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Pixie Weinberger: Steady companion, prolific eater, home protector

Steady companion, prolific eater, home protector

Pixie Weinberger, beloved dog of the Weinberger family, died in her home of natural causes on Thursday, August 1 in Claremont. The 13-year-old, eight-pound, white Chihuahua was surrounded by those who loved her before leaving to the great pooch heaven in the sky.

It was love at first sight when I first gazed at that little four-pound Chihuahua, who was looking stylish in her dress, necklace and bonnet. Once I removed all the clothes, a rambunctious, funny, caring beast emerged, and she instantly became my best friend. Pixie and I both believed she did not belong in a dress of any sort.

Almost instantly Pixie became part of the family, traveling with us everywhere. After just four weeks, we flew across the country on vacation, carrying her in a small black pooch bag. She was so quiet, the people sitting next to me on the plane did not know she was there.

Pixie also had the good fortune of being quite cute. She was very popular with the ladies, especially over 50 and under 10 years old. It was natural for people to come up to us saying “Oh, how cute!” I quickly learned they were not talking about me.

Pixie was incredibly loyal and kind to her family and friends, but had a slight mean streak for strangers. She would never nip very hard, but just enough to let people know not to mess with her or the Weinbergers. Once she got to know you, however, Pixie would be your best friend.

Pixie became a YouTube star almost instantly. Starting 12 years ago, she starred in “Get out of my face” and later on, “Mad dog eats junk mail,” getting almost 100,000 views. Last year Pixie was an important element in a series called “Flying with Miss Pixie.” Just search online and her video selections will show up. Needless to say, Pixie came with me everywhere during the hundreds of my video shoots for the COURIER.

As many of you pet lovers know, you really can get attached to these little critters after spending so much time with them. Pixie was a constant presence for over 13 years, being part of so many family events. Holidays, birthdays, graduations, you name it, she was around. Pixie was there during the passing of both my parents and my father-in-law. She was there while both our kids attended and then graduated from high school and college. When I commuted from North Carolina to Claremont each month for four years, guess who made every trip?

I literally made thousands of visits to Pilgrim Place Health Center to see my parents over a seven-year period and it quickly became expected that I bring the dog. In fact, I clearly was second fiddle when walking into any room. The residents simply loved her as we played with her very small tennis ball in the hallways.

We had a game where I would throw the ball down a hallway and she would retrieve it. There were times up to 20 residents would pop out of their rooms to watch the show. The nursing staff at the time would always ask me to bring Pixie as a therapy dog. “Hi Mr. Weinberger…did you bring Miss Pixie?” Good times.

My mother Janis was especially close to Pixie. I know Pixie extended her life, sitting in her lap and kissing mom’s face non-stop. Janis outlived many of her friends and Pixie filled that void as a friend and companion.

Pixie was also a huge presence at the COURIER most afternoons each week. She did have a tendency to run up and bark at customers, but it was all in good fun in her role as staff protector. Pixie did not like the mail—see video online—and especially those people who delivered it. The mailman would make a very quick entrance, then exit as the newspaper’s mascot came running up. This special treatment was reserved for anyone in uniform—UPS, Spectrum, water delivery and even the gardener. Of course, her tail would wag the entire time.

I’m sure there are many readers out there who relate to losing a longtime pet. It’s amazing how attached one can get. I just have to tell myself God gave dogs a short lifespan and you just have to expect the aging process to play out. It’s just hard when you care so much for our smallest family member.

The good news is there will be a new family dog in our future, I just don’t know exactly when. In the meantime, I want to thank all the people for the kind words of support. Pixie had a great life and had a knack for making our lives happier.

Goodbye, little one.

—Peter Weinberger

pweinberger@claremont-courier.com