Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Greetings from Floyd Street

Greetings from Floyd Street

Ellen Jo Roberts

The Fundamentals of Floyd. 

There will never be another like him. 
Though he was miniature in size, his presence in our life was gigantic.
He was the first dog I owned as an adult and he changed my life.

Fourteen years of Floyd. 

If I could write a bio about him, Wikipedia-style it may look something like this...

"Roberts' Fivehead Floyd" (June 29, 2003-September 1, 2017) was an American Chihuahua, born in Arizona, and best known for his appearance in a series of travel photographs, "Greetings From Floyd Street". As president and founder of the Clarkdale Chihuahua Club he was known to march in parades and attend concerts in the park with fellow club members.

Floyd in 3D!

Early Life
Floyd was born along the Verde River at a ranch in Cottonwood, AZ in the summer of 2003.
His parents were the AKC-registered "Cowboy's Right Hand" and "Lil' Bit of Rain." Floyd’s registered AKC name, “Roberts' Fivehead Floyd” was inspired by his huge dome-like noggin. The owners of the ranch were long-time breeders of Chihuahuas and also owners of "Horses 'R Us", a feed store in Old Town Cottonwood. On August 8th, 2003, Ellen Roberts saw a "Chihuahua Puppies" sign propped outside the store which prompted an immediate u-turn. 

"I had wanted a Chihuahua for years. I have a plaster Chihuahua I named 'Honey Boy', purchased from a Mexican grocery store, that had been inspiration for photos and paintings. Now I had the chance to have my own real Chihuahua," said Roberts.

introducing floyd ! © 2003

"Oh my goodness, this little guy. He looked like a wind-up toy. They took him out of his pen and set him on the floor and immediately he pursued a young dachshund and bopped him squarely on the nose with one paw, wanting to play. I was instantly enchanted with his overwhelming cuteness and bold confidence," said Roberts.

super deluxe chihuaua pup- 2003

floyd and honey boy

A few hundred bucks later Floyd moved to neighboring Clarkdale, where he would be a lifelong resident, and quickly became a well-known local icon in the area, frequently spotted in the historic town park, strolling sidewalks and trails, and floating down the Verde River on rafts and kayaks.

From his earliest days he came along on every adventure possible.

August 2003- Photo by Tim
2003. Payson, AZ Rocket Slide. Photo by Tim Elinski.

2005. Photo Credit: Heidi Paul

6 24 my new favorite group photo of the dogs - at colorado river along utah highway 128

During his lifetime, Floyd shared his home with five other pets: 
two cats, Clyde (2000-2011), Ned (2011-) and three dogs, Ivan (2004-2017), Hazel (2011-) and Simon (2013-)

Earliest education in Floyd's life came from a cat, a big, mouthy Siamese-mix named Clyde, many times his size, who could have killed him but chose not to. 

Per Roberts, “They were pals. Clyde was graceful and refined. In many ways, Floyd learned to behave from Clyde. He was more cat-like that dog-like in many ways. He was gentlemanly and polite and never did rude dog-like things such as eat poop or roll in dead carcasses."

from the archives: clyde and floyd, august 2003

In autumn of 2003 Floyd attended a 6 week course at "Academy 4 Paws" in Cornville, AZ where he graduated with honors.

Modeling Career
An artist's muse, Floyd was depicted in innumerable paintings, photographs and cartoons during his life. From Floyd's youngest days he was keen on the camera and always ready when the lens was focused on him. 

“Floyd  inspired art, comic books, photos, joy,” said Roberts,”He was always good sport about it. He tolerated hats and masks and funny glasses. He wore wigs. As long as there was a treat on the other side, he was game. He was always camera-ready. And sometimes the soulful look on his face could completely melt your heart.”


floyd in disguise 3

Sticky, Volume 7, the Travel Issue
Vintage Blonde

It's Chihuahua Bunny season!scuba floydbutterfloyd

Floyd's Greetings from Floyd Street series was featured on the Flickr blog in July of 2007. In 2008 he also appeared on the cover of MTV's industry magazine, "Sticky" and was featured a full-length article in the May 2013 issue of the Chinese "Outdoor" magazine. From 2010-2015 Floyd and his cohort Ivan were poster models for Hair of the Dog, an annual animal rescue benefit in Florida. 

