In May this year, a friend tweeted that there were several chihuahuas at the Wellington SPCA. I used to have a chihuahua called Tommy, who unfortunately died young, and they’ve always been my favourite dog breed.
So when I saw this tweet, Aaron and I jumped straight in the car and headed to the SPCA. I walked into the dog area and was in shock. Rather than the several chihuahuas that I thought would be there, the SPCA had 60! There were puppies, adult and elderly chihuahuas, and pretty much every colour and length of fur you could think of.
I was hooked. I needed another chihuahua as part of our family.
We spent an hour there that afternoon, right until the SPCA closed for the day. We then went back first thing on Sunday morning. Overall, I think I spent 4-5 hours there that weekend. During that time I got to know many of the dogs; we got to know their personality traits – which were playful, the bullies and the shy ones who wanted to escape the noise.
Both Aaron and I fell in love with one of the puppies – a wee girl with a stripe on her head. The name the SPCA had given her was Ariche. That evening, after much discussion (well, begging on my part), we decided to adopt her.
Monday during our lunch break we headed back to the SPCA to fill out the adoption papers. When we arrived, my mum was there, holding a two year old boy chihuahua who had just arrived. She made the very good point that it wouldn’t be fair to have just one dog as she would need company.
We got to know this little boy who was pretty shy and timid but seemed lovely. Betty (we had chosen her name by that point) seemed to like him so we decided to apply to adopt both of them.
Later that week, we were able to take them home. They have been part of our family for six months now and I’ve loved every moment of it.
A few months ago I managed to find out a bit more about their history. I won’t go into too many details on here as it’s pretty horrible, but I will share a small amount.
These 60 odd chihuahuas (plus a pug and some griffons) lived in a house with one lady. They were free to run around in the house. None were desexed, so the numbers kept increasing. Their waste was not cleaned up so they were living in it.
Betty has been fine over the last six months. A bit timid at times but as she is still a puppy she recovered quickly from her previous life. However, as Leroy was two years old when he left that environment, he has been a bit more work. When we adopted him, he was underweight – because of his very shy nature I don’t think he managed to get to the food very often. As he was used to going toilet anywhere and everywhere, the toilet training has been a bit of work, and he is still slow to warm to people. He has a very lovely nature and loves to cuddle, and it makes me so happy to see him coming out of his shell. A couple of months ago he started wagging his tail for the first time. It’s still a very awkward wag but it makes me so happy to see it every time.
I’m so glad we adopted Leroy and Betty, and every day I become more and more happy we have them in our lives. They’re the best of friends for each other and for us.
Places like HUHA and the SPCA do amazing work, so please support them if you can.