People and Places
26/02/2021
Willow has a mighty heart for nature
by Mornington Peninsula Magazine

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Nature Bar Café has recently hired the cutest and smallest new staff member. Willow is a chihuahua with a lot of attitude and love to give. Owner/operator Amrita Arn as a child had a chihuahua that lived for 21 years, and since then she’s always wanted another little bundle of joy.

“We’d been on a waiting list for over a year as we couldn’t find a rescue chihuahua that was suitable for children,” said Amrita. “One day we got a call out of the blue to say one was available this weekend, and that was it – two days later we had her. We didn’t even know what she looked like ‘til we picked her up.”

Wee little Willow has settled right in and assumed her status as boss of the house. Frequently, she utilises her tiny muscles to steal her 16-year-old fur siblings’ dogs’ bed – oh how we’d love to witness this for ourselves. Willow’s even at one with nature and digs up the compost and brings large gross things inside – as presents, we can only assume. Her fetish for licking inside her humans’ ears is a little odd, but if you act confident, no one will question you.

Even when Willow has her own food in front of her, she’s obsessed with eating Amrita’s other dog’s food. Despite the dogs being fed separately, Willow will repeatedly run off into the other room to try to eat her fur brother’s dinner. Generally her diet includes raw fruit and vegetables. After feasting on dinner, the competition begins between her human family regarding whose bed she’ll sleep on that night. Ultimately, she’s happy with anyone, and goes between Amrita and her husband Bobby and their two daughters’ beds, Ameya, 15, and Lavani, 7. Her size comes in handy here, as she gets to sleep like a queen on their pillows, and Amrita goes to sleep holding Willow’s little paw, which melts her heart.

At almost five months old, she’s a very easygoing puppy who has been no trouble at all. Her naming took a little friendly arguing among them for a few days as they couldn’t agree on anything. After that, they gave in and let Ameya choose. However, the family all love her name as it’s one of Amrita’s favourite childhood movies, Willow.

“When I first got her she was so tiny I could barely believe it,” said Amrita. “I couldn’t bear to leave her at home so she came out with me to the shops just tucked in my bra. No one even knew she was there until her tiny head popped out. She makes us laugh every day in little ways. She never barks; just prances around, wagging her tail, licking them, and rolling over for a tummy tickle.”

All of the staff at their ever-so-popular vegan café in Frankston get asked by their customers, “Is Willow in today?” – so much so that the family typically come in on their day off so Willow can have a play with the customers and staff. This fluff ball is just the sweetest thing and brings so much joy to everyone wherever they take her as she just laps up the attention. As the mascot for Nature Bar Café, her appearance fee is unlimited pats from everyone – done!

KATE SEARS

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