For the last decade, I’ve been a member of a pack led by a fiercely protective and ever-vigilant
Chuihuahua named “Perro.”
Perro came into my life during one of the wildest firestorms I’ve ever experienced. He had been captured by my local Humane Society (aka “the slavers”) after the grove where he and his canine pack burned and he fled into a culdesac in a housing development. Suddenly this little dog was part of a huge intake at Escondido Humane.
My local Humane Society is a righteous organization. It’s a “no kill” shelter and benefits from having an 800-member volunteer membership (one of the largest in San Diego County.) But the shelter was on the edge of the fire zone and the animals needed to be moved and humanly treated. A call went out to Escondido and nearby community residents for volunteer dog walkers to meet at the local park where the animals were sheltered from the fire.
I packed a lunch (two sandwiches, a couple of juicy oranges and put two chilled water bottles of water into my insulated bag and responded to the call for volunteers.
I met my soon-to-best friend dog as a volunteer dog walker. He very quickly stole one of my sandwiches, shared some of my water and captured my heart. I stayed at the park about four hours, and walked other dogs until his exercise time came up again , I jumped at the chance to spend more time with this scruffy, long-snouted, long-haired Chihuahua I had already began thinking of as “my dog.”
I filled out the paper work to adopt this dog and was disappointed I had to wait 30 days to bring him home.
My life with Perro was incredibly satisfying.
I learned some valuable life lessons from Perro.
- Never run when you can walk.
- Take time to sniff out new adventures.
- When something makes you really happy, tilt your head up and sing the songs of your people.
- If you want something badly, make sure you let someone know about it.
- Share the good things in life, even if you have get bumped aside by a big tomcat.
- Volunteer to prewash ice cream bowls.
- Alert your humans and fellow pack members if they don’t see an enormous four-foot rattle snake on an evening walk.
- If you’re out walking in your neighborhood and smell a Barbeque party, steer your owner in its direction. Remember noone ever denies a meaty beef rib to a friendly neighborhood Chihuahua.
- Play nice with all of your doggy cousins when they come calling.
- If your owner insists on taking a short nap in an I-5 Rest area. Stay Alert. You can always catch up on your sleep on the next four-hour trip segment.
We think Perro was 22 when he died this week. He survived two coyote attacks but in the end his liver and other systems failed. I miss my buddy terribly. Jim Forbes on 07/13/2013.