My uncle named one of his chihuahuas Chispirita. But none of the family children could pronounce Chispirita. All the children called him Cheese Pizza instead.
Translated to English, Chispirita is the English equivalent for a common name for a dog: Sparky. I have known of several dogs named Sparky in English, but this was the first Sparky I knew of in Spanish. Chispa means spark. Adding the diminutive “-ita” or “-irita” to “chisp-” makes the name Sparky or Chispirita, a term of endearment.
All the children in the family loved Chispirita, even though he was a moody chihuahua. When my twin sons were three years old, my uncle warned me that Chispirita would bite them. Although I warned my sons, they still petted Cheese Pizza, and of course, Cheese Pizza bit them. But my sons laughed as Cheese Pizza bit them and they told me to let Cheese Pizza bite my hand. When my uncle saw that Cheese Pizza was about to bite me, he came running over and said, “Watch it! Chispirita bites!” But, alas, Chispirita started chomping down on my fingers with his tiny mouth and I started laughing because my sons were right. Chispirita’s bite didn’t even hurt. Cheese Pizza’s bark was certainly worse than his bite. My uncle picked up Chispirita to put him in the house and told me, “I hope you learned your lesson!” I couldn’t believe the pain I experienced from laughing so hard with my sons!