Lessons from a Feisty Little Dog

Tsiken is our tan and black teacup Yorkie. He was bought with a hefty discount somewhere in Ortigas because he was already old for a pup (4 months) and no one wanted to buy him, for reasons unbeknownst to us.

He was energetic, his fur was a mess, but we loved him anyway. He would be me and my husband’s first dog – and first foray into taking care of a warm-blooded living being.

His name was intentionally misspelled – the Filipino derivative of the word and animal – “Chicken”, with whom our Yorkie had a close semblance to when he was first bought. He weighs 3 pounds, stands a proud 8 inches tall and is a little more than a foot long from snout to his short bushy little tail.

Tsiken is a social media darling for his sheer cuteness. Videos and photos of him shaking hands, staring at a TV and choosing a meal garner an average of 50 likes in a span of 4 hours (better than my post about “why I chose Endocrinology as a field of specialty in medicine”). Heart/dog/smiley/kiss/hug emoticons fill the comments section – people apparently prefer to express their reactions to cuteness with drawings than words.

He is a hit at home too. His diminutive size demands that he be handled with care. This also means he is the most portable dog – one you could easily bring to a visit to a family friend who lives a block away for instance. His head turns sideways when you talk to him – like he is trying his darnest to understand the English language.

But what I most love about Tsiken is his daily show of GUMPTION. If anything ever embodied that word, I believe it would be Tsiken.

He shares our home with his larger brother – Weiner Dog (literally, a weiner dog), who almost always beats him to the ball, the bone, the toy dog, the race to the ocean, the capacity to stay in the water longer without feeling cold, the couch, the lazy boy…but Tsiken is not bothered. AT. ALL.

sweet doggies

Tsiken playing with Weiner Dog


Tsiken just keeps at it! He keeps joining that race, that swim, that quest for the squishy toy. He adapts. For instance – he cannot jump onto the couch like Weiner Dog can, so he manages to find the corner of the couch, squeeze his body sideways and claw his way up like his most hated animal, a cat, until he finds himself successfully a top the couch (which thankfully is made of sturdy, claw resistant material).

doggies on couch

The red couch of power


This feisty little fellow lives an UNFAZED life. His bark is a tiny, high pitched one that is easily drowned out by the rest of the five bigger dogs in the compound whenever they decide to morph into a canine chorale. But he still barks with all his might.

What’s my point here? If you feel you are small, whether in stature/influence or clout, don’t feel bad. Small does not necessarily mean useless. Small can mean you can show the world just how you intend to beat the seemingly ginormous odds against you. Small is a platform for greatness, for innovation, for resilience, and most importantly, for the cuteness that you’ll need to raise an army of loyal followers…


“I dare you to not hit the like button…”

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