Tilly the tiny terror

In December of 2017, I vividly remember the urgent email that came from ACCT with this tiny black/tan Chihuahua pictured. She was so tiny (only 1.2lbs), estimated to be around 8 weeks old, and had been found out in the freezing weather, abandoned in a bush. She was half frozen, and nearly dead, and in really bad shape. The shelter was urgently looking for a rescue to come and get her ASAP, or they would have to put her to sleep as she was not doing well.

Alison and I saw her in the email, and knew we needed to help – she rushed down to the shelter, and rushed her back, so we could see what we could do! This poor little thing was SO small and so cold – she couldn’t even stand up, could barely lift her little head, and was having seizure like episodes. We started to get her warmed up, and debated at the hospital what to do. We knew she was in no shape to be alone, and needed to figure out who could take her home to manage her through the night to give her the best chance to survive.


After some debate, Amy volunteered, and we loaded her up with IV fluids, seizure medications, and some high calorie food to try to make sure her blood sugar was not dropping too low, as she was too cold and weak to eat on her own. We honestly did not think she was going to make it through the night, but we were determined to give her a chance. Amy had a rough night with her – she had a few seizures, and at one point, she thought she lost her! But she made it through, and we continued her treatments into the next day.

Little by little over the next few days, she got stronger, and more alert. The very first time she ate food on her own, we all celebrated!! Same with the first time she started wanting to walk around, and acting more like the puppy she was! Seeing her so tiny, and so lifeless, was really hard – so watching her become a real dog was such a heartwarming experience! It took about a week of pretty intensive care for her to get to the point where she came off fluids, and was eating and drinking on her own. We think that the combination of her tiny size, and the cold weather, caused her blood sugar to drop so low, that she just barely survived. But with time, and support, she rallied and did great!


As you can probably expect, Amy fell in love and decided to keep her. It’s often hard to pass along the little ones you grow so close with when you are so intimately involved in their rescue and support, so it was no surprise to any of us that she was not going anywhere, and was already home.

Tilly has never quite been right since we have had her. We will never truly know if she ended up in that bush because she had some neurologic abnormalities and her family dumped her, or if seeing the light and nearly trotting into it, led to some lifelong changes. Either way we embrace her with all her quirks, and Amy adores her. She is a tiny terror who will bite you – especially if you are not in her circle of those she trusts (and this circle is VERY very small). I have to admit I’m still offended that I am not in her circle, since Amy and I are the primary reasons she is alive! But I forgive her, and thoroughly enjoy when she barks at me and acts very tough (all 4.5lbs of her!). Trust me, she’s very intimidating…and was worth every penny and hours of stress to give her a chance.

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