This is the love story, as told to me by Jackie Arnold, mama of Cha Cha, the Chihuahua from Vallejo, California.
Tell me about the first time you met Cha Cha, when, and where was it? How did you feel, and what made you feel that way?
My son Carson walked into the living room with an eight-week-old tiny dog in his pocket. He took her out and said," Look, Mom!" I thought, "OMG, What is that? It's so small!" At first, I thought she was a hamster! She was a little tan thing. My son laughed and said, "Momma, it's a dog." The story was that his friend was supposed to keep her, but, for now, he asked if I would watch her while he and his girlfriend went to the movie. I agreed. I called a friend to come over and help because I had no idea how to care for a little dog. We fed her some rice, and she had some water. I took her to my bed, where she laid her head on my pillow next to me and never left. The next day my son and his girlfriend asked if I would keep her. I questioned about giving her to a friend of theirs as planned. I was told that it might not be as good as living here if she goes there, and I never let go!
Thinking back, how would you describe Cha Cha's personality as a puppy? And as an adult?
Playful, and she loved to rough house with her Beagle and Schnauzer siblings. She turned into Mommy's princess. I took her everywhere with me, and she loved to dress up. She was not very social with other dogs outside of her siblings. When we would go out walking or shopping, other little dogs would come over to sniff her, and she'd lift her head as if to say, "I'm a princess don't talk to me.” She’d trot along in her dress, then turn and go.
And now, how would Cha Cha describe your personality?
Protective and loving. She would say Mommy was fun and took me places. I was lucky. I got new dresses all the time! There was one time when I left her in a store for twenty minutes! I got two blocks, realizing she wasn’t with me, and ran back to the store. Cha Cha was standing right there in the same place I left her! The store owner was laughing!
What did you learn from Cha Cha?
How not to raise my voice if possible. That would scare her. She'd run under the bed and hide. Most importantly, I learned to love unconditionally.
What are the top three things you always want to remember about your love?
1. Her beautiful face and body. Especially her neck, which I loved to kiss.
2. Her front-door greetings. I'd come home, and she would come running in and greet me, smiling. Her tail was wagging. In fact, her whole body would wag!
3. How she would stare at me with love. At nighttime, when we were watching TV, she'd stare at me with those eyes. With unconditional love and admiration, she stared at me, and in later years, I would stare right back.
When did Cha Cha earn her wings?
March 21, 2019
When did you join Paws? Do you remember how you found Paws?
March 22, 2019, you found me.
What has or is helping you get to the other side of grief? What advice would you share with someone who recently started grieving?
You helped me, and comments on your page helped me. Getting my thoughts on something else helped. Then I found Lola, four-pound Lola. Taking care of her helped a lot. It was huge, and all combined, getting my mind on taking care of her. I didn't love Lola at first sight, not like Cha Cha. I learned to stop comparing and focused on feeding and caring for Lola. It took my mind off the sadness, and soon after, she showed me love, and I softened.
Where are you now in your grief?
My grief now is love and memories. Her memorial and photos are in my bedroom, so she is always with me in my heart. I'd say give it some time. It will start to change. It doesn't matter whether it's a horse or a goat, putting your mind into caring for something else works.
Using your spiritual and intuitive mind,
If I could get a message from you to Cha Cha, what would you like to know?
I'd want to know that she's happy and okay and waiting for me when I get there. Has she met my mom and dad? Tell me what it's like there, and if she's met all my other doggies.
If I could get a message to Cha Cha from you, what would you want to let Cha Cha know?
I'd say to Cha Cha, thank you for being my girl. I love you so much and miss you every minute of every day. You are right here in my heart. There will never be another girl to take your place. You will always be Mommy's girl forever and ever.