Animal Tails

Summer 2012

From Death's Door to a Happy Home: Cosi's Story

At the reception desk of Northeast Animal Shelter, we've learned to expect just about anything. So when a man walked through our doors carrying a shoebox, we guessed some tiny kitten or puppy was about to fall into our care.

But what we saw nearly broke our hearts. A tiny caramel-colored Chihuahua lay in the box, shivering and in obvious pain. We tried to get her out of the box and into the warmth of a blanket, but she growled and nipped at us. The man quickly claimed he found her in a parking lot. We asked if he knew her name and he just shrugged and suggested "Cosita." We suspected that he was actually Cosita's owner but before we could confirm anything, he walked out the door saying we would know what to do.

Well that was true enough! We immediately called NEAS staff member Cindi, our Chihuahua specialist. Cindi has a magic touch with these vulnerable little dogs.

"There really is no secret to my understanding Chihuahuas," says Cindi. "They are so nervous and want to trust you so badly. If you just take the time to sit with one, they will trust you. Kill shelters don't have time for scared, nippy Chihuahuas, not even if that time is only a half hour of patience and understanding."

In the safety of Cindi's arms, we realized that Cosi (as we renamed her) needed vet care right away. She was having repeated seizures and seemed to be at death's door. Gratefully, we were able to call in a vet using our donor-supported Emergency Medical Fund.

The vet said Cosi was in critical condition. He said she was either poisoned or had a brain tumor, and that she would likely die very soon. It would take a miracle for her to live, and that miracle was about to happen. Cindi took Cosi home and sat with her through a terrible night, expecting the worst, especially after Cosi had three seizures. Why did Cindi do it? "She had captured my heart," remembers Cindi. "I knew she was really sick." And, as she recalls Cosi's siezures that night, she explains, "I wanted to be with her... in case..."

But Cosi didn't die! By morning the seizures had subsided, and over the next six weeks Cosi regained her health – a true testament of the healing power of love.

After Cindi nursed her back to health in her own home, Cosi went to a foster home. Like Cindi, Cosi's foster mom fell in love with the sweet little dog. Cosi will now spend the rest of her life with that family.

"Cosi is amazing!" Cindi says with a smile. "She loves to play with toys, she loves to run and she is so happy. Here is what we thought was a 12-year old dog on death's door and now she is healthy." Now being weaned off her seizure medicines, Cosi's seizures appear to have stopped for good.

Northeast Animal Shelter is dedicated to finding happy endings to even the most heart-wrenching stories. Our loyal supporters help fund the Emergency Medical Fund and make dreams come true for thousands of pets like Cosi each year.

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