…and by ‘cute’, of course I mean ‘Santiago’.
It’s almost 2 years that I’ve had Santiago and in the short time I’ve realized that his cuteness opens doors. Not only literal doors but figurative doors. I cannot recall one instance where we went out for a walk that at least one person didn’t come up and talk to us, and by ‘us’ I mean ‘Santiago’
Santi has the cute. Like some a’cute’ disease. Add to the fact that he’s so small, the cute is super concentrated like laundry soap for an high efficiency washer. (Most times he smells as fresh too. Most.)
It’s somewhat amusing to me that people feel compelled to tell me that he’s so small. Every once in a while I declare, “Oh my gosh! You’re right!” or “Yea, we washed him the other day and he shrunk.”
Last weekend my partner and I and a friend went for a day trip to the Eastern Townships. Santiago too, was in attendance. Because it wasn’t the warmest of days and because everything was still a little wet from 3 previous days of rain, I put Santi in his carry bag – an old Campus satchel that fits him to perfection. We looked for months for a carry bag for him the not only fit him but also didn’t look like a purse Paris Hilton would wear. In the end it was the Campus bag that won out.
Store after store with stickers on the door saying No Dogs Allowed, would take one look at Santiago in my bag and say, ”Well, normally we’d say no, but he’s too cute!”, “We don’t allow… oh my god, Shelia, come here and look at this…” I always take the time to talk to these people, and they always have questions about Santi. Is he a puppy? How much does he weigh? And so on… I also always make a point of telling them, if only briefly that Santiago is a Puppy Mill Rescue. I explain how he was rescued, and aside from the obvious cute that he’s dripping, why I got him at the SPCA as opposed to going to some Pet Shop.
It’s interesting how many people know exactly what you mean when you say “Puppy Mill”. Their reaction is never positive (obviously). But why, if so many people know about Puppy Mills, are there still so many Mills?!
The next thing I find rather amazing is how many people ask if he’d bite them, as they’d like to pet him. While I’m GLAD they ask, because then I can tell them HOW to approach such a small dog, and that is from UNDER the muzzle as opposed to come from above; it also tells me that they’ve had many a non pleasant experience with other small dogs, specifically as many will relate, from Chihuahuas. This shocks me. I mean I know a lot of little dogs suffer from Big Dog Syndrome, Santi personally sufferes from it, but only with large dogs. (The larger they are, the cockier he gets! Great Danes, Irish Wolf Hounds… he totally loses his cool. With people however he is ever the gentleman.) Santi, being the attention sponge that he is, is never going to say no to an extra bit of petting, scratch behind the ear or under his chin.
Store after store we went. And person after person we talked to. He even scored a free milk-bone nearly as big as his head from one shop keeper. On the street, in parking lots, people are attracted to his wee cuteness. In the parking lot of the McDonalds in Magog a tall burly man in biker leathers, walking from the restaurant back to his fellow bikers stopped to give Santiago a little pat on the head. He then commenced to tell me that he lost his own Chi a couple years ago named “Big”. We even walked through the Abbey of St-Benoit-du-Lac. I didn’t take into the Chapel itself, (even if God is Dog spelt backwards).
Everywhere we go Santi turns heads. So while he enters these places, meets these people as a “cute dog” he leaves as an ambassador for Rescued Shelter Dogs everywhere.
With cuteness comes an awesome responsibility; use the Cute for good. Santi does.