Senior Chihuahua rescued from side of road

Senior Chihuahua is rescued from the side of the road and from death row at the shelter with help from Best Friends.
By Denise LeBeau

On a scorching Phoenix day, a delivery truck driver glimpses some movement on the side of the road. The driver stops to investigate. The distraction turns out to be a senior Chihuahua. The poor guy’s ears are ravaged by flies, and he has bad teeth, bad knees, and appears to have an old eye injury. The driver knows someone who can possibly help, so she makes a call to Jill Lenz.

Before Jill can fully comprehend the situation, the truck driver takes the dog to the municipal shelter. Jill can’t bear the thought of the dog waiting on death row. As the dog’s hold period at the shelter starts counting down, Jill contacts her local pet transporter who picks up the dog from the shelter and brings him to her immediately.

Jill and her colleague Sandi Howlett have been doing animal rescue in the Phoenix area for years. Though they aren’t organized as a formal group, they have helped hundreds of dogs find safety. Jill’s breed of choice is the pit bull terrier, but any dog in need is a dog worth saving.

Chihuahua in need of knee surgery, a dental, and de-licing

The Chihuahua is in desperate need of care. The vet determines he’ll need knee surgery and a dental, and diagnoses the strange, small black dots on his skin as lice. He has been neglected for a very long time. As Jill's and Sandi’s skin begins to crawl, they are assured it’s a type of lice that will not infest people.

This little dog’s road to recovery has begun.

Rooting for an underdog

Jill reached out to Best Friends for assistance. When Lezlie Sage, No More Homeless Pets specialist for the Southwest, got the news from Jill about the dog in need of costly medical care and a forever home, her instincts kicked in. Lezlie has been with Best Friends for a dozen years, doing adoptions for nine of them, so when her gut tells her something about placing a companion animal, she’s usually right.

"As soon as I heard his story, I knew our Best Friends’ clientele would fall in love with him," shares Lezlie. "Our members are so focused on helping the underdog, and this dog certainly fit the criteria."

A plea for help

Lezlie sent out a Best Friends Members Message – an email that goes out to folks to alert them of pressing issues – that the little Chihuahua was looking for a forever home. The message included his photo and a straightforward description of his condition.

Senior Chihuahua in a dog bed
Livin' the good life!

Within an hour, calls started coming in from folks wanting to adopt the little dog. When Janet and Jerry Bushey’s inquiry arrived, Jill immediately knew the little dog had hit the jackpot.

Janet and Jerry are the quintessential animal lovers and have been Best Friends members for many years. While they currently live in Sun City, Arizona, they are moving to Austin, Texas. During a previous trip to the famously dog-friendly town, their friends turned them on to the idea of having a small dog – say a Chihuahua. So when the Members Message arrived, they knew they needed to meet this dog.

"As soon as Sandi brought him over, I melted," says Janet. "His plight and his situation moved us. We adopt the ones that need us. When I look at a dog like Micro, I know I want to help him — their life has been so crummy and I want to make it up to them. Give them what they didn’t have before."

Micro C. (the "C" stands for Chip) Bushey now has spa days, a trip planned to the orthopedist, and an abundance of all the good things in life.

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Photos courtesy of Lezlie Sage