Chihuahua who uses a wheelchair is adopted

Chihuahua with nerve damage in her back legs, who uses a wheelchair and wears a diaper because of her medical challenges, is adopted.
By Denise LeBeau

Blossom, a dapper black and white Chihuahua, had a rough start in life. She entered Animal Care & Control of New York City with limited use of her back legs due to nerve damage. No one knows what caused her condition, but the folks at the shelter knew where to turn for help. They contacted Best Friends–New York to see if Best Friends would take the precious dog, who would need more care than the shelter could provide.

Dogs in the greatest peril are a priority for Best Friends–New York, but would a dog with an unknown condition ever find a home?

First stop for Chihuahua, foster care

Blossom the special-needs Chihuahua who uses a cart and AmandaKristi Adams, Best Friends’ foster and adoption coordinator, took in Blossom and provided her with foster care. Blossom received a special wheelchair to help her get out and about while she was at Kristi’s home. Kristi found the little dog delightful, and Blossom was a staple at many Best Friends events — including Strut Your Mutt, where she kept up with all the dogs during the dog walk and day-long outdoor festival.

There was no question about it, says Kristi. “Blossom has a great quality of life. She only needed to find a home with someone willing to give her some extra care, in exchange for a lot of love.”

Back in December, longtime Best Friends supporter Amanda Yannett was volunteering at Best Friends’ pet super adoption event in Brooklyn, where she met Blossom. The tiny dog with a big spirit got the wheels turning for Amanda. She thought about her aunt, Sherri Stone, who had outfitted her home with ramps to accommodate her large older dog, because he can’t maneuver stairs. Amanda told her Aunt Sherri about Blossom and suggested that her home might be a good fit for Blossom.

Little dog in wheelchair steals her heart

Sherri wasn’t looking for another dog, but when Amanda started sending her photos, Sherri was intrigued. She did some research on what kind of care Blossom would need and was concerned about doing the right thing for Blossom. “I was torn because I didn’t want to make a decision purely on emotions,” says Sherri.

When Amanda sent a video of Blossom trotting around in her little cart with her head held high, Sherri was hooked. More research revealed that physical therapy might help Blossom’s mobility even more. She consulted with her veterinarian to make sure he would be able to provide Blossom with the right medical care. His answer sealed the deal. Sherri filled out the adoption forms immediately.

New year, new family

Blossom the Chihuahua and her new familyOn January 5, Kristi drove Blossom to upstate New York to meet her new mom. Sherri was armed with treats and accompanied by her dog, Max. They would all meet on neutral territory to see if the two dogs would get along. Max was fine with Blossom, and while the two aren’t yet best friends, big brother is protective of his new little sister. Besides Max and Sherri, Blossom has the company of Ernie the cat, who is larger than she is.

Blossom’s transition to a home has been wonderful. Sherri has even gotten the hang of changing Blossom’s diapers, which Blossom rewards with the “diaper dance.” Sherri loves how playful and energetic Blossom is.

“Blossom amazes me,” says Sherri. “I had new toys for her, and she runs from one toy to the other, flipping them in the air and chasing them, growling at them the whole time. I tear up when I think how lucky I am to have her.”

Get involved to help animals

To help more animals like Blossom go from homeless to home, become a Best Friends member.

Learn more about Best Friends’ work in New York.

Photos by Shannon McLaughlin Kirkman, Jo Ann Fuller, and courtesy of Amanda Yannett