Today is International Chihuahua Appreciation Day (May 14), a good time to mention something about the breed that was recognized just 20 years after the AKC was established in 1884, but in such an interesting breed, what do we pick?
We could talk about urban legends, such as the belief that the belief that Chihuahuas can “take on” a person’s asthma and cure the sufferer of the respiratory ailment. They can’t. Or that Chihuahuas have something in common with human infants, a soft spot on their heads called a molera. They do. Similar to a fontanelle in human babies, it’s where the parietal and frontal bones of the head haven’t yet joined together. It’s an acceptable trait that can be discerned by gently touching the dog’s head with a finger between the eyes, and stroking back towards the center of the dog’s ears. If we can feel a spot that feels like a tiny gap that’s different from the skull, we have found the molera, present in approximately 80% to 90% of all newborn Chihuahuas.
We could talk about how the AKC’s smallest breed is named after Mexico’s largest state, or how the minor league baseball team, the El Paso Padres, held a naming contest in 2013 to differentiate themselves from the San Diego Padres, and chose “El Paso Chihuahuas” out of more than 5,000 submissions. Check out the team’s logo, a growling Chihuahua wearing a spiked collar, on the hat of former Chihuahua player, Alex Dickerson (now a left fielder for the San Diego Padres), posing with the Kuvasz, Öröm, in the photo at the right taken by Karen Rawers.
We could touch upon the packs of wild Chihuahuas common throughout the American southwest in the late 1800s and early 1900s. In fact, the man who registered the first Chihuahua with the AKC, Hamilton Raynor, spent years catching the small dogs which became the foundation of his kennel.
It’s hard to know where to stop because there’s just so much to know about the Chihuahua, but we’ll quit here because there’s also only so much time in a day.
Image: “Chihuahua Revolution” by John LaFee of Canine Caricatures