Marco Polo here; like Charlie, much of my former life is a blur, erased by an extended time of starvation and neglect. But in my case, the abuse was not intentional, but circumstantial; my previous human was afflicted with the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia, and would forget to eat for extended periods of time. When she didn’t eat, neither did I, and the result was that both of our physical conditions began to follow a drastic downhill trajectory.
When she finally passed, I was placed with the Little Rock Animal Village; my quivering, emaciated frame and lank, greasy hair making it improbable that any one would give me as second glance amidst the sea of healthy dogs surrounding me.
At this time, dad was still shaken by the violent passing of Bull Taco; what he didn’t know was that Bull and I were distant cousins, both originating from areas south of the Rio Grande. Whereas Bull’s familio was from Guadalajara, my ancestral casa was farther north, in the mountains of Sinaloa.
Anyway, dad’s friend Betsy told him of my existence, a dog that “needed a hero”; while this was true that I was in such a condition at the that I did need a little TLC to get me back on my paws, what dad didn’t know was that Betsy and I had bet a case of Corona on how long it would take for him to show up at the Village.
While she won the bragging rights, I won the bet; dad is nothing if not predictable when it comes to dogs. But although it was dad that brought me home to be his travelling companion, I chose mom, and I chose wisely, as I don’t usually have to share the car with that hyperactive force of nature known as Charlie Bravo.
So, like most chihuahuas, I began to play the system, using my shivering and quivering as a ploy to work my way into a position of power at the Casa del Whackos. But I was a bit too successful, as I began to believe in my own act, and before I knew it, my dependence became my own crate.
Until last Tuesday, New Years Day.
Dad and Charlie were loading up Miss Ellie, the old Subaru, for a day trip into the Ouachita Mountains, and using my powers of masculine manipulation, I convinced mom to saddle up as well. As the old car began to rumble farther back into the hills, old feelings long suppressed began to percolate to the surface of my mind, no doubt rejuvenated by the spirit of mountains akin to those of my ancestral home. By the time we had reached Forked Mountain, the shivering Micro Polo had vanished and the dog known south of the border as the Sinaloan Stud had emerged in his place.
The transformation was amazing; my previously floppy ears became firmly erect as I bounced and flounced nimbly through thickets where even Charlie was slowed by her comparably massive bulk. All went well until dad attempted to cross a stream atop a small waterfall, and insisted on carrying me across. Between A: the rocks being slick with moss, and B: he’s not as surefooted as he once was, we quickly found ourselves a$$ over teakettle and soaked in the icy creek water.
I’m a Mexican dog, and as such, much better suited to the hot, arid climate of my homeland. The cold water quickly removed the pop from my pepper, and I was soon ready to head for the Casa and my place deep beneath the quilts.
But oh no, not to stay; merely to recharge and prepare for the next adventure!
Vaya con Dios!