Illustration of Derek Powazek by Adam Ellis

Chihuahuas and Children, a Story in Three Parts

Chieka, Buena Vista

Photo by Heather


Heather’s traveling for work, which means that I’m on Early Morning Walk duty. The dogs are used to walking with Heather at ungodly early hours, so my main goal in the morning is to stay as quiet as possible, lest they realize I’m awake. One early morning sigh and I’ll have two Chihuahuas scampering around me. Sure, they’re both under 10 pounds, but they seem heavier when I haven’t had coffee yet and they’re sitting on my face.


I heard a story on NPR recently about how we First Worlders protect our children too much. All our awesome anti-bacterial soaps and good intentions have created a generation of asthmatics and allergic-to-everything children. The moral seemed to be that we should let kids get more dirty, to help them develop better immunities. I don’t know that’s true or not, but it did put a new spin on all the dirt my parents let me eat as a kid.


Today the dogs let me sleep until 8am, a good two hours past their usual early walk time. I staggered through the park with them and Chieka disappeared where she’d noticed a disturbingly large pile of barf the day before. (I’m always amazed at her memory for where something disgusting is. She’s surprised by the sound a drawer makes every day, but she’ll beeline to the spot where she saw a dead bird for months.) By the time I stopped her, she’d consumed her fill of some other dog’s leavings.

As we exited the park, we bumped into a neighbor walking his two little boys. Before I could say anything, Chieka ran right up to one of the kids and licked him square in the face. “She kissed me!” he squealed with delight.

Chieka Bieka Powazek Champ, ladies and gentlemen, doing her part to help childhood immunity.

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Hi, I’m Derek. I used to make websites. Now I grow flowers and know things. I’m mostly harmless. More.