Friday, June 17, 2011

The Dog Who Had Worms: A Year in Review

Well, he's all grown up.

Our little chihuahua, Zimmel, is now a year old. We haven't had him for a full year just yet, but, all the same we are celebrating the first year of his life and reflecting on how he has changed and enriched our family. We talk about it all the time. It goes like this:

Me: "Where's the dog?"

Jake: "I don't know? Z? Z?"

Me: "You're supposed to be watching him! Audge where is he?"

Audge: "I'm reading a book!"


Jake: "Oh, there he is! He has broccoli! Is that poisonous to him?"

Audge: "He snuck in the trash again!"

Jake: "Here Zim! Here boy!" *chasing dog around while he litters tiny pieces of broccoli all over the place*

Me: "Blargh."

Zimmel is basically attached to me, and of course this is because I am the one who feeds him, plays with him, gazes out the window with him and snuggles him at bed time. He follows me around like my shadow is made of bacon bits, but only listens when he wants to, which is never. The Dog Whisperer helped us a bit, but, our whispers are more like, really loud pleading and promises with hidden agendas. He is not swayed by our techniques, unless there is a Buddy Biscuit involved...

My living room floor is littered with bones and mangled dog toys and probably millions of tiny dog hairs the size of eyelashes. Sometimes locating a bone is more stressful than trying to find a 10-month-old's binky, and nothing is worse than getting to him too late as he swallows a "mystery" object. He is still full of energy, and in the mornings he greets me with a serious charging-bull stance, thrusting his back legs backwards and growling, right before he grabs anything nearby to force me to play with him. I fill a Kong full of organic healthy dog treats (can we say he is UBER spoiled??) which he is able to dislodge in seconds. Then, his almond-sized brain snaps, and he runs in circles for minutes on-end (remember, he is tiny) before collapsing into a fit of reverse sneezes (have you ever witnessed a reverse sneeze? Check it out) at which time I must comfort him and assure him that he is not going to die or cough up his trachea.

The kids love him, but he easily tires of their high-pitched sweet nothings and constant man-handling, so he nips and growls until I show up and everyone involved is threatened encouraged to play in a structured way.

He is starting to calm down a bit though, he now loves to look out the window, and, he is realizing that sitting in our laps quietly has its rewards. Now, let me share a few special tidbits about our Zimmy:

1. He doesn't bark. The dog has probably barked about 20 times in his whole life, and even in those times he only seemed half-committed to the act. In some ways this is the most awesome thing ever. He's like a loud cat. But cooler.

2. He killed Pink Poodle. Pink Poodle was one of Audge's favorite stuffed animals, and she selflessly gave it to Zimmel when he was a wee-little weakling, as seen here:

And today, thanks to his power and might, she is missing an ear, her tail, most of the stuffing in her head, and her leg is being held together by a sock and rubber band:

Audge simply cannot let go of Pink Poodle, so she puts the mangled mess in places Zimmel cannot usually reach. Since the mangling we have purchased several stuffed toys for him, which he demolishes in 2.7 days. We either have a really strong chi or these toys are plain crap. Speaking of crap...

3. Worms no longer come out of his butt, but that doesn't mean I am not still constantly grossed out. Zimmel picks up a lot of hair it seems. Audge's hair, and his intestines have some serious crafting skills, because he is constantly making poop garland that has to be manually removed from his butt, so he doesn't dart around the house trying to escape from the dingleberries attacking him. There is nothing like pulling hair out of a very tight sphincter. Moving on.

4. He LOVES coffee, pencils and paper. Now, if only he would use these three items to sit down and write inspired blog posts for me I would be a frickin' millionaire. Instead he just finds ways to steal these items and eat them before we can stop him. He drinks coffee like it's the last pool of liquid left on earth and he renders pencils useless in about 0.3 seconds. Paper, he rips into tiny shreds and litters them all over the house while we chase him.

5. He has his own Facebook page.


Did you just spit your drink all over your keyboard? Yes. He plays Cityville and tells people he loves them all the time. He brings joy to many a friend's life. You should see how many birthday wishes he received! And he has another friend on there, who is also a chihuahua. I have no idea who the owners are but, it seems that Zimmel and Jackson Chewstick Metcalfe are pretty dang close. He gets really angry when I forget his password.

6. He is HUGE! Somehow our family fosters the growth of ginormous chihuahuas. His dad was a mere 3 pounds, and Zimmel must be 20 pounds. Or six. I'll know for sure when we take him in for his check-up. But I tell you, maybe it's the food, or our constant love and affection, or the food, but, he is a monster. I can barely pick him up.

7. He has the cleanest paws and backside you have ever witnessed on a dog. As most of you may know, he does his business in what is called a Potty Park. This is so I don't have to stand outside, at 2 am, fighting off diseased cave crickets and potential rabid bats that want to take Zimmel away for a midnight snack.

See? You want to hang around with these creatures? I think not!

And I clean this potty park with bleach and soap and whatever else I have every couple of days. We even catch his poo on a piece of toilet paper so it doesn't taint the plastic grass. Even so, each time the dog potties he gets a cleaning, with a baby wipe and copious amounts of hand sanitizer. Each paw, and his butt, (see number 3 again if you think I am whack) is wiped clean after each potty moment. Remember I am just lazy enough that I don't bleach my chicken before I cook it. Being my friend can be a challenge.

8. He will love you forever. Z is not a regular chi. He is friendly and loves kids and all adults. He will put his ears back and wag his crooked tail and he won't shake all over the place. Ever since he was a mere 1.9 pounds, he has been held by all different kinds of people and children. We took him to soccer games, Best Buy and a local bookstore regularly. At the vet's office they drew little pink hearts all over his chart. I am sure though somewhere in there it says, "beware of owner, we think she might bite." That said, even people who don't like chihuahuas, like him.

And there you have it. When we first got him I was convinced it wasn't going to work. He was so sick. But, perseverance and a lot of love made him into one of the sweetest little pups a person could hope for. We love you Zimmel! Here's to 20 more years of happiness with you (just stop drinking my coffee).

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