Evette

At The Races…the Chihuahua Races

My dog, Baloo, is a blazingly fast Chihuahua. She’s bigger than most Chihuahuas, with a long spine that contracts and expands like a slinky, so she flies across the ground like a little greyhound. Plus, either because she is part Mexican hairless, or because she is hormonally unbalanced, she is mostly bald – not so easy on the eyes, but good for the aerodynamic flow.

Baloo at the Races

Baloo at the Races

Baloo’s Bald Back

Her Bald Back

Last year, I saw the finals of the Chihuahua races on TV, and the winning Chihuahua was nothing special, so when I heard they were having qualifiers at a Petco in my area, I rounded up some friends, warmed up Baloo, and it was off to the races. If my dog was faster than the champ I saw in action, as I suspected, these local pups wouldn’t stand a chance. Still, I was worried poor Baloo, as a paperless, strange-looking rescue dog, would be rejected on grounds of mutty-ness but as it turned out, these “Huas” came in all shapes and sizes.

Competitor 2 Competitor 1 Competitor 3

The Competition

Baloo was looking good – some of the dogs we saw made her look like a regular super model, and I was sure her long legs would carry her to victory. There was a bit of a wait for our heat, so I passed the time by taking pictures, chatting to other “Hua-Hua” owners, and saying “awwwwww,” and “cute,” until my throat hurt.

At the Starting Gate

At the Starting Gate

When it was our turn, my friend Robyn held Baloo behind the starting gate, and she was off!-

Or would have been, if she wasn’t too tall to fit through the gate. Long legs were her blessing, but they were also her curse. But just as all hope seemed lost, and as the other contestants milled around waging their tails, Baloo ducked under the gate, and trotted toward the finish line. I screamed myself horse (or dog?…) as the women to either side of me, hollering for their own pets, squeaked rubber hedgehogs and hot dogs in my ears, and elbowed me in the ribs. Time seemed to slow down, as Baloo hopped across the finish line, and into my arms. She had actually won! Baloo was going to the finals! My little street dog would have a chance to attend the national Chihuahua championships in San Diego, rub doggy elbows with the tiny toasts of Hollywood, sample the finest kibble.

There was a commotion at the judges’ booth. A very large, very angry woman, was insisting her very small, but equally angry chihuahua had won. I didn’t argue with her, Baloo seemed happy enough – and there was a really long wait in an very warm parking lot until the final heat. Baloo would return to race another day, leaving her plenty of time for a walk on the beach, and me plenty of time for an unplanned Margarita.


11 Responses to “At The Races…the Chihuahua Races”

  1. Pat Smithson says:

    Evette, I just love your article here! as an owner of a “socially rejected” Chi,my heart goes out to Baloo,and to you,your words just billow out how very much you love him and how proud of him you are. I hadn’t heard of these chihuahua races.Could you send me some imfo. ,when they’re on and etc.My chi,Bandit, is no racer.But it would be fun to see. again I really enjoyed your article. Pat from Seattle

  2. Evette~ I LOVED your article and I too have a rescue chihuahua from where I work. http://www.WPAHS.org. Blue seems to look exactly like your dog and has the same qualities (not knowing if he’d do well but who cares) and I too would love to know when these races are on and take place. It would be “fun” just watching him run ‘like the wind’ but more importantly the time spent with him is lovingly. He is my world. Rescue dogs are awesome! Your article is Fantastic! Looking forward to hearing from you and Baloo. Thank you for sharing your story! Carol ~ Pgh. PA

  3. teresa g lovelace says:

    just wanted to say I think you’re amazing, keep it up!

