amazing world famous chihuahua wheely willy dies

nadia chihuahua memorials 11 Comments

rest in peace wheely willy the amazing chihuahua

famous chihuahua® was deeply saddened to hear about the recent passing of superstar chihuahua, wheely willy. if you have never heard of wheely willy, here are the details of his passing and the amazing story that lives in the legacy of this amazing chihuahua. rip wheely willy.

… wheely willy is dead. or is he?

yes, it’s true, his “mother” deborah turner found him curled up next to her in bed on the morning of dec. 22, his tiny heart stopped. she wrapped a blanket around the dog, cradled him in her arms, held onto his little paws and wept.

but wheely willy the symbol lives on. just ask any kid who attended elementary school between 1999 and now.

chances are they met wheely willy. and if they met wheely willy, chances are they haven’t forgotten him.

“life is what you make of it,” was willy’s message.

and that’s a pretty powerful message, coming from a 4-pound chihuahua that overcame hate, paralysis and homelessness to become a tv star and eventually tour the world, bringing even the royal prince and princess of japan to their knees.

no one really knows where wheely willy’s life begins or what horrors befell him.

but he got a second chance in the early ’90s when a woman came upon a cardboard box, sealed with tape, on some street in los angeles. inside she found a hairless, emaciated, shivering little dog.

he didn’t bark, or even whine, because, she later learned, someone had cut his vocal chords. nor did he try to jump out, because, she later learned, his back was broken, leaving his hind legs paralyzed.

the woman took the little dog to a vet she knew who did rescue work, and there he lived, in a cage, for the next year. until deborah turner heard about him.

at the time, deborah owned the doggie in the window pet store in long beach, and she too did rescue work. she arrived at the vet’s office one day expecting to find a sad sack. instead, she found one of the most playful dogs she had ever met, dragging his legs behind him like he didn’t have a care in the world.

“we were all standing around looking at him with tears in our eyes,” she recalls. “well, he didn’t know what the sad story was.”

the vet had named him chilly willy, because before his hair grew back and he put on some fat, he shivered all the time.

deborah’s plan was to return to Long Beach to spread the word of chilly willy’s plight and try and find him a home. but when the vet put willy back in his cage, his ears went all hangdog droopy.

“ok, give him back to me,” she announced.

and soon willy was in a ford explorer on his way to long beach.

deborah’s first order of business was to give willy his legs back. she tried putting his hind legs on a small skateboard, but his front legs couldn’t keep up. next she tied a bunch of helium balloons to the back of the baby pajamas she had bought him, but instead of just lifting his back legs, it lifted his whole body off the ground.

then she saw an ad in a pet magazine for the k-9 cart. the day it arrived, she hooked willy up to his new wheels. he took off running, head thrown back, ears flying.

“this might sound dramatic,” deborah says. “but it took his world from black and white into full blown color. because that’s where life began for him.”

deborah took willy everywhere she went. he rode in the cart at wild oats. and he waited in line at the bank. he even went to the restroom with her since she had to express his bladder for him because of the paralysis.

out on the streets, it seemed like everyone wanted to know: what’s the story there with that little guy?

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taco bell chihuahua dies from stroke at 15 years old

nadia chihuahua memorials, chihuahua news 4 Comments

the taco bell chihuahua charmed millions without ever saying a word — and managed to make fast-food tacos adorable. gidget, the chihuahua best known for her taco bell ad campaign (and her famous overdubbed tagline, “yo quiero taco bell”), died from a stroke on tuesday night at age 15.

“she made so many people happy,” says gidget’s trainer, sue chipperton. people’s pets met both gidget and sue at a hollywood animals photo shoot in february, where the pup was a consummate pro and delighted the crew with her playful nature.

“when she’s on a set, she comes alive,” chipperton said at the time. but when the mostly retired canine actor wasn’t joining her trainer on shoots, the 15-year-old was happy to just kick back. “she goes on hikes with me and she loves the sun,” said chipperton, who added that gidget was happy to sleep “for 23 hours and 45 minutes a day. she’ll lay outside when it’s 105 degrees! i like to joke that it’s like looking after a plant.”

in addition to her gig as spokesdog for taco bell, gidget appeared in a commercial for the ’90s edition of trivial pursuit and played bruiser’s mom (moonie, the chihuahua who played bruiser in legally blonde, was her best friend and sometime roommate at chipperton’s house).

other than a few other small cameos, gidget’s working life didn’t continue much beyond her taco bell legacy. but she left quite an impression. “one time, i kid you not, she actually pushed her stand-in out of the way because he was still there when she arrived on set,” chipperton recalled with a laugh. “gidget always knew where the camera was.”

… rip sweet gidget


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in loving memory of mickey rourke’s chihuahua loki

nadia chihuahua memorials 5 Comments

rest in peace sweet loki

famous chihuahua sends their deepest condolences and prayers to the bereaved mickey rourke for the loss of his beloved chihuahua loki.

e! news reports that loki the chihuahua passed away monday night at age 18. mickey rourke was photographed walking the red carpet with his chihuahua at the venice film festival in last september.

“i’d like to thank all my dogs, the ones who are here and the ones who aren’t here anymore,” the wrestler star said when accepting his globe for best actor last month.

“sometimes, when a man is alone, that’s all you got is your dog. and they’ve meant the world to me.”

rourke expanded on this sentiment in a recent sit-down with barbara walters for her annual post-oscars interview special.

“i sort of self-destructed and everything came out about fourteen years ago or so…the wife had left, the career was over, the money was not an ounce,” he said. “the dogs were there when no one else was there.”

he remembered, at one of his lowest points, being asleep for some reason in a closet and then looking at his other dog lowjack. “and he made a sound, like a little almost human sound.

i don’t have kids, the dogs became everything to me. the dog was looking at me going, ‘who’s going to take care of me?’

the official website of mickey rourke

photo credit: stefania d’alessandro, wireimage

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in loving memory of chooch the chihuahua

nadia chihuahua memorials 10 Comments

in loving memory of chooch the chihuahua. rest in peace.

famous chihuahua would like to send their deepest condolences and prayers to the bereaved allison blau in new jersey for the loss of her dear sweet chooch the chihuahua on january 19, 2009. we dedicate this poem to her …

her journey’s just begun

don’t think of her as gone away-
her journey’s just begun
life holds so many facets-
this earth is only one
just think of her as resting
from the sorrows and the tears
in a place of warmth and comfort
where there are no days and years
think how she must be wishing
that we could know today
how nothing but our sadness
can really pass away
and think of her as living
in the hearts of those she touched…
for nothing loved is ever lost
and she was loved so much!

– ellen brenneman

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