The Heart of a Chihuahua

‘Brave Heart Lion,” was my favorite Care Bear Cousin. I love that part of “The Care Bears Movie II: The New Generation,” where he rushes to help Christy, a girl who appears to need saving. Up in a tree, he swings from a tire tied to a rope, shouting, “Brave Heart to the rescue! CHAARRRGE!”

Except, he forgets that he can’t run on water. Hee! Two more times, he charges– until another Care Bear grabs onto his tail the last time.

Lions are massive, stealthy, ferocious predators. Proud, majestic. But when you’re the dominant species, you don’t need bravery.

But anyone who has met a Chihuahua knows they are FIERCE. And Brave Heart Lion’s attitude sums up the soul of most Chihuahuas, one of the bravest creatures of all. Because their power isn’t in their size, but their character. Chihuahuas are nothing BUT heart!

This one scared off two armed robbers from a heist!

Or even more incredible, one little Chihuahua named Chiquita (all 1’3″ of her!) scared off a 5′, 100-pound COUGAR, who had gotten into their backyard and was trying to make a snack out of Rosie the Terrier, her buddy. THAT is some courage!!

About a month ago, two of my friends, a married couple, were considering adopting a Chihuahua puppy. The agency had named him Poncho, and he was four pounds. I ran into them at Petco, and watched this little guy in fenced in area, playing with a black lab puppy twice his size.

This furry pipsqueak has taught me so much about being fearless– not just brave.

This itty bitty breed got right in the lab puppy’s face– barking without mercy. Lunged at him. He clearly *thought* he had the power of a lion. Within a few minutes of this, the lab puppy was submissive!!

My friends were dumbstruck with admiration. They were going to call him “Beast.” A much more fitting name, though they didn’t buy him. But don’t worry, Poncho found a home. Someone adopted him shortly after.

And this video pretty much sums up his attitude:

As a woman who is only 4’11” and about the size of the average fifth grader, I can relate to being “fun size” in a world that’s much bigger. Until I was 19, I was given children’s menus! It didn’t help that I had long hair, which adds to the youthful assumption. That’s one reason I wear short hair now– it makes me look at least in my 20’s. Often at the bars, people assume I’m in my early 20’s.

I’m often reluctant to confront people. But some of my friends have told me differently. Apparently when I *do*, it can be intimidating. I’m often called “a firecracker,” or “feisty.”

I’ve gotten a couple of fun nicknames out of my stature.

My friend Dulcinea calls me Teacup, since she said once that I am like “A Teacup Chihuahua who carries herself like a Great Dane.”

What an awesome compliment! I love it because of the context– she’s not just commenting on my being small, but that she considers me to be confident and proud. A lot of people give me nicknames about being little– but this one is empowering.

One of my favorites, however, arose out of a situation where I wasn’t confronting anything. I was just telling a story, being myself.

I was at a bar with a co-worker once several years ago, caught up in some tale. I’m a very animated speaker, and have a tendency to slap the table emphatically at key points. I’ve been told this by several people, and sometimes am shocked by how LOUD the smack is when I noticed myself doing it!

My co-worker then, mind you, was about 6’2″ and 200 lbs– a high school football player. Big dude, not easily frightened.

When I slapped the table, he jumped!

“I’m scared,” he said. “It’s like the hammer of Thor!”

That got a giggle out of me, and I’ll always be proud that I managed to startle a big dude like that, just being my animated self.

So I guess I have a little bit of Chihuahua in me.

The next time I feel unsure about taking action or standing up for myself, I’ll channel Poncho, Dude, and Chiquita.


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