OK, let me be clear. The puppy photo here is not just for attention. I would like you to meet Rafael. Rafael, Rafa for short, is my most recent social experiment. Well actually, Rafa is a 14 week old Chihuahua who is the latest addition to the Cornwell McKean household.
Rafa is not my first puppy. He is the third Chihuahua puppy that ‘I have raised’ – along with a number of other adopted Chihuahua siblings over the years. Yep, this is a blog from a crazy dog lady.
In a world that can sometimes be filled with such unhappiness, Rafa has reminded me of the joy that a puppy can bring – the power of the puppy – as I call it.
Puppy power is certainly something I have experienced before. In an ancient era, I had a boyfriend who told me – potentially an unwise move – that his maltese shih tzu puppy was a chick magnet. I’m not so sure about that, but I do know puppies get a lot of unsolicited attention!
About 4 years ago while walking Rafa’s older brother Teddy – named so because he looks like a Teddy bear – a delivery man on the street suddenly stopped unloading his truck and walked away from his co-workers to give Ted a pat. Dropped everything. Just like that. Like a man possessed.
Rafa has brought the power of the puppy to a whole other level, not only because of his striking features, but because I now appreciate seeing the light of day (see my blog from this time last year Sink or Swim? Work/life balance: is it a myth?), I actually take the time to relish and enjoy the little bit of sunshine Rafa brings to random people’s day.
It all started a few weeks ago as Rafa was learning to ‘walk’ on his lead (lol – he was dragged) when a local restaurant owner asked if his child could pat him. Of course, I obliged as Rafa needs to be ‘socialised’.
Then while eating breakfast at a café in Docklands, a lady with another Chihuahua sat down at my table for a chat. She didn’t ask my name but she did ask for Rafa’s. On another day, I had lunch at another café where every person on the next table came over to give Rafa a pat and each told me a story about another puppy they knew. Two even asked permission to take photographs and one of them came back for extra cuddles while I was trying to eat (I did think that was a little weird hehe!).
When walking in the park a man asked us Rafa’s name and then said, as he walked off: ‘Hello Rafa, I hope to see you around.’ Today on our walk there were more unsolicited pats and photographs – and then I was shown several Instagram photos of other Chihuahuas!
The few weeks of Rafa’s life have been filled with a circuit of questions:
- Is it a boy or a girl?
- How big will he get?
- Have you stood on him?
- How old is he?
- Do you think he will stay that colour?
Sometimes we don’t get stopped but we hear people commenting on how cute little Rafa is or we get a little smile as they walk past and see him. Rafa, indeed, has come to expect the attention and now stops whenever he sees someone coming upon us – just in case they would like to talk to me or pat him. Rafa actually thinks that this is what going for a walk is all about. What a lovely view of the world he must have!
On occasion Rafa will even run right up to people he likes the look of – and yes, pats and more photographs ensue! Twice I have had to pick Rafa up and take him away, as it was beginning to look like he preferred the company of his new found friends!
It could be very easy to get annoyed at all of the attention, especially when you have some place to be, but I’ve decided that Rafa and I are going to be patient. People are always in a hurry and caught up in their own little worlds – and god forbid they would talk to a stranger. It is satisfying to see the joy in people’s faces when they encounter Rafa and me, and knowing that we’ve been responsible for adding a little sparkle to their day.
Viva the power of the puppy!