Cute Chihuahua Who Desperately Needs a Home

Introducing Boris, perhaps the most misunderstood chihuahua at the Santa Monica Animal Shelter.

Boris is a young male chihuahua, probably around 3-4 years old. He was brought in as a “stray”, though he knew and trusted the person who brought him in very well. I’m fairly certain that the lady who brought him in was his owner, and just didn’t want to admit it.

As is often the case for animals at the shelter, Boris has a sad story to tell. He’s a beautiful and kind dog, but when he was abandoned at the shelter he found it too stressful to thrive in his new environment. He was so scared of his shelter life that he pretended to be aggressive in order to keep strangers away. He also curled up in the back corner of his kennel, and literally did not move out of this spot. As a consequence, he developed “bed” sores on all four legs and discolored the fur on this rear legs from urinating on himself while curled up.

I hate to think about this, but dogs that don’t thrive at the shelter generally don’t make it out alive. It’s often more humane to put an animal down than let it slowly rot away in pain at a shelter. Nothing is official, but I suspect that Boris’ days are numbered if he doesn’t find a new home soon.

Boris in bed

Boris chilling in bed a few minutes after coming home

That’s the sad side of this story, but that’s not who Boris is. I brought him home for a few hours to see how he behaves when he’s not at a shelter. I’ve brought home many new dogs over the years, and long story short: he was by far the easiest dog to introduce into the family. It literally took no effort and no time for him to settle in.

Boris is the white & brown chihuahua in the middle

Boris is the white & brown chihuahua in the middle

Boris is great with other dogs, and doesn’t show any signs of aggression or dominance. He hasn’t been neutered yet, so he should get along with others even better after being snipped (though I can’t imagine how he could get any better). Boris has also shown no interest in the cats at the animal shelter. He would work great in a family with or without other animals.

Boris giving kisses

Boris giving kisses

We went for a walk around the neighborhood with my 5 other rescued dogs, and Boris fit into the pack as if he had always belonged. This is very unusual since most new dogs don’t blend in so well without a lot of training and time. I did not need to take corrective action a single time. Ever. Boris is great on walks, though he likes to mark on trees very often. Neutering will fix this issue.

Boris playing in bed

Boris playing in bed

At home he’s just like any other chihuahua – he loves to play and jump around on the bed, begging you to join him. It’s possible to tug at his paws or tail while playing, and he responds by gently tugging back with his mouth. He shows no signs of aggression or biting, which is in stark contrast to his self-protection efforts at the shelter.

Boris enjoying the moment

Boris enjoying the moment

Boris and I have been friends for a few weeks now, and he allows me to handle him without question. I’ve given him baths weekly, and he doesn’t resist the slightest. He met my wife for the first time today, and he warmed up to her immediately. She can pick Boris up and do anything, and there’s no fear of getting bit. (The same can’t be said about a couple of our other rescued dogs who’ve been with us for years.)

Boris is very affectionate, and loves to give doggy kisses or nuzzle his face in your lap. He’s also very obedient and willing to do anything to keep you happy.

He also knows how to act incredibly cute, as the above video shows. He’ll do anything to make you smile and give him a belly-rub. If I had to point out some shortcomings, I’d have to say that he’s not perfect with his potty training yet. He made a couple puddles inside, though I can tell that he doesn’t mean to. He’s also nervous/scared when he sees strangers while out on our walks, but that’s to be expected for any dog who has just left the shelter. Plus, getting neutered helps fix all these problems. (And neutering is a requirement of getting adopted from the Santa Monica Animal Shelter.)

Overall, I’d have to say that Boris has been one of the nicest dogs to ever join my pack. Unfortunately his membership is only temporary, as I don’t have the resources to rescue any more dogs. I have 5 rescued dogs for crying out loud. This is where things get sad again, as I’ve come to realize that although he’s been a wonderful dog at my home, he’s too scared to show his true colors while at the shelter. As a result, his chances of finding a new home before time runs out are slim. And time is running out fast.

While there is still time, you can find Boris online at Petfinder or Petharbor. Or you can find him in person at the Santa Monica Animal Shelter. Boris and I thank you for visiting!

We at Happy Six support volunteer work such as animal care and food drives for the needy. If you find a cause you truly believe in, we encourage you to jump in and make a difference!

