I had once won a small spelling contest in a creative writing class with the word Chihuahua, but apart from that I can't say I have a great respect for the breed. They are small, yappy, extremely active, and often result in The Dog Whisperer slapping his head in frustration. But yet, the Chihuahua is still considered a dog, and as such it only seems right to help one when it is in need.
As Beth and I drove down Main Street of Visalia, we saw one such Chihuahua dive in and out of traffic repeatedly. We drove slowly by as it wandered aimlessly and frightened down the sidewalk. There was no apparent owner in sight.
Pictured Above: Artists Rendering
Here I was struck with the dilemma of either helping a dog, or aiding in the evolution of the rest of species by letting it get wiped out of existence. Unfortunately my conscience resolved that an annoying yappy dog alive was at least better than a silent ugly dog dead, and so I stopped the car on the side of the road and attempted a quick rescue.
What I soon learned is that Chihuahua's are incredibly sensitive, and although it was a safe half-block away, it would repeatedly stop in its tracks and stare vacantly in my direction until I made any sort of movement, at which point the runt would shoot off in a full sprint down the street. I attempted a variety of approaches; whistling, saying "here doggie!" in a high voice, and making ticking noises with my tongue, but all I managed to do was gather more confused onlookers.
A group of business men outside of a bank eventually asked me after my first cycle around the block if the dog was mine. At first I was a little shocked and briefly considered asking if I looked like the sort of guy who would own a mangy chihuahua.
In fear of the answer I just said no.
After I had followed the dog four times down the same street a strange idea began to form in my head. I asked myself, "Am I, a human, faster than a Chihuahua?" After all, I am a man. A hunter, even. I imagined that thousands of years ago I would be hunting Chihuahua's in the African plains, steadying my spear until I would suddenly pounce, wrestling said Chihuahua into the ground. I would possibly even eat it right there. Raw.
Suddenly disturbed by the mental image, I pushed it out of my mind and began running.
The Chihuahua, meanwhile, turned at this moment to see me barreling towards him. Terrified, he turned and ran.
The chase was on.
I of course realized at this moment that my previous jobs have been web design opportunities, and I actually hadn't ran in several months, if not a year. Suddenly I was confused as to how exactly it was done. My legs seemed to be moving just fine, but what about the arms? I began mechanically moving them up and down, not unlike I was repeatedly pulling levers.
"Would it be better if I ran like the T-1000 from Terminator 2?" I thought.
My wife gazed at me while I flailed my body at the highest speed it was capable of, which is, as it happens, less than one third the speed of a Chihuahua.
As I rounded the corner it was gone, leaving behind only a vagabond tumbleweed blowing aimlessly in the wind.
Beth and I hopped back in the car and returned home.
A few nights later I was driving to the grocery store when I saw him again, the same Chihuahua staring at me from a lonely street corner, illuminated only by one single fluorescent light. From behind the wheel of Beth's Toyota my eyes met his, and between us we shared the same bit of knowledge:
The chase isn't over.