Woman Falls In Love With A Chihuahua Who Had Nothing But A Number
Woman falls in love with a shelter Chihuahua who had nothing but a number in a stark steel tag.
At a puppy mill in Taiwan, some bad person decided that this little dog barked too much. So her owner cut her vocal cords.
When the little Chi could no longer produce puppies to sell, he dumped her at a high-kill shelter.
That was where the little dog, beaten down by years of breeding, would get the closest thing she may have ever gotten to a name: a stark steel tag that read 143.
Johanna Quinn, who works with a local rescue called Heart of Taiwan Animal Care, found the 143 there. She arranged to have a contingent of death row dogs transported to Canada through Eleven Eleven Animal Rescue and among them was the number 143.
Since then, her life began to change…Her rescuers gave her a real name Akiko, which means “sparkle, bright.”
Kimberley Ann Barley was already on a list to foster shelter dogs. She heard a Chihuahua from Taiwan needed a lift from the airport and a temporary home. So, she decided bringing the exhausted dog home, where Akiko would sleep for days on end, only stirring to go to the bathroom.
Akiko was so neglected. She was skin and bones, also heartworm positive and several rotting teeth had to be removed.
“She was not afraid of me. She wanted to be close to me and we bonded instantly,” Barley tells The Dodo.
Barley wanted to give Akiko a forever home, but she had just changed careers and was not sure if her schedule would work for a dog.
“I took her to a meet-and-greet where potential adopters got to spend time with her,” Barley recalls. “I held back my tears every time someone filled out the adoption papers that day.”
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That was when she made a decision stemmed from the grim steel tag Akiko wore when she was living at the shelter.
And so Akiko was adopted by Barley. “I knew I couldn’t let my friend be adopted by anyone other than myself,” she says.
Now this little dog without vocal cords found her voice. She became an advocate not only for “no-hope” shelter dogs, but animals everywhere.