It might have taken him 15 years, but senior Chihuahua Tito found a best friend who was worth the wait!
When Tito’s owner was hospitalized, he found himself in the care of a shelter in New Jersey. This wasn’t his first time homeless, but at the age of 15, it was likely to be his last. The kind people at Wise Animal Rescue were determined to bring his health up to par and make him comfortable – particularly Adoption Foster Coordinator Kristina Helfer. She fell in love with the tiny boy’s grey face and her heart broke when she saw the long history of medical issues Tito faced.
Tito has irreversible nerve damage that makes it impossible for him to move his back legs. When he was brought to the shelter he also had a collapsed trachea and an infected tumor that needed immediate attention. The shelter provided him with the care he needed to survive, which meant surgery, love, and time. For a little while things looked uncertain, but he recovered well and is doing much better!
The shelter staff wanted him to live out his life in the comfort of a real home, and he became the first dog in the shelter’s hospice program, Lola’s Legacy. Kristina Helfer was ready to take him into her home and Tito was happily welcomed by her two pitties, Frank and Piper.
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Frank and Piper are both rescues themselves, and are experienced in making foster dogs feel at home! Frank has earned the nickname “Nurse Frank” for his empathetic nature towards dogs who aren’t at their best. With the love of his new family, Tito quickly recovered and bounced back from his medical issues! Helfer tells PEOPLE Pets:
“[Frank] has this weird intuition with dogs that are vulnerable and he takes to them and he is dad, he cares for them,”
The big Pit Bull and the tiny Chihuahua bonded immediately. Frank will even alert Helfer when Tito seems to need her attention. They spend their time together, snuggling and going for walks – made possible by the pouch that Frank carries his buddy in! They both have a blast on their strolls, you can see the joy in their faces as they walk together!
The family is also crossing off a few bucket list items while Tito is in their care, making the most of their time together. Tito has been to the Jersey Shore, gone out for ice cream, and occasionally stop for lunch on their walks.
These photos of Tito and his best friend Frank went viral after they were shared by Wise Animal Rescue. You may have seen them floating around the internet, or on The Dodo or People Pets!
Whatever life was like for Tito before, he got to spend the rest of it loved and in the company of the best friend a senior dog could hope for! On November 27, 2018, Tito passed, but he left his memory with his family, and now has someone to meet later on at the Rainbow Bridge. Frank and Piper continue to help care for and comfort other foster dogs.