Amelia adopted an adorable Chihuahua named Alejandro from the animal shelter in Carson, CA, in December 2012. He became her emotional support animal. Then, an unfortunate attack changed their lives.
The Accident that Changed Everything
In July 2014, the two were taking an afternoon walk. Amelia greeted a neighbor who was in his driveway, when his dog broke through the screen door and charged toward them.
Amelia thought of throwing herself on her six-pound dog, but she couldn’t react fast enough. The attack dog was on Alejandro in a second. The tiny Chihuahua sustained eight bites and a severed spine. His intestines were shaken through his abdominal wall through a giant hernia.
An amazing team of medical caregivers put Alejandro back together again. He endured three surgeries and was in a half-body cast, spending three nights in the hospital.
Making It Through with Love and Care
Once home, Alejandro required round the clock care: pain killers, antibiotics, bladder expressing, administration of oral syringes full of water and baby food, and lots and lots of cuddling and love. Amelia, her husband, and an extended family member, Susan, took turns holding him for about 18 hours a day.
The result: he survived and thrived!
Alejandro had no idea that he was paralyzed. He learned to pull himself through the house and around the backyard, and up and down single steps. His upper body was so strong that his neck and shoulders resembled that of a Bulldog more than of a Chihuahua!
Alejandro’s life was similar to what it was before the attack. He still enjoyed going for walks, but got tucked into a front pack worn by Amelia or her husband. He continued to scream and cry upon meeting Amelia and her husband at the back door when they came home.
Living a Quality Life with a Disability
Amelia reported that Alejandro was still her “Velcro” dog, following her from room to room as she went about her day. He was full of kisses when he was picked up, and loved people – but not other dogs.
However, his attitude toward his owners’ cats didn’t change; he still didn’t like them! The only thing Amelia found different about him, post-accident, was that he became very vocal.
Prior to the accident, he didn’t bark much. But now he had many different barks that ranged from meaning “pick me up,” to “hey, you left me outside,” to “welcome home!”
Amelia finds Alejandro to be an inspiration; every day he wakes up happy to do whatever needs to be done. He has no idea he cannot use his back legs, and moves about the best way he can. He found a way to make it work for him. Amelia says,
“We consider ourselves very blessed to still have Alejandro in our lives. We are very grateful to Pet Emergency and Specialty Center for putting him back together and teaching us how to care for a disabled pet.”
Dog Wheelchair Enters Disabled Chihuahua’s Life
Walkin’ Pets by HandicappedPets.com came out with a MINI Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair, sized just right for Chihuahuas and other toy breeds. This provided a means to give Alejandro increased mobility and a sense of freedom again!
When the wheelchair was delivered, Amelia and Susan assembled it and put Alejandro in. They used cat treats to reward him when he came to them, and took him all over the house.
Alejandro went around furniture and corners, and navigated carpet, hardwood, tile and vinyl flooring. He negotiated those like he’d been doing it for years!
Alejandro Goes Public!
The following week, Amelia and Alejandro had the opportunity to be on a television news segment in honor of national Specially Abled Pets Day.
When they got to the set, Amelia put Alejandro in his wheelchair and then walked over to introduce herself to the other people on the set.
Alejandro basically did the same thing with the other dogs! He was perfectly at ease around the dogs and strangers. Amelia says,
“I have never seen him not wary and meek and snappy around other dogs. I think his wheelchair gives him some confidence and a bit of protection and security. He wasn’t stressed; he enjoyed himself.”
Watch this short video to see Alejandro in action: