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What's a Chucho-dog?

I recently had a customer ask me why I called my stuffed dachshund dogs "Chucho Dogs", and I told her that they are named after our beloved dog. Dachshunds have many fun nicknames: wiener dog, weenie, doxie, doxin, daschie, hotdog, and Chucho!

We adopted our dachshund mix dog from the Michigan Humane Society in Ann Arbor Michigan, May 22, 2009. My children and I went there to look at a different dog, but after spending a few minutes with the Chihuahua, we knew that she not the dog for us. The kids wanted to go see a dog that we had passed on the way in named "Lefty". This was a stray dog that animal control picked up and brought in. He sat near the front of the cage looking sad despite the kids trying to talk to him. I was sure this was not the dog for us just by looking at him and relayed that to the kids. They insisted that this was indeed the dog for us, so we attached a leash and took him for a walk. Let me tell you, Lefty was very excited to go for a walk!! He excitedly plodded along the sidewalk and kept turning his head back look at us. I swear that it looked like he was smiling at us. When we took him back inside, the staff put us into a room to play with Lefty, but he was more interested in going back outside and had zero interest in playing. Again, I told the kids that he was not going to be a good dog for us, but I caved under pressure, and we adopted him. Lefty was super excited during the car ride home, bouncing from lap to lap and looking out the window. The kids wanted to choose a new name for Lefty and were throwing out name ideas all the way home. Ultimately, the name "Slinky" was chosen, because all of the kids loved the toy story movie and wanted to name him after the slinky dog in the movie. When my husband came home from work, the kids excitedly showed him the dog and the new name that they had chosen. This dog did not respond to either name, but when my husband called him "Chucho", that dog perked up and went right up to him! It was quite funny watching this dog answer to the name Chucho after we had been working with him for hours to respond to the name Slinky. Despite the dog responding to the name Chucho, the kids insisted that our dogs name was Slinky.

At that time, I was working the midnight shift. I woke up that night at 8:30 PM to go to work and decided to put our dog outside to go potty. We did not have a fenced in yard, so we had a tie-out that we attached to his collar. I was still half asleep, and I thought that the tie-out was attached securely, but I watched as our dog continued to run and not stop! Without thinking, I ran out the door after him. It had been raining for hours, and there were puddles of water everywhere. I was barefoot, running through puddles of water, splashing water everywhere yelling SLINKY, and I suddenly realized that I was wearing a nightgown and no undergarments! GASP! How ridiculous I must have looked! This dog thought we were playing a marvelous game of tag, where he would stop every once in a while, until I got close, and then he would take off running again. Exhausted, soaking wet, embarrassed, and feeling defeated, I finally stopped running and turned around to head back to the house. I was nearly to our house, when I looked back, and to my surprise, he was following me! When I got up to the door, he stopped in the yard and looked at me panting, his cute head cocked to one side and his floppy ears perked up. I said, "Chucho! Get inside!" he trotted up the stairs and went into the house. From that day forward, our dog was named Chucho.

I never fully understood what Chucho meant, I just assumed it was a Spanish name. One day, I posted a photo on my Instagram page of some stuffed chucho-dogs that I had recently made and decided to #Chucho-dog with the pic. I realized that there were already some photos with that hashtag and the pics were of hotdogs! Thats when I realized that the word chucho is slang for hotdog. So funny!

Chucho has been such a good dog to us. Understandably he was a runner when we adopted him, because he lived a life of freedom running wherever he wanted before he was picked up by animal control. Chucho is living his best life and he is truly loved by our family. The humane society guessed that our dog was 2-3 years old when we adopted him, and that would make our dog 16-17 years old today! I have added a photo of Chucho taken in 2013 in a silly sombrero and a photo of him today in the same sombrero.

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