Han Solo, Pekingese, 14 weeks old. (Michaela Helean)


Dogs are man’s (and woman’s) best friend, and if you are like me, a dog is a necessity for everyday living.

My fiance and I got a new puppy about a month ago.

We already had one dog, but we wanted to share the love with one more little guy.

Chewy, my older dog, is about 8 years old. He’s stubborn and mostly sleeps the whole day. However, he is very playful and loving when he wants to be.

He came with an attitude, as most Chinese royals do. The shih tzu, which is what Chewy is, was bred to sit on laps. The Chinese called the breed “shih tzu” because of their lion-like appearance. The word literally translates to “lion dog”.

Chewbaca, long for Chewy, means “trusted friend.”

We decided to keep that trust going with our new Pekingese, Han Solo.

If you have seen “Star Wars,” you know that we were going for that iconic duo from the movies. While the Pekingese looks more like an Ewok than anything, we figured that these two should be best pals.

The Pekingese is also of Chinese breeding. It was respected a little bit more than the shih tzu, though, and was kept as a palace dog for members of the imperial family during the late 1800s.

Both breeds are part of the toy group, according to the American Kennel Club. Both are generally show dogs.

Ours are purebred, but we didn’t want to go through the exhausting process of showing a dog. In spite of that, they can be loyal to their owners. They learn quickly, though it might take them awhile to enforce the habit.

They are both stubborn.

The Pekingese is a funny-looking animal with a flat face that separates it from its cousin the shih tzu. They are poofy by nature and do not shed much. They do require constant maintenance for that coat of fur.

Those who show them have to spend hours brushing and blow-drying their fur. Typically, they eventually look like a cloud running around. Ours looks more like a burnt marshmallow. See the photo above.

So far Chewy and Han are kind of shy with each other. That is normal when you get a new dog in a household with an older dog already present. The best thing to let them do is to assert dominance over one or the other.

As soon as that role is established, the relationship will be more family-like.

Han definitely shows loyalty to my fiance. Chewy is my dog and always has been. But Han chose my fiance.

That is a warming part of getting a dog. They bond with you instantly, and it is a spiritual connection.

Sometimes I feel none of us truly deserve dogs, though.

That is why it is important to take care of them. We take both dogs to Sunrise Veterinary Clinic here in Rio Rancho.

If you get a dog, make sure you take care of them.