For the love of Chi

IMG_6018I keep harping on about my chihuahua, Miabella and of the importance of her to my work. And it occurred to me that she really ought to have her own page; that it wasn’t fair otherwise. So this is Mia’s personal page.

Here I will post doggy anecdotes, funny chihuahua happenstances and cute and cuddly images. Be sure to check back often to keep up. And, if you happen to have a chihuahua of your own, or any four-legged companion for that matter (because I love all animals as a rule, apart from, perhaps, the creepy ones), feel free to send me your stories and photos. Us animal lovers are all the same: mad about our cuddly counterparts.

Photo Journal:

Six weeks old

8 weeks: the prettiest eyes

I’ve only had Mia for two weeks. She is a scant eight-weeks-old today. She was a only six weeks when I got her. Too early, really, but the breeder told me it was ok. It was only afterwards that I found out she should have stayed with her mother for at least another fourteen days. Poor thing: she misses her and cries at night. Still, she is instantly at home in my two-up, two-down Victorian semi in Sevenoaks (Kent, England) and we immediately become inseparable; a state we have maintained ever since.

Intended to help see me through a bereavement, that of my beloved grandmother (whom I loved deeply and admired just as much): she is my sole focus, the equivalent of a comfort blanket to my soul.

7 weeks old

7 weeks: a proper little cub

Ok, so she’s already being spoilt rotten and immediately has three beds (Cath Kidston, because I’m obsessed), and that’s just the official ones. On top of that, she has a bed in a drawer at my desk (because she likes to sit near me and cries when I put her on the floor), a space in my bed for afternoon reading and snoozing (very important stuff: I do my best thinking here), a corner of the main sofa for evening TV (we watch two hours: A place in the sun and an American series – Gossip Girl, Grey’s Anatomy, Ghost Whisperer, Dexter, Lost, 24, etc…) and a blanket under the kitchen table for when her elder(s) are at dinner (although in all honesty, she prefers my lap and usually wins).

I have also recently discovered the website Pet London and gone mad. This is like the cutest shop I have even seen. It’s positively dangerous. Already, I’ve spent too much. She has chihuahua-shaped everything: chew toys, rope toys, plush toys, treats, etc… A baby blue cashmere jumper, a pale blue suede lead with tiny yellow ducks and Swarovski diamantés and a matching collar. Next, I’m planning a tartan winter coat with white fur trimming, a bedtime t-shirt, and several jumpers and dresses, all of which I have already picked and added to my list. The rest of the world, meanwhile, thinks I have gone mad. And quite rightly so.

About a year old

1 year: beneath the duvet

Bed is Mia’s favourite place, so long as it’s mine and not hers. She likes nothing better than to lord it up on the mattress, surveying the carpet kingdom below. Every afternoon she snuggles up in the crook of my arm while I read, both of us deliriously happy.

After having survived the first nine months, which were a shock to my system never having had a puppy before and being quite unprepared for the amount of work involved, I am truly a ‘plus one’ and loving it. She is, I have decided, my surrogate child. And for now, if not forever, the option I prefer. Real babies are a decision for the future with tangled threads attached. I’m not sure if I am strong enough, well enough or brave enough to go there, or if I have the time to get there before that decision is made for me.

Five years old, same day

5 years: a lap of luxury

Mia likes to travel in style. None of that crate business or belt on the back seat business for her. She insists upon the front and my lap. And she has to be lying in exactly the right position or she’s not happy: sprawled directly across me; her head on one arm, her bottom on the other. Great for her. Slightly uncomfortable for me, especially when I am supposed to be knitting.

Five years old

Same age, day, car, lap

Just before we park up and disembark at one of our favourite morning haunts. Today my desk is a Mallorcan café in Port Adriano, to the west of the island. The view, a panorama of expensive boats. Some are as big as villages. Some have heliports on top. All have staff. I’ve never seen anything like it before, even in St. Tropez.

Mia's favourite place in the world, beside my lap.

Mia’s favourite place in the world, beside my lap.

This is Mia’s bed, or her main one anyway. She actually has a few. One is a suedo-armchair meant for toddlers, which she sits in like a throne. One is a regular pillow covered in a cashmere jumper that, accidentally for me because I loved it, shrank in the wash. Another is her crate, which Mia loves and insists upon, regardless of all attempts to remove it. This is actually where she sleeps (her choice) and where she rests when I go out (also her choice). And there are her two Cath Kidston beds, my favourites, currently slumbering in storage.

Looking serene and regal on my lap...

Looking like butter wouldn’t melt…

Mia likes to come out with me as often as she can, sleeping quietly on my lap while I work. As a breed, chihuahua’s sleep a lot: around 18 hours a day. I used to worry about this until I researched it. Now I understand it is her choice: she is a creature of whim and does what, in the moment, feels right. When she’s not sleeping, she’s running around at 100 m.p.h or licking something.

...but unable to keep her eyes open for long. Oh to be a chihuahua

…but unable to keep it up

This photo and the one above it were taken in Gibson, one of my favourite cafés. I love it for the art on the walls, the avante-guarde furniture, the people it employs and the music they play. Situated in the centre of Palma, it is right in the heart of where it is all happening. A great place for watching the world go by.

Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink

Another day, another day trip, this time to a nearby village called Binnisalem to meet with friends for coffee. Because it was such a lovely hot day, we sat outside. While the grown-ups talked about boring grown-up stuff, Mia entertained herself attempting to intimidate a Doberman. Typically, the minute it advanced, fed up with being bullied by a scrap, she hid behind my feet, leaving me to deal with the the fallout. Luckily, there was a kindly owner at hand to save the day and the only damage was to my dignity.

• Because I am not the only doting dog owner and because I am in good company, some of it distinguished, I have assembled a collection of dog-related quotes. Click here to read them and feel free to email me with your own favourites.

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