Tiny Travel Companion

Chihuahua Bag Illustration

For our prompt of “Pets” today, I opted for a chihuahua in a travel bag. Our own dog Phineas is basenji and small, but a bit too big to fit into a carry on bag, so he’s never been on a trip with us. While I was trying to get Philippe to commit to a little trip of some kind, he began to get sad once again about leaving the dog behind. I told him that our next dog needs to be a chihuahua, so we can go more places. I do think chihuahuas are cute, but I was totally joking in the moment. I thought he had just ignored me, but several minutes later he suddenly shouted, “they can live up to 20 years!” At that point, I had forgotten my offhand comment entirely so he just sounded like a crazy person to me. I asked what the heck he was talking about and he confirmed it was about chihuahuas, so it was nice to know he was actually listening that time. I told him, he’d need a bag of some kind to take this dog with us on trips, should we ever get one. After sketching that very idea this evening, I asked him what color the bag should be and he grabbed a piece of paper and made a pattern, showed it to me, and then suggested pink. This is my attempt at recreating that sassy vision, but the dog looks just as confused as I was by the suggestion.

Though I often say things in jest, the idea of a pocket dog would solve many problems. Philippe gets so stressed leading up to the trip with idea of leaving his baby behind and being able to bring a dog along would fix that anxiety. Though it seems the perfect solution, there’s equally something to be said for being alone on a trip with just the two of us. Not only am I glad to spend a day without doing dishes, it’s equally refreshing to spend a day without picking up poop. So, I’ve no idea if we’ll ever opt for a dog like this one in the future, despite the cuteness and portability. In truth, Philippe loves large dogs, but our city living doesn’t make that very practical. Though there is a Bernese Mountain Dog in the neighborhood that he talks about all of the time. Phineas, however, is unimpressed and can’t for the life of him understand why we would ever take on the sheer drudgery of ever owning a “pet” when we have a perfectly wonderful baby already. Even as he’s about to turn 11 years old, Phineas still thinks he’s a baby, and inexplicably in charge of the entire household.

Alas, our actual travel plans involve sending Phineas to “camp” while we’re gone. It’s a pet resort, with one of those webcams and we’ll see him just standing there as if thinking, “my dads are insane! Why would they send me to a camp with only pets?” It’s no doubt then good for him to spend that time around other dogs, even if he doesn’t seem to think so. Calling it socializing by be a bit of a stretch, but it’s good for him nonetheless. No matter how far away I am from Phineas, I do always think about him. He is, in many ways, still the little baby I brought home from the shelter years ago. And what I love about sketching every day is that my current and past memories always appear when I show up to DO it. It’s been such a wonderful journey and a great way to capture bits of my life. True, I don’t make documentary sketches, but they are always biographical. So, no matter what, when I travel, I always have my sketchbook along for the ride. Even if I’m missing places or faces while being far from home, I know I can visit them again in my mind while I sketch. In many ways, I guess, in the end, I already do have a tiny travel companion.

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Chihuahua Bag Illustration Sketchbook Detail
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
22 Comments
  1. Karen Fortier 4 weeks ago

    Great pet sketch Charlie. I’m afraid that I am not a big fan of chihuahuas. The place where I got my hair cut, when my mom didn’t cut it, had a chihuahua that was mean. I was afraid of it. I had a boxer so I loved dogs but that one tried to bite our ankles. Don’t give up on taking that vacation.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, Karen! 😃💕Oh my!! Yeah, that’s not a very good chihuahua experience… hehe… I’ve only met the nice kind. lol

  2. Robert J. Coleman 4 weeks ago

    You’ve captured the perfect look on the dog’s face: What the Heck?? Karen hits the nail on the head about chihuahuas, they can be very dominant. Just watch a few episodes of the Dog Whisperer for examples of dealing with problem tiny dogs. Our friend has trained hers from a tiny puppy to be happy and friendly to all, and he gets along with our two shih tzus. (Consider a shih tzu in the future; they can be found in the shelters or adoption rescue groups. We adopted ours from friends and relatives!)
    And it is amazing how our canine pals resolve our anxiety-they have been with humans for so long that they are almost a part of us. And, Charlie, I really love all your dog portraits; they show the love our dogs have for us.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, Bob! 😃💕Yeah, our experience comes from our niece who happens to be a professional dog trainer. So there’s a theme here when it comes to chihuahuas it seems. 😉 And what a lovely compliment. I love dogs so much! I’m happy to know that love shows up in my sketches!

