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Lisa Messier of Charlton, Massachusetts, owns Ducky who, at 1.4 pounds, presumedly sets a world record for smallest living (adult) chihuahua. As one newspaper article described him, "He looks like a bat and quacks like a duck," hence the name Ducky as preferabble to Batty.

He can't actually bark, but the quacking can be fairly persistent, causing some reporters to call him a yappy dog, though quacker would be far more apropos.

DuckyHe's an unhealthy looking animal, taking "short hair" to the edge of mangey and bald.

"Show" standards for chihuahuas value extreme miniaturization, but not this miniature.

Four to six pounds are the most valued by American Chihuahua Club show standard. Unfortunately, at seven pounds they can't be show dogs.

And yet it is only above six pounds that they are certain to be sturdy healthy animals without the repulsive shiveriness, buggy eyes, tooth problems, knee problems, heart and renal problems, blood sugar level elevation, throat problems leading to croaky "reverse sneezing," and other health issues associated with excess miniaturization. You can get a great pup that'll grow to be an 8 to 12 pound chi for $300 to $750 fairly easily, which is a third the price of a five or six pounder, but you'll only rarely get your moneys worth with what the Chihuahua Club moronically promotes.

But runts like Ducky, at least, aren't regarded show animals either, as the health issues with five to six pounders are trebled for the runts, who can break their legs just by jumping down from a stool. Some evil breeders do use runt studs hoping to get more like them to sell for wildly inflated amounts just for their novelty value. Good breeders will never include a runt in their lines even though those which turn up in litters will be sold for the highest mounts to people seeking smallest of the small and not apt to breed them.

Because of the health problems of most runts it does take a unique individual to take care of what are in essence special-needs dogs. Most runt chihuahuas don't live long and will cost a great deal in continuous veterinary care for their few years of life. On rare occasion a runt lives a decade or longer, compared to normal chihuahuas that can live to be twenty; but the majority of runts pass on before they're two.

Lisa bought Ducky when he was 13 months old and was named Macho Man. He cost $3,000 -- three or four times what a normal, healthy chihuahua would cost. The price was later inflated to $5,000 in some reports. Either way, the value is for the novelty, certainly not for the health or a quality lineage.

As Guinness is at least partly a scam which makes a fortune charging people big money to be considered for the Record, Lisa paid the fast-track fee of $600 hoping Ducky would prove to be the smallest dog owned by someone willing to pay money to be so-recognized.

Ducky and Tiny DancerThe real profit at Guinness is in the great many paid entrants who don't make the final cut.

In 2007, it looked like Ducky was going to barely miss out being in the Guinness Book of Records; then it looked like Tiny Dancer (shown with Ducky here at the left) was knocked out of first place after all.

Then at the last minute Boo Boo appeared on the scene and smaller than both. Ducky got to share the honors anyway, as he weighed less than the two dogs that measured smaller in shoulder heights.

Sad to say Boo Boo died before the release-date for the new edition of the Records, and it was again between Ducky and Dancer.

Owners of record-holders are frequently in a position of turning a teency dog into a cash cow for appearances on television shows, advertisement pitch-dogs, t-shirts, designer costumes and coats, dog-modelling such as for calendars, and paid appearances at commercial or fund-raising events.

Chihuahuas are ounce for ounce among the smartest toy breeds, and Ducky is not lacking in the intelligence department. He can read Lisa like a book and had his ways of letting her know exactly what he wants, and keeps her at his beck and call.

Lisa said, "People either think he's adorable, or they think he's really ugly and looks like an alien. I think hežs so cute and so sweet and he needs me. Hežs my little man."

Since rush of attention Ducky had in 2007, when he was nearly three years old, he's fallen off the map as an attention-getter. I could not find an obituary for him, but it seems certain he did go the way of most runt chihuahuas, or he'd have a website and more recent publicity and his clothing line would not be defunct.


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