RANCHO SANTA FE (AP) — A 1-pound puppy named Rocky because he has the heart of a heavyweight needs a special forever home.
Helen Woodward Animal Center medical staffer Christina Bartlett says the 3-month-old Chihuahua was born with a hole in his skull, a heart murmur and serious intestinal complications. His mother, Cookie, was found with three puppies struggling to survive. They arrived at the animal center in Rancho Santa Fe, 35 miles north of San Diego, on Sept. 3 for medical care and were assigned to a foster family.
Rocky dropped down to three-quarters of a pound. X-rays were inconclusive because his organs were so small, they didn’t show up.
Woodward decided to separate the puppy from siblings so Bartlett could care for him.
She fed him with a syringe dozens of times a day. Because his breathing was labored and weak, she slept on her back, keeping Rocky on her chest so she would know when he was having trouble.
After about a month, Rocky began to heal and thrive and took a liking to cat toys.
Through it all, social media fans viewed Rocky’s progress on YouTube videos, with over 63,000 views.
It looked like he was ready for his forever family, but when doctors did his final physical, they found out he was deaf.
Despite his size, Bartlett calls him an inspiration who refuses to let life knock him down and she is sure he will overcome this obstacle too.
But now he needs someone who can teach him hand commands and communicate with him to give him a fighting chance.