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On an early Sunday morning when my daughter and I were already out trying to find a stray mama dog who had recently given birth on the college campus where we both work, we received a call from a friend, asking us to come get a small dog she had rescued the night before. It was freaking out her three older and much larger Rotties, who weren't really sure what it was! So we headed to her house to find a very small white Chihuahua, in pretty bad shape. She had already taken him to an overnight vet to start flea and tick treatment and on our way home, my daughter pulled over 20 dead ticks off him. We took him to our vet right away and while he amazingly didn't have any tick-borne diseases, he was underweight, had a cherry eye, and of course hadn't been neutered. Our friend and I agreed to share the costs and then move him along to a Chihuahua rescue. But then...

As Walter recovered, our 3-year-old great-niece who lived with us fell in love with him and he with her. One by one everyone else became captivated, and then we learned that Chichis are, with pitbulls, the most euthanized dogs in the country. Finally I gave in and allowed him to completely conquer me, a woman who loves big dogs, not those little yappy excuses for dogs. He became mine and I am head over heels. I did insist on taking him through a training course, because I didn't feel competent to train him on my own because of his size, but I was determined he is a dog, not a toy. I am convinced if all owners of small dogs, especially Chihuahuas, did so, there would be far fewer Chichis in shelters.

His full name is Walter Manning (for the greatest quarterback ever), because all dogs live lives big enough for two names. I've learned that physical size is no indicator of the size of a dog's heart and soul.

Anonymous
Monrovia, IN

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