  3. Sharon Nolfi 4 weeks ago

    Love that doggie in the bag! My daughter and son-in-law have always believed their little dog needs socialization with other dogs, but then, they treated Red like a human child until their daughter arrived. Once I picked him up at a doggy hotel, and the concierge said, “Oh yes, we have your name down as Red’s Grandma.” No comment.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 LOL… aww, you’re Red’s grandma… hehe… that’s the sweetest thing ever!

  4. Lisa 4 weeks ago

    That looks like a barky little dog! 😂 They really are though, aren’t they? Give me a bigger one. We had big dogs as I was growing up. Mainly outside dogs. Hounds for hunting, a German shepherd because my mom wanted one. I never became very attached to any dog. I suppose that was because they didn’t stay in the house. Years ago I was house and dog sitting for a friend of mine. They told me that on the first night the dog would sleep on their bed, but as the week went by she would get more comfortable with me and sleep in the guest room too. So the second night she came in and slept on the floor, and every night after that, she was right there in the bed with me. Dogs!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      haha! True… I didn’t consider the bark. as I mentioned in a previous reply my niece trains dogs so the chihuahua I have in mind is insanely well-behaved! 😃💕 lol And our current dog is barkless by breed, so yeah, tiny dogs might not be an option. And I love your story… see… that dog wanted to be even closer to you by the end! Adore that!

  5. Mary Roff 4 weeks ago

    Hope Phineas isn’t too jealous because this is one sweet looking chihuahua! It’s too bad you’re allergic to cats…they are much easier to travel with…most of the time :-).

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕 Hehe… Phineas just assumes he’s the only real dog on the planet so I’m not sure jealously is something he can muster. lol And yeah, I know, right? Cats are way easier in those aspects, but yep, still allergic.

  6. Jacob 4 weeks ago

    That’s a different kind of ‘doggy bag’ and pink is so his colour, though I’m not sure he agrees! Cute! There was a childhood phase when I quite wanted a chihuahua, but now I tend to prefer large dogs. I can totally see the joy in taking them on holiday, though. My sister did that with her two dachshunds recently, and they had a blast!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, Jacob! 😃💕 hehe… awwww…. two dachshunds on a trip sounds so cute and lovely! But yeah, Philippe I think really does was a large dog at some point. Hopefully when we’re retired and living on some land instead of living in the city! hehe

  7. LoriCtoo 4 weeks ago

    Oh my gosh! This dog truly does not want to be in this bag. She’s probably thinking, “I have 4 legs. I am capable of walking. I want to smell that fire hydrant. Let me out!” She is darling and her pink bag with chevrons goes well with her. What I want to know, is how are airlines going to handle service minature horses on flights? Will they get their own row? Do the owners have to pay for 3 seats? Do they have to make sure they do their duty before they board? What happens when they do to potty on the plane? Air freshener? Just wondering, in case I get that baby goat! Bahawaha!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 Glad you liked this little pup!! Yeah, I tend to give my animals a bit of attitude in my sketches… hehe. And YES! What about those service miniature horses? lol But ohhhh… baby goats are just the cutest! Get one!!

  8. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 4 weeks ago

    Such a cute little one. And of-course so is your beloved Phineas. How cool to go to Dog camp. I never heard of that but super cool. lol 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 Yeah, I’ve sketched Phineas quite a few times now so I end up with a proxy pet for this prompt often. hehe Yeah, they call it a resort, but we call it camp… I mean, anytime you’re forced to bunk with a bunch of other kids, it’s not really a resort in the end. 😉

  9. Mireya 4 weeks ago

    Made me think of our Roxy. she’s jack russel too and is 12 years old. I hope she lives 8 more years. I love her so much.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Aww… that’s so wonderful, Mireya! 😃💕 Here’s to many more happy years with Roxy!

  10. smzang 4 weeks ago

    I believe that basenjies are the quiet type, while most chihuahuas I’ve met yip constantly and frantically in a loud high pitched voice. It might be quite an adjustment. You are so good with painting expression via the eyes. Much enjoyed both article and painting.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 Yeah, all of the story is in the eyes, so I always try to get at least that bit right! hehe And true… I think just about any dog will seem a bit loud after a basenji! hehe

  11. Stephanie Louise 4 weeks ago

    This painting is so cute. I love it.

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