Fia’s Story

Fia 2


Fia (aka Lola, ARF House, Chicago, IL)

And so I began the search for a small dog. I began the interviewing process again on Petfinders. When you’re selecting for an “only” pet, it’s easier, as your new pet has to be a good fit for you, however when you’re selecting for yourself and your other pets, the criteria is much higher. I had the foster-pet parents of a fun-loving “Bully mix” who loved cats and dogs, come to our home for a meet and greet, however her energy level matched Freddie’s and I witnessed the two of them play non-stop, knocking over chairs, tables and using the hallway rug as a slip and slide! Such fun, but I thought this “bar-room brawl” might be too much for the otherwise laid-back Felix, who watched the mayhem safely from his counter-top perch. I decided then to look for a small dog with a little less enthusiasm and that’s when I found Lola, the Chihuahua/Pug (Chug) who I renamed, Fia which is Italian for “little sprite”.

Here is her description in Petfinders: Lola is a 3 year old 10 pound little cuddlebug. Lola was found as a stray and rescued by one of our volunteers. She loves attention, people and gets along with dogs and cats. She loves to go on walks and be wherever her people are. She is housebroken, very sweet and likes to gives lots of kisses.

Some of my earliest photos of Fia were blurry because this little Chug flitted like a hummingbird, and she proved more challenging to train until I figured out that she was SO food motivated (“OMG…IS THAT FOOD YOU HAVE IN THAT POUCH?”) that I had to fill her little belly with food to take the edge off before a training session, and then she would settle down to work for other tidbits!

Fia was also fearless; this little Chug had no idea of her size compared to Freddie, and she’d challenge him for a place on the sofa, for a toy and especially food, so I learned early on that constant supervision was going to be the key to peace in the Berry household and that meant not ever turning my back on these two, not even when running down to the mailbox, another lesson for me. Fortunately Fia and Felix were the best of friends, so at least I could leave the two of them in a separate room together and not worry that I’d come home to find Felix’s tail in Fia’s mouth.

Thanksgiving was always chaos as Fia would claim her spot under the dining room table waiting for clumsy guests to drop food; Felix would claim one of the chairs at the table, and Freddie would wait for Fia to get some food and then fight her for it. I know, I know, I should have gone elsewhere for Thanksgiving, but I love hosting this holiday dinner and I suspect, like child birth, you forget about the pain until the next time and then scream, “ @#$%^& animals!”

As Fia aged, she became a diabetic. Fortunately her love of food made it easy to condition her to the twice daily injections of insulin; in fact she actually looked forward to seeing the syringe because she knew that the injection predicted some tasty cheese. Unfortunately age and complications of her disease got the better of her, and little Fia passed away, leaving a big empty place where she had been for 6 brief years. I can still picture they way she slept on her back  like a human, loud snoring and all! That noise used to drive me crazy…I miss that noise now.