Who knows how this tiny girl ended up at the shelter looking like a dirty mop? Surely she must have had someone who loved her before she found herself there. It was clear to staff and volunteers that she was used to being toted around. At a little under 4 pounds, it was easy to tuck her under an arm and go about your business. Her friends at the shelter did just that and gave her a name, Tia Maria. ODH was asked to find her a home and a transporter was found. The transporter just happened to be the daughter of the family who was taking her and for Tia Maria and Cassie it was love at first sight. From that day on whenever Cassie came to visit her parents’ home, Tia would leap into Cassie’s arms and for hours would stay there. That’s not to say Tia didn’t get toted around by other family members, she did, but Cassie and Tia Maria had a special connection. Tia not only loved her human family, she had doggy companions that she’d play or cuddle up next to in her Final Refuge home.

Tia and Cass

Tia Maria loved going for walks, running through the back yard, couch time in the evening and sleeping in the bed with her foster parents. Gradually Tia lost her sight but she managed pretty well for quite a while. We don’t know how old Tia Maria was but she could have easily been in her early teens when she started to develop painful ulcers in her eyes that wouldn’t heal. At the same time the pressures in her eyes were not good and the decision was made to remove her eyes. This surgery has been done many times with great results but it seemed that after Tia’s surgery she was never the same dog. For months her family tried to help her become acclimated and then they just held her pretty much all of her waking hours. Because she was an old girl, dementia seemed to make being completely blind and deaf very hard on Tia. Her family knew that Tia Maria’s quality of life had greatly diminished and she was no longer the happy girl she once was. With great sadness her family sent her on. Tia Maria may have been a very little dog but she made a very big impression on their hearts.