Good things really do come in small packages, especially when your best friend can fit in the palm of your hand.
Since the Feb. 22 birth of his “micro-tiny Chihuahua,” 68-year-old Gilroyan Fred Alanis is a huge softie for the pet he lovingly refers to as “Chikita.” The name is play on the word “Chiquita,” which means “little one” in Spanish.
The milky-white Chihuahua with caramel-colored markings is a four-legged dose of cuteness. It’s impossible not to fawn over something so fragile and innocent.
“I consider myself kind of lucky to have something like this,” said Alanis, a brawny fellow whose stalwart stature emphasizes the sheer daintiness of his Lilliputian-like dog. “She’s my pride and joy, to tell you the truth.”
As the runt of four puppies born to regular-sized Chihuahua parents, Chikita is highly playful and active – but has yet to utter so much as an “arf!”
Measuring in at 3.5 inches tall, Chikita is teensier than the official titleholder made famous by the 2012 Guinness Book of World Records. In terms of height, the current smallest living dog (on record) is a longhaired, female Chihuahua named Boo Boo, who was born April 15, 2006 and measured 4 inches tall on May 12, 2007. Boo Boo appears in the most current 2012 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.
Owned by Lana Elswick of Raceland, Ky., the minikin Boo Boo – a cartoonish creature resembling a longhaired guinea pig or shaggy bedroom slipper while dawdling around on the ground – catapulted into mega-stardom five years ago after being declared the “smallest living dog” (by height). Boo Boo has since metamorphosed into a media darling, making appearances as far away as Italy and guest starring on Regis & Kelley and the Today show.
After her dog made headlines, owner Lana Elswick described on her blog that her life had become an instant “whirlwind of activity.”
Could all of that be in store for the Garlic Capital’s pocket-sized pooch?
Alanis, for one, thinks his “little girl” is pretty special.
“She’s something else, that little girl…I’ve never seen another dog this small,” he said, staring down at Chikita, diminished in size next to a Yorkshire Terrier, which ran up wanting to play during an outing at Miller Park.
“I’ve been on the Internet quite a bit, and I believe that they call this a micro-tiny Chihuahua,” he said. “There’s not too many of them.”
For now, at least, Chikita’s impending status as a world record holder is too soon to gauge.
At less than six months old, she isn’t eligible to swipe Boo Boo’s crown – yet.
To be considered for the title, the world’s “smallest living dog” must be at least 1-year-old, according to Sara Wilcox, PR and Marketing Executive for Guinness World Records.
Once this milestone arrives, Alanis can file a claim and provide Guinness with the appropriate documentation, which entails a measurement from Chikita’s front foot to the top of the shoulder. Photographic and video evidence of a veterinarian taking this measurement on three separate occasions must be provided. Guinness, in turn, will accept the average of the three measurements.
When inquired as to the frequency of “smallest dog” claims, Wilcox said submissions for the smallest/tallest dogs and cats are “very popular, especially when a new record comes out.”
Once a new record becomes the center of a media firestorm, “we receive an increase in applications, simply because people think their pets can beat it,” Wilcox explained.
Chikita isn’t the only pint-sized pooch with gigantic potential.
A Puerto Rican Chihuahua named Milly, who at three months old measures in at 2.6 inches tall, is also garnering buzz.
“Obviously, he’s very small, and I think he really has a chance,” owner Vanesa Semler told Latino Fox News in April 2012. “We’ll see. But if he wins it would be a huge honor.”
This prompted a reaction from Elswick, who told Fox, “I’m not saying Boo Boo can’t be beat, but there are so many people saying they have the world’s smallest dog, then their puppy keeps growing, and keeps growing.”
For the most part, Alanis isn’t much of a doggie braggadocio. He’s a polite, relaxed guy who really loves his “favorite” pet. He even carries around a small, plush Dalmatian to help quell Chikita’s occasional anxiety.
Paranoid that somebody might “step on her and smash her,” Alanis is more preoccupied with making sure his cutie-pie puppy – which he previously hand-fed with an eyedropper every two hours because Chikita was too weak to nurse – sees her first birthday.
Between making sure the teensy Chihuahua stays safe when his four grandchildren are around, or seeing to the sensitive task of grooming, having a dog the size of a rodent requires delicate diligence.
“Her fingernails get caught in the carpet. Then she gets stuck and can’t walk or nothing,” Alanis chuckled.
“But I’m worried about clipping her toenails because they’re so tiny,” he continued. “A little mis-shake of the hand, and her whole toe will go.”
Whether she ends up setting a record, Chikita will certainly hold a special place as Gilroy’s diminutive dog (that is, until the next micro-tiny Chihuahua comes along?).
Even large canine owners sporting an aversion to small dogs, or those who can’t help but gawk at Hollywood bluebloods who accessorize with rhinestone-collared pooches, would be hard-pressed to dislike this itty bitty Chihuahua.
“She’s a very cute little doggie,” smiled Alanis. “She’s my favorite one…I do love her.”