recently we received a lovely introductory email from the owner of a famous chihuahua named asti. asti is the starlet chihuahua featured in animal planet’s dogs 101.
asti is also featured in our informative chihuahua article called, applehead chihuahuas vs. deer head chihuahuas: how they differ. here is the wonderful story of how asti was gifted into the life of rita savelli from windsor, conneticut.
dear famous chihuahua®,
i have always been a cat person and never liked dogs. i was afraid of them. i didn’t like that they slobbered, jumped on you, knocked things off end tables with their wagging tails and that you have to take them outside to go to the bathroom. i felt that this was an inconvenience because it requires you to have to arrange your schedule to accommodate them.
then, in 2005, my son who had 2 cats married a dog lover. they lived in a condo and couldn’t get a big dog because they already has the 2 cats, so they got this little chihuahua named gunnar from a breeder in massachusetts. eventually, they needed someone to watch their chihuahua when they went away and asked me to do it. with resilience, i accepted and it wasn’t long before i completely fell in love with the little guy and soon began a hunt for my own chihuahua.
i searched online and called many chihuahua breeders, but from our conversations, i felt that many were just puppy mills. then i came across a chihuahua breeder site called teeniepaws.com and discovered my asti. instantly i fell in love with her sweet little face.
when asti was old enough to leave her mother, i could not be so cruel as to have her shipped via air. she was only 2 1/2 lbs and my heart broke thinking about how scared that would make her. so i went all the way to idaho to pick her up! crazy, but like i said, i fell in love with her face.
it was 3 flights out there from here, and then 3 flights back the next day. she was supposed to travel in a bag under the seat in front of me and she did for the 3 take offs and the 3 landings, but otherwise, she managed to find a nice warm safe haven all snuggled up in my sweatshirt.
this was in 2007. all the “dog” things i never cared for didn’t apply to her. she was pad trained, so no muddy paws from having to go outside and no having to rush home to walk her. no slobbering and no knocking things down with her tail.
she has all the wonderful qualities of a loving, loyal and joyful dog. she is shy, but very friendly. i had a friend who was battling cancer and i got a therapy dog license for asti so we could visit her in the nursing home. everyone just loved to see asti and she brought so much joy to many of the home’s residents when we visited.
asti doesn’t like regular dog food, so i cook for her. i have no idea how she knows what is dog food and what isn’t! what a smart little dog!
she also has her routines and heaven help us if we don’t follow them! she will let us know it’s time to go to bed with one quick, sharp bark. we pad trained her by giving her a natural chicken treat when she went on the pad and now, 5 years later, she still lets us know she went to the bathroom so that she will get a treat. we’ll say “show me” and she will run to the pad to show us. She has tried however to first come to me and get a treat, then go find my mother for a second one. very sneaky!
asti is a great traveler. she has a dog seat in the back seat of the car and we clip her into it for safety. we also have a pet carrier that she loves and when she sees it, she jumps right in. we can bring her anywhere. we zip up the bag and she stays quiet. but when people do see her, the immediate reaction is “awe!”
because it gets very cold here, i keep her warm in knitted dog sweaters. she now has so many clothes that we had to build her very own closet!
as for how she got her name, she looked so “bubbly” when i first saw her puppy picture online. my mother was against getting a dog, saying we’d be tied down thinking they she might be a pain in the a@@ to take care of, so i named her asti spumante savelli!