A Yorkie, is not a Yorkie, is not a Yorkie. Our first 2 Yorkies were from the same litter. I doubt they could have been more different. Chardonnay is the ‘Karen’ of the canine world. Prissy, sassy, and vocal. Her demands will not go unanswered. Chardonnay is beautiful, her fur is like spun silk. Yorkies are dark when they are born and grow into their colors within the first year or so. We had no idea how accurately the name would fit her color and personality.
As a first-time Yorkie mom, Chardonnay’s closet quickly filled with canine haute couture and a rainbow of matching ribbons for her chic topknot. My daughters have long since left the nest so Chardonnay afforded me the pleasure of playing dress-up a bit longer, and she didn’t seem to mind. Believe me, if she minded, I would be the first to know about it. However perfect she is in my eyes, Chardonnay suffers from separation anxiety. As a dog parent, I naturally blame myself. I screwed up somewhere, but where remains the question. It’s not like we left her for days, far from it. We tried to take her with us when she was a puppy, give her more socialization opportunities, but alas socialization is not high on her priority list. My husband will do in a pinch, but clearly, she prefers to attach herself to my side. If I am not in the picture, even for a few minutes, her anxiety goes into overdrive. It is who she is, and we love her.
Harley, from the same litter, had the more traditional Yorkie colors and was smaller in size. Frilly dresses and bows were not Harley’s forte, however. She was a tomboy through and through. Having had no experience with Yorkies, I thought Harley’s tomboyish personality the aberration. Not so, we have two other rather tomboyish Yorkies. Unfortunately, Harley is no longer with us. A negligent grooming incident ended her life far too soon. Harley was demanding in her way. When she wanted attention she did what we called ‘the bull’. She would kick her back legs like a bull getting ready to charge. Harley curled up on my pillow next to my head every night like an angel watching over me. I miss her so much.
Tasia and Kaiah share the same sire and lean toward the tomboyish rough and tumble side of the personality spectrum. Tasia is an old soul. Laid back, curious, thoughtful, selective with her affection, and an observer of life unless she is on a walk, in which case, she is the canine version of Sherlock Holmes. No blade of grass, no leaf goes unsniffed. She is also very strong-willed, mostly demonstrated during walks. When we meet others along the walking path, Tasia stops to size up the situation. If said ‘others’ pique her curiosity, we follow. Sometimes I feel like we are stalking unsuspecting walkers. Crazily, Tasia never barked the first year of her life. During year two, she found her voice, sort of. Not a bark, per se, but she got her point across. Lately, her bark has matured. Now it is a full-fledged bark one doesn’t ignore. So sudden and sharp, if caught off guard, one is likely to jump out of their skin. She uses her newfound voice sparingly. When she does bark, there is a reason.
Our newest addition, Kaiah, is one-of-a-kind, incredibly smart, and a bit ADD. This may be too much information for some – those with delicate sensibilities may want to skip the remainder of this sentence – but Kaiah takes what we affectionately refer to as ‘progressive poops’. Distracted by so many interesting things in life she cannot take the time to stand in one place long enough to finish her chores, especially if a ball is within eyesight. Fetching, that is her forte. Fetch, fetch, fetch, morning, noon, and night. The crazy thing is she leaps and sails through the air catching balls in her mouth. Lately, she attempts to catch them with her paws. America’s Got Talent material, perhaps? Kaiah makes up games to play with her balls. In the house, she will fetch a ball, put it in a shoe, and carry the shoe around. When I load the dishwasher, Kaiah drops the ball on the dishwasher door and watches it roll into one of the slots for silverware. Just so I am not alone while showering, she drops a ball into the shower with me then sticks her head through the curtain to keep watch over it.
Last but not least, is our male, Rowdy. Rowdy is graying around the muzzle, his joints arthritic unless the neighbor’s dogs are outside. Fortunately, two fences separate the neighbor’s dogs from the legend-in-his-own-mind badass. I broke my ankle this summer trying to catch Rowdy during one of his frenzied fence-patrols. He wears Mr. Rogers sweaters, and unlike our females, rocks his topknot and bow.
Four Yorkie’s, four distinctly different personalities. It is said pets are like their owners. I share personality traits with each of them. Like Chardonnay, my need for socialization is minimal. I am selective with my affections, an observer of life, my joints are a bit arthritic, and like Kaiah, I lean toward an attention deficit disorder unless I am focused on something of interest. I’m not the frilly dress-up type either, but I do rock a topknot…..