I have a new shadow, and it's a bucked-tooth chihuahua. When I walk to the kitchen, it follows me. When I go to the bathroom, it hurries in and sits beside the toilet. When I flop on the couch, it jumps up, too, and looks up at me and grins with it's bottom teeth sticking out from its little mouth. I step, it steps; I trip and scold it, it looks up and wags its tail.
This strange little canine is named Tinkerbell. Her mother, who is less clingy but just as strange and little, is Mighty Mite. These weasels used to hate me and I hated them. They would bark everytime I came in the door and snarl when I held out my hand to make peace. When I tried to take them outside, they would cower in the back of their cage, and when I called them back in, they would hide in the yard. But now they wait for me to get up in the morning and can't wait for me to sit down so they can crawl up beside me.
Tinkerbell and Mighty Mite were my mother-in-law's very special pets. She loved them almost like her own children. When she was in the hospital, she kept asking how her little doggies were. We assured her they were fine, and if she worked hard to breathe deeply, she could go home and see them soon. A few days later, when we all came home from the hospital without her, the doggies mourned, too, staying in their cage for days, only coming out to look around the house for their owner.
They say chihuahuas are "one-person" dogs--they cling to one person and refuse to bond with anyone else. It must have been hard for Tinkerbell and Mighty Mite to lose their owner, who they clung to and protected so vehemently. Without her, they were lost. They needed someone to follow, and they eventually inched their way to me.
I used to hate chihuahuas and their anti-social behavior. I still don't like the breed, but it's been hard to continue hating Tinkerbell and Mighty Mite when they seem so fond of me.
Now I'm their new object of affection, whether I like it or not. I just hope I don't step on them.