When Susan Z. lost her 14 year-old Maltese, Olive, to cancer last October, she knew she would want another dog someday. But Susan, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and uses a walker, needed a dog that could tolerate slow walks and an unhurried pace. After months of searching, she found the perfect pet at the ASPCA, a Yorkie named Chi Chi. Here is their Happy Tail.
Susan searched for the perfect dog for months. “I filled out applications everywhere, and all my friends had their eyes open for me,” she says. But nothing was happening. Then one day, a friend of Susan’s met Gail Buchwald, Senior Vice President of the ASPCA’s Adoption Center, and he told Gail about Susan’s plight. Gail and Susan spoke on the phone, and Gail emailed her photos and descriptions of some of the ASPCA’s available dogs. One of them was Chi Chi.
Chi Chi came to the ASPCA in March when she was surrendered by her previous owner. The two-year-old Yorkie suffered from severe ear and skin diseases, as well as a prolapsed eyelid (commonly known as “cherry eye”), all of which were treated at the ASPCA Animal Hospital.
Though Susan was not partial to Yorkies—nor did she love Chi Chi’s photo—she went to see her anyway. “I took a friend with me to meet her,” says Susan. “I never expected that Chi Chi would be the dog for me, but I was in for a big surprise. She was adorable, sweet, friendly, and so affectionate. It didn’t take me long to realize that she was just what the doctor ordered.”
Susan and Chi Chi bonded immediately, and the next day, Stephanie Perez, an ASPCA customer service representative, delivered the silky tan-and-silver pooch to Susan’s Upper East Side apartment. She renamed her Ivy.
“At the ASPCA Adoption Center, we pride ourselves on making matches,” says Gail. “Because regardless of disability or special needs, chances are there’s a great pet that will suit those needs perfectly. It’s just a matter of finding the right pet for each person, and the right person for each pet.”
Susan needn’t have worried about Ivy adjusting to her new home—or her new name. Within an hour, she had settled into Susan’s bedroom, and came running when her name was called. Susan looks forwarded to giving Ivy her undivided attention.
“It’s like we’ve been together forever,” she says.
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