Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Nicole & Macho

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Nicole! I live in metro Detroit with my boyfriend, Nick (in the picture with me), and my Chihuahua, Macho. I work in digital advertising at an agency in Detroit.

The second picture [below left] is me with Macho. He is approximately 5 years old based on his health. Macho’s blog is called The Macho Minute.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I had to drive Nick to the airport early in the morning, so I stopped by a Starbucks on my way home.

What's brewing?

I wasn’t sure what I would want, but they had a new iced coffee drink with Mocha and Coconut in it. Since it’s so nice out, I decided to go for that (and it’s pretty delicious).

Any goodies for you or Macho to go with the coffee?

Nope, just the coffee!

How were you and your dog united?

This is a long one- Back in July of 2009, there was a terrible local news story here in Detroit about a man who was a hoarder of garbage- and Chihuahuas. After neighbors complained of a terrible odor coming from the house, police came to check it out. When they saw one Chihuahua outside, they called a local animal shelter. Inside they found over 100 live Chihuahuas, and after further investigation found about 150 dead Chihuahuas inside Ziploc bags in freezers. A video about the house is here if you want to know more about where Macho came from. Flash forward to November where I am reading the newspaper online at work. I had been following the Chihuahua story since it happened, so when a story showed up online about the case, I had to read it. I clicked on the story, and the first thing to load was the cutest dog I have ever seen with one floppy ear. I knew right away that I had to have him. I read the caption of the picture and it said that this dog, named Macho, was one of two last Chihuahuas from the house that needed to be adopted. One month later, I picked up Macho from the animal shelter!

Why "Macho"...and does he have any aliases?

I absolutely loved the name the shelter gave him, so we kept it. But Macho has a ton of nicknames. A few of our favorites are Macho Poochu (like Maccu Piccu), Pooper, Poochie Pie, Pooch-a-loop, and Macho Man (like the song!).

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Macho ignores everything! But I don’t think he has ever seen a cat or a squirrel in his life, so that might freak him out.

Tennis ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Again, Macho ignores toys. I bought him a ton of toys. When he never played with them, I donated them to the animal shelter where I adopted him from. He does enjoy a good bully stick though.

What's an ordinary day like for Macho?

Macho loves sleeping in our bed. When I say love, I mean L-O-V-E loves it. In the morning, he will refuse to get up, and he is especially mad when Nick is out of town for work so he has to get up earlier than usual. On days when he sleeps in a little longer with Nick, he likes to wake up, sit on the couch, and try to sip Nick’s coffee while they watch the news. Then I’m pretty sure he sleeps the entire time we are at work until about 6ish when I get home. When I get home he loves to play this little “game” with me where he sprints into the bedroom, jumps on the bed, and does this goofy running thing at me. It’s cute, and I have a video to post on his blog of it. Then he just hangs out all night watching us cook dinner and then cuddling on the couch before he gets really excited to go back to bed.

Who are Macho's best pet-pals?

Just me and Nick! Macho is afraid of a lot of people, and I don’t blame him. His first few years of life were probably very confusing and scary, so he doesn’t trust easy. He will ignore all other people, but if Nick or I are near him, he will allow strangers to come up and pet him. He does well with other dogs and will mostly ignore them as well. He will sniff and be a little curious, but not too much.

What is Macho's best quality?

My favorite quality of Macho’s is that he is so curious about everything. It is especially cute because he is unsure if he should be scared of the object he is curious about or not. The first time he saw me knitting, he was starring at me trying to figure out what I was doing. I held up the knitting needle to let him sniff it, and he took the slowest, most curious bite of the needle. Sometimes Nick and I will sit there trying to be quiet and not laugh when he is checking out something new because it’s so adorable.

What is Macho's proudest moment? Most embarrassing?

For proudest, it is definitely the first time he had a leash on without freaking out. Macho hated the leash when we first started trying to get him to get used to it. It got to the point where he would fight us whenever we tried to put it on his collar. Once it was on, he would not let us touch the leash or he would start trying to pull away. When we finally got a dog trainer to work with Macho, she was able to get him to calm down with the leash attached to his collar. The best day was when Macho sat down next to me on the floor while I was holding the leash and let me pet him. It was a great day.

Macho doesn’t really have an embarrassing day, but he definitely has a day where we were both pretty terrified. The animal shelter where Macho was adopted from had a Chihuahua reunion for all the dogs rescued from the house. I wanted so badly for Macho to go, so I took him in his carrier to the event. Everyone wanted to see him, so I thought just maybe he would be ok on a leash. He had his collar on, and I put a harness on him as well. I attached the leash to the harness, let him out of the car, and everything was ok for about 30 seconds. Then when Macho realized that he was on a leash outside, he tried to run away from me by backing up. I bent down to try to calm him down, but that scared him even more causing him to back right out of the harness. I reached down and grabbed his collar, and that came right off over his head. Now I am standing in a parking lot outside with my terrified dog and nothing on him to hold onto. I instantly reached for his leg and held on for dear life. He scooted under my car, and I literally had to drag him out from under it until I could pick him up. I jumped back into the car with him where we were both out of breath and terrified at what could have happened. I still think about those few seconds that happened so quick where I could have lost Macho forever!

Visit The Macho Minute blog.

--Marshal Zeringue