Chi Chi the Golden Retriever was found abused and abandoned in a dumpster. Her legs were bound and infected and she had been wrapped in a trash bag. She was immediately flown from South Korea, where she was found, to a hospital in Arizona for treatment.
Unfortunately, Chi Chi lost all four of her legs as a result of her abuse. She never lost her spirit, though. Soon after her surgery to remove her legs, Chi Chi was adopted by a new family, Richard and Elizabeth Howell.
The Howells had previously adopted several dogs with special needs. As soon as they saw Chi Chi’s story, they knew they needed to adopt her.
Before she had even recovered from her surgery, the Howells had started the arrangements to add Chi Chi to their family. They weren’t even sure that Chi Chi would recover from her surgery—or if she would ever be able to walk.
Now, a year later, Chi Chi’s spirits were never dampened by the horrors that happened to her before. She is a joyful, energetic dog who loves to play.
After adopting Chi Chi, the Howells wanted to try to help her walk again. They connected with someone who was willing to work with them on building prosthetics for her. According to Richard, “It’s always been kind of trial and error.” But they have figured out a great way to help Chi Chi stay comfortable while she walks.
Chi Chi immediately adored Elizabeth and their daughter Megan, but it took her some time to warm up to Richard. Now, Richard is the one who carries Chi Chi down the stairs and puts her prosthetic legs on every morning. At the end of the day, he removes them for her and carries her up to her bed to sleep. Check out this sweet video of Chi Chi and her family.
Chi Chi recently became certified to be a therapy dog. The Howells knew that her joy—and her incredible recovery—would be inspirational to people who needed to smile. Recently, Chi Chi saw one woman who has been recovering from an amputation. She shared, “Well if Chi Chi can do it with four amputations, I can get through it with one.”
Elizabeth shared, “People see the determination. They see the resilience; they see the decision to move forward and her ability to forgive. Despite what she’s been through...she is a happy dog and she has figured out how to move forward and live her life to the fullest.”
Chi Chi is such an incredible inspiration that joy can be found, even when you’ve been through hard times. For more inspiration, check out this sweet story of a Marine who smuggled a stray dog home from Afghanistan.