Senior Sweetheart Provides Comfort to Other Shelter Dogs

When TJ, a 9-year-old Chihuahua mix, was brought to Foothills Animal Shelter by a Good Samaritan at the beginning of August, he looked very fragile and in need of immediate care. The Shelter’s Veterinary Services Team noticed that the tiny 5-pound dog was extremely dehydrated, thin and had a bad case of dental disease. In addition to that, they noticed that he had a strange walk.

“TJ had, what we called, a ‘cowboy’ walk with his hind legs angled further out from his body” says Dr. Emily Hays, the Shelter’s Chief Veterinarian. “We performed an x-ray on his legs and found that he suffered from luxating patella, a condition where the kneecap can dislocate from its normal position. Unfortunately, it can be really common in Chihuahuas.”

Dr. Hays and the Veterinary Services Team kept TJ back in their surgery suite for several weeks while they cared for him. They performed a dental procedure on him and did blood work to help get him healthy and ready to be adopted. Over time his blood work began to improve, and TJ himself began to adopt a new role within the team.

“TJ became a super, loveable character – just so social and quiet, and would walk around and help us,” says Dr. Hays. “He would often snuggle up with the dogs after surgery and comfort them while they were coming out of anesthesia. It was very sweet.”

Thankfully, after spending several weeks with the Veterinary Services Team, TJ became healthy and ready to go up for adoption. Not long after, he was spotted by Lori W. who was looking for a friend for her older Chihuahua. She came down to the Shelter to meet TJ and was immediately charmed by him. Now, TJ lives in his new home with his mom, Lori, his dad and a brother named Poco. We couldn’t be happier that TJ, the sweet Chihuahua that comforted other shelter dogs, has found his forever home with the comfort of his forever family!


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