Cheryl's Pets

Mini picture of Fifi with hat

Fifi (If-if) - 1959-1972?

Small picture of Fifi when we first got her

Fifi was my very first dog. I was only five or so when we got her. She was a small chihuahua, weighing only a few ounces I believe. Her official name was "

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Fifi", but we usually called her "If-if".


One day, we left for my piano lesson and forgot she was outside. We were actually in downtown Montreal before we remembered we had let her out. We drove back home and saw the neighbour's German shepherd in our yard. On seeing he us turn onto the street, he got up and returned home. If-if must have been crying because he had come over to protect her and watch over her until we got back!

Small picture of Fifi when we first got her

If-if may have been small, but she had the biggest heart of any dog and the most courage. The year we got her was also the year we were robbed. We didn't know it until a few years later when If-if was having trouble walking and we had to take her to the vet. We discovered her hip problem was due to having been viciously kicked as a puppy. All we could think of was that she had attacked the robbers, bitten them and hung on for dear life - and they kicked her away.

Patient ... If-if was so patient and good-natured. I really don't know how she put up with me. I wasn't mean or cruel - at least not deliberately - but since she was so smart, I decided to teach If-if how to write. I used to hold a pen in her paws and tried to get her to write something. I tried to put clothes on her, or at least a pincushion hat as you can see in the picture at the top! And she took it all very calmly - never getting excited with me, never running away or biting me. Probably just wished I would grow up fast!

Small picture of Fifi grinning

The neatest thing about If-if was her grin. She was always happy to see us (even me) and we always knew it because she would grin. She's the only dog I've ever had that could grin.

If-if was quite a gourmet. We soon learned to trust her taste buds. If she liked the cheese, we knew we would too. If she didn't like something, we knew we wouldn't either. If-if would go wild over ice cream. But if she ate it too fast, she'd get a headache and would put her paws over her head. She loved peanuts and lipstick, and had no trouble cracking the lipstick case open to get the "good stuff".

Mini picture of Fifi with a peanut
Small picture of Mom feeding Fifi

She also loved smoked salmon and other expensive delicacies. To top it off, she got along with the cat next door and when the cat didn't like her cat food, she would invite If-if over for a meal. If-if always obliged. Until we realized what was going on, we wondered why she kept coming home smelling like fish!


Of course, eating all the rich food, If-if gained weight. We could always tell. At three pounds and a bit, she was fine. At four pounds, she would set off the burglar alarm we had installed after we were robbed.

Small picture of Fifi at Christmas

As long as I knew her, If-if was always interested and curious about what was going on around her and was intensely protective of her territory. Even in her old age, as she limped and waddled along, she would suddenly dart after squirrels and rabbits that dared to enter her yard. She was never too old or blind to overlook anything.

If-if died my first year in university. She was eleven years old.