Chi Chi the golden retriever isn’t your average dog. Sure, she wags her tail and runs to eat dinner like every other canine, but it’s her story and the obstacles she’s overcome that make her extra special. Chi Chi is a quadruple amputee who recently became a therapy dog—and her “little dog that could” attitude inspires people everywhere.
She was first discovered in a trash bag outside of a South Korean dog meat operation in early 2016 when she was just a puppy, her owners, the Howell family, told The Washington Post. A rescue organization considered euthanizing Chi Chi, given that her legs had been bound with wire and were badly injured. But her indomitable spirit changed their mind.
“They decided there was something special about her and that she wanted to live, so they decided to try and save her,” owner Elizabeth Howell told the Post. “There was something about her that touched them, too.”
After South Korean veterinarians amputated her four legs, the agency sent Chi Chi to the Animal Rescue Media and Education group in Los Angeles. As a quadruple amputee, Chi Chi is now able to get around with four prosthetic legs—and she’s just as wiggly and enthusiastic as any other pup.
Howell saw a video of Chi Chi and decided to make the drive from Phoenix to Los Angeles to adopt her. “I watched it multiple times just sitting there. I didn’t know what was going on or what her story was, but I knew something awful had happened to her,” Howell said. “It was really her eyes that got me.” The family already had three senior rescue dogs, according to the Phoenix New Times.
Since the Howells took her in, Chi Chi has become much more comfortable interacting with humans, and has even completed a therapy dog training course. Now she visits with veterans, an assisted-living facility and students at an elementary school.
She an inspiration to those she works with. “She impacts people in different ways based on where they’re at,” Howell, told “Inside Edition.” “There’s compassion, there’s understanding. There’s this desire to never give up and I think that’s how she lives her life every day.”
The good news is you can keep up with Chi Chi’s adventures and take part of the joy that she spreads by following her social media accounts. She has a Facebook page as well as an Instagram because—as you might imagine, this pup is quite popular.