Dog With Failing Heart Made ‘Young’ Again and Reunited With Elderly Woman

Written by William Corradini of Texas

My mother-in-law fell in love with our chihuahua while visiting over Christmas (a stray I found and took home while working in Houston). Determined to find her a home to call her own, we searched pet finder for an adoption candidate. We quickly came across the perfect match for her and contacted the foster parent immediately.  Unfortunately, someone had already requested to adopt her, but this lady presented us with this story:

“There is a very old, very sweet poodle at the Keller pound.  He looks lost and confused and is very sick, has stage 4 congestive heart failure. We cannot put him in foster care and is not a candidate for adoption.  He is the next to be put to sleep once they need more room at animal control.”

We were not expecting this and wondered if we could take on another dog with an already full household with a chihuahua, a great pyranese, and a cocker spaniel along with eight house bunnies, five parrots, and seven disabled ducks (an entirely different story).

I Couldn’t Stop Thinking of Him

My first reaction was “no” but then it began to eat at me. I couldn’t stop thinking about this poor dog spending his last days unloved, scared and alone.  With a little trepidation, we decided to give Ralph a second lease on life.

He looked pathetic. He had mats, fleas, wasn’t fixed (and couldn’t be in his condition), had cataracts in one eye and would cough and wheeze from his heart condition. With that said, he was a ball of energy and he sprinted into the house as if he had lived there for years, wagging his tail, sniffing the dogs (and trying to mount our poor Pyranese’s leg) and saying hi to all of our animals.  He didn’t show any act of aggression to our birds or rabbits and it became quickly apparent that he and our chihuahua, George, were going to be fast friends and playmates.

On the bed with George and Wookie.

He slept on the bed with the rest of us, getting up many times throughout the night due to his coughing fits.  You could see his poor heart trembling erratically in his chest. We decided to get him into our vet the next day to see what we could do to make him more comfortable.

Let’s just say hospice soon turned into more of a retirement home. Our vet said he was actually not too bad (it was stage 3) and gave us several drugs including a brand new one that was suppose to work miracles.

It did. By the time Ralph had his two week check-up, the wheezing was nearly stopped, his energy (and appetite) grew and this sweet happy dog didn’t need to be seen for a year. Ralph was now a part of the family.

Suddenly…. Out of the Blue

Feeling better and enjoying a chew on a sunny day.

Things were going very well until we suddenly got a call from animal control and the rescue organization.  Ralph’s owner had contacted them (it had been two months).  Apparently an elderly lady lost Ralph during her visit to her daughter’s home over the holidays.  (He got through a hole in the fence).  They claimed they contacted the pound but were told he wasn’t there.  We were at first heart-broken but then angry. We wanted to make sure that Ralph would not  be put back in a situation of neglect.

After a discussion with their vet and talking to her daughter, we realized Ralph needed to go home.  This poor lady had him for 11 years. The dog was a gift from her late husband and had been a steady companion. She had gone into a depression over his loss. His vet records showed that he was getting the proper care so we reluctantly decided to give him back.

We knew we made the right decision during the meeting and felt good that this woman would have her baby back. Ralph turned back to Teddy, he had a new miracle drug to prolong his life and he escaped a death sentence from the neighborhood pound.

Now we just have to find a playmate for George!

Brought to you by The Great Animal Rescue Chase


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Leanne K
Leanne K11 months ago

Oh theres plenty to choose from! Every shelter is perpetually full!

Philippa P
Philippa Powers11 months ago


W. C
W. Cabout a year ago


William C
William Cabout a year ago

Thank you.

Mary Cromley
.3 years ago

Well, considering how sick the dog was when found, maybe it wasn't the right thing to do for the dog to return him to a neglectful owner.

Sandi O'Donovan
Sandra O'Donovan4 years ago

Lovely story but sad for you and little George but then again there is that special doggie just waitin out there for you to find him or her...

Thanx for sharing

Springwater Ocoee

i AM SO THANKFUL THAT GOD HAS SAVED THIS LITTLE GUY FOR HIS SPECIAL SOMEONE,animals make such a difference in elderly lives that have lost everything else to age,how wonderful this story,it makes my heart glow!

Lori Ann Hone
Lori Hone4 years ago

A kind and wonderful rescue, thank you for taking such good care of Teddy till his mommy could find him again. Had it not be for you wonderful people taking him in, he would have been killed and the little old lady would never of had him back in her life. Right place at the right moment, God works in mysterious ways thru each of us.

LMj Sunshine
James Merit5 years ago

Amazing, thank you for sharing.