"For such a little dog, you'd be amazed how tough she thinks she is," Patricia Sturion laughed as a 5-year-old Chihuahua named Lola stared up from her lap.
"We used to bring her to the dog park, but people asked us to leave after a while," Strurion said, wagging her finger at Lola. "She was always trying to start something with the other dogs. But you were just protecting your mama, weren't you, cosita?"
To be honest, the two-and-a-half pound dog didn't seem so tough when CultureMap visited her at LUCHO, a custom men's clothing outfitter in Uptown Park. Donning a pink leopard-pattered fleece coat, Lola looked downright precious . . . and maybe a little cold too.
Beyoncé managed to earn the designation of "world's tiniest puppy," but Lola has a case.
"Yeah, she has a hard time staying warm, so we always dress her up," Sturion said.
Sturion and business partner Hector Villareal reached out to CultureMap because the nation's fallen under the viral Internet video spell of Beyoncé, the miniature Pinscher-Dachshund-Chihuahua puppy that was saved by a northern California woman via mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and promptly named Beyoncé in the spirit of the Destiny's Child hit single "Survivor."
Not to belittle the heroic efforts to rescue the little California pup, but Lola's journey into the world was no cakewalk either.
"We seriously didn't think Lola was going to make it when she was born," Sturion explained, saying that Lola was dangerously underweight when her mother Chiby gave birth. The veterinarian monitored her for several days, unsure if the young puppy would survive.
While Beyoncé managed to earn the designation of "world's tiniest puppy," Lola's owners believed that their little puppy may have been even smaller at birth. Unfortunately, Lola's exact original birth weight has been lost to history.
Nevertheless, Sturion said she's glad to have such a unique and loving dog. "Lola's always been healthy and we're so happy she can come to the store with us every day."
LUCHO has its fair share of celebrity guests since it opened 12 years ago, but Sturion never expected Sonya Fitzpatrick, noted Houston animal communicator and host of Animal Planet's The Pet Psychic, to step into the store.
Sturion never expected Sonya Fitzpatrick, noted Houston animal communicator and host of The Pet Psychic,to step into the store.
"We couldn't believe it," Sturion recalled. "Right away she picked up Lola and said 'She won't let me read her'." Apparently, the Chihuahua simply refused to share her thoughts with Fitzpatrick.
Lola's mom Chiby, on the other hand, was more than happy to communicate, telling the pet psychic all about the "orange sticks" she gets each morning.
"We were amazed — Chiby always gets a baby carrot with her breakfast . . . ," Sturion said. "It's a shame we didn't get to hear what was on Lola's mind."