Meet the Chiweenie: Anya Schira AKA The Farm Chiweenie

Anya is a roughly 13 pound, black and tan, chiweenie I adopted from the Noah Project in the middle of January. Prior to meeting her, I’d never heard of chiweenies. Now I think they’re marvelous. She’s a year old, has 4 inch legs, and loves to run. She’s affectionate and does well on her own.VIDEO0146_0000137264

Even though I keep hearing about how stubborn chiweenies are, I have to admit that Anya has been pretty trainable, which is good considering I’ve been kind of hit and miss in the training department. As long as I have a treat, she’s willing to do what I ask. So far she’s learned sit, sit pretty, down, she sort of crawls on cue, and swats at my hand when I tell her to say hello. Currently we’re learning how to roll over. The biggest training challenge I’ve run into is her short legs. It’s hard to get her to track a treat downwards when her neck is twice as long as her legs. The good news is that she has a strong desire to please and loves phrase.the pack

While I wouldn’t call Anya stubborn, she does occasionally exhibit something I call “Queen Anya moments” where it’s very clear she would rather be doing something else and questions my authority. I think if given a chance, she’d love to rule the place.

Personality wise, Anya seems to be an interesting mix of both a typical dachshund and Chihuahua. I’d say the Chihuahua nervousness balances out the dachshund fearlessness. She often shivers even when it’s not cold. She spooks sometimes, but doesn’t have any trouble with anxiety and will usually check out whatever startled her. She’s very social and Anya blanketloves people (I’ve put a lot of effort into socializing her) however, she’s often introverted when she goes somewhere new or first meets someone new. I’ve learned the best way to get her to warm up to new people is to have them look away from her. She’s much braver when they’re not looking at her.

Anya is a high energy puppy. I’m often grateful that she’s in the barn all day with me where she’s free to romp and play to her heart’s content. The all-day play sessions mean she’s ready to curl up on the couch and chill once we do go inside. We also go on a long walk at least once a week. Don’t let her little four inch legs fool you, this little chiweenie can walk 5+ miles without getting tired.IMAG2656

My biggest fear with Anya is that she’ll get lose and run into one of the horse pastures and get stepped on. There’s a strict barn rule that the horses and dogs aren’t allowed to mix because we don’t want the K9’s getting stepped on, bit, or kicked. There are also parts of the barn where dogs simply aren’t allowed to go. At this point Anya is still learning the rules and sometimes forgets which side of the gates she’s supposed to stay on. I’m a little worried that someday she’ll slip outside with someone and because she’s so small, they won’t notice her and lock her out of the barn.

Even though I’d never heard of chiweenies prior to this year, now I can’t imagine my life without Anya.

Written by Jess Schira who was under the supervision of Anya Schira, The Farm Chiweenie, at the time.

All photos posted belong to Jess Schira

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My Surprising Discovery About Dog Collars and Chiweenies

When I first met Anya, one of the first things the employee at Noah’s warned me about was leading the Anya by a collar. She said I needed to make sure I used a harness.

I was startled. I’d always used a collar when leading dogs and never had a problem. I managed to swallow my instinctive sarcasm and not point out that at that very moment, the only thing Anya was wearing was a bright green collar.

Luckily, The Noah Project is run by wonderful people who not only want to find homes for the dog and cats they take in, but who are also interested in making sure all adopters are properly educated. She said that toy breeds, such as chiweenies, are prone to a medical condition called collapsing trachea, and that when a small dog yanks against a collar as some are prone to doing, it can cause the trachea to collapse, leading to problems.

Since I’m not the type of person who takes anyone’s word for anything, I went home, booted up the computer, and did some research. It turns out that pulling on the collar isn’t the only thing that can cause a chiweenie’s trachea to collapse. Coughing and over-exertion is also a problem. The condition is most common in toy breeds who have passed their 5th birthday.

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“No collar on me!”-Anya, the Farm Chiweenie

The good news is that most dogs who have a collapsing trachea are able to live long and full lives, provided their monitored and otherwise remain in good health. However, it’s also important to acknowledge that not all dogs are so lucky. Some struggle to enjoy a high quality of life after their trachea has collapsed and require a great deal of medical care and attention. In some extreme cases, surgery is required to correct the problem.

Rather than deal with a serious and potentially life threatening problem, I suggest you fit your chiweenie for a really nice harness. If you have a little one who likes to pull, look for an anti-pulling harness. There are some really nice front leading ones that are a great choice for a Chiweenie who is just learning how to walk on a leash.

