When Sophie was a puppy – maybe three months old – she was viciously attacked by a chihuahua. Yeah, I know. My pit bull was attacked by achihuahua. We don’t talk about it much because it reminds Sophie she was pwned by a dog that was already half her size.
I wrote a long time ago, in a land far, far away about putting research into the dog you decide to own. The gist of that piece is to do your research before you get a dog.
I knew what I was getting into when I bought Sophie from my cousin. I had been around his dogs and I had been told horror stories about the evil looks people would give me just because of the dog I had chosen to love. It didn’t matter how sweet she was; people would assume the worst.
Sophie is seven now and we’ve gotten our fair share of people making snarky comments about her. People yanking their children up when they see her. People – including family – who basically demanded we “get rid of that dog” when they found out I was pregnant with Cara.
But, here’s the truth about Sophie.
She’s cool as hell. She puts up with our kids crawling all over her. Some days, I suspect she might even like the little crumb eaters. Sophie has never shown aggression toward another dog or a human. She’s been a model dog – if you ignore her over exuberant front door greetings.
I did my research and I knew what I was getting into with her. Any terrier breed is hardheaded and if you’re not willing to lead them, they’ll lead you which basically means they are going to make your life a living hell until you put your foot down and show them what you expect of them.
We socialized the crap out of that dog putting her in all kinds of weird situations and making sure she met tons of other dogs of all shapes and sizes and met tons of people – some of them who didn’t like her very much.
So, yesterday, when I took her out to pee, with Oliver and Caroline following behind like good little ducklings, I was presented with a situation I’ve encountered way too often: a chihuahua that wasn’t expected to behave itself.
One of our neighbors – who just moved out – has a chihuahua and two Great Danes and one of her Great Danes tried to eat Sophie’s lunch a couple of months ago. Luckily, I was able to remove Sophie from that situation before the Great Dane could make good on all of its raised hackles and bared teeth.
But yesterday, the neighbor only had the elderly chihuahua out for its morning constitution.
The little dog saw Sophie and instantly made a beeline for Sophie since he wasn’t leashed. Sophie, who loves all dogs, got all excited and wiggly at the prospect of playing with a new dog. The neighbor snatched up the chihuahau and eyed Sophie.
I gave the woman my best “nice smile” and assured her Sophie wouldn’t hurt her dog. Her reply?
“Oh, no. I’m worried he would attack her.”
Really? Can you imagine if I met someone out walking their dog and then checked Sophie and told the person I was worried Sophie would eat the person’s dog?!
Oh. My. Drama.
Yes, yes, yes, before you even comment on it, I realize a pit bulls would do more damage in a fight than a chihuahau based simply on their size. But, how is it right or fair to expect my dog to behave like a perfect citizen and not expect a little dog to behave the same way.
Dog discrimination, I tell ya.
I suggest a march of some kind. With signs and stuff.