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



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. 

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.”

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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Previous Happy Tails:

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A thrown-away senior dog comes home

A bald, skinny senior dog gains a doggie best friend

An emaciated Golden Retriever becomes a beloved pet

A Dalmatian goes from shelter dog to spokesdog

No fenced-in yard required!

After 5 years in a shelter, a three-legged Rottweiler goes home

A deaf senior helps three grieving girls

A dog was ‘less adoptable’ for an unexpected reason

A woman who needs healing finds a Pit Bull who needs love

A big black dog beats the odds

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

‘Pit Bull wanted, must love cats’

Dumped by a backyard breeder, a Yorkie gets a second chance

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