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“Okay,  full disclosure. Mom does make me wear a collar sometimes when we go on walks, but the leash is attached to my harness, not the collar.”-Anya, The Farm Chiweenie

Oh yeah, before I forget. The friend who was with me at the time asked about using a dog head halter on Anya, which was also discouraged because they have a tendency to slide into the little dog’s eyes. Chiweenie noses just aren’t long enough to manage the halter.

Good luck and don’t forget to give your chiweenie an extra cuddle from me.

Written by Jess Schira

Recovering Lost Chiweenies (and Other Types of Dogs)

Being on social media sites last weekend was a painful experience. So many chiweenies (and other types of dogs) were parted from the humans they love. While this is a frightening experience for everyone, there’s hope. Every single day, there are stories about formerly lost pooches who located their humans.

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“Lost chiweenies? Did their humans give them a bath, take them to the vet, or threaten to never feed another hot dog ’cause those are the only reason’s I’d run away.” -Anya, The Farm Chiweenie

If you’ve lost your chiweenie, you can’t assume they’ll simply show up at home if you wait long enough. These are house dogs who don’t necessarily know how to track themselves back to your doorstep. You need to be pro-active.

  • Quickly search your yard and home and make sure they haven’t crawled under or into something to hide. You should also contact all of your neighbors and ask them to do the same.
  • Contact all local animal shelters, police stations, and veterinary clinics. Even if they haven’t found your pet, they’ll know to be on the lookout and will call you if they learn anything about your lost chiweenie’s location. Request that they post the information on their social media sites.
  • While you’re making those phone calls, you should also design and print out several fliers. Make sure they include your name, your dog’s name, and your contact information. A large, clear, recent photo of your chiweenie should be printed on the flier as well. Post these everywhere! If you are posting a landline phone number rather than a cell phone, make sure there is always at least one person at home who can answer calls.
  • Take to Facebook and other social media sites and alert members that you’re looking for your lost pet. Most areas now have community Facebook groups where members are free to post information about things they’ve either lost or found, including pets. Not only are these sites a great way to reunite with your pet, but arrangements can be made for you to meet in a secure, safe area, such as a busy parking.
  • Keep fresh water and food near the door your pet routinely uses when they enter and exit you home. If they find their way home, they’ll be hungry, tired, and thirsty. The food and water they see will encourage them to stick around.
  • If your pet is microchipped, contact the company that registered the microchip. It’s likely that they have methods and resources for helping lost pets reunite with their owners that you don’t. Every little thing helps.

When you get word that your lost chiweenie has been found, make sure you act quickly. Shelters in particular don’t hold onto found dogs for long. The shelters near me have a stray hold that lasts from 4-7 days. In addition to quickly going to recover your lost chiweenie, make sure you have both proof of ownership and your current dog license. If you can’t find your current license, contact your county treasurer and see if they would be willing to fax or email a copy of the document to the animal shelter.

Reuniting with your lost pet will be thrilling, but for your sake and theirs, you need to stay calm. Your pet is already scared and most likely feels guilty. If you get overly emotional, it’s likely they will too, which increase the odds of the them bolting once again.

Good luck and don’t forget to give your chiweenie an extra cuddle from me.

Written by Jess Schira

Straight From Anya: What the Bloody $@$%@#%@#^% was That All About

I know Mom blogged about fireworks the other day, I was there, sitting right behind her while she wrote and posted the thing, but I really didn’t understand what the big deal was. I was more interested in snoozing. IMAG3795_1

Friday night came and went, no big deal.I played with Toby and Cougar. Showed my stuff blue dog who was boss. Got bored. Practiced running really fast. Just a typical night in this chiweenie’s life.

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Saturday night was a little different. I got my heartworm medicine. Mom thinks it’s ridiculous I have to spit it out each time my teeth crack the pill, stare at it for a few seconds, pick it up, break it in half and repeat the process four or five times before swallowing the pill. I think the fact she uses silverware is stupid so I guess we’re even.

 

Anyway, getting back to Saturday night. I went through my monthly ritual with my heartworm medicine, ate the hot dog Mom got me as a reward, and settled in for some cuddle time. Things were going great until there was some strange pop-pop-pop noises to the north of us.

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I listened.

I looked at Mom. She told said the noise was fireworks.

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Happy to have an explanation, I relaxed. I even opted to go with Mom into the barn so I could play with Toby while she checked on the horses. It wasn’t a big deal.

