If you have the privilege to live in many first-world nations with strict laws on treating animals, the reality that many animals face in other countries can sound almost unthinkable. How could anyone think of a dog or a cat as anything other than a potential friend?
But sadly, many countries and cultures aren’t on the same page. Dogs and cats are food in some cultures, and it’s as ugly as it sounds. For a glimpse into this grim reality, take a look at Chi Chi : A Golden Retriever from South Korea, who was found in a garbage bag, legs tied together and left for dead.
Hers legs were bound by wires, and those very wires were eating into her skin. It’s enough to put tears on anyone’s face.YouTube screenshot Source: YouTube screenshot
It was suspected that Chi Chi was being brought to a nearby meat farm in South Korea. The poor girl was found by Nabiya Irion Hope Project, effectively by pure chance.
With how abundant stray dogs and cats are, they become easy targets for dog and cat meat
Moreover, when there’s plenty of you roaming the streets, people end up catching more than they can handle and throwing away the ones they don’t want. It’s horrible that such a sentence even exists about cats and dogs, but here we are.
What was to happen to Chi Chi?
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📷 Feb 2016 . One of the vets that cared for Chi Chi at the hospital in South Korea reached out to us. She shared this picture of Chi Chi that she took 3 years ago when Chi Chi was recovering after her amputation surgery. She told us that Chi Chi was unbelievably energetic and optimistic throughout the hard times at the hospital. She gave Chi Chi the yellow ball in this picture that we still have and that Chi Chi played with just a few weeks ago. I think it’s safe to say she may have started Chi Chi’s obsession with balls and squeaky toys. . We are so grateful for all of the vets, vet nurses and vet staff that have been part of Team Chi Chi. I haven’t been able to put together a post yet to express our gratitude for everything that all of the vets did to help our sweet girl, but will definitely share our appreciation at some point in the future. 🐶💕 . #nevergiveup #cherisheveryday #loveabundantly #teamchichi #2018AmericanHeroDog #SuperHeroOfHappiness #grateful #teamMaggie #ChiChiForever
There was good and bad news for Chi Chi. The good news was that she would survive. It’d take a lot of care and rehabilitation, but it was doable. Although the bad news was that she needed the ends of her legs amputated due to the severity of injury that the wires caused.
Though she’d survive it, it was still tragic that it was even necessary
Animal Rescue Media and Education, or ARME, were the ones who discovered Chi Chi. After taking her in and tending to her, they posted about Chi Chi on their social media. Word got out, as social media is meant for, and it reached the eyes and ears of Arizona resident Elizabeth Howell.
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#tbt Here’s a few pictures of me from early 2016 when I was recovering in the vet hospital in South Korea after my amputation surgery, and a picture of me in March 2016 on the first day with my forever family in Arizona. It’s good to look back at how far I’ve come and the many challenges I’ve overcome in the past 2 years. My positive attitude, will to live and the love and support from my family and friends have been key in my ability to overcome the many obstacles I’ve faced (amputation surgery, learning to walk again, heartworm disease, new prosthetics, Lupus, Mast Cell Tumors, Nasal Cancer and now what is likely Thyroid Cancer). 🐶💕 I’m feeling good and am so thankful for the support and encouragement from my friends across the world. I had a good day yesterday and slept good again last night. This morning I’ve been playful and interested in my squeaky toys. I’ll be continuing to rest and take it easy so my body can heal from the surgery. Thank you so much for your messages and comments and for your continued prayers and positive thoughts. Please pray for my complete and perfect healing, and that the remaining nasal cancer is eliminated from my body. Please also pray that the pathology results indicate that the cancer has not spread to other parts of my body. 🐶💕 Thank you for continuing to vote and share each day through July 11 so I can walk the red carpet in the @herodogawards. 🐶💕 Vote for me here or use the link in my profile: http://herodogawards.org/dog/chi-chi/ 🐶💕 If you made a donation to receive my trading card(s), trading cards are being mailed daily. If you’re interested in receiving a card, please follow the process outlined in my June 23 post. Your donations will be used to help pay for my thyroid surgery and my ongoing medical costs. 🐶💕 Thank you for being part of Team Chi Chi!! 🐶💕 #nevergiveup #beatcancer #cancersurvivor #cancerfighter @americanhumane @hallmarkchannel @chickensouppets
Despite being halfway across the world, Howell absolutely wanted to be Chi Chi’s new carer.
The Howell family contacted the organization, and asked to adopt the Golden Retriever. Much was uncertain about how Chi Chi would live after rehabilitation, and the fact that she might be unable to walk presented a problem on its own.
She was in her kennel in South Korea but she was wagging her tail and she was happy, and her eyes just said ‘I’m a happy dog and I wanna live’, once that was done…it was over.”
Nonetheless, the South Korea-based ARME flew with Chi Chi to Arizona, and drove to Phoenix where she’d be presented to her new family.
The resilient dog was fitted with prosthetic limbs to restore her ability to walk. This presented a challenge, since Chi Chi’s paws were amputated at various, unequal heights.
Although they came through and managed to get her a set of prosthetic limbs that fit just great.
The patriarch of the Howell family is Richard Howell, a real-estate agent married to Elizabeth. Their daughter is 14-year old Megan. A new home means new family, and Chi Chi needed a while to adjust to things.
“I think rescue dogs know when they’ve been rescued”, says Richard
It didn’t take her long to warm up to Elizabeth and Megan. Though Chi Chi took a bit longer to warm up to Richard, it eventually paid off. Now she trusts him the most to apply and remove her prosthetic paws, and also to carry her up and down the stairs.
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I wasn’t able to get a picture with Daddy this morning for his birthday, so here’s a picture of Daddy carrying me for the first time. It was March 2016 and I had just arrived at my forever home – Daddy was carrying me from the front yard to the backyard. He’s carried me thousands of times since and is the most loving and caring Daddy I could ever hope for. He caters to my every need and loves me with all of his heart. 🐶💕 #happybirthdaydaddy
Such a brave and resilient dog’s journey wouldn’t go unnoticed. Chi Chi would later go on to become a therapy dog. She’d visit everyone from veterans to scared kids and even other amputees.
The sight of a quadruple amputee rescue dog is all kinds of heartwarming and sweet, and it’s the sort of thing that people in therapy centers need. After being given a second chance at life, Chi Chi was now helping other people just as she was helped.
Although quite sadly, Chi Chi’s long journey finally came to an end in February of 2019, when she passed away from an aggressive nasal tumor. But this single dog left behind enough memories for everyone who met her and heard her story.
Even now, Chi Chi is still a symbol of hope and courage to a lot of amputees. Learn about this precious, courageous dog’s journey by watching the clip below.
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