Four Lessons My Chihuahua Taught Me About Life
Updated: Mar 4
Last week our precious Rosie passed away. Rosie joined our family on March 26, 2017 when my aunt, Tia Rosa, was hospitalized for treatment of her brain cancer. We hoped this would be a temporary arrangement. Instead Rosie became a permanent part of our family when my Tia passed away the following year on March 30, 2018. Rosie was the best Chihuahua ever. In November 2020 Rosie was diagnosed with gallbladder cancer and we knew the time would come when she would leave this world. I am beyond grateful for every day of the four years we lived with this beautiful soul. She taught us many important lessons about love and resilience that I feel are worth passing on. This is for Rosie.
Lesson #1 – Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover.
Before Rosie I was not a huge fan of Chihuahuas. I always considered these dogs to be difficult and barky. When adopting dogs in the past I never would even consider this breed. Rosie changed my perspective about Chihuahuas completely and made me realize I shouldn’t have rushed to judgment so quickly.
We never hesitated taking Rosie because I was doing this for my beloved Tia Rosa. But, I can’t say I wasn’t worried. I recalled the crazy Chihuahua stereotypes and thought, “Oh boy, here we go!” To my great surprise Rosie disproved all the stereotypes and proved to be an incredibly well behaved, well-balanced dog. She was better behaved and much less barky than our other two dogs! She greeted our friends with love and affection. It became common for visitors to say, “I have never met a Chihuahua like this before.” Rosie was an absolute dream. She enjoyed long walks and hiking. I thought Chihuahuas would hate the mountains, but not Rosie. She was up for any challenge. She would ride patiently in the car without crying or whining. She was smart and learned quickly. She was also bilingual responding to both Spanish and English commands!
As an added bonus I grew to love some of the traditional Chihuahua qualities. For instance, these little dogs can get pretty cold so playing dress up is always welcomed. I would dress Rosie in her cute, little outfits and she never complained or tried to take them off like our other dogs. Chihuahuas are a cuddly breed and I loved Rosie snuggling under the blankets with me while watching TV or going to bed. I had judged Chihuahuas without having any first hand experience and I was wrong. I learned that all breeds could be great companions when given ample love and attention.
Lesson #2 – Never Allow Past Trauma to Diminish Your Hope for the Future
For most of us trauma is a part of our past. Rosie came into Tia Rosa’s life when her family moved and left her behind. They abandoned her. Rosie must have experienced fear, hunger, cold, and sorrow being left all alone. But, she refused to stop living and instead attracted a new home into her existence. I believe the instinct to keep on fighting is in all of us as it was in Rosie. Even when days are dark, we must never allow our present circumstance to diminish our hope for a brighter tomorrow. The decision to keep on walking will always lead you to a new path.
Lesson #3 – You, and You Alone, Determine Your Worth
“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
This is one of my favorite quotes and always makes me think of Rosie. To our family Rosie was incredibly worthy and valued. But, to the family that abandoned her she was not valued enough to be considered and cared for. They never understood or appreciated her worth.
People that go through life allowing other people to determine their worth are doing themselves the greatest disservice. You, and you alone, determine your worth. Most of the time we experience “conditional love” from others. People approve of you one day and reject you the next not because of anything you are doing, but because of who they are. Show up in your life and acknowledge that you deserve love and affection. Demand this of yourself and others. Let go of the idea that you have to prove your worth. You don’t have to prove anything to any one any time!
Lesson #4 – Love is a Powerful Thing
Rosie’s transition from this world was extremely painful for our family because we loved her so deeply. It took me over a week to write these words and tears slide down my cheeks as I remember our sweet girl. As in Peter Pan, “Love is a powerful thing!” Love transforms lives. Rosie’s love was powerful and enveloped our entire family. To love is to be alive. And, in the end we will not be judged by our work or material possessions. We will be judged by how we loved and how much we loved. Be generous with your love and always open your heart to all paths that lead you to love.
I am still sad that Rosie is no longer here with me. But, I am so grateful the universe gave us four, beautiful years together. It’s been a little harder letting go of Rosie because I feel that she was the last piece I had of Tia Rosa. I miss Tia Rosa so much because she was an absolute amazing force in this world. Now I rest in the knowledge that Rosie is reunited with Tia Rosa and that we have another angel sending us love from above.
Thank you for the lessons you have taught us about love and resilience.
You will never be forgotten.