Adopt Don’t Shop!

By Traci Hall


Did you know that there is more than one type of chihuahua? Growing up, my mom had an apple head chihuahua that fit in her robe pocket, named Pepi. My brother and I hated Pepi, because all she did was bark and we couldn’t play with her, and she was mom’s “baby”. I was ten, and my brother was five, and Pepi ruled the roost. I swore as an adult that I would never ever have a barking, yipping, unfriendly chihuahua. I had Pomeranians that I adored. And then my daughter brought home a golden chihuahua—just temporarily before she moved to college. Three months later, she joined the navy instead, and I had Benny. Benny proved to be a boon companion to Pippa, my toy pom, and changed my mind about the whole chihuahua thing. He was so loveable and sweet that after he passed, Christopher and I were open to having another one, so we joined some adoption websites, ideally searching for a mix of Pippa and Benny. After several months of checking out pictures and trying not to fall in love with each pair of canine eyes saying, “adopt me!” we found Aimee at Big Dog Ranch Rescue. She is six pounds, and the paperwork says that she is a mix, but we think she’s a deer chihuahua. I am tempted to get the fifty-dollar DNA test from Target. We have named her Pazia, which means golden in Hebrew, and call her Paz for short. This is day five of us all together and she is fitting in fine. Still skittish but I think she’ll relax the more that she understands that this is her new home, and we are her family. She loves to snuggle! While I was doing research on the deer head chihuahua, I found out that there is also a pear head, a fawn, and of course, the toy. We don’t think she’s a mix at all—not that it matters, because we adore her. She’s wagged her way into our hearts.

Pazia in a Santa hat!

Some suggestions from the rescue center about welcoming a new pet that we found especially helpful have been to crate train. Our Pazia was rescued from Puerto Rico from a hoarding situation. She didn’t know bathroom habits and lived on a concrete floor. BDRR kept the pups in trailers with air conditioning and individual crates for the dogs, and had them on a feeding schedule and bathroom schedule. We are keeping that same time for Paz and so far she has not had one accident. She doesn’t bark, and we are so grateful for that. The rescue spayed her, gave her vaccinations, and microchipped her for us, all for only 300.00. I can’t recommend them enough! Pazia hasn’t been on a leash with a collar before, so that has been an adjustment. We live in an apartment and have sod on the balcony for her to use. She’s so smart and she understood right away. They have a name for the Puerto Rico rescues—they are called SATO.

I feel like one of my romance heroines, Crystal from Christmas on Misty Beach! I’m going to tout rescues and no-kill shelters. It’s been a terrific experience for us, and if you’re looking for a new pup to love, I hope you consider the adopt—don’t shop motto!

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About Traci Hall

From cozy mysteries to seaside romance, USA Today bestselling author Traci Hall writes stories that captivate her readers. As a hybrid author with over sixty published works, Ms. Hall has a favorite tale for everyone. Mystery lovers, check out her Scottish Shire series, set in the seaside town of Nairn, or the Salem B&B Mystery series, co-written as Traci Wilton. Her latest project is an Irish Castle cozy as Ellie Brannigan. Whether it's her ever-popular By the Sea romances, an Appletree Cove sweet romance, or a fun who-done-it, Traci finds her inspiration in sunny South Florida, living right near the ocean. Traci wants to hear from you!

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