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Okay, maybe I got a little bit nervous towards the end, but I thought I handled it like a trooper. I was a fireworks master!

Than Sunday night happened. That’s the night everyone in the entire town decided to set off their own fireworks. It was really loud. I didn’t think it was ever going to stop.

I considered my options and decided the best place to hide was under mom’s desk chair. It’s a pretty good setup for a little dog. It’s covered, it’s familiar, and mom is really close by. Since mom always uses a lap blanket while she writes, the spot feels a little cave like.

Just as I was getting secure, the unthinkable happened.

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My mom got up and left me.

What the …!

She said she had to check on the horses and make sure they hadn’t run through the fence, but I’m not sure I believe her. I mean she didn’t smell like horse sweat or hay. She smelled a little smoky. I’m seriously wondering what she was really up to. When the next set of boomers went off a few minutes after 11, she also said a few bad words, the ones she said I couldn’t use when we discussed the Articles Under Which we Sail, before running out of the apartment.

When she came back to the apartment, she gave me a couple of Beggin’ Strips for being such a good, brave girl, so I decided to forgive her. After that, all was well with the world. Well, mostly.

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Ta for now,

Anya, The Farm Chiweenie

Articles Under Which We Sail

When she created her blog, author Susan Spann wrote a post titled Articles Under Which we Sail that basically outlined the way pirates created rules that everyone on the vessel had to adhere to or disembark the ship (and they might not be near any land at the time ofIMAG3463 the disembarkment.) I loved Susan’s idea and decided to steal borrow it for this blog.

Jess

P.S. Anya and I have already discussed the rules and she’s agreed to them.

ANYA, THE FARM CHIWEENIE’S ARTICLES OF AGREEMENT:

Article 1. This blog is my creation. I’m the one who puts time into creating the content and does everything else connected to the blog. Yes, Anya helps, but at the end of the day I’m in charge and that means follow my rules or stop reading the blog.

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“The only reason I agreed to let Mom claim the blog was because she happened to be holding my favorite stuffed toy hostage at the time.”-Anya, The Farm Chiweenie  

 

Article 2. The layout, schedule, and content can change depending on my mood and workload. It’s just going to have to be something everyone has to learn to deal with including you, Anya. That being said. If someone would like me to delve further into a topic, or has an idea for a topic, feel free to mention it. Even if it’s not something I’m interested in writing about, I might be receptive to arranging for you to guest blog.

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“Oh sorry, did Mom say something else. I was distracted..” -Anya, The Farm Chiweenie

Article 3. I’m not a fan of swearing or adult style content, so please keep it clean in the comment section. Anya, I’m looking at you. If my view towards this changes, I’ll let you know. If you absolutely must swear, use a creative, alternative word phrase or stick to the old standard @#$#@$@%^

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“Uh oh, I may have to reconsider my Anya’s Perspective piece I’m supposed to post tomorrow. Mom could have mentioned this no swearing thing sooner.”-Anya  , The Farm Chiweenie

Article 4. The world isn’t black and white and neither is the concept that everyone should adhere to one style or thought process. Since this is a pet blog, I suspect I’ll say things you won’t agree with or that you have an opinion on something that won’t align with me. It’s okay! It’s entirely possible that something will be posted that you don’t agree with and that’s okay. Your allowed to share your thoughts on the matter provided, you don’t get nasty, accept that it’s okay to not see eye to eye, and are willing to engage in a polite and respectful discussion on the matter. If I feel someone is getting bull headed, arrogant, or being downright nasty, I will block you. And if you refer to Article one, you’ll see that since this is my blog, I get to say what is and isn’t polite and respectful behavior/discussion.

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“Oh boy, this could get interesting!”-Anya, The Farm Chiweenie

Article 5. Don’t even think about coming to this blog and breaking any legal laws. Nor should you discuss laws you’ve broken or are planning on breaking. Just don’t do it!

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“It’s a good thing I’m not a rebellious chiweenie”-Anya, The Farm Chiweenie

Article 6. I’m free to delete or refute any comment I want. Again, see Article One. It’s my blog so I get to do what I want.

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“The power of running the blog might be going to Mom’s head. I need to look at the house rules and see how I can dispute who’s in control here. I should have a case. After all. I’M the Farm Chiweenie. Not Mom”-Anya, The Farm Chiweenie

Article 7. The comment section is for commenting. It’s only for commenting. It’s not for advertising. If you want to advertise something, talk to me and we’ll discuss various options and scenarios. If I find your ad in the comment section, it will be deleted. Ridiculing might also occur.

