Monday, October 11, 2010

Senor Poquito- A Good Buddy

We got Senor Poquito ("Mr. Little Bit") in March of 1998. We were told he was three weeks old and the mother had died three hours after delivering Pokey and two other pups. The owner was desperate to find homes for them. His eyes were open when we brought him home but if he was three weeks old it was just barely. We always thought something was a bit fishy about his story but there he was- cute as a button and in need of a good home.

We were told he was a Chihuahua and in fact the other pups in the litter definitely were Chihuahuas but Pokey was always just a bit different. He topped out at 16 lbs and his coloring matched the Belgian horses exactly. In fact, even though they weighed almost infinitely more than he did, Pokey used to regularly chase and terrorize the horses. He also enjoyed stalking and fighting ground hogs, not your usual Chihuahua behavior. We began to call him a Belgian Chihuahua Hound. Very rare breed indeed.

A lucky boy to have found us, he began to grow and meld into our little household.

When our kid came along, Pokey knew that his spot as Number One had been taken from him and yet he never held it against our girl. He not only took it upon himself to keep the cat away from our daughter, he first began to give hell to anyone who came knocking on the door, especially that suspicious UPS guy. The protector in him emerged.

And with time he found a place in his furry little heart for the kid. Of average doggie intelligence, a person could not ask for a more loyal and trust-worthy doggie. Not once- not once- did he ever snarl, growl, or snap at our daughter. If she was getting on his nerves he would just get up and walk away.

Pokey grew into a handsome dog and was a good sport about all the fun we had at his expense. But like I said, he was loyal and loving.

Pokey worked things out to his advantage in his own way.

He even came to mostly tolerate the annual spring hair cut, though he never was one to hold back sharing his thoughts about the whole hair cutting situation.

A couple summers ago he had a tangle with a racoon. Boy, do I hate those things. We didn't realize Pokey had gotten a nip until the next day when he yipped about being petted (at the time, it was highly unusual for him to complain about being petted). By the next day my husband had to make an emergency run to the vet, dear Dr. S, for a lancing, some stitches, and a round of antibiotics. Did I mention I can't stand those dirty racoons?


There he is, photo after photo, year after year, hanging out with us, managing to get some lap time and plenty of lovin'. In return he gave us lap time and plenty of lovin' and remained fiercely loyal and protective.

Then came Remy the Rat Terrier. Wanting nothing to do with him at first, Pokey came to eventually tolerate even Remy.

They are both Snuggle Machines so they worked it out. But Pokey never let Remy forget who the Alpha Dog was at our house.

It's Smudgie, the cat. But that's another story.

With many good years of hard playing under his collar, Pokey began to slow down last year. Twelve years old this spring, he began to spend an increasing amount of time in the Utility Room re-arranging the laundry to meet his soft-napping-place specifications. He withdrew from everyone in the house but me. Eventually, even I slipped to the very edge of the list as his health issues progressed and he spent the majority of his days sleeping. I cherished the few minutes each day that he felt well enough to be with me.

The past couple months have been difficult at our house as Pokey slipped further away from the dog he had been. You know where this goes. If you're not a dog lover I guess it's hard to fully understand how much a person can love their dogs. We aren't those nutsy folks who treat their pets like children. They eat pet food from the pet bowl  on the floor and they don't wear clothes (for the most part). We love them much and treat them well. We cherish every bit of companionship and loyalty and realize that it would be just about impossible to repay that unquestioning affection in kind.

The last few days have been odd at our home. I get up from what I'm doing to go check on him before I remember that he's not there. I come in the back door and look over at his spot, without thinking, to see how he is. In my heart I think that I feel his absence the most of anyone because I always considered him to be my dog, not the family dog. Maybe my husband, big teddy bear that he is, feels the same way.

If you've read the "Expecting Butterflies" page of this blog, you know that The Butterfly Jungle is all about celebrating the moments of joy and fun that surprise us in life, the "Oh look, a butterfly!" moments. One day, we exclaimed, "Oh look, a Poquito!" and it's been great. Senor Poquito- Mr Little Bit- gave us more than just a little bit of joy. He was a quirky dog but we were so lucky to have found him.

I'll miss my good buddy.


  1. My heart hurts for you.

  2. I totally understand. Our Dabney passed after 13 1/2 yrs. It's been 2 yrs now. I still miss her.