Pita the Chillhuahua: How we lost an election but gained a perfect dog

While on a walk the other morning — coffee in one hand, leash and a cranberry muffin in the other — I had this overwhelming feeling of contentment. It was early, and bit chilly, but the sky was cloudless so the sun was warm on my face. Our local cafe had my favorite muffins. And Pita the dog was walking perfectly along side of me.

What? Did I say “the dog”? Oh, I didn’t tell you about that yet? Sorry, it’s been a busy couple months…

we-got-a-dog

We got a dog!

Chespita (her full given name) came into our lives right as the world started falling apart. We fostered-to-adopt her days before the election. She fit in perfectly with our lifestyle — she walks like a dream, she burrows and naps like a champ, and she’s more quite and calm than I’ve ever seen a Chihuahua be. In fact, her nickname is Pita the “chillhuahua.” Things were looking up…

And then the election results started coming in. Ugh. You don’t need the nightmarish recap from me, you all lived (and continue to live) it. But as my anxiety took ahold of my brain, leaving me numb and frightened, she was such a calming presence.

The timing couldn’t have been better

She did that dog thing, where she didn’t know the horror that was unfolding in front of us. She just knew that she was warm and fed and loved. The night of the election, I held, and petted, and cried into her fur for as long as I could bear it. And then Mike and I took sleeping pills, got into bed and held each other, like that old couple as the Titanic sank…

Ever since the election, my anxiety has gone way up. I’m constantly working on managing it (sometimes unsuccessfully). With how chill, how well-behaved, and even tempered she is, Pita’s become a bit of a therapy dog for me.

So how did we find this perfect dog?

I turned, once again, to my favorite rescue: Downtown Dog Rescue. It’s where I’ve adopted all my dogs (including ones I’ve helped my friends adopt). I know that when Lori, from DDR, says that a dog is “easy”, that dog is easy AF.

At first I was hesitant about adopting a 12-year-old Chihuahua. But the moment I met her I just knew that this — THIS — was going to be the dog that was going to win Mike over.

See… 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 your friends leave parties early to care for them. But Pita has, as Mike put it, burrowed her way into his heart…

These photos were taken within minutes of each other.

These photos were taken within minutes of each other.

So we’re a family of four now: Two humans, one cat, and one chillhuahua.

4 thoughts on “Pita the Chillhuahua: How we lost an election but gained a perfect dog

  1. Ariel Meadow Stallings

    THIS MAKES ME HAPPY!

    Also, big trophy for you for recognizing that moment of peace and contentment on your walk. With my anxiety, part of it is that it’s so easy to be really aware of the awful moments, and completely forget to notice the not awful ones. When you can actually be awake enough in a moment to be like “oh hey! heart not pounding! no sense of dread! don’t feel like I’m dying!” then you win!! Even just in that little moment.

  2. Stripey

    Not to get all Yoda about it but that little moment is what life IS, it’s nothing but little moments, so winning that is winning life! Plus, see Audre Lorde on Self-Care as warfare, i.e., caring for yourself in the face of someone or something that is trying to intimidate and oppress you is an act of retaliation and warfare.

    I’m in the UK but I’ve been struggling with anxiety since (I was born) but specifically since the Brexit result in June. My wife is Dutch and we have been scrambling around getting a residency application done for her and it’s been horrible. It’s taken everything I have not to capsize to the fear about what my Government is wants to do and the anger that I didn’t choose this and that neither did most of my fellow Brits.

    I’ve found cutting down the social media really helps me, I’m off facebook these days. I can actually read the news and not totally hyperventilate I if haven’t already had the misleading and clickbaitily titled stuff (and everyone’s reactions) shoved in my face all day on social media. I’d LOVE to have a cat at the moment, I find the living-in-the-now-ness of animals sooo helpful, totally with you on that Megan, but it’s just not possible in our current housing situation. I have a friend round the corner with a new baby though and those little chubby chops (baby not my friend obvs) are pretty much all healing!

    1. megan finley

      Ugh this: “It’s taken everything I have not to capsize to the fear about what my Government is wants to do and the anger that I didn’t choose this and that neither did most of my fellow Brits.” I love/hate that the UK totally gets it. So much easier to commiserate. But, you know, it’s the worst too.

      I wish you could get a kitty too!!!! But baby chops are good too. 🙂

      Thanks for the solidarity comment!!!

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