A 13-second video led to the most beautiful Dog Adoption Story of all time for a special pup
Picture that you see a 13-second video of a pup with a story so sad moving and you learn that the dog is halfway across the world. No matter what you do, you cannot stop thinking about this pup that you saw on this video when scrolling through your social media feed. The pup featured in that very video had had a very short life to that point that was only filled with neglect, sadness and she was shown the worst of human beings. This dog was thrown in a garbage bag where she was left to die and had nearly everything in her life go wrong; to say that this pup has overcome adversity is the understatement of the century.
This is the story of Chi Chi the Rescue Dog, and her story is the epitome of the underdog story. This story is full of dedication, love, sadness, and perseverance both on behalf of the pup for which this story is centered around as well as the humans who supported her so that this inspiring story could be told.
Chi Chi was a dog in South Korea. Chi Chi was rescued on January 5, 2016, after the rescue group received a phone call from a small town called Haman which is about a 5-hour drive from Seoul, South Korea. The anonymous informant found a big dog wrapped in a black plastic bag with its four legs necrotized. He had asked an animal shelter in the district to rescue the dog but was advised that the dog should be euthanized because it seemed it would die soon.
The informant and the staff of the animal shelter decided to do the best they could to help the dog since it was still alive. Her legs had been tied up with strings, and as a result, all of them had become necrotic. Although she was in a fragile state, she recovered following several operations and medical crises thanks to the sponsors of Nabiya and another animal shelter Happy Angels Dog Rescue. The medical treatment provided by the veterinarians and vet nurses at Irion animal hospital was astounding. Chi Chi knew that she was safe and immediately began to show her loving character even with her medical prognosis. Chi Chi became a quadruple amputee to give her a new lease on life.
The rescuers in South Korea named Chi Chi after Nick Vujicic, an Australian, who was born with no arms and no legs but spreads a message of hope traveling around the world as a motivational speaker.
Chi Chi’s Forever home had previously adopted other pups through the Rescue Freedom Project and saw an update on social media in January of 2016 with a 13-second video that changed everything. Elizabeth (Chi Chi’s Mom) saw this video of Chi Chi on social media and yelled to her husband “You need to watch this video. This is going to be our next dog.” The video was taken a day after her amputation and, even after everything Chi Chi was still wagging her tail and her eyes said that she didn’t just want to live, she wanted to thrive.
The rescue group said that Chi Chi’s adoption was going to be challenging and not a lot of people were coming forward to adopt her due to being a special needs pup. Elizabeth and Richard were not deterred and committed to adopting Chi Chi. Post amputations, her feet were wrapped up, but she didn’t have any prosthetics, so it was still uncomfortable for her to walk on her legs. But she loved toys and had fun getting around as much possible.
As you can see in this photo, Chi Chi has such a spice for life that is so contagious. This video was taken after she was recovering in South Korea. In this video she is recovering before her long journey to the US, she arrived in March of 2016.
Chi Chi settled in her new life, and her family was going above and beyond to ensure that she was as comfortable as possible. Her feet were not protected due to the amputation, and she did not have paws similar to another dog.
Her family worked to generate prosthetics to make her more comfortable and would carry her up and down the stairs. Her family embodies the mission of Adopt Don’t Shop with all 3 of their pups being rescues including 2 beagles from Rescue + Freedom Project which saves dogs from laboratory testing.
Richard (Chi Chi’s Dad) says, “She is a golden retriever before she is an amputee.” Elizabeth describes Chi Chi as “happy all the time, happy to see you, happy to go on a walk, happy to play. She makes the most out of her life every day.”
Chi Chi worked to become a therapy dog where she became certified to work in a facility with amputees and children of special needs.
On March 6, 2018, almost 2 years after adopting Chi Chi, the family received the heartbreaking news that Chi Chi had aggressive nasal cancer. The prognosis wasn’t good, but after researching treatment options, they scheduled Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) with a Radiation Oncologist in Arizona. They were able to get her treatment sooner at the SAGE Clinic in San Jose. Chi Chi ultimately passed away from the side effects of the radiation which caused post-radiation necrosis in her brain. She lived for almost 11 months due to being able to get treatments sooner in San Jose and had a high quality and happy life during those months.
Chi Chi’s legacy is resilience and joy that inspired thousands and is an example of the joy and impact of rescue animals for the community around them, not merely the family. No matter the obstacle Chi Chi showed that you are not defined by the past and you can choose how you respond in the face of resilience, neglect and absolute adversity.
Although I never had a chance to meet Chi Chi, she inspires me and shows me the power of a smile and the sight of a happy dog truly brings joy to the world. I’m grateful to all of the incredible people who helped to make her time on Earth the most impactful possible. I believe that some people and animals are like shooting stars and shine really bright for a shorter time, but the impact that they have on the world is immense and cannot be forgotten.
Thank you Chi Chi for inspiring us!!