Whenever I see our bobblehead figure or the basket of cheap little stuffed talking Chihuahuas, I will fondly remember the Taco Bell dog, who was actually a female named Gidget, the canine Meryl Streep.
We acquired all our toy dogs from 1997 to 2000, every time Karen saw the Chihuahua in another cute commercial and craved putrid faux-Mexican food. Karen saw Legally Blonde 2 because “her dog” was in it, and futilely hoped Gidget was poised for a big comeback in 2002 when she did a cameo in an ad with the GEICO gecko.
Gidget’s run with TB ended when they hired new marketing geniuses who dumped her in favor of mumbling young boys, their prime demographic. It worked, because Karen never eats at Taco Bell anymore.
Two guys who originally conceived the talking dog recently got the last laugh, to the tune of $42 million. Seems Taco Bell nixed their concept, then had their own ad agency run with it.
We cats tolerated Karen’s fascination with the dog because I could have kicked a Chihuahua into next Tuesday with one foot tied behind my back if Karen were ever crazy enough to bring home a real one.
But Gidget’s passing at age 15 after a stroke she suffered at her trainer’s home on July 21 has left us all sad.
Taco Bell never recaptured the wit and appeal their ads had when that winsome Chihuahua was teaching us all a little Spanish. Maybe some day, TB will wise up (and run out of ways to churn the same half-dozen ingredients) and give another Chihuahua a chance.
Resto en paz, Gidget.