Monthly Archives: November 2015


Some of my favorite stories can be found in the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, specifically those relating to dogs. Obviously. In fact these days I prefer reading books about dogs to fiction books. That’s not always the case, though. I have phases.

Most of the time my phase is triggered by the adoption of a new family member which happened three weeks ago. Yes, that means I have five dogs.

Maybe a new blog title is in order…

I wasn’t looking for another dog per se. I did, and still do, want to adopt a senior dog. Since local animal shelters are stingy with their senior Shih Tzus and Lhasa Apso, it is rare that one that is in their care actually goes up for adoption. I think they go to rescues or something, but still…

So I decided to browse Craigslist.

Don’t judge.

I often browse CL. Not for anything in particular, or at all. I just like to look at the books section; the furniture to see if there is something I can’t live without; if there are any garage sales in my area; and so on. Granted, most of the time I browse the pets section, rarely to look for an animal, but rather looking at the pictures or getting story ideas.

So, that’s what I was doing that day…casually browsing, looking at pictures, cooing over cute animals…typical animal lover activities. All the while I was watching Youtube videos.

Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso ads are especially interesting to me. So when I saw a Shih Tzu available for adoption in a city half an hour from me, I was intrigued. She was a cute black and white Shih Tzu, more black than white. I toyed with the idea; told myself to walk away from it; I didn’t need another dog.

So I texted her and asked her about the dog’s age (not sure but a little older), her adoption fee ($40), and when would be a good time to pick her up (now).

I dropped everything I was doing, ran downstairs, grabbed my keys, jumped in my car, hit the ATM, and went to get her.

The owner was a nice soon-to-be-single mother of four. I felt a kinship with her as I also am soon-to-be single. She explained her situation and introduced me to Maybelline. I asked about the dog’s age: 3. That was about five years younger than I wanted, but and adult at least. After talking to the owner for a little bit, I picked up Maybelline and went home.

Back at home, introductions went smoothly. Mostly. Luna and Molly welcomed her with open paws. Haley was interested all of a couple minutes and then she ignored her. For Clara, it was dislike at first sight. Clara hates additions to the family, so when a new dog comes into the house—guest or otherwise—she avoids that dog until she warms up to it. That usually takes about a week—sometimes more. I knew she’d come around though.

Quickly the name Maybelline became a name I abhorred. There’s nothing wrong with the name per se, but there are too many syllables. I searched for a new name, calling her Mischkin in the mean time.

Nia. The name came to me a couple days later. She’s named after the Greek actress Nia. She answers to it.

So here I am with five little dogs. I thought it was a compulsion that I needed to control, but I realized that I had grown up with multiple dogs (about four or five at a time) and that had become the norm for me.

I try to tell myself that Nia will be the last one for a long while (unless I move to the country then all bets are off), but you never know. Someone may give me a Shih Tzu. Emphasis on the word GIVE and you’ll know because I’ll report that I have six dogs.

Six dogs? Yikes! That’s even a lot for me, a self-proclaimed dog hoarder.

So…until next time remember if your human being comes home with another dog ignore it and maybe it will go away. If not, team up and drive the human so crazy that he or she will think twice before adding a new member to the family.