Not just any chihuahuas, mind you. The Los Angeles resident has a special affection for dogs in their golden years ― a love that started five years ago when she adopted an 11-year-old pooch named Sir MoMo.
“Mo’s eyesight is not great, and neither is his hearing,” Docherty told The Huffington Post in an email. “But he is the kindest, gentlest soul.”
As Docherty and MoMo bonded during his recovery from surgery to remove a failing eye, she learned something new.
“I came to realize then how heartbreakingly overlooked this large category of shelter dogs are, and how ideal senior adoption was for me,” she told The Dodo.
Since then, Docherty has adopted four more old chihuahuas, mostly from Tiny Loving Canines, a rescue center in Ventura County, California.
Besides Momo, her doggy family includes Choli Churro, Paloma Linda and Benito, who range in age from 13 to 16 years (roughly the equivalent of 68 to 80 years for humans). A fifth chihuahua, Lalo Flan, died of cancer awhile back.
“The pups definitely hang out together, especially if it’s in a desirable spot in the sun,” Docherty told HuffPost. “Paloma and Benito are the closest. Mo tends to like his space. Choli will invite himself flop next to anyone. He especially enjoys tormenting Benito.”
Since Docherty’s dogs are all senior citizens, they have their share of health issues, including dental disease, arthritis and heart failure as well as MoMo’s missing eye.
But she’s learned a few tricks about old dogs ― especially their advantages over younger dogs.
“Things are pretty calm with these four,” Docherty told The Dodo. “No hyper, chewing, puppy energy. No need for long walks. With senior pups you never have to nap alone. They sleep. A lot. And have an enormous capacity for love, with an attitude of gratitude.”
And the old dogs are rising stars in the social media world, thanks to Docherty’s Instagram page, JemAndTheMisfits.
See below for some of our favorite photos from the page.