You all know how much I enjoy sharing our Davis Family Adventures. Time to bring a new player to the game.
Meet “Chico”, pure Pit Bull, pure fun…
…but not in this picture.
Chico was terrified. And yes, it looks like he’s looking at me to save him. Unbeknownst to Chico, he was headed to the vet for his first formal exam. If he knew he’d be getting a shot, that might have bothered him as well. But this face? We can attribute this to his fear of being in a car in motion – which was something I hadn’t expected. Considering my childhood memories of my pet dogs and other canines who eagerly poked their heads out of car windows with tongues happily wagging, this is the last thing I thought possible.
Then again, he’s just a baby, thus he must acclimate to such things.
But let me go back a bit and offer some clarification before you get the wrong idea about the “family dog”.
Chico is/was my oldest son’s Christmas gift to his girlfriend, Nikki. My involvement was the selection and pickup of the collar and leash that he would present her on Christmas morning, indicating that her gift was on the way. Being fair, I selected the matching purple, as she is a Minnesota Vikings fan. I would have gotten him Chicago Bears blue and orange, but since he’s technically not mine and the Bears just finished a season far from bragging about, well, you know…
Kenny Jr. and Nikki have been together for several years now, so she’s pretty much family. And even though the dog is hers, on paper, we’ve all claimed him. So yeah, he’s the latest addition to the Davis family: Chico Davis (I told her that he gets the last name and God forbid, should they break up, I will be fighting them both for custody). When I inquired about the decision to name him “Chico”, my son readily answered that he gave him that name after the neighbor’s menacing pit in the movie “Next Friday”. Not surprising, since he so often quoted the lines in the movie from Chico’s owner, in reference to his pet, Latino accent and all.
When I first learned his name, I immediately began singing the theme to “Chico And The Man” from the 1974 sitcom starring Freddie Prinze (Sr.) and Jack Albertson. Sadly, I was dating myself, which was evident by the strange looks on the faces of my son, his brothers and their same-age friends. They thought I was making the song up. God, I’ve gotten old.
Back to the story…
This was the first time I’d ever heard a puppy whimper and cry like this. It would make anyone sob just watching and listening to his expression of fear. I could also feel his little body trembling as I lightly scrubbed his scalp, neck and shoulders to comfort him. I took in the moment, knowing that our days of massaging his cute little frame were numbered because his muscles would be much larger soon enough. They were already showing definition.
Remember, he’s a Pit. And he’ll grow. Strong.
Thankfully, it was only a 12-minute drive.
Once we arrived, we called in (as per instructions) to notify them of our arrival. This being “Covid” season, we were given the options of taking him in or getting him evaluated and treated right there in the minivan (I’ll always be Soccer Dad). As cool and convenient as that sounded, we elected to take him in so we could sit, relax and have a casual chat with the team.
Everyone in the office welcomed him as if he was their own pet – hugging, rubbing, kissing and baby-talking him from the point of entry to the evaluation room, where the doctor’s assistant would meet us after the initial prep and information session.
After taking down some basic information, she spirited him off to be weighed, then returned shortly with the veterinarian for his first exam, giving him even more love.
And Chico, being the loving pup that he is, enjoyed every minute. Especially the snacks.
I think that was the best part, knowing that his behavior and satisfaction, like my sons and I, were tied directly to food incentives. Yeah, we’re all motivated by treats (you all know my Twinkie and warm peanut butter cookie addiction). That was even part our discussion with the doctor. When discussing tips and tricks during his future training and behavior modification process, she gave us the inside track. She also explained how it could be used to condition him for car rides.
In fact, they gave him treats as a distraction as he received his first and only shot of the visit. And being “that dude”, Chico didn’t even flinch. Although I expected him to have an entirely different reaction altogether.
Before we knew it, our Q&A was over and she gave him an A+ in health, maturity and physique. Which was exactly what “mom” (Nikki) was hoping to hear when Kenny Jr. called her on the way home. A clean bill of health.
And the office? I’m singing nothing but their praises. Their treatment of Chico (and us for that matter) was superb, from the doctor, to her assistant, to the remaining staff. I can only hope that I get THAT kind of care and comfort when my son eventually puts ME in the old folk’s home. If not, I’m going to make the same face Chico gave everyone as we were leaving: The one indicating that although he took that shot like a champ, he fully intended to remember faces, names and scents and take action against all parties involved when he gets older.
Yeah, I’m gonna be worried after those adorable baby teeth leave and the big chompers fill his super-strong jaw.
But until then, he’s just loveable little Chico…
…and this has been, another Davis Family Adventure…