Poptart is the name of our newest dog. I say newest, but we’ve had him for a little over two years now… I think. I’m not good with time. Anyway. Poptart is a Chihuahua mix. He’s a bit bigger than most Chihuahuas at about… 15 maybe 16 pounds. Which, I understand is about ten pounds more than your average Chihuahua. But he’s not a purebred, he’s a mix. A mix of what, I dunno, and I totally don’t care. You can totally see the Chihuahua in him though. And he’s got all the vim and vinegar of a small dog. Edited to add: When we adopted him, his name was Paco (like taco) but we changed it because it was too close to Cocoa. We named him Poptart because of the white fur across his neck (it looks like frosting) and because he likes to “pop” up whenever he’s excited.
When we first got Poptart a few years ago, he was way more bitey than he is now. He was also very… threadbare is a good word I guess you can call it. His coat was stiff and sparse, especially on his back. He didn’t like to be touched on his back or near his rump at all. He tried to bite me once when I was petting him (because I didn’t realize that he was sensitive in that area). He managed to actually bite me once when I picked him up for some reason or another (he doesn’t like to be picked up), but I can totally pick him up now. He bit our tenant the day he came to look at the apartment. He bit Doug at least twice. I think that our poor little Poptart was often returned because of his biting habits. But when we adopt a dog, it’s for life. We don’t have any small children, so we were able to work with him, and now he’s not nearly as aggressive as he was when we bought him. We still have to muzzle him at the vet and we muzzle him when we clip his nails but other than that, he’s calmed down a lot. I think he’s coming to realize that we’re not going to hit him. You can tell that someone, at one time, did hit him because he’s totally hand shy. If I go to pet him, he will flinch from my hand. He also still snaps at the cat now and again, but Mister can totally take him. As I said when I talked about My Mister, they generally have an uneasy truce.
From what we were able to ascertain from Poptart’s adoption papers, he was picked up as a stray in Hawaii, then he was shipped to California (somewhere) and moved around a bit until he ended up in Washington, where we adopted him. The dog “farm” we adopted him from had mostly large dogs, which might explain some of his previous aggression. He was definitely food aggressive when we first adopted him, which made us change the way we fed the rest of the animals. Now Mister eats in his own room separated by a baby gate, and each of the dogs eat in their kennel, no more growling or snapping. Peace reigns supreme — at least at feeding time. We don’t have to lock them in their kennels, we just put their bowls in there and they each have their own space. It’s cool though, it’s a small price to pay for peace at meal time. He’s learned to wait his turn for snacks though. So he’s smart enough to learn the the other dogs aren’t going to steal his food. Unfortunately his time on the streets means that he tends to look for food in places he shouldn’t look for food. He’s a bit overweight — all of our dogs are to tell you the truth, but his weight isn’t all from us overfeeding him, it’s from him eating things he shouldn’t be eating.
Poptart is our smallest dog, and he gets along best with Brandy, the biggest. Though Brandy only tops out at 40-ish pounds. She’s not a big dog. It’s quite fun, watching them play. Mostly because it took a long time for Brandy to convince Poptart that she was playing. Like, almost a year. When we first got Poptart, he didn’t know how to play with the other dogs, and would try to attack them if they attempted to play with him. But with a lot of patience and a little time, now they play. Unfortunately, Poptart still cannot play with two dogs at once — it’s overwhelming to him — so Cocoa cannot join in on the fun. But I’m hoping that time will fix that too. Cocoa is more skittish than Brandy so he runs and hides at the first sign of hostility from Poptart. Despite his snippyness, they all get along surprisingly well. This is the closest they come to fighting really:
Cocoa will totally defend his lap territory.
Anyway, Poptart has come a long way since we first adopted him. His coat is now softer and fully grown in. He’s actually quite the little snuggler. He’s snuggled up next to me right now as I type this. Now, whether that’s because he’s cold (because he’s so tiny and we live in Washington) or because he genuinely wants to snuggle because he thinks we’re pack… well who cares? He likes to snuggle and it’s adorable. I don’t always let him on my lap when he demands it, because he really does have to learn who’s top dog in this house (that would be me) but I’m okay with snuggles most of the time. And of, course, as you can see by the video up there, him and Cocoa have issues with who has lap rights. They tend to take turns and sometimes share the spot next to me. At night they sleep under the covers next to each other, and next to me. Brandy doesn’t like to be on the furniture, so she does not participate in these tussles. Poptart also is pretty attached to Doug and right around the time that Doug is supposed to come home from work, he will start to watch the security camera display and/or look out the window. If Doug runs late, Poptart gets anxious. I’m actually trying to break him of that because while it’s sweet and all, it’s not good for him.
Poptart is around 8 years old like the other two dogs. He’ll probably live longer than both Brandy and Cocoa since he is smaller and smaller dogs tend to live longer. They all just got their annual check ups last week and are in good health. Of course, it wasn’t as easy with Poptart because he doesn’t like being handled. At least we didn’t have to sedate him like we did the first time. ^_^ But, as I mentioned before, we did have to muzzle him. He’s okay with being picked up and put on the table, but after a few minutes of poking and prodding, he will start snarling and snapping. The doctors are probably used to snippy dogs, but I’m sure that they don’t want to get bit either way. Poptart also was nice enough to leave a stool sample for them right on the lobby floor. hahahahaha! I’m sure they’re used to that too. *sigh* Like I said, he’s come a long way, but he still has a long way to go. We’re totally looking forward to watching him grow a happy, healthy dog too… one that’s not quite as afraid of hands, feet, and people/dogs stealing his food. One day he’ll understand that this is a safe place for him.