His entire life Floyd was in the public eye, beginning with his random puppy appearance on the local KNAZ-TV NBC news, and bookended in his final summer when he appeared as part of the second letter "A" in Clarkdale’s  award-winning "town hall selfie" in 2017. 

Greetings from Floyd Street
Despite his tiny size, Floyd didn't get carted around like some pint-sized prince.
He scampered up rocky trails and floated down rivers. He was a gnarly wilderness Chihuahua.

Greetings from Floyd Street

He walked. He hiked. He traveled by plane, boat, bike, raft and rails. 

He rode on the backs of vintage fire trucks, and hid quietly under the table at Waffle House.
He shivered in snow and subzero and sizzled in summer deserts.

He rode the Southshore Line train and was stuffed under airplane seats in a carrying case. He took a ship to Catalina Island, walked the sidewalks of Chicago, rode Pittsburgh's Monongahela Incline and stood outside the White House. Once Floyd strolled completely across the island of Key West from one side the the other, leaving behind a wake of smiles. He looked out over oceans and stood atop mountains. In the end, the thing that probably most defines the life of Floyd is his travels.
simon and floyd and schwinn

ellen and floyd and a hop knotch i.p.a.

chad and floyd at our camp site

utah colorado border hovenweep ellen floyd hazel

When Floyd was just a puppy the Roberts started the "Greetings from Floyd Street" photo series. 
At that time the project didn't yet have a name. It was not until they encountered a street called Floyd in Seligman, Arizona, that the title came about, but the basic concept never changed:

1. Find someplace awesome to take a photo (scenic, historic, nostalgic or all of the above)
2. Hold Floyd up high into the air in front of this scene.
3. Take a photo.

Greetings from Floyd Street, the beginning...

These were officially the very first "Greetings from Floyd Street" photos, taken at the Grand Canyon and nearby Tusayan, AZ in September of 2003.

very first photo in the series.... sept. 2003

Puppy Floyd and Fred Flintstone- 2003

“From that moment on, any time there was an important landmark, kitschy sign or any other point of interest anywhere even remotely near us, we voyaged there with Floyd in hand and took his photo," said Ellen Roberts, “Any place of significance in my life I took Floyd's photo there.The house where Chad and I met in DeKalb, Illinois. All of my alma maters. Every ocean, lake, river. As many favorite landmarks, national parks, monuments and vintage neon signs as possible.Any crazy roadside statue? We were there! Any cool old motel? Check us in! We sought the real, the authentic, the weird and wonderful.”

re-enactment of Floyd + Inyo Face, 12 years later

In his 14 years Floyd visited most of the National Parks and Monuments of the Four Corners. He stood at the shores of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Gulf of Mexico, Sea of Cortez and the Great Lakes. He cruised Highway 1 along the Big Sur Coast and Highway 1 through the Florida Keys. 

He climbed mountains in the Rockies and sank below sea level in the low deserts of Southern California.

As residents of Northern Arizona, Route 66 was a popular destination. Per Roberts, “We just naturally found ourselves on the old ‘Mother Road’ often, in both directions.”

A series of Floyd images was first shown to the public at the annual Made in Clarkdale art show in December of 2006.

Made In Clarkdale Dec. 1st, 2006

Also in 2006, Roberts joined Flickr, a photo storage and sharing website, posting a few years of Floyd travel pics on her photostream. Before everyone was Instagram -ing and sharing photos on smart phones every second, Flickr was one of the only photography communities, a very dynamic and active site. In July of  2007, a few years into the project, Flickr featured the Greetings from Floyd Street series on their blog and Floyd went "viral”..

Greetings from Floyd Street featured in Flickrblog July 31 2007

floyd in las vegas- 2006 (rescan of earlier lo-res scan)

Floyd was famous! 

This internet renown spurred on the project even farther. “We continued taking far flung detours to capture all of the places on our photo wish list, " said Roberts, "Floyd went with on all of our family road trips, and via airplane more than once with me solo including several 'Mother-Daughter' adventures my Mom and I took-- to Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Washington DC. With Chad's folks residing in Florida we took Floyd there a few times, capturing all of the local highlights to add to the photo series."

