I keep hearing about what a tough year it has been but I’m grateful to 2020 for giving me a new “leash” on life. To tell it straight, I had a bit of a bleak start in this world. I came from a litter of five born in July 2019, and Redwood City’s Pets in Need rescued me from a kill shelter in Fresno. Alicia, Andros, Giorgio and Jacques knew they had a lot of love to give a “trauma dog,” and on January 4, they picked me up and brought me home to San Mateo. (That’s why I’ll always be a big fan of 2020!) Alicia’s dad lived in Fresno and loved Fresno chili peppers, so she named me Chili in his memory. Alicia is also a chef, which makes my name even more appropriate. If you’re thinking I look familiar, I get that all the time. With my distinctive brown patch over one eye (a nod to my Jack Russell Terrier heritage), I look just like the iPhone dog emoji. When I first arrived in San Mateo, I felt safest under the kitchen table, but I got all the support I needed to build up my confidence. Now I am super social with other dogs (including my Central Park buddy seen here) and absolutely devoted to my family. Not to brag, but they’re always saying, “That Chili—he’s a lover!” Given that my nickname is “Chili Dog,” it’s not surprising that I still enjoy hanging out in the kitchen, but my new happy place is curling up right behind Alicia’s feet when she’s cooking. Here’s my tip for making 2021 a special year: Visit petsinneed.org to find a companion like me!
Photos by Robb Most