Monday, March 7, 2011

A lost puppy saved from the wilderness

In October of 2009, a tiny chihuahua puppy was separated from her mother and siblings, and ended up abandoned in a rural area outside Lake Elsinore. We may never know where she came from, or how she ended up beside a road far from any dwellings or businesses, but I can tell you what I know of her story.

Not a good place for a tiny puppy to be stranded

Not too long after she landed in the middle of nowhere, some good Samaritans happened to be driving through, and spotted the tiny puppy struggling to climb up out of the ditch beside the road. When they stopped the car to investigate, they found a black and brown female Chihuahua puppy the size of a rat, with filthy, matted fur, and the smell of death about her. They brought the poor little dog home, not sure if she would survive, but after they cleaned her up and fed her they discovered that she was essentially intact.

The photo sent to the chihuahua rescue list

Since they already had big dogs at home, they sent a message to the yahoo chihuahua rescue group, along with the picture above, to inquire about finding her a home. We saw the message and the picture, and contacted her rescuers to arrange to see her, and on Sunday, Oct 11th, we made the trip down to Lake Elsinore to meet her. When the puppy greeted us by licking our face, they were surprised, saying she hadn't previously licked anyone. After some discussion we arrived at a mutual agreement that we were a good match, and so we drove home with our new little puppy, naming her Bella.

Bella in her new home after a long day

Max, our 10 year old min pin, seemed a tad resentful at the newcomer but grew accustomed to her. On the other hand, Baby Girl, just one year old at the time, was very gentle and affectionate with Bella from the beginning, treating her like a long lost daughter. They became playmates and friends, and many who have seen them at play together have assumed that Baby is Bella's mother.

Bella with her new friend and big sister

We were concerned about Bella's small size, and tried to protect her, keeping her inside at all times unless we could directly supervise her, since we didn't want her to be carried away by some bird of prey when we weren't looking. In the months since her adoption, Bella has grown to a weight of about 10 lbs, and for the most part has been quite healthy and energetic.

A grown up Bella in the back yard

It's still a mystery to me how that little puppy ended up out there, how long she was there, and how she survived. Was she taken from someone who loved her? Was she was tossed out of a car window and left for dead? Did she have siblings?

In any case I'm writing this blog entry on the off chance that someone near Lake Elsinore, Ca, who was heartbroken over the loss of their tiny chihuahua puppy in Oct 2009, might someday stumble onto this page and know that she was saved, and is now a happy and healthy, if spoiled, little dog who loves her home and her adoptive family.

Spoiled puppy under the covers

It's a shot in the dark, but what the heck. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.


  1. It's rewarding to see a dog go from mistreated or abandoned to spoiled. My mom has two dogs she rescued from demonstrably hard lives. One is a chihuahua that was living outside. Another is a golden retriever mix I found in the woods. They have lived with her in doggie heaven for years now. My dog is a pound puppy, given his always upbeat and confident demeanor, I don't believe he was abused, but he certainly had been abandoned. Time to give him a hug now.

  2. Ahhh… humble you are, Joe. If I may add a bit to this happy ending “tail”. A Guardian Angel somewhere knew that Bella belonged with you and your family. It was simply meant to be. When you and your wife pulled up, Bella (Little One known at the time), perked up because she seemed to know that something wondrous was about to happen. I saw your wife’s face, and she was lit up like a bright star! And when I got out of the truck and approached with that tiny, tiny baby, there was an instant connection between the three of you. For those of you reading Joe’s blog, it is difficult to truly put into words that moment when the three of them met. Having adopted out many animals over many years, “that moment” of the lost having finally found their forever, is truly priceless. It is always bittersweet but what a joy it is to bring a happy wag to all of their tails (and happy purrs, too!). Bless you and your family, Joe for just being who you are.

  3. Thanks Christine - reading your recollection of the meeting reminded me again of how much joy that little one brought into our lives when we brought her home.

  4. I think there is divine intervention, Bella is in her rightful home.


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