(200? – April 14, 2017)

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.

Stitch’s Obituary

Stitch Humuhumunukunukuapua’a Lerios has come to the Rainbow Bridge and entered into legend. His passing has ripped a Yorkie-sized hole in the space-time continuum, an absence that will be felt most deeply by his human caretakers.

His early life, prior to being discovered in a dumpster on Thanksgiving weekend 2006, remains unknown (though we imagine it to be somewhat Dickensian). From these humble beginnings, Stitch rose to serve as CEO (Canine Entertainment Officer) of several respected companies and command the hearts of all men, women, and children who came to know him. With his dashing good looks, formidable intelligence, endless curiosity, and open friendliness, Stitch embodied all the traits of the Best Dog Everâ„¢. Those who feared dogs learned to trust him; families who were formerly dogless rushed to adopt canines of their own after petsitting him.

Slayer of Greenies, herder of yoginis, wrangler of engineers, terrorizer of squirrels, torturer of squeaky toys, pusher of boundaries, connoisseur of meats, beguiler of children, thief of hearts (and veggie lasagna), and bringer of joy, it took the twin dragons of prostate cancer and congestive heart failure to fell this mighty warrior. (As an enlarged heart is a telltale sign of CHF, even his illness had a touch of the poetic – his heart was so big, it was killing him.)

He was, above all things, a Good Boy.

Stitch – as you run free in Valhalla, Stovokor, or whichever name we mere mortals give to your happy hunting grounds, may you live forever on Earth in story and (likely poorly-written) song. Heghlu’meH QaQ jajvam.

A Day in the Life of Stitch