-HC

Just Another Day at the Shelter

Volunteering at an animal shelter is such a bitter-sweet experience. On one hand you’re surrounded by all sorts of amazing and cute animals, and on the other hand you see how humans have caused so much hurt to such helpless and loving creatures.

First up are two wonderful chihuahuas, both at the Santa Monica Animal Shelter. Both are sad stories in serious need of fairytale endings.

Here is Tito, a resilient and shy little guy who just doesn’t know how to be defeated. Sometime in January 2012, someone found him laying lifeless in the middle of the street. Thinking that he got hit by a car, the good samaritan called up Animal Control. Tito was still alive – barely – so he was rushed straight to the hospital for emergency care. X-rays showed that Tito did not have any broken bones, yet he was almost dead. Some blood tests were done, and it was determined that Tito had been severely poisoned. The theory is that he wasn’t hit by a car, but instead ate some poison – either snail poison found in someone’s yard or from someone looking to hurt him. The poison took effect, and he collapsed in the middle of the road before being found.

In any case, the little guy was put on an IV drip for a month until his organs were able to repair themselves. I can’t imagine how expensive this would normally be (we’re talking thousands of dollars), but fortunately there are veterinary practices like Vet2uLA and Dr. Jones Animal Hospital that are kind enough to volunteer more than their fair share to help those in need.

A month later, and Tito rose from the ashes, full of life again. There are some minor bite marks on the top of his head (maybe some unrelated abuse he endured?) and he’s shy of strangers at first, but once he understands that you’re not out to hurt him he turns into a happy playful guy. Tito’s favorite thing to do is jump on your lap and lick your face until you can’t stand it anymore. After he gets to know you for a few minutes, he shows absolutely no sign of emotional trauma or distress. He’s just… Happy.

Next is Randy, who endured a similarly horrible event before coming to us. We found him with a twisted jaw, a patch of skin missing on his muzzle, and a bloody wound on his chin. His fur was really frazzled and dry (probably indicating malnourishment), and one of his nails had been ripped almost completely off.

We suspected that his jaw might be broken, so we rushed him to the hospital. X-rays showed that his jaw was still intact, but something (maybe a bite from a larger dog or a car accident) had punctured his jaw and ripped many of his teeth out of place. His injured teeth were removed and the wounds were stitched up, and now he’s on the road to recovery.

Randy’s mouth still looks a little crooked, but at least he’s able to eat normally. He forever has that sad look on his face, at least until he’s safely in your arms. Randy is very sweet and gentle, and would make the perfect companion for someone looking for a calm and loving dog.

Sad stories aside, the shelter also got some incredibly cute new additions.  There’s this little hamster, a friendly little critter with huge round ears. When I say “huge”, I mean ears the size of your thumb nails!

We be rollin'

We be rollin'

A homeless person turned the littly hammy in, saying that he found the critter somewhere. I have no idea how these things happen!

I'm on a pirate ship out at sea!

I'm on a pirate ship out at sea!

Though it’s hard to see in the photos, this hamster has unusually large ears, similar to a Dumbo Rat’s ears. This makes for one very rare hamster.

Look at my new set of wheels!

Look at my new set of wheels!

The shelter also got a litter of very young kittens:

Guess which one is the rebel in the family?

Guess which one is the rebel in the family?

They’re around 5 weeks old, and are waaay too young to be without their mother. But, sometimes you just have to make do with the cards you’re dealt with.

Sooooo CUTE!

Sooooo CUTE!

At this point they spend most of their time sleeping together or eating. In a week or two they’ll grow enough to start playing like the kittens everyone thinks of. We’ll eventually vaccinate them, and if all goes well in a month or 2 they’ll be adopted.

One of the kittens has a unique heart-shaped spot on the side, and I think this kitty will be adopted fast. Everybody wants a kitten with a heart-shaped spot! Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of the spot, but maybe I’ll get one next week when I return to the shelter again.

I'm a lion, watch me rawr!

I'm a lion, watch me roar!

We at Happy Six support volunteer work such as animal care and food drives for the needy. If you find a cause you truly believe in, we encourage you to jump in and make a difference!

Update on 4/24/12: The little hamster was adopted! Yay!

-HC