I did a search on Petfinder.com for Chihuahuas up for adoption in my area, and found two that looked promising, both from RMPR.
So I drove to the Northglenn Petsmart, where the adoption event was being held. There must have been 25, 30 people there. Amazing, because these dogs are not going for a song. That said, RMPR is clearly a first-class organization, and the members foster dogs until they are fine canine citizens. Still, I was surprised that many people are willing to pay extra for knowing a lot about a prospective pet. Here I thought the economy was bad. Not when it comes to furry friends.
The event was a well-oiled machine, even with that many people. You fill out paperwork (I had filled mine out in advance, then left it on the kitchen table). They have a fosterer interview you (usually the one who fostered the dog in which you have an interest), and then you have a timed visit with the dog in a pen. With some dogs they also require a visit to your home before they make a decision. Others were being taken home right then, to much cheering and applause. It was a little like winning a game show.
Olivia and Gidget were in the same pen. I looked down, Gidget looked back, and then she started barking like I had PISSED HER OFF. Maybe I should have broken eye contact to get her to stop, but I learned a long time ago not to break eye contact with pets – it’s a submissive gesture. While Gidget was barking up a storm, one of the volunteers explained that she doesn’t do that at home. Probably nervous aggression, or maybe she didn’t like my hair and was calling me a dirty hippie. Meanwhile, Olivia laid there, all mellow. When I leaned down to offer my hand, Olivia and Gidget both came over, but Gidget pushed Olivia out of the way a little and also kept barking. I marked Gidget off my list. Later I saw her with a man, having a grand old time and being perfectly adorable. Maybe she doesn’t like chicks.
They had a lot of people to process. While I waited, a very nice couple had their visit with Olivia. They cuddled up a storm with her and announced their intention of getting her if they could. Maybe they have small kids and will be disqualified, I thought. Maybe they live in a swamp. But I got better. If they’re good people for her, so be it.
I had my interview with Benedict, who was clearly a stellar dog fosterer and also had a fantastic ‘stache. Well done. Then I had my visit with Olivia. She was a darling, and that picture does NOT do her justice. I asked if she wanted to sit on my lap. She did. She also wanted to give me kisses and lick the inside of my nose (ah, Chihuahuas). I spoke softly in her ear, ruffled her neck fur, and told her what a good girl she was, and she rolled and offered me her belly to rub.
One of the volunteers came over and said that the woman who fostered Olivia had developed a special relationship with her, so any potential adopters needed to have their home checked out. But this volunteer thought we were a good match – such a good match that she was sad when she found out that other people wanted Olivia. I told her they clearly loved Olivia very much, and I’m not in a hurry. Olivia’s foster mom is gonna call me. I’m going to tell her that if the other couple doesn’t have any kids or pets, Olivia should go with them. If she has the chance to be someone’s only baby, or hang out with other Chihuahuas, then she should. She is clearly special, although you can argue that all dogs are.
RMPR will do a home visit with me anyway, so I’ll be set if the right dog comes along (and no one else wants it). They also don’t know how Olivia does with cats. There is a 7-day return policy, but you hate to put a dog through that.
It’s a difficult situation. I want a Chihuahua, but I don’t want Musette’s happiness to decrease. Ideally it would increase (she wants to be friends with other animals, if they want to be friends with her). Or they could ignore each other. That would be fine, too. She’s outside a lot of the time and there is plenty of love to go around. Anyway, I have connections in the Denver Chihuahua Meetup group now. They’ll probably find me some poor creature to foster that needs a person to build its confidence and a warm kitty to snuggle with.
When I got home, Musette greeted me with happy squeaks and rolled over so I could kiss her belly. Which I did.