Here we have a lovely dog who loves to be cozy.
“I always find her hiding under spare blankets in the closet or deep under the covers.”
When her owners surrendered a 14-year-old Chihuahua mix in October 2017 to Baldwin Park Animal Shelter in Baldwin Park, California, it was clear that she had suffered neglect for some time. Fortunately, Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue saved Blanche, named after a character from “The Golden Girls. On the day she was set to be euthanized and began nursing her back to health before finding her the perfect forever home. And some exceptional fans donated sweaters to keep the hairless little pup warm. But the dog loves to be cozy.
Blanche’s surrender story was a heartbreaking one. According to Amy Klein, a volunteer for Marley’s Mutts who fostered Blanche, she was taken to Baldwin Park Animal Shelter by her adult owner’s father out of spite over an undisclosed argument. The pup was underweight, missing most of her fur, had severe dental problems, and her nails were overgrown.
How much does it hurt?
Her rotten teeth were so bad. That if she licked anything, you had to throw it in the dishwasher immediately, Klein told The Dodo. The smell was not to be believed. They pulled six teeth – I think she has about three left.
It is unknown if the shelter notified Blanche’s family that her time was up. But the owner returned to take her back nine days later, on the day she was euthanized. When informed that they would be legally responsible for taking care of her extensive medical issues or risk being fined. As well as being charged a $15 boarding fee for each day she had been at the shelter. The owner decided to leave Blanche and applied to adopt another dog (the application was denied).
The shelter had already reached out to Shannon Paris, the foster and volunteer coordinator for Marley’s Mutts, about Blanche, and she and Klein picked the dog up and took her to the vet that very day. According to Paris, they discovered she had Cushing’s disease and mammary tumors. That couldn’t be removed, possibly because she had never been spayed.
In the middle of taking care of Blanche’s health problems, Marley’s Mutts had mentioned in a Facebook post. That she could use some sweaters to keep warm. The rescue’s fans referred to as the “Mutt Militia,” immediately began sending in clothing for Blanche. One woman even hand-knitted some sweaters, especially for the senior pup.
As Blanche’s personality emerged more, it turned out that her extensive new wardrobe suited the prima donna. Blanche is a diva, said Klein, who fostered Blanche along with her dogs: Molly, a 14-year-old terrier mix, and Gracie, a 9-year-old Dachshund. “She demands to be the alpha, and steals the other dogs’ food. And always wants to curl up with someone on a lap.”
Even as Cushing’s disease stabilized with medication and her hair began growing back, Blanche still found comfort in blankets and warm spots. “I find her all the time hiding under spare blankets in the closet or deep under the covers,” Klein said. “She loves her crate, where she has a beautiful afghan, and she and Molly love curling up to the space heater together.”
Of course, that’s not to say that Blanche wasn’t curious about some recent snow at her foster home in the mountains, even if she didn’t stay out in it for long.
While in foster care, Blanche learned to share and occasionally play, thanks to Molly and Gracie.
She also found herself a cute, younger boyfriend named Luca. He’s a 4-month-old yellow Labrador whose owner, a friend of Klein’s, is training him to become a therapy dog.
One of Klein’s favorite stories about Blanche was when she caught her climbing out of her pen so that she could get to the free-roaming Luca.
Like most seniors, Blanche enjoys the simpler things in life, such as lying in the sun …
… going for car rides …
… and cuddling.
She also experienced some special outings with Klein, like going horseback “riding.”
Though Blanche’s mammary cancer is inoperable, veterinarians had some good news about it. The cancer is very slow growing, and when she’s ready, she’ll likely pass from something other than cancer,” Klein said. “It does not affect her day-to-day life. And Blanche was, even so, healthy enough to get spayed finally.
And the best news came just a few days before.
Christmas when Blanche was officially adopted into her forever home.
Patricia Cook of Bakersfield, California, followed Blanche’s story on social media from the beginning and fell in love. I saw the posts on Facebook when they picked her up, and she just looked so pathetic, Cook told The Dodo. I felt so sorry for her, and she just grabbed at my heart. They all do, but there was something special about her.”
Blanche joined the Cooks’ family of four senior rescue dogs, Charlie and Maggie, nine years old, 11-year-old Dolly, and 14-year-old Tucker. The couple has two cats as well.
“She’s definitely [still a diva],” Cook said, “but she fits in well and gets along with everyone.”
Cook also plans to continue growing Blanche’s extensive wardrobe since the pup enjoys dressing in her little outfits. “She has more clothing than I do,” Cook said.
Cook said she’s fallen in love with Blanche’s comical ways, sweet little face, and energetic personality. “She loves to stretch out, paw at the ground like a little bull, and grab at shoes with her paws,” Cook said. “My husband frequently questions if she’s a senior because she has a lot of energy. Don’t give up on them [the seniors] — they still have a lot of life left, and it’s nice to see them come out of their shell after the shelter.”
The dog loves to be cozy with these sweaters too.