We never, ever, ever thought we’d be dog owners, much less owners of small and yappy designer dog. We had the best of all worlds with Tux, after all – all of the fun and none of the responsibility, and we loved his breed so much that we figured if were ever to own a dog, it’d be an Australian Shepherd just like him.
So when we got the call from Toli’s sister in 2006, saying that she had found a Yorkshire terrier rooting around in her dumpster and needed our help in finding his owners, we thought it’d be a typical lost-and-found success story. (We have a reputation in our neighborhood for repatriating lost dogs to their owners.) But after canvassing her apartment building and area, scanning him for a microchip, and registering him in the local paper and at the city animal shelter, no owner turned up. (Though there were plenty of people who offered to take him in.)
We decided to keep him at home with us for a few days, in case the owner was taking his time (in one past case, it took two weeks for an owner to claim a chocolate lab we had rescued). Cute as the little guy was, we were still immune to his charms until Christine tried to entertain him with a fish-shaped cat toy (we had no dog toys at the time) that vibrated every time you pulled its tail. He played for a while, and then Christine put the toy aside and left to get some work done.
About ten minutes later, while working on her computer, Christine heard a bzzz, bzzz sound coming from the living room. There was the dog, clamping the fish between both paws, and yanking the fish tail with his teeth to make it vibrate. Nothing seduces Christine like intelligence, and it was all over after that.
Stitch has turned us into one of those people. The ones who talk about their dogs incessantly, take him everywhere (he fits in carryons!), and dress him up in clothes for photos. Biased as we are, though, his friendly and agreeable personality has charmed people across the nation, from yoginis in Hawaii to nurses in Alabama to family members in California, Texas, and Kentucky.
We broke with our typical computer-language naming convention and called him Stitch, after the cartoon character because of the abrupt way he landed into our life and completely took it over. (And have you seen his ears?)
Getting to Know Stitch
- He eats: Natural Balance dog food, Greenies, vegetarian lasagna (when left unattended), and anything tasty that falls to the floor.
- He reads: classics by British authors, but indulges in UK tattler tabloids when we’re not looking.
- He has an animal spirit guide in the form of a: human aristocrat.
- He secretly longs to be: Bo Obama.
- He is a celebrity doppelganger for: Brad Pitt. (You’d think this the way women respond to him.)
- He could be an amalgamation of the following fictional characters: Toto, Eddie Crane and Charles Bingley.
- Random factoid: Stitch can manipulate humans of all shapes and sizes to do his bidding, yet consistently and hilariously fails the mirror test, barking every time he sees his reflection.