Happy Adopt a Shelter Dog Month! Our reader rescue story this week was submitted by Franni Taylor-Ayers. She named her long-haired Chihuahua “Opus,” which means a work of art. After reading her story, we think you’ll agree this little guy lives up to his name.
If you’re the pet parent of a rescued dog, we want to share your story, too! You just might inspire someone else to save a life. For information about submitting your rescue tale, click here.
We were looking for a long-haired Chihuahua and discovered Opus on petfinder.com. We called the shelter in Irvine, Calif., and they told us when we could come by to see him (his name was Carlos at the time).
We drove over an hour to the shelter, but to our dismay, they wouldn’t let us see Opus because he was sick and in quarantine. We were so sad.
We returned to the shelter the date an employee told us to, and then a third time, and there he was. He was so tiny. His hair was falling out and he was trembling.
We were told to bring our two other rescue dogs to the shelter to be sure they got along with Opus. They all did well when we walked them together.
When we first brought Opus home, he was scared of everything. He would walk with his head down. If we raised our voices, even slightly, he would crawl and shake.
When we went to work, Opus was left with our other two dogs. He ate computer wires, destroyed toys and carpets, broke out of his crate and would cry, shake and tremble.
I worked in a salon one mile from our house. I’d go home every two hours to visit Opus, walk him and spend time with him. The salon owner even let me bring Opus to work sometimes, because I was so worried about him and I wanted to teach him trust.
After two years of very challenging and consistent training, Opus (which means a work of art) is the sweetest, most gentle, playful, loving little clown!
We are so in love with Opus. He loves everyone and has a kind, peaceful nature.
Hard to believe that when we first called the shelter, we learned Opus had been saved from another high-kill shelter. I cannot imagine why this absolutely precious little dog was ever abandoned.
When my rescue dog Starbucks got sick and had to be put to sleep, my heart was broken. Opus would come to me as I lay crying, and lick my tears away. He helped me get thorough the loss of my Starbucks.
Words could never express the joy this little dog has brought our family.
PHOTO: Franni Taylor-Ayers