Homeward Animal Shelter has a unique beauty in Chiquita, a sweet and playful Pekingese mix with all the bearings of a queen. Though she would prefer a quiet home with an owner she can sit side-by-side with, she fully expects to be spoiled—not surprising, since the Pekingese breed was considered sacred in imperial China. Only members of the royal family were allowed to keep them, and people of lower ranks were expected to bow in their presence.
Characteristic of its lineage, the Pekingese is a proud, stubborn dog that can be a challenge to train. They are affectionate with those they know well, but are wary of strangers and have little tolerance for small children. These qualities make them good watchdogs, as they don’t let their small size get in the way of guarding their owners and their territory.
In addition to being royalty, Chiquita is an albino. This means her body is unable to produce melanin, the natural substance that gives color to eyes, skin, and fur. Her white coat and pale blue eyes are the result of this enzyme deficiency, while her pinkish nose and eye sockets are caused by diffused blood flow to those areas.
In addition to producing color, melanin protects the skin from the sun, helps the body fight off infection, and allows eyes to process and filter light. As such, albino dogs more vulnerable to sunburn and skin cancer, and will squint in sunlight due to increased sensitivity. Since development of pigment is also linked to retina and ear structures, albino dogs are often afflicted with deafness or blindness.
Thankfully, Chiquita does not exhibit any signs of being blind or deaf—at least not yet. Whoever adopts her will have to be prepared for the possibility that she may someday develop those disorders, and be willing and able to accommodate her.
For more information on Chiquita and other adoptable dogs, call Homeward Animal Shelter at 701-239-0077.