Greetings from Floyd Street
Click through to rockin' slide show featuring a few of Floyd's favorite adventures
In 2013, Floyd's fame went international with a feature article in China's "Outdoor Magazine."

outdoor exploration -special "travel with pets" issue- page 1

outdoor exploration -special "travel with pets" issue- page 2 

(Very loosely and comically translated via free Chinese to English translator…)

SPECIAL ISSUE special report

 Mini travel companions

Traveling with a Chihuahua Ellen Jo Roberts wrote Ellen Arizona travel enthusiasts, The owner of three dogs and four cats, pets Travel was her way of life.
Freud The Chihuahua weighs five pounds, their footprints Two States, all 13 States, with dozens of Flights flight experience, travel For ten years.

 In 2003, Freud in central Arizona Valley Ranch was born.

The first time I saw it, It is a skinny little dog babies, and its brother Sisters huddled together inside a cardboard box. At that time, Floyd and the brothers and sisters nails and sold at a local horse feed Store, quietly waiting for someone to buy them out. 

Accidentally glimpses on the side "selling a Chihuahua" this ad Immediately after comes a 180 degree turn around and went straight into the home Shop.

Then, we are proud to welcome the first official adoption Dog: Chihuahua in a handsome, lively. Although Then my family and has a number of other "members", but Freud always come first. Although size Petite,Is it personality the most. Due to the Petite, so travel with it is very convenient. Every time we holiday adventure, whether short or long,Floyd will be included in the travel plan. With pets Holiday made the journey more enjoyable, but it is also accompanied by more Difficulties. We plan travel destinations at all times consider the dogs. Whether motel, campground Or hikes were accepted and became the pet

The dog. When selecting a flight, to book in advance in order to Fellow pet set aside special locations-usually you can reset The portable suitcase under the seat.

 10 journey, from the West Coast to the East Coast, from the most Deep valleys to the highest peak, have left a Freud Footprint. It slept in a cabin, slept on the ship,Slept in the tent, spend the farmhouse, lived in rice Shop. Of course, never slept less in our lap, count Not clear it has on our legs how sleepy were hit.It visited small towns also visited the large city. In the 66th,Road and highway has left his story, 1th. It Had entered the Atlantic, Pacific, and Mexico Bay, and the Great Lakes. It several times along the Mississippi River. It United States extreme South-Florida from Key West Miami 160 kilometers away.

As typical of Mexico, and Floyd visited it "South of the border", visited the province of Sonora. And if With the typical American, Floyd, Washington, DC,Get a picture before the White House.

Travel with Freud and For many years, we have come to feel one thing: no matter where And as long as we're together, Floyd, right at home Warm no matter how difficult the road, how climate and evil Worse, how hard the journey, as long as we're together, Florida Lloyd is like playing happy. Whenever we prevail Travel Pack is always quietly from time to time found it Myself curled up in my suitcase, or lying in my On a pile of clothes, as if saying: "don't you leave me".

”Floyd is so lovely that it appears always Caused a lot of people knees. But they do not know, Freud Real is a fierce little guy. "Furious five pounds Meat, "this is my alias for it.
If there is a stranger When it get too close, it will be upset. First the nose Slight wrinkling, looming soon thereafter revealing its tip The tooth. If a stranger talking continued, Freud would open Started screaming, and then full attack!

But and are familiar with When they were together, it changes back to the loyalty charm small Love. And with another dog, it's like a foreign Ambassador, other dogs is like spending time with it.

And Freud's many years of experience tells me: no matter In what city, people see cute little Chihuahua Will smile and say hello to it. Floyd is now living in Arizona, accompany it There are other pet friend, Ivan, a Boston dog; Hazell, a mixed Chihuahua; Ned, a lively House cat. If the foot is not so much small thing, without it Brings the various "surprises", not those out all Yes ... ... Our lives may be able to lighten up. But If that were true, home will be much better than now Joy. Perhaps one day in the future, Freud would pass across the The sea, appears in the familiar small-town streets."

don't be bashful, famous guy

In 2015, The Greetings from Floyd Street story was featured on the Arizona Office of Tourism's Travel Blog, with the subtitle: "Furry friends make for excellent travel companions, and this local shares her insider tips for bringing pets on Arizona adventures." 

