Bionic Chihuahua Seeks Forever Family

After Ten Months of Rehab, Chihuahua is Ready to Soar to a New Home

Wiggles spent ten months rehabilitating from spinal surgery

Wiggles spent ten months rehabilitating from spinal surgery

Note: On April 13, Wiggles was adopted! Scroll down to see a special update from her new family

Chihuahua - WigglesWiggles the Chihuahua is unlike any canine Helen Woodward Animal Center staff and volunteers have ever seen. Wiggles is a spirited Chihuahua, whose reconstructed spine and knees verge on supernatural.  Once considered a potential invalid, Wiggles the “RoboDog” is flying high with her bionic bits and is ready to find her “super human” forever family!

Wiggles the Chihuahua (2)

During her rehab, Wiggles was given potty breaks in a hand-held sling to prevent re-injury

Wiggles arrived at Helen Woodward Animal Center in May, 2013, when she was only four-months-old.  Transferred from a Los Angeles area rescue facility, there was very little background information on the tiny, loving Chihuahua-cutie that wiggled when she walked.  Upon arrival, however, Center volunteers noticed that her unique wiggle seemed to be stemming from some crippling in her back legs.  A full medical exam revealed a serious spinal deformity that was causing numbness and lameness to her back legs, hips and knees.  Without medical care, Wiggles would eventually lose her ability to walk altogether.

Wiggles’ Surgery and Rehabilitation

Wiggles and her beloved "Yoda Bed"

Wiggles and her beloved “Yoda Bed”

The last ten months have been challenging for this special, little Chihuahua, only demonstrating that her unwavering spirit and enthusiasm for life are no less than heroic.  Receiving state-of-the-art medical care costing the Center over $7,000; including x-rays, an MRI, surgery, done by a surgical specialist, to realign and fuse her back and reconstructive knee surgery to remedy medical patellar luxation (a condition where the knee cap slips out of the groove), Wiggles never lost her tail-wagging affection. 

Wiggles the Chihuahua (4)

Wiggles in her back brace during bed rest

After surgery, Wiggles was given a full back brace and prescribed eight weeks of “bed rest.” During that time she relaxed in our medical suite by day and at night she would go home with a doting foster! After bed rest, Wiggles began her therapy and always had renewed energy and excitement to try out the impressive abilities of her reconstructed body. She started out walking in a sling and worked her way up to water therapy. She was such a little trooper!

“We have all fallen in love with her,” says Animal Care Supervisor Amy Barnes. “Every now and then you meet a dog that has qualities you wished you possessed yourself.  That’s Wiggles.  She’s beyond human.  Beyond dog.  She’s our little RoboDog with the heart and bravery of a superhero!”

Like animal success stories? More heartwarming pet stories here!

Wiggles (right) and her friend, Maxine (left)

Wiggles (right) and her friend, Maxine (left)

Wiggles’ New Family

Bionic Chihuahua AdoptedOn April 13, 2014, Wiggles was adopted by her forever family! We are delighted to announce that a lovely family, complete with children and two other dogs, adopted Wiggles into their family. Wiggles’ new mom even wrote us an update on her first day in her home:

“I am happy to report that Wiggles is doing very well! After leaving the Center, I stopped off  to pick up my 15 year-old son. He cuddled with Wiggles the entire way home and she slept peacefully in his arms. The introductions with our 7 year-old son and other two dogs went very smoothly (as expected) and everyone is getting along nicely! My younger son has decided that Wiggles is now “his dog”!

Wiggles and her new "brother" snuggling on the way home from the Center

Wiggles and her new “brother” snuggling on the way home from the Center

Wiggles is her happy, loving self as we entered our yard! She immediately began running around exploring her new space. She also went potty in the grass! What a good girl! She was rewarded with a yummy treat and seemed to really enjoy it.

My husband gave her a nice warm bath which she didn’t seem to mind at all and my son washed her “Yoda bed”… although she hasn’t used it yet. She is actually sleeping soundly under the covers in our bed. She is snuggled up against my leg and resting well!”

Wiggles, we couldn’t be happier for you! Congratulations on a great forever family, little girl!



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