Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Chihuahua Formerly Known as Olive

Instead of making you wait as I go through the whole story ... I will get straight to the point and tell you that we have a not-quite-four-pound geriatric chihuahua living here as of Tuesday.  Technically, she's a foster.  I'm working under the assumption that it will end up as a more permanent situation, though.

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.


  1. She looks like a Sissy...or Pearl...I think Pearl would be perfect...

  2. When I saw her, I thought of my great aunt Viola...She is absolutely adorable. So glad she is home with you, couldn't have a better home. Bless you Connie!

  3. Awwww! You are such a good person. She looks like a dear. Hope the cats see their way toward sharing your lovely home with her.

  4. What a little sweetheart. I am so glad you are giving her a good 'Foster' home. The cats are so funny, but hopefully they will just accept her tiny self. I like the name Pearl that someone mentioned. Connie you and your husband are so loving and giving. Can't wait to hear the name you choose for her.

    hugs, Linda

  5. I have tears running down my face... she is absolutely beautiful and I'm so happy she's with you! I love her already... and I love the fourth picture of her. Your husband is a gem! :)

    I so totally see her as a Loretta. :)

  6. Or Etta for short. :D

  7. Evelyn, Hazel, Mabel, Mabeline!, Edith (that sweet woman married to that awful Archie) Maisy, Prue, Roan, Lovey, Nellie, Avis

  8. I'm with Kelly, she looks like Pearl. Bless you for making the last part of her life more comfortable and stable. I hope the people that abandoned her had a very, very good reason, and if they didn't - damn them.

  9. Oh bless your heart for giving her a home where she can be warm and loved and cared for. I love old lady names and can't wait to hear what you choose.

  10. We all hope to be cared for in our golden years when our bones are rickety and our teeth fall out. Thank you for caring for Olive. Xox

  11. God bless you for taking her in, that poor little angel. how anyone can abandon a pet is beyond my comprehension. She looks so adorable. I think you should call her Mini Pearl because she's so tiny and a little jewel.

    Enjoy your new little bundle!


  12. Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE Chihuahuas??? Bless your heart AND hers. She looks like a "Teeny" to me. LOL! My last one had a head shake, so we named her Katie, after Katharine Hepburn.

  13. Connie, I love you dearly for taking in this old girl! She's AAAdorable and it's easy to see how one could simply POUR love on her. God bless you, your husband and your household.

  14. She is so adorable and she should be called Grace!

  15. My suggestion is Minnie, as in Minnie Pearl. Wasn't she on Grand Ole Opry? I like the warm sock for her. My grand-dog is a rescue dog that hit the jackpot when Sarah brought him home. Looks like sweetie found hers.♥♫

  16. It is wonderful you gave "Doggie" a home, she looks really happy. And it must be great to have such a supportive husband. When I think of elderly ladies, the first thing that comes to mind is Agatha Christie's Miss Marple, so maybe a name from one of those books? Charlotte?

  17. Oh this has me with a few tears. I'm so happy there are such kind people to help animals in need. Thank you so much.
    I can't help but want to name her Sophia Petrillo a la the Golden Girls. Her face even sort of looks like Estelle Getty's brilliant character.
    Hartwood and its family are very special.

  18. An honorary greyhound :) She is sweet!

  19. Well not only have you made mini pearl very happy with your big heart but all of us too.

    What a wonderful story to read first thing in the morning.

    Thank you for being you.

    xo j

  20. It’s sunrise here and you, Connie, just jump started my day!!! How bout Emma?

  21. I have to say...I love Olive...she looks like an Olive. I would keep that name for her until you decide on where she's going to live. If the cats say okay to staying in your home, then consider changing her name...but if she ends up in another home she'll most likely get yet another name change...very confusing for any dog...especially an old gal.
    She is darling!

  22. Connie, you have a great soul to do this. Fosie? After Foster care ?

  23. I can certainly see why you are so smitten with this sweet little girl! And I can't believe how small Winnie is compared to the cats--I'll bet they love that!! :-) But I have no doubt there's a big heart in that little body that is grateful that she now has a wonderful home!!!

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. Might I suggest the Spanish name Panchita which translates to Fanny in English? She is absolutely adorable!

  26. Hi Connie, She's adorable! So glad you took her in. I'm sure whatever name you give her will be sweet.

  27. So,so, sweet. I agree w/Steve - you area really good person. I kinda liked Violet - what about Viola or Clara?

  28. OMG look at that little face! I have some clothes Pepper's grown out of if you're interested. You said you'd know when it was time to get another dog -- and it obviously was!

  29. You're an angel ! I have got a chihuahua and they are the best dogs. The three of you are going to be very happy together !

  30. Aw! What a sweetie! I like the suggestion, the name, Minnie Pearl.

  31. Lucky puppy to have found you all, she will be very happy there...notice I didn't even pretend that she'll be going anywhere else?! And I would call her Grace or Gracie. To have reached her age, and still be so grateful after all she's been through shows a lot of Grace.

    xo Kat

  32. As you were (last
    post!) and as you
    are: beautiful!

    Beautiful heart,
    beautiful soul,
    beautiful lady.

    I had tears in my
    eyes as I read this.

    First, that someone
    could abandon a
    geriatric dog is just
    so cruel.

    Second, that you
    and your husband
    so willingly opened
    your home and hearts.

    Beautiful, I tell ya!

    xo Suzanne

    PS: Our last dog was
    called Winnie and our
    current pup is Gracie.

    I'm a bit partial to the
    very old fashioned name
    Mildred, (my grama's
    best friend from high
    school....They are both
    now 96 : ) )

  33. What a lucky little dog. She is so cute.

  34. She looks so so sweet. It looks like she likes it at your house with the love and warmth you are giving her. She is very lucky to have you, Connie.

  35. Bless your hearts for. Including this sweetie-pie in your home.

  36. I missed Winnie's entry into your lives. She is so adorable -- I can understand how you could not get her out of your mind, and heart.

    We won't even go into how anyone could abandon her -- unimaginable.

    I see by today's post that she's settling in ... the little blankie-wrapped bundle in the pink bed looks pretty comfy.

    Good for your already resident pets for accepting tiny Winnie Pearl. I do love the oldsters. Almost took in another one, who's being fostered in MD right now ... but I think she's got a good home on the hook. :-)


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