Personal Life

floyd is vicious!

Well known locally for his vicious demeanor, Floyd was often times rude to strange humans but always kind to strange animals.


After one unsuccessful attempt at breeding to pass on his AKC genes, Floyd was neutered in 2005. Just as well, due to a few defective DNA strands. For one, Floyd was mostly monorchid, which means he only had one testicle. "He did actually have two testicles, though only one dropped properly,", explained Roberts, "Also, his teeth were a mess. He got 11 of them pulled because they were baby teeth with nothing underneath."

i am thinking...about biting you.

Per Roberts, "Floyd liked to ride on my shoulders in the car. In general he was a bit aloof and not overly affectionate, but he liked to snuggle right up next to me under the blankets at night. 

He liked to sit on laps. He liked to lick noses sometimes. He also liked to lick all of the other dog's ears. What a weirdo."

floyd loves chad

saturday night in the yard

Though generally unfriendly to most people, he did have some favorite human friends.
Here's a shout-out to some of those rare individuals, Floyd's favorite folks:

blue tongue and dog
Floyd and his "Aunt Brandi"

Clarkdale Chihuahua Club, pre-parade.

drawing pictures at Tim's




home- jim with floyd & ivan 1

road mom and floyd

mom and dad at rainbow springs

He howled when the phone rang.

chihuahua and yellow phone

Most of his life he ranged between 5-6 lbs.

He would try to drink your beer if given the chance.

Floyd sniffed the hand of Ellen Roberts not long after she was able to pet the famous First Dog, Bo Obama, during a 2011 tour of the White House.

Floyd in Washington DC

He was the ring-bearer at the wedding of James Dahlberg and Carla Carton in 2007 on the rooftop of Murphy's Bleachers overlooking Wrigley Field.

waveland 1

A lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs, Floyd was fortunate to be alive during the sweet 2016 season when the Cubs won the World Series for the first time since 1908.

Lift the curse, Floyd!

Floydie Doodle, Five Pounds of Fury (in China this translated to "Five Pounds of Vicious Meat"), The Tiny Jumping Peanut (thus dubbed by the children of the Clarkdale Park).

very first group photo, June 7th 2011

choco dogs at gateMarried 12 years.

Floyd died on September 1st, 2017 at age 14, preceded in death by his beloved Boston Terrier buddy, Ivan who died in July 2017. With a "hitch in his giddyup" for more than a year, Floyd was arthritic and his eyes were glazed blue with age. Floyd weighed in at a bony 4 lbs. in his final week. 
"He'd been unable to get up the front steps for a while, and his slow, crooked gait while on walks had prompted complete strangers to point at him and ask, 'What's wrong with HIM?'," said Roberts,  
"We'd shrug and say, 'he's old?', and they'd say, "OhhHHHhhhh. He's OLD."

happy birthday floyd!

In late August of 2017, a few weeks after returning from his final road trip to the Oregon coast, Floyd became a bit paralyzed all at once and had stopped eating and drinking. He wasn't in any pain.

“He woke up that Friday morning, had a couple of funny hiccups, looked at us and peacefully died in our arms. It was the perfect, graceful departure from a long-life well-lived," said Roberts,"He checked out on his own. He woke up and died. It was kind of beautiful, really."

 goodbye old friend

beloved chihuahua

He was buried near his best friend, Ivan.


Our lives have been forever changed by Floyd.
He will live on forever in the artwork and images he inspired.
Floyd, cheers to your next adventure, friend. Your spirit is always with us. 
We will never forget you.

floyd portrait 2010


floyd the tourist

Five Homies

Ned and friends

don't tell anyone i'm a chihuahua

Our Dog Entertains Us

before ivan

on the beach in mexico

el chihuahuacito

9 floyds for 9 years

clarkdale chihuahua club

hair of the dog 2011

Happy Easter from the Chihuahuabunnies

dogs and dog portrait

lake Tahoe floyd