  4. Evette, I really enjoyed your article about your Chihuahua. They are an often under appreciated breed. My little girl Holly-Bug (4. lbs) has become a full fledged service dog for me. She is now trained for medical alert, as this is something she started doing on her own anyhow. So I was kind of like you. I discovered that my dog had a very special talent. Even though she is just your average looking, run of the mill, Chihuahua. It is funny though. My little dog still stirrs up all kinds of attention when she goes in to stores with me, wearing a service dog vest. Like I said, people don’t give the breed to much attention, but they are amazing.
    Regards,
    Caroline

  5. Karianne Pedersen says:

    hey!! Oh I just love this posting. here I sit in Norway, with my own wery special chihuahua, and suddenly i see, that we are not alone!! My dear Enzo, is an agility champion, not miniaturem but the real thing… on our last competition we beat the winner in big class (he is competing in the smallest class of the three) with 2 seconds. amazing to see that your dog can run, and be special too.

    thats the real chihuahua ;)

    love from Karianne in Norway

  6. Robert Soto says:

    We also have a Chihuahua her name is Zena but we are having a hard time potty training. Any advice u can give is appreciated. Thanks

  7. Evette says:

    Hey Robert,

    I had a little bit of trouble with Baloo too so I feel for you…the thing that worked the best for me was sticking her in a crate or a kennel when I wasn’t at home or at night when I was sleeping. She yipped herself to sleep the first few nights but she learned eventually that she is either in the kennel (no pee) or out of the kennel and outside (ok to pee). It takes a lot of discipline on your part, but once she is totally trained the rewards of having a reliable dog make all of the midnight walks with her worth it.

    Now Baloo loves her kennel, she actually runs inside of it when I say the word…I think she feels like that her is own private place to get away from it all, and we all need that!

    Good luck and keep me posted!

    Evette

  8. Cindy says:

    Evette – Congrats to you and Baloo (love the name) I know of Weiner (Dachshund) Dog Races and had heard of Chihuahua races on Cinco de Mayo. Our mini doxie, Gretchen, was a participant 3 years ago at the Weiner Dog Races held annually the first weekend in October in Savannah, Georgia (The races coincide w/Oktoberfest). It is so comical to watch, especially when the little puppies are set loose – all they want to do is nip at each other! Since the races are divided up by age categories, even the older “puppies” have a chance at competing with their peers.
    Cindy & Gretchen Media, PA

  9. Beatrice Bradley says:

    Hi Evatte, I so enjoyed your tale of Baloo and running like the wind. My little girl, Gigi, runs like the wind. I had no idea that Huas could be so fast. She amazes me. I too have a potty training problem and she sleeps in the kennel now and enjoys it as her own get-away, too! I am the one missing her sleeping under the covers (oh migosh did I just admit that?)with me. Never thought I would be so enthralled by a dog; having a little one is so different from my previous dog companions.
    This is the first time I have been on Rachael Ray’s site and have enjoyed your blogs.

  10. Kristin Thompson says:

    Hi Evette!

    I have 4 Chihuahuas, 2 are teacups, and 2 are regular sized. Well, almost. My mama dog, as I love to call her, has had 2 litters of puppies and is just fat. The doctor deemed her healthy other than her weight. She doesn’t ever get “people” food. May I ask what kind of diet you keep your little angel on? I feel like I am mistreating my girl by letting her be overweight, but on the other hand I don’t want her to be hungry!

  11. Evette says:

    Hi Kristin,

    I envy you. I want a herd of Chihuahuas…I joke with my family about it all the time. It’s my dream to live on a farm and watch them stampede across the fields together.

    I have tried to get Baloo to eat Wellness food http://www.oldmotherhubbard.com, almost every dog person says that it is really high quality stuff. Unfortunately, Baloo doesn’t care for the healthiest food. She is a bit of a junk food junkie, I guess apples don’t fall to far from trees…

    I just switched her over to Iams, the mini chunks for her mini mouth and she seems to like it much more.

    Since mama doggie is a little on the thick side I would check a website like http://www.petmeds.com to see what low cal dog foods are available. I would also try to cut down on her portion size and of course as with people it’s always best to consult a medical professional before beginning any diets, or in mama’s case, the vet.

    Let me know how things go!

    Evette

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