Summer of 2011 my daughter adopted a 6 year old, black/mostly white long-coated chi bitch from the local shelter. She was tiny...less than 4# and skinny (unheard of in our house!), with that huge dome head and tiny muzzle and big black eyes...adorable! Unfortunately, DD and 'Patches' did not suit, as the wee dog was a rescue from yet another puppymill shutdown by the state, and had more issues than Newsweek. The wee girl wasn't pottytrained, socialized, didn't know up or down, and went in 3-foot square circles constantly from living her whole life in a cage. She did not know how to drink water from a bowl, or eat from a dish. You could not get near her...to pick her up you had to corner her, wherein she would collapse and cringe and tremble spastically. DD couldn't handle it. She handed the dog to me.
I have never had a dog of my own, being a cat-person exclusively. However the wee dog just tore at my heart. So I started with pottytraining and teaching her to drink from a bowl; brought her to bed with me at night, and instituted the all-powerful constant touch...rubbing her head, pulling gently on her ears, stroking her back, keeping a hand always on her whatever I was doing, even at night. It's the best way to work with scared dogs without aggression.
'Mimi' is now very pettable among family, eats and drinks like a real dog, is mostly pottytrained unless DH or I are not timely on taking her out on schedule. She sleeps amongst the cats in my bed, usually ending up in the 'taco' position between me and my hug-pillow. Wake up in the middle of the night and I can see her huge ears with their long feathers framed by the nitelight, her nose between her front paws.
It was months before we knew she could bark...now she lets me know when dinner is late, she needs my person to join her in bed, or being especially threatening when something evil stalks the edges of the backyard when I take her out for her last pee. She has the 'chi stare' down pat, eyes squinted in disapproval. She grunts when she plays with her toys...never barks or growls. Chewing on the wire of her cage for 6 years means she has no teeth on the right side of her jaw, so her tongue sticks out constantly. I feed near-raw chicken or beef with supplements, and whatever it is needs to be chopped up very fine.
It took some time, but she even plays and runs in the backyard, her wee butt and tail tucked as she flies in sweeps past my feet, or spins madly, a tiny fluffy white dervish. I still tear-up when I see her run across our backyard, tiny chickenlegs flying. The long fur on her tail fans across her back just like a rooster's tail.
She has become as important to me as my elderly alpha 'extomcat, and that's saying something because I've had her for only a 10th as long.
She still growls at DD whenever she comes in my bedroom, however.
There are dozens of chi's in shelters right now in our area. It just breaks my heart!
Last edited by Kat the Horse; Nov. 28, 2012 at 10:59 PM.
Reason: Forgot part of a sentence.
awww Kat, what a nice ending for your chi. I sorta rescued my cooper from my dd's boyfriend who is not an animal person. He did not attend to potty-training and coop was in a crate. then the boyfriend lost his mind over the barking and kicked the cage, probably more than one time and w/the dog in it.
I have taken him and he is special to me. I just cannot, and am afraid to trust him in my bed! LOL
Ah looks like several of you have been adopted by a Chi too . LOL Ok the progress now is both will sit in my lap and try and lick my face it seems if I sit on the floor. This should make it easier to get a new harness on them or a little coat. Both now wag tails when they see me. One rolls over on her back to have her belly rubbed. Big difference in a weeks time. Not sure if they want to share me with each other yet. They are both adults and were given up by a breeder. Nice to see them happy and trusting. Next will be the right dog treats or toys for them. What type of toys do your chi's have?
umm.... in my experience, putting on a coat will earn you a shunning. my beloved chi gives me the hand if I have the Coat Apparent. She freezes to death without it and yet, she hates me for putting it on her. Complicated stuff.
My chi loves balls, water bottles, cow hooves, a little Kong... anything that ricochets away from her on the hard floors and makes her run and kill it!
Cricket has her beloved "hedgies," which are stuffed animal hedgehogs. She really will only play with stuffed toys. She also will wear clothing outside but as soon as she is inside she rolls on the ground to try to remove it.
Our Chi mix will be 3 months old this weekend. He's bad. Bad. Bad. Bad. He leaps thru the air and lands on the fat cat. He grabs hold of my Shepherds tail and sails down the hall when the Shep runs. He barks and growls and cries and talks as you're preparing his food on the counter. You canNOT pull on socks or pants if he's in the room. I have seen him singlehandedly strip socks off my daughter as she walked by-BOTH socks. You dropped your hairband? Good luck chasing that spotted blur thru the house and under the bed to get it back! You want to read your Nook laying on your bed? Don't mind the bouncing barking rolling eyeball you see boinging beside you from the floor to bed level every few seconds....BOING BOING BOING!! I don't think he's peed in the house in, oh say, the last 3 minutes LMAO. He sure is cute when he's sleeping though ;-)
One of our chi's loves to carry toys and socks around the house, at least two things at once. We have some tiny tennis balls that she carrys by the fuzz with other things. She doesn't play fetch, toss or any other American games. She looks at us with her amber eyes as if to say "Ewe zilly gringo, dawn't cha know i am nnnot a retrrriever??"
The other chi, the puppy mill surrender, is terrified if something is thrown near her- she runs for the hills. She doesn't play fetch- she plays companion animal 24/7/365 and is perfect that way!
ML - such splendid news that your little Chi fosters have made such progress - you're definitely a wonderful mom (or dad?).
