Chewi is a 3.5 pound, Miniature Yorkshire Terrier who just showed up on the side porch of a Salinas family home one day. Chewi had either been abused and unloved in someone’s back yard or a stray for a long time.  He was dehydrated, very undernourished, and shaking from the cold.  It took over an hour just to cut the burrs, foxtails, leaves and twigs from his filthy coat, with masses of burrs being shoved up between his legs and body so he could walk— only with difficulty— and two baths to get only the worst of the dirt off, but there was so much more to do for him.

Upon closer examination at Associate Member hospital, Harden Ranch Veterinary, Dr. Serene Onuma found that Chewi had a ripped and badly healed area on his groin, leaving him exposed. Further x-ray examination showed, a fractured pelvis, a very arthritic left hip joint without the full range of motion, and a perineal hernia of the bladder through the abdominal wall. Chewi’s new ‘mom and dad’ were able to cover the costs of some preliminary treatment. However, his ‘dad’ has been unemployed for over a year and they fast exhausted their ability to continue needed treatment.

BirchBark Foundation was contacted and helped pay for Chewi’s second, much more expensive surgery to repair the hernia with a special mesh. Traveling surgeon and Associate Member, Dr. Jim Roush, performed the surgery at Harden Ranch Veterinary. Chewi’s hip fracture and joint problem still remain, but since he is so light in weight the doctor thinks he can wait a while to see what the best solution to that problem might be.  Chewi has learned to adapt to the bad hip, and his new guardians know there may be challenges ahead. In the meantime, Chewi is at home with a new bed, a stuffed toy pig, and an older Chihuahua sister who babies him, plus all the food, medicine and lots of love he needs.

Chewi’s dad wrote to BirchBark: “Thanks to Harden Ranch, Drs. Onuma and Roush, and BirchBark Foundation who came through when the family had exhausted all other financial avenues to help him recover from these serious issues.  There is absolutely no doubt that without this corrective surgery and other medical care, provided in large part by BirchBark and their kind donors, Chewi would have died in misery.”

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