Happy Tail: A photoshoot for Petfinder gives a senior Chihuahua a chance

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AR-Rufus-Venable.jpg

Read Rufus’ story in his adopter Charlotte Venable’s own words.

Charlotte Venable of Springdale, AR, is one of the thousands of volunteers across the country who help at their local animal welfare facilities. In 2008, her volunteer job was taking photos of the adoptable pets at City of Springdale Animal Services so they could be posted on Petfinder.

While taking pictures, “I came across this tiny, emaciated, nearly bald neutered male Chihuahua,” she says. “They had him listed as being about 10 years old, but he looked far older than that.”

He was snuggled up in a blanket but still looked cold, so Charlotte gave him another blanket and moved on to take more photos. A few minutes later she heard pitiful howling and crying and went to see what was going on.  


“The tiny old man was sitting on top of the blankets, shivering,” she
says.  She wrapped him up and carried him around until time for her to
go. “As I put him back in his cage, he started crying again.” Charlotte
wrapped him in his blanket again, gritted her teeth and walked away. 

“That
night, I told my husband about him and showed his pictures,” she says.
“He told me to bring him home.” They called around and found a rescue
group that would take the dog in.

And that was the plan — until
Rufus, as he is named, melted their hearts that very first night. That
was three years ago. “We fully expected him to live only about six
months, but this little guy is a fighter … He has lost most of his
eyesight as well as his teeth … and has become somewhat incontinent,
but he’s completely healthy otherwise.”

Rufus sleeps most of the time these days, but the sound of his food dropping into his food bowl perks him right up.”

The
Venables think he may be 17 rather than 13, and they know they may not
have him with them much longer. But what matters is that they’ve put the
gold in his golden years and they cherish every moment they have with
their little “man.”

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A rescued Eskie dog makes a 10-year-old’s wish come true

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