By Alyssa Schor
Stella weighed only 2.9 lbs when she was rescued from Smyth County, Va. in early January 2015. The 8-year-old teacup Chihuahua needed many of her teeth and several lumps removed. She had a massive flea infestation. Much of her hair was gone, and she carried a bad odor, too.
But when Michelle Nottingham, a friend of City Dogs Rescue’s fundraising events coordinator John Benedetto, first saw a photo of the dog online, she knew she wanted to meet her. After having Stella in her home for a week at the end of January, Michelle decided to adopt her.
“I just knew I was gonna keep her,” Michelle said. “She just clung to me ever since I got her. She loves me.”
Unfortunately, Stella faced more medical problems. She had a heart murmur, and she would occasionally collapse from lack of oxygen to the brain. Michelle brought Stella to a cardiologist, who ran several tests on the dog - as it turned out, she actually had bronchitis.
Michelle said Stella also was not receiving enough quality food, which may have contributed to the hair loss and odor.
“You could feel every bone on her body, and that was from having no muscle,” Michelle said.
Stella now weighs 4 lbs. Most of her hair has grown back on its own; the odor is gone. Her coughing from the bronchitis has stopped, and the collapses are far less frequent, thanks to all her medications.
Her teeth are still a work in progress, Michelle said. Stella can only eat soft treats and dog foods, as she only has three teeth – all on one side of her mouth. One of those teeth is infected.
Next month, Michelle will take Stella to see a specialist. The dog’s teeth cannot be removed unless grafts are put in, which are fillers needed inside the mouth to keep the jaw in place.
Although Stella still needs help fixing some of her medical issues, Michelle said her dog has come a long way in the few months she’s had her.
“She’s in tip-top shape,” Michelle said. “It’s amazing what she looks like compared to what she did.”
When adopted, Stella joined another dog, Vivian, in Michelle’s home. Michelle said the two dogs get along very well and keep each other company – Vivian has even taught her “little sister” to be a real city dog.
“She acclimated really well,” Michelle said of Stella.
Michelle said her favorite thing about Stella is her affection. Stella sleeps with Michelle and often sits on her chest when she’s lying down – traits of a true Chihuahua.
“She has to be near me, sit on me all the time,” Michelle said.
Stella loves to wag her tail, run in the grass and travel. Michelle said Stella loves to give her kisses.
“She’s such a good girl,” Michelle said. “I just can’t believe her transformation.”
4/19/2019 05:40:26 am
She is so adorable!
7/9/2021 12:17:04 am
I am very interested in adopting little miss Stella. She looks just like my kind of girl.
7/16/2022 04:41:10 am
I am extremely glad to know that Stella survived in a major incident. Stella is one of my best friends and I was really worried about her when I heard that she was in a car accident. I am relieved that she is okay and that she is recovering in the hospital. I would love to get resume booster tips as well to help myself during difficult time of my educational career.
12/28/2022 08:16:14 pm
Thank you so much for the post you do.
5/14/2023 10:34:21 pm
This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. This is very nice one and gives indepth information. Thanks for this nice article
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City Dogs Rescue & City Kitties volunteers.