“Ah, my fat, little kumquat, you know I love you. C’mere, you little sewer breath.”
Lola Schrader, obese Chihuahua and former showgirl, waddles over and stretches her legs. She is so graceful, like a dancer. There was a time she wore a tutu. But she outgrew it a couple pounds ago.
That’s the way it goes with Chihuahuas: seven pounds, you’re thin; ten pounds, you’re a porker.
Back when Lola donned her tutu — mostly for Halloween and Belleville Area Humane Society events — children would line up to pet her. After kissing her nose, one little boy told me: “She’s so pretty you don’t even notice her breath.”
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Ahhh, those were the days. Now when Lola yawns, everybody jumps back. Even my husband, Mark, who says he never wanted her but reads the paper with her perched on his shoulder like a parrot, crinkles his nose in disgust.
“Can’t you give her a mint or something?”
“I’d offer her a Certs but it wouldn’t scratch the surface.”
Eating is one of Lola’s superpowers. Because her teeth are the size of tiny grains of rice, she usually forgoes chewing and just swallows things whole.
“She went after a Rottweiler earlier today,” a shelter employee told me before I brought her home. “She looks dainty but she has a Napoleon Complex.”
Napoleon was a pussycat compared to Lola.
Sometimes I walk her around the neighborhood in a front pack I wear strapped to my shoulders. She sits like an angel until she sees another dog — at which point, she shrieks like a banshee and bursts up out of my chest like the creature from “Alien.”
Sometimes I walk her around the neighborhood in a front pack I wear strapped to my shoulders. She sits like an angel until she sees another dog — at which point, she shrieks like a banshee and bursts up out of my chest like the creature from ‘Alien.’
One squirt between the eyes and down she goes. Water is Lola’s Kryptonite. For this reason, I always carry a water pistol in my back pocket. I have been told by neighbors they enjoy “the spectacle” of our walks. I am glad someone is entertained.
Unfortunately, that someone does not include the UPS driver. Lola once chased his truck down our driveway, her tiny jaws stretched as wide as they could go.
“I think she was trying to pop his tires,” Mark said, later. “I can’t believe something so little could be so bold.”
“When she looks in the mirror, she sees a lion,” I told him.
I see a Mexican Dessert Rat that burrows under covers and toasts her brown belly like a marshmallow in the sun. Lola’s giant, rodent-like ears fold back coquettishly whenever she’s flirting or in trouble.
Such was the case when Mark was away for two weeks. He had never been gone that long before and Lola — who is madly in love with him — moped around the house in a state of depression.
“We all miss him, girl,” I told her. “But he’ll be back soon.”
Apparently not soon enough. A few days later, the dishwasher broke down. When the repairman knelt on the floor to fix it, Lola climbed up his knee and attempted to crawl inside his pocket.
“I think she wants me to take her home,” he said and laughed.
“Normally, she’d eat you for dinner,” I told him. “But you look a little like my husband, and, well, I guess she thinks he’s not coming back.”
“So you think I’m her type?”
“I think you’ll do.”
When I pulled her from his pocket, her ears were folded back. I never told Mark.