It may sound barking mad but city dog lovers will soon be able to have their cake and eat it, accompanied by a Chihuahua of their choice at Edinburgh’s next animal cafe.
And to give pocket pooch fans a taste of what to expect when it launches in a permanent location later this year, the Chihuahua Cafe is coming to town for a one-off festival event on August 20.
Favoured by actresses Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Alyssa Milano, puppy-loving “chi” enthusiasts can book in for an extra long session at The Melting Pot on Rose Street.
Local acoustic artists will also be playing during the event, which includes a full afternoon tea and over an hour of puppy interaction with the miniature mutts. Known to be loyal, intelligent and easy to train, the Chihuahua breed needs limited levels of daily exercise meaning they are perfect companions for an indoor cafe.
Owner and creator, Tanya Salitura, 27, has been diligently socialising the eight dogs – Ama, Bee, Cleo, Duchess, Elsa, Faery Gatsby, Hepburn and Itsuko – ready for their grand debut.
She said it is the ultimate chance to chill with the Chihuahuas during a busy day of Fringe festival events. “We have been running a few pop-up events already and the feedback has been really positive,” she said.
“The draw of such a venture is not just for those who don’t have space at home for a pet, but this particular breed are very small and look like puppies even when they are fully grown. They are cute-looking dogs and also have a lot of variation, which you rarely get from other breeds.
“There is a full colouration spectrum unlike the majority of other breeds, the Chihuahuas can range from lilacs, chocolates, fawns as well as black and white, as well as short coats and long coats.
“They look very individual which is a good draw for people as we wanted a good mix of shapes and personalities.”
Sparked by the animal cafe phenomenon in Japan, Edinburgh Chihuahua Cafe is thought to be the first dog cafe in Scotland and Tanya hopes to open full time towards the end of the year.
“We are a nation of dog lovers and what could be better than being able to relax in a space where visitors can spend time with some very affectionate dogs, and enjoy some refreshments?” Tanya added.
Four of the starring pooches popped up in town yesterday with life-size characters of best-selling book series Hairy Maclary to launch the official stage adaptation of Hairy Maclary and Friends.
The show features live music written by pianist and composer Matthew Brown and will be at the Assembly George Square Theatre from August 3-20.
Dachshund Schnitzel von Krumm is the closest miniature dog to appear in Hairy Maclary but Tanya said the two festival events are linked as both give kids joy. “The kids who have come to our events so far are so happy they never want to leave,” finished Tanya.