You naïve sweetheart, relying on a Google Nest to safeguard your Brooklyn walk-up. Do you lock your bike with a wet noodle, too?
For protection that never fails, replace that cold-hearted robot with a red-blooded bodyguard — one who’s been bred for 1,200 years to tell anyone who even looks at apartment 12 to fuck right the fuck off.
Get yourself a chihuahua. A chihuahua like me.
I may be small, but I am no toy. My 3.2 pounds of rippling muscle are built around a heart that races at 180 bpm for the sole purpose of protection. The urge to defend courses through every ounce of my one ounce of purebred blood. I’m genetically obligated to be an absolute dick to everyone but you.
You think these footlong ears are nature’s mistake? Think again — these outsized Tostitos have strategically grown with every generation since the fall of Chichen Itza to fulfill today’s exact purpose: freaking the fuck out the second Kirsten on the first floor slips her key into the door.
When I’m on duty — and I’m always on duty — no snooper is safe. Girl Scouts, political canvassers, or hot, hot, Kirsten who’s just stopping by to see what you’re up to tonight. When I see something, I do more than say something: I hiss and gurgle like a sun-shocked vampire until my little lima-bean lungs run out of breath (spoiler alert: they never do). It works every time — just ask the uniformed asshole who comes lurking around this place every afternoon, slipping papers through the front slot. I send him scampering to the next house on the daily.
Under my supervision, no hand will touch your doorknob again — or your body, or my body, or — god forbid — your remote control. In fact, not even you can touch that remote control. It’s too precious, and it’s my duty, at times, to protect you even from yourself.
I’m more than just an alarm. I also bite. Indiscriminately. This apple head packs 42 tangled up barracuda teeth, primed to strike at any second. No, I can’t break skin, but I will sure as hell break Kirsten’s illusion that she might be welcome here.
My rock hard bod and snappy little mouth are built for battle, but my surest weapon is invisible, held tight in my little crabapple brain. It’s terror — and I keep it with me always. Constant, panic-level anxiety leaves no room for mental clutter like “logic” or “trust.” Even at home, I won’t rest — the Roomba could take up arms at any time! I relentlessly survey all potential threats: the garbage disposal, the wind, that little reflection dancing on the wall. Woof, woof, motherfuckers, not on my watch.
I will never relent. I will never be calmed. Come hell, high water, or Amazon delivery, I will defend your proud estate until I’ve sent every unwelcome interloper either back down the stairs or to their grave. For you, I commit to full-time paranoia, vibrating in anticipation of the next second, every second, until the second Kirsten offers me a Milk-bone and becomes one of us.
And when we’re the last eight legs standing — just you, me, Kirsten, and no one else in this godforsaken world — will you pick me up so we can snuggle?
Claire Zahm is a writer and humorist currently living in Los Angeles.