More snuggles, less struggles: How an old dog taught us something new

This was something I wrote for my friend’s new dog rescue, Blue Man Dog. I thought I’d re-post it here (on Father’s Day!) for the cuteness…


My husband Mike is widely known for being anti-dog. He doesn’t hate them, he just doesn’t really see the benefits of them: They’re messy and loud and smelly and needy, they make traveling harder, and it seemed like friends were always leaving parties early to care for them.

Because of Mike’s dog bias it took a while for me to convince him to let us adopt a dog. But once he gave in to my near-constant begging, I immediately went on a search for an easy first dog for him.

I reached out to Mia and wrote: “I’m looking for a super-good dog for my nervous partner and our nervous cat… a dog that likes snuggling and watching tv, but in good enough shape to go on our long daily walks, and is travel-sized for taking on planes when we travel.”

The last thing I expected was for her to recommend a 12-year-old chihuahua.

But sometimes an easy dog doesn’t come in the form you’d expect. I pictured a senior chihuahua to be all medical bills, and ear-splitting barks, and pain-induced biting.

But she’s more quiet and calm than I’ve ever seen from a Chihuahua before. In fact, her nickname is “Pita the chillhuahua.” Pita is a champion walker — she naturally heels, she keeps up with whatever pace we set, and she either happily sniffs or happily ignores every dog we pass. Her calm demeanor also made her the perfect pet to have around our 5-year-old niece who is learning (through Pita) to get over her fear of dogs, and our 1-year-old nephew, who is working on his “being gentle” skills. Pita has put up with all the hard and tentative attention from those two like a skilled Service Dog.

And when she’s not walking, eating, or babysitting, Pita is burrowing under the blankets and napping for hours. When we leave the house we literally throw a blanket over her and give her a kiss. When we come back, hours later, she’s still burrowed in the same spot.

Oh, and traveling? Puh-lease, it’s easy. She flies carry-on with us and sleeps the whole time. And every time we de-board, we hear “Oh my god! I didn’t even realize there was a dog there that whole time!”

Ah, the benefits of a senior dog: more snuggles, less struggles.

Ultimately Mia was right. Pita has, as Mike put it, burrowed her way into our hearts. And if you have some burrowing space in your heart to adopt a senior dog, you’ll end up as thrilled as we were to find your perfect pet in an “experienced” package.

Lucky girls.

If you’re looking to adopt a senior dog or ANY dog of your own, get in touch with Blue Man Dog — they’re an awesome rescue, that’s happy to work with you to find you your perfect new family member.

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1 Comment

  1. rodittis

    Three cheers for Pita!

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