Dogster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Audacious Side-Eye & Other Subtle Ways That Pip Shows Hate Toward Me

Written by: Allison Dorsey

Last Updated on May 6, 2024 by Dogster Team

Pip the Chihuahua

Audacious Side-Eye & Other Subtle Ways That Pip Shows Hate Toward Me

Hi, I’m Allison. Read my introduction to learn more about me and my three mixed-breed dogs from Thailand, Jelly, Lorraina, and Manic.

Have I ever had trouble bonding with a dog? Yes. My mother has a Chihuahua named Pip.

That’s it. That’s the end of this article. Do I really need to expand on things?

Okay, maybe I should provide more details about the situation. I don’t want to seem biased towards Chihuahuas. It is 2024 after all, and breed-hate will not be tolerated!

My mother has a Chihuahua, and despite us living under the same roof for nearly two years, I am convinced that dog would shank my ankle with a shiv made out of an old dog treat without a second thought. However, she probably has her reasons.

From Kentucky to Maryland: Pip’s Journey

My mother has always been a fan of large dogs. Her ideal dog would be a Bernese Mountain Dog. But at her age, a large dog might be too much to handle. So, after looking at a few photos from a rescue center in Kentucky, my mother spotted an adult, neutered female Deer-head Chihuahua. At 14 pounds, she would be a better size to take in the car and move around her small home. The rescue center in Kentucky takes dogs from high-kill shelters and drives them up to Maryland for adoption. The Chihuahua was transported in a van with several other dogs and a handful of cats to a pet supply center where people could look at potential companions.

My mother fell in love with her right away. She wasn’t terribly friendly. She just seemed a bit scared. Fair enough. She had just been in the car for six hours and was given to a complete stranger. She had every right to be a bit nervous.

When we got her home, we let her explore her new surroundings but were careful not to crowd her. Mom decided to give her a new name, Pip. Pip became attached to my mother within a few days. She was delighted to have a small dog sit on her lap and stay at her feet while she worked. Pip did become a bit of a Velcro dog and very defensive of my mother. And that was when all the trouble began.

Pip sitting in her bed

The Unhinged Security Guard

Now, I consider myself a patient person. To a point. This was why, for the first two months, I never took Pip’s attitude toward me personally. Every time I went upstairs to the main level of the house, Pip would come running from wherever she was, teeth bared, barking with such ferocity that I jumped back, forgetting that she was only 14 pounds. But, as I said before, I tried not to take it personally. She was still adjusting to a new home, after all.

I tried climbing the stairs quieter. Maybe my stomping up the stairs startled her. However, no matter how light my steps were, Pip would come lounging at me like a final boss in a computer game.

I tried calling her name before I climbed up the stairs to let her know I was coming up. Nope. Still charged at me, eyes blazing.

I tried kneeling down slowly and letting her smell my hand. I never spoke loudly or made sudden movements. That did not work, either. Pip would still bark and snarl at my presence.

She did it to my husband as well. No matter what we did, how quietly we approached, how slowly we moved, how calming we made our voices, Pip would explode whenever we tried to go upstairs or near my mother.

If she would see us across the yard, she would bolt straight for us, growling and barking so loud that the neighbors would hear her. The only person she was comfortable around was my mother. No one else would do.

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Pip?

After six months, it was starting to get frustrating—really frustrating. My mom thought it was a little bit funny that Pip was so protective. If we were all sitting in the living room, Pip would be positioned in my mother’s lap, giving my husband and me side-eye while emitting a low growl.

If my husband and I sat in the backyard, Pip would crane her head from the side of the house and bark at us…for sitting…nowhere near her. No matter where we went, Pip would sprint up to us and make a whole lot of noise. In the words of Taylor Swift: “Damn. It’s 7am!”

Our three dogs were even scared of her! Even the smallest of our trio was twice Pip’s size and did not want anything to do with her. And, keep in mind, our dogs would hunt snakes and monitor lizards and rip them apart for fun, but they were staying away from Pip.

As I mentioned, I am generally patient. However, I can also be a petty Betty when pushed. And this Chihuahua pushed me. Over a year had gone by and Pip still despised everyone who was not my mother. I stopped trying to be friendly. Pip would bark at me, and I would respond by rolling my eyes and telling her to shut her mouth. I think I even started sticking my tongue out at her. Petty? Yes. Slightly satisfying? Also, yes.

Pip’s disdain toward my husband and me became a bit of a private joke. My husband would joke that he was going outside in the yard, and if he didn’t come back within an hour, Pip had stabbed him in the jugular. I would joke that if I went into the kitchen, Pip would probably slice my Achilles heel with some broken glass she kept under her bed. Pip might put sugar in the gas tank of our car. Pip tampered with our CO2 detector. We would chuckle at all the ways that dog wanted to murder us in our sleep.

But deep down, I knew I was being a bit unfair to her.

Pip lying in her bed

Pip’s Past: The Great Unknown

If you are an unwanted pet in Kentucky and placed in a shelter, it is going to be difficult for you. I am not saying that the people who work for animal shelters in Kentucky are not trying to do the best they can, but there are simply not enough resources to house these animals for long. There are only a small handful of no-kill shelters in that state, and they do not have unlimited space. This is why Pip was one of the lucky ones to get a second chance in Maryland.

The people who took her up to Maryland did not know much about her past. They were able to guess her age, approximately seven years old. But this is just a guess.

Pip most likely had been physically abused. Anytime my husband, myself, or even my mother went to pet her on her head or back, she would cower to the floor, trying to flatten herself as much as possible. She must always anticipate being hit.

Pip also had at least one litter of puppies, but, sadly, she might have had several litters. Little dogs can be quite popular, so perhaps Pip had been forced to breed so the puppies could be sold. She might have seen all her puppies taken away one by one.

While these are speculations, I am pretty sure Pip has had a rough life. No wonder she is distrustful of everyone. She isn’t used to being in a safe forever home. Maybe she will let her guard down in another year. Maybe she won’t. I will never know what she went through, so I need to be a bit more understanding.

Coming to a Compromise

Pip is starting to know her new purpose here. She has completely devoted herself to my mother. And part of me is glad that my mother has a fierce pint-sized guard dog to warn her about, well, anything. Not everyone will know the feeling of having a dog be so loyal and protective of them.

Almost two years after her adoption, Pip still barks up a storm if I enter the room. However, she will sniff my hand and allow me to gently rub her under her chin. It’s a start! While Pip and I may never truly bond, I don’t think she will try to slash my car’s tires. Fingers crossed.

Get Dogster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Dogster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.