Chico Maravilla (“boy wonder” in Spanish) spent his life in his owner’s back yard, never in the house. When the owner moved away he was just left there – at age 14. A neighbor who’d watched all that time took him in but couldn’t afford to treat his many medical needs, so asked the vet clinic to find him a home. Chico was welcomed by an ODH family, who discovered that he was wary of people (not surprisingly) but quite interested in the other dogs. With time and a great deal of patience he has been learning that humans are Good For Dogs, learning that he can eat out of a bowl, and learning that he should go outside to potty. This tiny little guy (all of 4 pounds) is starting to enjoy family life and feel valued and loved – our main goal for our dogs. He is fighting a lot of physical problems, unfortunately. His heart has a terribly loud murmur, he has crystals in his urine, and his teeth are beyond awful. We are reluctant to put him under anesthesia to fix his teeth and bladder, so will hope to get him strong enough for a trip to the cardiologist. Meanwhile, he is taking heart medications and being treasured for the wonderful little creature he is. A tiny little “boy wonder” survivor for sure.

Update: Against all odds, little Chico’s heart kept going for nearly 3 years after he left the backyard and became part of an ODH family that loved him, accepted his idiosyncrasies, and tried very hard to keep him comfortable and healthy. Finally that little body couldn’t go on any longer and he was sent on his way with much love.