Introducing Boris, perhaps the most misunderstood chihuahua at the Santa Monica Animal Shelter.
Boris is a young male chihuahua, probably around 3-4 years old. He was brought in as a “stray”, though he knew and trusted the person who brought him in very well. I’m fairly certain that the lady who brought him in was his owner, and just didn’t want to admit it.
As is often the case for animals at the shelter, Boris has a sad story to tell. He’s a beautiful and kind dog, but when he was abandoned at the shelter he found it too stressful to thrive in his new environment. He was so scared of his shelter life that he pretended to be aggressive in order to keep strangers away. He also curled up in the back corner of his kennel, and literally did not move out of this spot. As a consequence, he developed “bed” sores on all four legs and discolored the fur on this rear legs from urinating on himself while curled up.
I hate to think about this, but dogs that don’t thrive at the shelter generally don’t make it out alive. It’s often more humane to put an animal down than let it slowly rot away in pain at a shelter. Nothing is official, but I suspect that Boris’ days are numbered if he doesn’t find a new home soon.
That’s the sad side of this story, but that’s not who Boris is. I brought him home for a few hours to see how he behaves when he’s not at a shelter. I’ve brought home many new dogs over the years, and long story short: he was by far the easiest dog to introduce into the family. It literally took no effort and no time for him to settle in.
Boris is great with other dogs, and doesn’t show any signs of aggression or dominance. He hasn’t been neutered yet, so he should get along with others even better after being snipped (though I can’t imagine how he could get any better). Boris has also shown no interest in the cats at the animal shelter. He would work great in a family with or without other animals.
We went for a walk around the neighborhood with my 5 other rescued dogs, and Boris fit into the pack as if he had always belonged. This is very unusual since most new dogs don’t blend in so well without a lot of training and time. I did not need to take corrective action a single time. Ever. Boris is great on walks, though he likes to mark on trees very often. Neutering will fix this issue.
At home he’s just like any other chihuahua – he loves to play and jump around on the bed, begging you to join him. It’s possible to tug at his paws or tail while playing, and he responds by gently tugging back with his mouth. He shows no signs of aggression or biting, which is in stark contrast to his self-protection efforts at the shelter.
Boris and I have been friends for a few weeks now, and he allows me to handle him without question. I’ve given him baths weekly, and he doesn’t resist the slightest. He met my wife for the first time today, and he warmed up to her immediately. She can pick Boris up and do anything, and there’s no fear of getting bit. (The same can’t be said about a couple of our other rescued dogs who’ve been with us for years.)
Boris is very affectionate, and loves to give doggy kisses or nuzzle his face in your lap. He’s also very obedient and willing to do anything to keep you happy.
He also knows how to act incredibly cute, as the above video shows. He’ll do anything to make you smile and give him a belly-rub. If I had to point out some shortcomings, I’d have to say that he’s not perfect with his potty training yet. He made a couple puddles inside, though I can tell that he doesn’t mean to. He’s also nervous/scared when he sees strangers while out on our walks, but that’s to be expected for any dog who has just left the shelter. Plus, getting neutered helps fix all these problems. (And neutering is a requirement of getting adopted from the Santa Monica Animal Shelter.)
Overall, I’d have to say that Boris has been one of the nicest dogs to ever join my pack. Unfortunately his membership is only temporary, as I don’t have the resources to rescue any more dogs. I have 5 rescued dogs for crying out loud. This is where things get sad again, as I’ve come to realize that although he’s been a wonderful dog at my home, he’s too scared to show his true colors while at the shelter. As a result, his chances of finding a new home before time runs out are slim. And time is running out fast.
We at Happy Six support volunteer work such as animal care and food drives for the needy. If you find a cause you truly believe in, we encourage you to jump in and make a difference!