The story behind this children's book isn't as pleasant as the book and probably should not be shared with any kids who love the book.
Not all Mickey Rourke's chihuahuas have been loved equally. He loved Beau Jack to distraction, but Beau Jack's son (who was also the famed Loki's brother) was named Chocolate, and Mickey wasn't not as fond of him as every little dog deserves.
Chocolate was, alas, one of those shivering weird chihuahuas who always have their ears down, tail between the legs. Mickey admitted, "That used to bother me a lot, you know, because that¼s a symptom of somebody's been kicked in the ass or something. Nobody ever touched him."
But knowing these little dogs have complex responses of humans emotions, Mickey was pretty sure he traumatized Chocolate. "When Beau Jack died I was really hard on Chocolate. I used to say, 'Why the fuck am I stuck with you. Why did your father have to die?' And he'd look at me like he understood me."
Bonnie Timmermann, a film producer and ex of Mickey's, visited him to see if he was all right after Beau Jack's death, finding him deeply depressed and clinging to one of his other chihuahuas, Angel, Beau Jack's widow. But in the corner was an overlooked chi, scrawny because off its feed, seemingly as depressed as Mickey. Bonnie asked why that dog was cowering.
Mickey admitted to ragging on the dog for not being his father's equal, and gave Chocolate away, then and there, to Bonnie. She kept him nine weeks, but the little dog's sister Loki stopped eating and was obviously griefstricken at having lost both her father and her brother.
Bonnie brought the dog back and brother and sister licked each other all day in happy reunion. We may hope if only for Loki's sake, Mickey was more kindly disposed toward Chocolate for what would turn out to be a rather short life.
Bonnie's time with Chocolate had truly charmed her and she arranged publication of an illustrated biography called Chocolate at the Four Seasons (Little Brown, 2007), documenting the luckiest of Chocolate's days.