Heart-wrenching Farewell: Ailing Senior Shelter Dog Embraces Unconditional Love in Final Moments, Crossing the Rainbow Bridge with Comfort

There are so many senior dogs in need of rescuing and Frosted Faces Foundation, a senior dog rescue in California, does their best to help as many as possible.

Kennel Manager, Alicia Anthony, understands that the founders, Kelly and Andy, are contacted daily with requests for help, but she couldn’t resist making a plea for a senior Chihuahua in desperate need of medical care.

She saw a post about the 14-year-old Chihuahua on Facebook and the little fella’s face touched her heart. “I saw Gerkin’s pic (aka Chewy) in a Facebook post and was immediately drawn to him,” she recalls. Kelly agreed to help Gerkin and he was pulled from Lancaster Shelter on September 23rd, 2023.

Alicia remembers the day he arrived at the rescue and how she immediately fell in love with the tiny pup. “I have no doubt everyone there heard me squeal when his transporter carried him into the lobby. I even yelled ‘Kelly!! Come look at him!’ I knew I was in trouble, and that he would soon be at my house.”

He arrived with a terrible cough and was examined by one of the rescue’s vet techs named Rachel. She consulted with the medical team and said, “He had a very bad collapsing trachea, along with an upper respiratory infection. We hospitalized him on site and started IV fluids and medications.”

Gerkin remained hospitalized for a week before Alicia was able to take him home to continue his care over the weekend. “I took him home Friday night to watch over him for the weekend, administer his fluids and meds, and give him a quiet place to rest. His poor cough was horrible, and made it so hard for him to get any rest. Snuggles definitely helped! First thing Monday morning we were back at Frosted Faces to see the vet, and he was hospitalized again,” she shared.

He had some good days when he was able to walk around the office and entertained staff by barking at himself in the mirror. Sadly, his health took a turn for the worse.

He stopped eating and his prognosis looked grim. Alicia spent every moment she could with Gerkin and when she heard the bad news she asked if she could take him home. “When we got home I wrapped him up in a blanket, placed him in my lap, and we both fell asleep.”

The next day they returned to the rescue and with no improvement it was time to say goodbye. “After my shift ended I brought him outside and I cradled him while the sun started to set. Earlier in the day we had decided that letting him go was the most humane thing to do. I held him, hugged him, talked to him, covered him in kisses. Kelly, Andy, Maira, Diana, Michelle and Dr. Russell all came out to say goodbye to him, while I sobbed and covered him in tears. He left this world knowing nothing but love, and I know he’s over that rainbow bridge with no cough, barking up a storm at the other dogs,” Alicia shared.

Even though he was only in her life for a short time, he made a huge impact. She wrote a touching tribute to him on the rescue’s Facebook page announcing his death. She said, “Two weeks with him was not enough, and I wish he’d come to us sooner. Thank you, Kelly, for bringing this little potato to me, and thank you to everyone who tried so hard to fix him. I love you my sweet Gerkin”.

Learn more about Frosted Faces Foundation and the amazing work they are doing to help senior dogs find loving homes to spend their golden years.


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