Life can be strange at times. In the case of Bobby Humphries, it took a number of twists in a very short time, events that almost had him ending his life, finding solace in a friend, and ending with a surprise commitment that would not only change his life, but also the lives of dozens of dogs. It is the quintessential “dog is man’s best friend” story – except it involves more than 30 dogs of one of the smallest breeds. To begin, you need to know that Bobby loved dogs most of his life. He just didn’t particularly care for the pocket sized variety. He had a Doberman, what some people call “a muscle dog.” Bobby, his dog, and his wife lived happily for a total of 17 years – until an event took place that would change his life forever.
His wife of 17 years had decided to move on without him, filing for divorce. This took him completely by surprise and the early months of the divorce were particularly stressful for him. Devastated doesn’t properly reflect his mood or emotional state. He was seriously considering suicide. But he did find a friend who would keep him hanging on by being supportive and a best friend through it all. It was comfort that he needed, and if you think it was a dog, you need to keep reading! Because it wasn’t. The person was a neighbor who had previous experience dealing with other friends who had gone through similar traumatic experiences and pulled them through.
Bobby eventually reached the point where he pulled himself together and was prepared to move on with his life. His friend had been there the whole time, and one day unexpectedly asked for a favor – but not in return. They needed someone to take care of their dog while on vacation, and keeping the dog with Bobby was both cheaper and would put it in the hands of a trustworthy person. Whether out of obligation or appreciation, he decided to agree to playing kennel keeper for a few days. But there was a bit of a problem. Bobby discovered that the dog was a Chihuahua named Lady.
Now Lady was no Lady. In fact, she really didn’t like people in general. So here’s Bobby with a dog breed he didn’t like and a dog that didn’t like him. A match made in heaven, no doubt. After about a day Bobby decided to let Lady out of her kennel – a required cage given the situation. To his surprise Lady didn’t nip at his heels or ferociously growl with the popularly seen fully bared teeth. She actually was pleasant; so pleasant that she would jump up on his lap and they would sit there watching TV together.
The neighbor returned from vacation and was shocked that Bobby and Lady got along so well. But there was a reality that he had to face – Lady would need to go back home to her original owners. It was at this point he went on a hunt to find his own version of Lady among the Chihuahua population. His rejection of pocket sized dogs had ended, opening a new door in life to explore.
His first attempt had him finding a Chihuahua who was living in terrible conditions, but with his experience with Lady he knew he could take this guy home where he would be loved and appreciated. After all, he had dealt with this man-eater named Lady, so this dog definitely would be easy to get along with. Bobby learned an important lesson that day – that not all dogs are created equal. There was a good deal of snarling and snapping – but not by Bobby. Still, he took the Chihuahua home in the car, hoping it would come around and recognize his good intentions.
He was right. It didn’t take long for the dog to go from a growling mess to an affectionate lapdog.
That first dog would be named Kira, but the problem was that it was too old for his original intention which was to raise one from a pup. His search continued, and he would add Quinny and Harley to the mix. Yet none of the dogs were exactly what he was looking for, so now his total adopted litter held three. He later would find Lucy, who would fit the bill just fine.
But along his searches he discovered that many Chihuahuas were mistreated or abused by their previous owners. It broke his heart to see this as a consistent pattern among dog owners, and decided to get directly involved. He would find Chihuahuas in a variety of horrible situations, which he would take home and care for. The original search became a cause, and Bobby now takes in emotionally abused and physically damaged dogs to help them heal and then find new adoptive homes to put them in. The name of the place is now Big Guy Littles World Sanctuary.