A couple weeks ago, a little something caught my eye. And by little, I mean TINY:
He was covered in grease, yapping his head off, attempting to cross a very busy street. Sometimes the trucks accelerated at the sight of him, trying to hit him or at least give him a good spook. To make matters worse, the chihuahua had no street smarts at all; I knew he would be dead in a matter of minutes. So I swerved my steering wheel to the left, blocking traffic on both sides, to see if I can grab him. It took a lot of coaxing but he eventually jumped into my open car door. He then jumped into my lap and put his hand on the steering wheel as if to say, "Let's burn rubber, woman!" I laughed, named him Bito, and promised him I'd find his owners.
It took a week to find them. I had ads out on Craigslist, Animal Control, a few local vet offices, FidoFinder, the Press-Telegram, and the LA TImes. Craigslist won out, and I agreed to meet with Bito's owner at a nearby supermarket. Bito's daddy was probably 19 years old, every part of his face plugged up with stainless steel body jewelry, shivering in the cold as he didn't own a coat or a car. Apparently Bito was actually Buster and he was a recent acquisition, and that explained (but did not excuse, harrumph) the fact that he had no collar, no tag, no neutering, no microchip.
I wish they found him earlier. A full week was enough to get to know and fall in love with this dog. As the days passed, he revealed his complete personality. Bito was quite the little rascal, and he pranced like a deer when he was happy. He played with Maggie, egging her on by nipping at her neck, then daring her to chase him all over the house and the backyard. He was much, much faster and more agile than she was, in fact his lithe, long-legged 6.5 pound frame made her look like Jabba the Hut in comparison; it was disgusting. It was hard to believe they were the same species. I realized this was how some women felt when they compared their bodies to Gisele Bundchen's.
He barked at the mailman, he didn't beg at the table, he was unafraid of the kids and actually taught Maggie to tolerate them (they were more likely to give them treats). At night, he loved to sneak under the covers and fall asleep between my feet, his tiny chin perched onto my instep.
Oh, well, so it goes, so it goes. I hope his owners treat him better now that they know how it feels to lose him.
Bye bye, Bito!