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“Pork chops are good. If you want to advertise pork chops in the comments, I’m okay with that. Hot dogs and horse hoof clippings too!”-Anya, The Farm Chiweenie

 

 

Article 8. I reserve the right to change these articles whenever I feel like it.

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“And she changes her mind ALL THE TIME! It’s exasperating.”

-Anya, The Farm Chiweenie

That’s all for now, folks! Thanks for reading and feel free to comment. Just remember the rules and adhere to them. I’d hate to have to make anyone walk the plank!

All the photos featured in this post belong to Jess Schira’s personal collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fireworks are Coming! Three Tips to Keep Your Chiweenie Safe this Fourth of July

The Fourth of July.

As an American with a deep love of history, I adore the Fourth of July, and feel it’s important to honor those who risked all so we can enjoy honest to goodness freedom.  As 14661393760_ac9f7b03c2_bsomeone with critters, I’m less thrilled with the holiday, particularly since Michigan legalized the use of the huge fireworks a few years back.

Oddly enough, the dogs in my life don’t seem to mind fireworks, but my internship at a stable puts me into contact with a few horses who do. The barn dogs, Toby and Cougar also don’t seem to mind the thunder, especially if they’re in the stable office. I don’t know how Anya will react. This is our first Fourth together and I really don’t know 12108709_1074562232554426_6525124316903981695_nhow she’s going to react. I’m hoping, that since she’s hasn’t exhibited any thunder anxiety or noise phobia, that she’ll be good about fireworks. Of course, I’ll also be thrilled if the neighbors decide to skip the firework party they’ve thrown the past few years.

Meanwhile, here are a few tips you can use to keep your Chiweenie, and other types of dogs, safe and comfortable during the upcoming fireworks displays.

Keep Your Dog Inside

Even if your dog is normally outdoors, when there’s a threat of fireworks, it’s best to bring them in. The fireworks can trigger a strong enough fear reaction that a dog who never Anyashows any inclination to leave home will jump a fence. Besides, they’ll be more relaxed when surrounded by the humans they love. Some dogs are most comfortable when they’re crated during the fireworks shows., especially if three sides of the crate are covered. Turning on the television or radio will help disguise the sound of the exploding fireworks.

Get a Thunder shirt

I meant to get a thunder shirt for Anya before now, but it hasn’t happened. I’m hoping I don’t regret my dawdling. The thunder shirt to a chiweenie is what a swaddle is to a baby, it fits snuggly and eases their stress. You should put your dog into the shirt prior to the 10806045045_41c294f8e7_nstart of the fireworks show.

Get your Walk in Early

Don’t wait until it’s almost dark before walking your chiweenie. You’ll want to take them out as soon as the ground is cool enough for them to walk without burning their feet. The early walk decreases the odds of you not returning home before the first firework is set off. Before going on your walk, take a magic marker and clearly print your phone number of your dog’s harness and collar. This increases the odds of your chiweenie being returned to you if they’re startled and get away while on the walk.

When walking on Fourth of July weekend, don’t get casual with you chiweenie. You never know when someone is going to set off a cannon (it happens in a few towns near me), or pop cherry bombs as your walking past, spooking your pet. When this happens, you’ll be walking Anyaglad you had a tight grip on your leash.

The most important thing to remember is that if your chiweenie is upset about the fireworks, it’s your responsibility to talk quietly to them and remind them that they’re loved and in a safe place.

Anya and I wish everyone a happy and safe Fourth of July!

Photo Credits: Blog title photo: photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/49195807@N00/14661393760″>Fireworks on Brisbanes Story Bridge. Riverfire 2012</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Interior Photo of Anya the Farm Chiweenie: Personal collection of Jess Schira

Interior Photo of Dalmation in Thunder shirt: photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/47439717@N05/10806045045″>Thundershirt 2/3</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Interior Photo of Anya the Farm Chiweenie: Personal collection of Jess Schira

Is it Time to Make a Chiweenie a Member of your Family?

Let me guess, you’ve been looking at my photos of Anya, and now you want a little Anya of your own. I get it. She’s pretty darn irresistible. I’ll let you in on a secret:

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“Yep, I’m pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself.”-Anya, the Farm Chiweenie

She’s even more delightful in real life!

