It was love at first sight! After gazing into the cute little face of a shelter pup at New York's SPCA of Westchester, all bets were off. Raquel Fernandes had to take this little chihuahua home with her.
Though Fernandes initially planned on visiting the shelter to just meet the pooch — who she'd found on Petfinder — this senior dog had other plans in mind. Determined to find an owner, the old dog pulled out some new tricks for Fernandes and her husband.
“He just ran out and stood up on his little legs. He put his little paws on me and looked up, and I was hooked,” Fernandes told Dogster. “He sat in my arms, and he just gave me a little kiss, and the lady from the shelter was like, ‘Oh, he doesn’t really give out kisses.’ I think we knew right then and there that this was it.”
Fernandes and her husband were the first potential adopters to visit the dog, now named Mr. Crowley, in the six weeks since he'd been found outside the shelter abandoned in a cardboard box. At 12 years old, Mr. Crowley entered the facility hungry and skinny. He also had a bad knee and a mouthful of rotting teeth. Sadly, Mr. Crowley was in such poor condition that he needed medical attention before he could be put up for adoption.
"There's this stigma that if you get an old dog, you're getting this broken, secondhand dog, and that's not true," Fernandes said. "They're just as fulfilling as any other dog, and maybe even more so because their perspectives are a little bit different."
For @mr.crowley_chichi there is #TongueOutTuesday, Tongue Out Wednesday...Thursday, you get the picture! This boy always has his tongue out! Adopted recently at 12 years young, this senior boy shows us the true meaning of senior dog love. He is living the life in his forever home! #rescue #adoptdontshop #adopt #spca #spcawestchester #adoptspca #nokill #animalshelter #westchester #newyork #dog #dogstagram #dogsofig #instadog #chichi #chihuahuas #chihuahuasofinstagram #senior #seniordog #seniordogsrule #adoptasenior #tongueout #happyhome #happytail #happytailtuesday
As soon as the SPCA got ahold of the three-pound pooch, staff members went to work: Mr. Crowley was neutered and had all but two of his rotting teeth removed. And even though he was diagnosed with luxating patella — a common condition in small breeds that causes a pup's kneecap to pop out of place — the team said he was well enough to go on short daily walks.
Finding a Forever Home
During Mr. Crowley's recovery period, Fernandes and her husband were just an hour's drive away in Lyndhurst, New Jersey. Before adopting Mr. Crowley, the couple fostered rescued greyhounds and decided it was time to get a permanent pooch.
“I looked on Petfinder one last time, and his [Mr. Crowley's] picture popped up,” Fernandes said. “He fit all the hopes and dreams we had for a little old man. He was just the cutest little thing. His little tongue was hanging out, and he had no teeth, and I just thought, well, that’s perfect.”
It seems as though Mr. Crowley's kisses sealed the deal. When the couple was driving home, Fernandes' husband turned on the radio and on came an Ozzy Osbourne tribute band — hence the name "Mr. Crowley."
“His little tongue was hanging out, and he makes all these cute little wheezy, gurgling sounds. I don’t know why, but in my head it just popped out — Mr. Crowley.”
If you're interested in seeing what Mr. Crowley is up to now, the couple started an Instagram account account full of adorable (tongue-out!) photos. He even has his own website, where the Fernandes family writes about the benefits of adopting a senior dog.