roads were in good condition and our half-hour trip was uneventful.
I was unprepared for how incredibly tiny this dog is. Even with no teeth, a monumental overbite, and cataracts, there was something so appealing about her. The little voice in my gut was deafening, "Take her home with you."
So I did.
Even though this was a spur-of-the-moment decision, we had a few supplies that we could pull together for her. The pink fleece bed was bought years ago for the cats, and they haven't wanted anything to do with it. My largest cat carrier is serving as a crate for her. The ladies at the vet gave me a can of the food that they had been feeding her, and I stopped at the store on the way home to buy some more.
As an example of how tiny she is, that's a placemat that she's standing on while having her breakfast this morning.
As I said in the beginning, she is officially my foster dog. I had no idea how the cats would react to having this tiny little critter in their house, and their behavior will be what determines if she stays. I am pleased to say, the cats have reacted pretty much exactly as I thought they would.
Maggie: I know that 'thing' is over there, but I'm not letting it get in the way of my lap time.
Alice: What is THAT? ((hisss))
Dorothy, overreacting as usual: OMG!!! This is the worst thing that has EVER happened!
In my short time with this little dog, I can see why the shelter volunteers gave her a chance. She is adaptable and affectionate and so, so sweet!
I have a confession to make ... my husband did not know anything about this until the deal was done and the dog was settled in. He is away on business, and the time difference and his schedule of meetings just didn't leave an opportunity for me to call him to ask. I talked to him last night (dinnertime where he is) and I told him that we are fostering an elderly Chihuahua. He told me that he can't wait to meet her ... exactly as I thought he would!
She came with the little purple tank top to help keep her warm, but that wasn't going to be adequate against the cold and wind that we are experiencing right now. This morning, I had a bright idea ... I made her a sweater out of an orphan boot sock. As you can see, it fits her perfectly! With her new sweater and her blue blanket, this little sweetheart is staying warm and toasty.
This tiny dog ... this sweet, sweet little girl ... needs to have a name other than 'Olive'. (friends of ours recently adopted a dog and her name is Olive). I have been calling her Little Doggie, but that can't go on for much longer. So far, I've tried Olivia, Daisy, Violet, and others. These are still in the running, but none of them feel right. I think I'm looking for a little-old-lady-type name for her.
I am thrilled to share this little Chihuahua-formerly-known-as-Olive with you! Hopefully, we will soon know if the cats will tolerate her and if she can stay. Until then, she is warm and safe and loved.
Update, 1/23/14: I think we have settled on Winnie Pearl as this little girl's name (all of our animals have middle names). She just seems like a Winnie to me. The cats are still a bit freaked out, but getting to be less and less freaky as time passes. I don't want to jinx it by being too confident, but I think that Ms. Winnie is home to stay.