May 17, 2000 was a very good day for the Havanese
breed, because Chocolate Chip of C-Brese joined the pack. I met Chip in March, 2007 after he lost his
HuMom, Diane Calabrese, to Cancer complications. But, let me digress a bit.
In October, 2002, I purchased a dark chocolate
male puppy from Diane and found her to be fabulous to work with. That little guy and I bonded very deeply, but
he did not turn out to be show quality.
A perfect home presented itself, and I gave him up (that’s a story in
itself). Mind you, I had refused many
people prior to this……but (long story) this was the right family. I sobbed for a very long time. The wife
called me the next day to see if I was OK.
In 2008, I contacted Diane and asked if she would put
me on her list for another dark chocolate, and she was delighted to do so. A short time later, I got a phone call from
her husband, Carlos, telling me about Diane’s passing and that her dogs were
available. I took a female chocolate
parti, Dolly, and Chip. They were
shipped to Denver together. A friend was
going to Denver and offered to bring the dogs back. It’s a 4-hour drive one way, and she had
business there; had to pick up the dogs in the evening and drive back. She didn’t arrive and didn’t call. I called her over and over and over. She finally called and said Chip had bolted
out of his collar and was lost at DIA (Denver International Airport). I knew he must be scared to death as he had
lived in the country, and didn’t know what a car was, never mind all those cars
and airplanes everywhere and the noise!
I called 2 Havanese friends in the Denver area, waited
for her to get back with the other dog, Dolly; jumped in my car with Dolly and
raced to DIA. I took Dolly because I
thought he might come to her. I got
there before light, and these wonderful 2 friends met me there at 6:00
a.m.! They helped me search all
day! One had called Havanese Rescue, who
alerted the media who broadcast live all day while we searched. They posted my phone # on their web site, and
people I didn’t know called and said they wanted to come help find him. DIA Security officers were wonderful! They took photos of Dolly and sent them to
everyone on their staff, so they would have an idea of what he looked
like. He was spotted, but gone by the
time we got to that area. At nightfall,
I had to head home without him. I was
distraught! The clerk at the shipping
airline stopped me and said, “I know this is hard, but you need to know that
this entire airport is fenced, and we have never not found an escaped animal,
and I want you to call me when you get him back.” Security cameras are everywhere, and security
assured me they would not stop looking for him.
I went home and contacted animal search organizations, placed ads in the
Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo newspapers in case someone found him and
took him home, and I posted him online.
There were coyotes at DIA, Chip had no food, and a snow storm was about
to ensue. I spent days in distress, but
nothing like he must have felt. I felt
so helpless being so far away and unable to go search every day.
I believe he was lost on a Wednesday night. Saturday afternoon, I got a phone call from
DIA Security and only remember hearing, “We have your dog.” I screamed
in that poor man’s ear and said I would be there ASAP. He insisted on a Rabies certificate because,
“We have a great video of 5 guys trying to catch this little guy, and he bit
one of them.” I had the rabies
certificate faxed to them and left with Dolly. I thought it would help Chip to see someone he
knew. Then I got a call from Havanese
Rescue saying she would go pick him up; take him home; and I could pick him up
When I met Chip, I immediately had that same
bonded feeling I had with the chocolate boy I had purchased from Diane in 2002. I almost felt like I had that little guy back
again. It was quite strange.
Chip is not a biter. He was simply terrified. He is a very sweet, loving guy and, some time
later, I bred Chip and Dolly and got theeee most beautiful super-dark
chocolates and parti’s ever. I then got
a call from a lady in California, who had purchased a puppy from Diane and had
wanted another, only to discover that she had passed away. Carlos, Diane’s husband, had referred her to
me. She purchased a puppy and flew me
out to California to deliver her puppy.
In our conversations, I told her about my first chocolate from Diane and
how horrifically difficult it was to part with him. This lady said, “Well, they both came from
Diane, maybe they are related.” Duh, why
hadn’t I thought of that?
When I got home, I went to the pedigree of my
first chocolate boy, Cliffy (named after my dad). Dam:
C-Brese’s Delilah. Sire: Chocolate Chip of C-Brese! Needless to say Chip (or Chipper, as I often
call him) is a part of my heart and soul and is here forever. My entire life has been a difficult journey,
but God has blessed me with some of the most amazing little souls on 4 feet
wrapped in gorgeous coats who bring me so much love and joy. Chip is one of the even more special ones. Today, November 5, 2014, is a very bad day as
I had to say “goodbye” to my beloved “Chipper.”
If you have a chocolate, whether from the USA or
Europe, Chipper is probably in your pedigree somewhere. If so, you are one of the lucky ones, too!