The Bonz: Katie the shichi is a tiny hybrid dog living large

SEBASTIAN — Another week, another email from a Sebastian dog buddy whose breed I’d never heard of. Katie is an 11-month-old shichi, a hybrid dog that is a cross between a Chihuahua and a shih tzu.

Katie lives with her human parents Karen and Jerry Clark.

“So Katie,” I said. “How’s being a shichi working for you?”

“I don’t know what you’re yapping about, Bonzo,” Katie replied. “All I know is I look like a shih tzu. That’s why my mom came to get me from my previous home. Let’s just say my living arrangements at the time weren’t perfect.

“My mom and dad had just lost their shih tzu, Taylor. My mom’s work buddy, Diane, saw my picture online and showed it to my mom. Mom said I looked just like Taylor so mom and Diane found out where I lived and came to get me.

“I was perfectly happy to leave, Bonzo,” Katie said. “That night I crawled into bed with mom and dad as if I’d always been with them.

“Dad was a little wary of me until I got into his bicycle basket just like Taylor used to. But after we rode down the street to mom’s office I had won him over.”

“Pawsome,” I said. “That must have made you feel really good.”

“Well duh, Bonzo,” Katie said rolling her eyes. “Of course it did. I have to say riding in the basket with my dad is one of my favorite things to do.”

“What are some of your other favorite activities, Katie?” I asked.

Katie’s eyes lit up. “I love to chase birds, squirrels and lizards in my back yard. When I catch a lizard, mom has to take it out of my mouth and remind me lizards are not chew toys.

“I also love to run around my yard like a fiercely frisky fireball. And my mom is my best buddy. Mom is an excellent play date. I make her laugh when she waves to me and says ‘hi’ because I’ll get on my hind legs and wave back to her with my paw.”

“Do you have play dates with any dog buddies, Katie?” I asked.

“Sure Bonzo,” Katie said. ”I have play dates with my cousin Buck the pug. Then there are my neighbors Zion, a big black lab and Micah, a Jack Russell terrier.

“Zion and Micah didn’t like me at first but now they both have crushes on me. I know because they’re always calling me to the fence to have a nose to nose.”

“Well, it sure looks as if being a shichi has worked out well for you,” I said.

“You know, Bonzo,” Katie said skeptically, “you sound more like a dogchiatrist than a columnist.”

Hmm. I don’t think Katie meant that as a compliment.

Till next time,

The Bonz

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