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Outrageous Tales About Chihuahuas: Some Are True!



By Bill Knell

When you look at a Chihuahua that weighs less than two pounds
full grown, it is hard to imagine that it's actually a dog! That
is why so many people once believed the rumor that Chihuahuas

were some kind of weird mix of rodent and dog. The rumor began
after people who traveled along the Mexican Border with Texas
and Arizona over one hundred and fifty years ago noticed the
breed.

Early Wild West novels and storybooks explained the small size
of the Chihuahua by claiming that the animals were created

through a secret process used by medicine men or pagan priests
in Mexico or South America. The process was said to have
involved the mixing of small dogs and rodents. However, dime
novels were not the only places where tale tales about
Chihuahuas were spread.

Early descriptions of the dogs by Missionaries and Conquistadors
traveling throughout South America indicated they were used in
worship ceremonies or even eaten by faithful followers of the
Aztec religion. Such descriptions were often exaggerated to make
the Aztec People seem completely pagan to Christians and,
thereby, justify their conquest and conversion. While we are
certain that Chihuahuas were used in Aztec worship ceremonies,
there is no evidence to date that any were eaten. Many have been
found buried with people, so it's possible they were killed to
join their owners in death.

Because they are much smaller and seem to be so different from
other dog breeds, a number of old wives tales exist about these
tiny animals. Some are true, others are just myths spread by the
uninformed:

BAD BREATH - Chihuahuas have a breath odor that is no better or
worse then that of any other dog breed. This rumor started
because so many early Chihuahua owners fed their dogs unwanted
fish parts. Captains, mates and others who worked aboard ships
in the California of the middle to late 1800's found Chihuahua
dogs to be terrific companions. Not only would these dogs sound
the alarm if anyone came near their personal property, but they
were small enough to be welcome aboard vessels of any size. Ship
captains were particularly found of them because Chihuahuas had
a knack for chasing rats out of small spaces that other dogs
couldn't reach. When pups came along and they were sold to
landlubbers, new owners were told that the dogs just loved fish
parts!

CHIHUAHUAS HAVE GIVEN BIRTH TO KITTENS - Chihuahuas tend to get
along unusually well with Cats. In fact, Chihuahuas have been
known to nurse orphaned or abandoned kittens. However, I can say
with great certainty that no Chihuahua has ever been known to
give birth to a litter of kittens.

CHIHUAHUAS COME FROM OUTTER SPACE - Some Natives of North and
South America have traditions that indicate their ancestors may
have come from the stars. Some researchers believe that's an
incorrect interpretation of the native people's belief that
their ancestors come from a higher spiritual existence. Either
way, early scholars who took an interest in the origin of
Chihuahuas indicated that they had not been able to discover
how, when or where the breed originated. As interest in ghosts,
Atlantis and space beings first became popular in the late
1800's, many people adopted the idea that Chihuahuas must have
been brought to Earth by visitors from beyond. Needless to say,
this is probably not true and likely came from the same people
who believe that Corn is an Alien invention unfit for human
consumption.

CHIHUAHUAS CAN HEAL SEVERE INJURIES OR REDUCE PAIN - Early
settlers who came to the Southwest United States noticed that
Mexicans and some Natives would tie Chihuahuas to parts of their
bodies that seemed to need healing or where pain was a problem.
This practice lead to the theory that the dogs were magical and
could cure an assortment of physical problems. In reality,
Chihuahuas have been known to lie near or on parts of their
owner's bodies where pain was being felt, an infection had set
in or other health problems may have existed. The warmth of
their tiny bodies probably helped ease pain a bit. The licking
of infections or open wounds may have helped clean out
microorganisms or infected tissues. Interestingly enough, it has
become known that some dogs seem to possess the ability to
diagnose cancer or other health problems in various parts of the
human body.

CHIHUAHUAS CAN CURE OR REDUCE THE SERVERITY OF ASTHMA AND
ALLERGIES - Most people with Asthma or severe Allergy problems
have a problem with pets. Not so, it seems, with the Chihuahua.
Although there is no known medical evidence to support the idea
that Chihuahuas can cure any disease, many Chihuahua Owners who
suffer with Asthma or severe Allergies claim the dogs help. As
recently as thirty years ago, people living in the Southwest
would get a Chihuahua for a child or family member with Asthma
or Allergy problems. The dogs would sometimes lie near that
person's mouth and become ill. At the same time, the person
would seem to feel better. The idea was that the problem was
transferred from the suffering human to the dog. While that's
obviously untrue, it is a fact that Asthma and Allergy sufferers
seem to do better with short or long haired Chihuahuas the with
any other dog breed.

CHIHUAHUAS COME FROM CHINA OR EGYPT - There is some evidence
that Chihuahuas may have already existed in Africa and Asia
before they were discovered in America, but none so conclusive
to say that they originated in any of those places. We are just
now discovering that seafarers may have visited our shores long
before Columbus or even the Vikings. This may account for the
presence of Chihuahuas in other parts of the world. No one
really knows the exact origin of the Chihuahua.

IF REALLY UPSET, A CHIHUAHUA'S EYES WILL FALL OUT OF IT'S HEAD -
The 'bug eye' look of some Chihuahuas undoubtedly lead to this
myth. Modern science has shown this to be false.

SEWER RATS HAVE BEEN SOLD AS CHIHUAHUAS - This is yet another
branch of the false rodent identity once attributed to Chihuahua
dogs. Years ago, a story appeared in one of the supermarket
tabloids proclaiming that a couple who visited Mexico was sold
the hybrid of a rat-dog mix that looked like a Chihuahua. This
lead to the often repeated and equally nonsensical story of a
couple who vacationed in Mexico and brought home a sewer rat
they bought as a Chihuahua.

AN ANCIENT CHIHUAHUA WAS DISCOVERED PERFECTLY PRESERVED IN A
SOUTH AMERICAN PYRAMID - Another crazy story courtesy of our
friends at the supermarket tabloids. This one appeared in an
early 1970's tabloid article and claimed that the dog's flesh
was still edible, blood samples could be extracted from the
dog's body and the animal's eyes were a color never before seen
in animals(???). Well, they made it up, not me!

The craziest thing about all the tale tales that surround the
Chihuahua Breed is that some may actually be true. The Chihuahua
is the world's smallest dog breed and longest-lived. Animal
Behaviorists tell us that Chihuahuas are the only dogs that tend
to prefer the company of humans to that of other dogs. They will
nurse kittens and have helped people who suffer from various
maladies. With a background like that, I suppose almost anything
is possible. However, one thing is for sure. They make the
world's best pets!

About the author:
A native New Yorker now living in Arizona, Bill Knell is a
forty-something guy with a wealth of knowledge and experience.
He's written hundreds of articles offer advice on a wide variety
of subjects. http://www.billknell.com

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