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From Baby Puppy in Show to Best Veteran in Show - all hail the mighty Poco!

In 2012, a litter was born at the Eldivino Kennels, coaxed into this world by dedicated breeder, Tracy Pearce Gannaway.

The litter was remarkable for a number of reasons. The first was its size - 6 pups: 3 girls and 3 boys, but the most striking was the fact that every one of them was a Black & Tan Tri-colour.

The standout of the litter was a tiny boy, Poco (NZ CH Eldivino Hocus Pocus) with a stunning head and a sweet temperament, who Tracy went into co-ownership with Susan Galbraith. One of the other boys, Freddie, she sold to us as a pet (he was cryptorchid). We bought him because Freddie was a full brother of our darling Loki, and we had reached that "one Chihuahua isn't enough" stage of Chihuahua ownership that precedes eventually owning 20 of them.

Poco took his first Baby Puppy in Show only a few weeks into his show career, and continued to win right through Baby Puppy and Puppy and was well on his way to ruling the world as a Junior, when he was manhandled by a rough judge who scared the living daylights out of him. His terror of being handled by strangers was then compounded by a well-meaning but inexperienced handler who knocked the sass out of him completely with her ill-advised, impromptu "correction" methods ringside before Susan could stop her. After that, Poco lost all enthusiasm for showing and Susan wisely retired him from the ring, only bringing him our for Ribbon Parades fun days at the Chihuahua Club.

Fast forward to 2016 and we started casting about for a sire to put to Nikita's mother for a last litter before she retired from breeding. We spied this darling little boy at a Club fun day and were instantly smitten. Susan and Tracy were happy to let us use him free of charge, but we felt we should contribute something so in lieu of a stud fee, we offered to try to get Poco back in the ring. He was far too good a dog to retire so young, and only had 5 points to go to reach the title of NZ Champion.

So Poco came to live with us while we gained his trust and became one of the Black Street Boys - that's the name we give to his older brother, Loki. his litter mate, Fat Freddie and his nephew, Mexico. He settled into our place like he'd been here all his life and we ever so gently rebuilt his confidence. It took several months but by the time his four gorgeous babies were born, he was a fully certified NZ Champion. At his daughters' first show in Ashburton, Fifi took Baby Puppy of Group and he took Open of Group at the same show.

So here we are as we near the end of 2019. Poco still lives with the Black Street Boys and is now a veteran, with many Championship points to his name, 7 lovely babies, 3 of them also Champions. But the time has come for him to retire legitimately, not out of fear, but because he has done enough. The DCC 55th Anniversary Chihuahua Specialty Show last weekend was officially his last show and he went out in style, taking Best Veteran in Show, Best Long Coat Veteran and he and his champion daughters Misty and Duchess were the runners-up in the Parent and Progeny Stakes.

So thrilled that this great little dog has been - and will continue to be - a member of our family. He is truly the sweetest dog you will ever meet. We all adore him and he will now settle into his retirement with his brothers and his nephew, missing a few bits but unbothered by those pushy bitches when they're in season, who I think scare him more than that rough judge or the clueless handler.

Enjoy your retirement, little man. You've earned it.

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