Bobby Humphreys never wanted to form any sort of bond with a small dog, just the opposite, in fact. Yet fate had its own plans for him.
Until he met his Chihuahua, the bodybuilder had always been a “Big Dog Guy”. His hobbies included spending his hours committing to the gym in Boonsboro, Maryland and planking down speciality hardwood floors. While he didn’t have a severe aversion when it came to smaller companions, he used to always make fun of his friends who would walk their significant other’s tinier dogs.
But little did he know…he would fall in love with a creature just as small very soon.
Humphrey and his wife had three Rottweilers in their 17 years of marriage. They both adored their bold and fierce presence.
“All guys have egos and it’s a big dick measuring contest,” Humphreys said. “Who can have the prettiest girl? Who can have the biggest house? Who can have the best car? Who can have the toughest-looking dog? We’re all insecure at heart.”
“I was just that ‘Big Dog Guy,’” Humphreys said. “I never even thought of a little dog.”
But Bobby wasn’t prepared for the heartbreak. On New Year’s Eve of 2016, his separated from his wife. And it hadn’t even been a week before he had a mishap in the gym and hurt his shoulder. The injury required reconstructive surgery.
It’s no wonder that such a hard time led him into a depressed state.
“I’m a very sensitive person and she was my world,” Humphreys said. “I was lost. I started drinking for a purpose instead of just socially.”
Even though he started healing and getting back up on his feet, he couldn’t heal from his deteriorating mental state. He had almost lost all hope for happiness. And that was when he came across his friend, Constance Rogers, who asked for a favour from him.
“She messages me one day saying, ‘Do you mind if Lady stays with you for a little while because I’m getting kicked out of my house and I’m not sure where I’m moving yet?’” Humphreys said.
Of course, his prejudice for small dogs led him to say no about Roger’s pet, Lady.
“[Lady] had this terrible disposition that was very well-known,” Humphreys said. “I just steered clear of her when I saw her at functions with friends. I would just pay her no mind because I wasn’t into little dogs.”
Yet, he hesitated in his decision. Rogers was one of the rays of lights greeting him during his blackest times. It wouldn’t hurt him at all to spend a few moments watching Lady. When he found her watching TV from her kennel when he came back home from work, he ignored her at first.
“After about 15 minutes I said, ‘Screw it, I don’t care if this dog bites me or not, she is not going to be sitting in a kennel,’” Humphreys said. “Connie came over to check on her an hour and a half later and when she walked in, she was totally amazed. Lady was in my lap, and we’ve been inseparable ever since.”
What happened next is even more adorable. Their friendship has deepened into an unbreakable bond.
“I was missing a lot of work, I couldn’t get out of bed,” Humphreys said. “The only thing that was keeping me going was Lady. I’d lay in bed all day with her, we’d play, we got so close. I fell in love with this little dog.”
To say that Humphrey was sad about his new friend leaving in a few days would be an understatement. He was devastated. Yet, Lady also had him changing his mind about smaller dogs in general. So much so that he even wanted to adopt a new one for himself.
So when he met the year-old Chihuahua, Kira, he melted. The little one’s food aggression issues did nothing to deter his choice.
After Kira, he came across the two siblings, Harley and Quinn.
“Any of you that have seen pictures of or met Harley know that she very much fits the ‘Rugrats’ description,” Humphreys posted on Facebook. “She’s lumpy, she’s a little off, pretty much hairless and very fragile.”
He then went on to adopt several more dogs, all of them Chihuahuas. Bella, whose outgrown nails had her double-backing into her paws, was next after the siblings.
Humphrey realized that all Chihuahua need is a safe space to reside in. Somewhere they are loved and adored.
“I started to see a pattern,” Humphreys continued. “So many of these little beautiful babies are being abused or taken advantage of and I just couldn’t sit by and watch it happen.”
Thinking this, he then founded Big Guy, Littles World Sanctuary.
“I’m a big guy, but I’m technically living in this little world, because no matter if there’s 37 [dogs] like there are now, or there’s two, my entire life revolves around them,” he said. “There’s just a heart inside these guys that’s truly amazing.”
Ever since its establishment, his foundation has grown in a considerable amount. With Rogers–and Lady–doing their side of the work, he couldn’t be happier with what he has created.
With 37 Chihuahuas residing beside him, Humphreys is never lonely now.
“The feeling of love that these dogs give me, after what some of them had been through, made me say, ‘Well, now I’m responsible for them,’” he said. “They trust me and they look in my eyes and tell me that they love me so much.”
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