It’s important to remember that just because Anya is a 13-pound bundle of happiness and has been a really easy dog to care for, falling in love with her doesn’t mean it’s the best time to make a chiweenie a member of your family.

 

The bright eyes, cheerful expression, short legs, and wiggly walk that so often characterize chiweenies makes them pretty irresistible. One meeting for you to feel an overwhelming urge to rush to your local animal shelter and beg for one. Before you start filling out the adoption applications, you need to stop and ask yourself if you’re really ready to add a Chiweenie to your life.

Benefits of a Long Term Relationship with a Chiweenie

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“Yep, cute even when I sleep!”-Anya, the  Farm Chiweenie

You’ll be thrilled to know that there are several different and exciting ways a Chiweenie will improve your life.

 

  • Kids raised in the same house as a chiweenie or other type of dog are far less likely to develop allergies than kids who aren’t allowed to have a family pooch.
  • The act of taking your chiweenie out for a walk two or three times a day not only boosts your physical health, but also puts you in a position to meet lots of people each trip, which improves your social health.
  • Anyone who struggles with anxiety will discover the presence of a chiweenie helps them stay relaxed
  • People who own dogs have lower blood pressure levels than those who don’t have a dog
  • Dog owners are less likely to develop depression than non-dog owners.

Let me guess. Now that you’ve heard this small sampling of ways a chiweenie or other type of dog will improve your quality of life, you’re more eager than ever to rush out and pick up a chiweenie.

Not so fast.

There are still some more details you need to consider before getting a chiweenie.

Are You Really, Truly Ready for a Chiweenie

Before you start searching the globe for a chiweenie of your very own, you need to make sit down and consider whether now is the best time to bring a dog in your life. It’s an enormous decision and can’t be taken lightly. Don’t forget, you can’t base things on your current life, a dog is a lifetime commitment. While you might not have a crystal ball telling you how the rest of your life will proceed, you need to be confident you’ll be able to provide a loving and happy home to a chiweenie for the rest of its life, and chiweenies are a toy breed (unless you get one of the bigger ones) so you can reasonably anticipate their life span being anywhere from 13-20 years. If you’re not ready to make that long a commitment to a chiweenie or other toy dog, maybe you should consider a type of pet with a shorter life span. Another choice would be to adopt an older chiweenie, which has another set of pros and cons to consider and will need to be a future blog topic.

Here is a list of things to consider before searching for the chiweenie your heart desires:

  • Your living arrangements-first are you allowed to rent? Renters aren’t the only ones who are sometimes forbidden from getting a chiweenie or other types of pets. Many housing communities also restrict the type and size of the pet residents are allowed to have. The last thing you want to do is fall in love with a dog and bring them home only to learn you can’t keep them.
  • Are you prepared to help a pooch stay active-Yes, chiweenies are small. Yes, they do quite well in smaller spaces, such as studio apartments, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about how to keep them fit. Anya’s an active chiweenie. I’ve heard other chiweenie owners have stated that their chiweenies are also bursting with energy. If you don’t have a fenced in yard, you will need to take them on a daily
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    “Taking a very short rest between play sessions.”-Anya, the Farm Chiweenie

    walk, no matter how bad the weather conditions get. Anya and I go on regular walks, and she also spends her entire day hanging out in the barn and running around the area, and there are still times when she’s raring to go when I’m ready to settle in for the evening.

  • You can’t ignore your financial situation-Once you bring a chiweenie (or any other type of dog) into your life, the expenses start adding up. You have to get food, yearly vaccinations, flea control, heartworm tests, heartworm preventive, toys, treats, grooming supplies, and more. In addition to these expenses, you also have to be ready to handle the financial burden of potential veterinary requirements (which hopefully, you’ll never need!)
  • What will Happen to your Chiweenie if you’re Unable to Care for Them-No one likes to think about it, but again, we can’t accurately predict the future. It’s possible that something could happen that makes caring for your dog impossible, which is why it’s best to have a contingency plan in place, just in case. In Anya’s case, I have plenty of friends and family who will take her in. (the only problem is that a fight might break out over which one gets her. EVERYONE loves Anya)

You should also think about what you’ll do with the Chiweenie if you’re traveling and unable to bring your pet with you.

After having a heart to heart discussion with yourself and deciding that yes, you’re ready for a Chiweenie, you should contact your local dog rescues and see if they have the perfect best friend for you.

Good luck!

Feel free to share your thoughts about adding a Chiweenie or other type of dog to your life. Just post a comment.