On the toy question, BeBop has a fondness for stuffed toys (as others have mentioned). He loved his kong Mr. Monkey (until the Doberman had her way with it) and that was replaced with a kong Mr. Bunny. He also loves his Mr. Hedgehog (as someone else mentioned).Recently I found a stuffed Mr. Elephant. I must be careful that the stuffed toys don't have too much stuffing (or worse, those little styrofoam balls), as he will chew those to pieces.
He is quite adept at "killing" his toys and there is much growling and throwing around involved. It's a hoot to watch. He likes to carry something around all the time.
BeBop also has a harness (not collar) and he does have a coat for colder days. His coat has a velcro "girth" which is very easy to put on. If it is really cold, I put a sweater under, which is not as easy to do. He's a rough coat, so has a leg up on his smooth coated brothers and sisters when it comes to keeping warm.
So very happy to read your updates at how quickly your two have settled in. They will make wonderful companions for some lucky people (or for you!).
Thanks for taking the time to adapt them to life in the loving world.
Ugh, a bunch of us who use to work together at a vet clinic had lunch today. Two of the girls work at other practices now. One of those gals took an injured stray hound I found a month ago....she said fair play is turn around, at her practice they have a young chi that needs a home....it's another fawn one...hummm.....
Hmm, more converts . I have had chi's for over 20 years (starting with my first rescue, Roach, who was being fed human baby cereal and who had rickets). Roach only lived for 8 years because of his awful start, but while he was around he was a regular farm dog and bossed around our hunting dogs something AWFUL! He was joined by Boo Boo, who lived to be 17, and who was VERY healthy and well-behaved. She was a regular dog, and a very nice one at that!
My latest chi, Hellboy, is a 20 lb monster. I think he is actually a chi/sheltie cross, but his breeder insisted he was registered. Whatever - he was an adoption and I didn't care anyway. He is NOT so well socialized inside the house although he is fine away (he came this way) but he is getting better slowly. He is great with my daughter and with me (and my sister, who visits occasionally, but he seems to accept all members of the family as "family). Strangers, however, are treated with suspicion and barked at. He's getting to where he will accept my daughter's boyfriend as he throws hedgie and elemouse for him .
Hellboy is quite sturdy and athletic, and walks well on his leash and harness (he is VERY well-socialized outside the house - he is quite the little traveler) and since he is long-haired I don't bother with a coat unless it is really cold - if I blanket the horses he gets a jacket also. He likes horse shows (I am a GMO director and so he goes with me and "manages" our local shows - he thinks he is the boss and god help you if you get into an argument with me about something as he will sit next to me and mutter at you).
They are VERY smart and personable little dogs, as well as being very athletic if you can find one that doesn't suffer from knee or patellar issues (Hellboy has never suffered from that but Boo Boo did). We walk a couple of miles a day, and he does some flyball training. If I get the time we may start lure coursing for his "fun" exercise, too. Just don't treat them as if they were totally fragile, but do keep in mind that they can be prone to some health issues - bigger is usually better with the breed (I'm actually delighted with Hellboy's size even though he's WAY outside breed standard - he looks more like the chi's I saw in Central America). Boo Boo was "normal" sized although very sturdy as well (6 lbs) and Roach was VERY small and flimsy.
Oh, and as for food, I feed mine TOTW kibble, and yes, the big chunks (not the huge ones - but the regular sized ones. He likes it, and seems to eat it just fine. I don't feed him any canned food or human food at all. I like to keep him quite trim, as whoever said that it can be difficult to get weight off them was right - lots of exercise and good food! He also likes Orijen - he can be a bit picky.
I'm infatuated with my little chi cross too, it gets worse every day! We have a little love affair going on-she adores me too! I've never had such a personable fun dog that was so devoted to me. She's ferocious sometimes, like when the kids try to put a sweater on her... or when another dog dares to enter her personal space (my lap). But she's sweet and friendly and sensitive most of the time. She just flies around with all my big dogs too, like she's on wings and springs!
She just came in from playing in a foot of fresh snow for a good half hour with four other dogs, it -she had a sweater on but I'm still surprised how long she played without being cold especially when the snow was over her head!
I make her sweaters out of my old sweaters-just cut two leg holes in a sleeve and insert dog! My Blackmouth Cur will pick her up by her sweater and carry her around and that really makes her mad!
I really think she's just the best little dog, too fun!
She just turned six months old...
ETA something I love about this dog-I have four other dogs, big dogs, none of them easy type dogs. At night my little precious will sit on my lap in the recliner above the rug where all the other big dogs have their chew toys for the evening. My precious will survey the floor below and if any dog gets distracted, she will fly down and steal their toy and bring it back up to her "nest" (my lap) and act as if nothing happened. Bigger dog is like ??? //confused. She will do that all night long until all the toys are on my lap and the big dogs have all philosophically gone to sleep! lol She's a little vulture.
Last edited by cowboymom; Jan. 10, 2013 at 07:25 PM.
I love reading all these stories about these wonderful little dogs! I have two full chis that are the absolute loves of my life and just rescued another chi cross that is worming her way into my heart as well.
Love reading all the stories about all your great little dogs.
Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride,
friendship without envy or beauty without vanity?
Ode to the Horse. ~ Ronald Duncan
I have 3 chi pups, and they are the love of my life! They are 6y,5, & 3y and all are housebroken (unless I wait more than 6 hours between outings). They each have their own personalities, and they walk on leashes with harnesses like the big dogs. When it is cold out, they wear jackets. I started this as puppies, so they are very used to the clothes. Such great stories everyone has about their special little dogs