About 10 years ago a little chihuahua stray entered my family's life. His name was Chili, and he died today.
He passed shortly after the kids left for school. He'd been battling some strange illness. The vet didn't know exactly what it was. I think it was just old age. We really didn't know how old he was when we got him. He could have been 10, he could have been 15.
We took him in about a year after our old dog Bob died. A friend of mine found him wandering in the snow in Albuquerque, only a pound and a half with a gimp back leg (he limped his whole life). We called him Chili, because he reminded us of a New Mexico chili pepper.
I wasn't sure how a chihuahua would do around young kids, but after a few weeks we knew he would be great. Patient and gentle, he never bit. Hell, he didn't even bark for the first 3 months we had him.
I joked he was an illegal alien, and always gave him a Mexican accent to make the kids laugh.
It was scary how smart he was. There wasn't a yard he couldn't escape from. After a while, he quit escaping. We could just let him out, and he'd never stray far.
Chili was so damn cute. Kids always wanted to pet him.
There wasn't another dog that didn't instantly like him. When he ran with the big dogs, he was always the alpha male.
Cats feared him. I'd say, "Chili, get the cat," and the cat would be gotten. He was a badass. I think it will be years before the neighborhood stray cats work up the courage to darken our yard again.
He was laid back, loved to get his belly scratched, hated getting wet, and relished bologna. Sometimes, he snuck into the laundry room to eat the cat food, and sometimes he would eat the cat poop.
You always knew when he had done something wrong, because he looked guilty has hell.
Every night he'd sit down beside me on the couch always snuggling up to my right side. He often curled up behind my back in my office chair when I wrote.
The house is empty now. There is a empty place where his bed used to be, another where his dish was, too. Those spaces don't look right, like black holes in the middle of your house.
All this emptiness just for a little dog. Crazy, huh?
Why am I writing about this in my author blog? Because he was good dog, the best damn dog ever. And that deserves something, even if its just a blog post.