Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chieka is a Champ

HelpersI'm sure I've talked here about the particular anxieties I'm having with the second dog. Some of them are related to his...let's call it individuality but others are more generalized. I find that, knowing how awful it was to lose Emily, my fear or anticipation of Ed's eventual demise is much greater. It's almost as though I think I can prevent that feeling if only I am vigilant enough. My brain knows this isn't true but sometimes it disregards the truth. A trickle down from this is part and parcel of him being a first for me in terms of his size. Emily was a solid, muscle-bound 55 lbs and most of the dogs I've cared for in the short term have been at least that big. My experience with small dogs was relegated mostly to joking about their Napolean complexes. Now I have a dog with a Napolean complex the size of a Newfoundland, no more like the size of Newfoundland. He prefers to run with the big dogs and his behavior straddles an invisible line between socially appropriate and beneath the notice of the biggest bad asses he takes issue with. I can't help but worry, though, that eventually he's going to meet a dog who doesn't think he's so fucking funny and decides to shut him up by hook or by crook. To the degree I have control over that possibility I work to prevent it but he's his own guy and you can't be vigilant all the moments of your life and accidents happen and and and...

UntitledWho knows what lies in store for us?

I have followed the photographs and writings of Heather Champ and Derek Powazek for years now. Of particular interest to me are the dog photos and stories, of course. They have two cuddly, spirited chihuahuas, Bug and Chieka, who romp daily through San Francisco's Bay Area. A few days ago Chieka was attacked by a larger dog. They, understandably, haven't given out a ton of details but the long and the short of it is that she's 14-years old and this is a photo of her in the vet's office after surgery. I have been fairly glued to their tweets and photos ever since. This is my fear made real and here are people who have gone through this before and now have to relive it. Heather's previous chi, Tigger was killed in similar circumstances. Chieka has a long road ahead of her but, after a brief scare and new pain meds, she's on track to recover physically. Go look at this photo to see how well she seems to be taking this in stride.

He LivesI keep thinking about Bu's impromptu vascular surgery earlier this year. He lost 5lbs in a day. When he came home his skin was loose and floppy and you could see every knob of his spine, each separate rib, even his knuckles seemed more pronounced. 5lbs is about 9% of Bu's total weight. It'd be fully a third of Ed's. I can already see his ribs most of the time, it's just how he's built. Now again, logically, I know that he wouldn't lose 5lbs, he'd likely lose the equivalent percentage of his own weight were he to suffer the same injuries but still...

Looking at photos of Chieka (except for this one, which seems somehow to show her pain in a way the others don't) I can see how tough she is. Though it's clear she's not in tip top condition her personality, her fire, still shines through. Ed, for all his prissy ways, is tough, too. He's tough like Bu, like Emily. I suspect he too would battle like the gladiators that these three dogs are.

Sometimes, though, I'm still terrified.

Please send good healing thoughts to Chieka and her folks. Even a gladiator can use a little help from her friends.


  1. This is why the majority of mothers are on some form of anti anxiety medication.

    Healing thoughts to the pup!

  2. i can't bear to look, sorry. it's a worry i have with Wolf, too.

  3. Anonymous12:27 AM

    Cheika and Bug are walked in Buena Vista and they are almost never on leads. I have always worried about the tiny dogs who aren't on leads. I think all dogs in a well-trafficked park should be on lead to protect the dogs, people, wildlife and gardens. Although it seems like a drag, the leash laws make a lot of sense.

  4. Hooper thinks he's bigger and badder then dogs bigger then he is. I have been caught between snarling dogs one time too many. My dad and his dog Annie were attacked by a pitbull at the flea market once. Annie had to get stitches; dad had some pretty serious cuts. The owner just stood back and did nothing. It was terrifying. I remember dad telling me the story and he started crying. Horrible.

    Healing thoughts go out to little Cheika.