Chi Chi, a 2-year-old Golden Retriever mix, has finally reached the end of a long, painful journey. She was discovered in a garbage bag in a Korean alley. Since then, Chi Chi has undergone radical surgery, a grueling recovery, and a voyage across the world to Phoenix, Arizona.
She finally has a place to call home and a family that loves her—a fate that probably seemed like an impossible dream to Chi Chi a few months ago.
Chi Chi, which means ‘Loving’ in Korean, was discovered outside of a rural meat market in South Korea. All four of her limbs were bound with wire and badly injured. The head of a local animal shelter, Ju Yu, believes that the wire and injuries indicate that Chi Chi had been hung inside the meat market by her limbs and beaten. When her captors discovered that Chi Chi’s wounds had become infected, they discarded her.
After her fortuitous rescue, Chi Chi spent over 2 months in a Seoul veterinary clinic. Her paws and lower limbs were too badly damaged and infected to be saved; amputation was the only option. Once she recovered, doctors fitted Chi Chi with prosthetic limbs and taught her how to walk again in a new, unique way.
Through all the pain, trauma, and turmoil, her tail never stopped wagging. Chi Chi doesn’t let her painful past affect her outlook on life.
Richard, Elizabeth, and Megan Howell are no strangers to dog rescue and adoption. They currently have two Beagles from the Beagle Freedom Project. When the family heard Chi Chi’s story through L.A. based organization, Animal Rescue, Media & Education,(ARME) they knew they could provide a safe, loving environment for her.
ARME is the parent company to the Beagle Freedom Project which the Howells have followed via social media since rescuing their two dogs. They tracked Chi Chi’s progress online, and expressed their interest in adopting the special pup to ARME.
When Chi Chi’s plane landed in L.A., the Howells were there to meet her. They drove Chi Chi back to their Phoenix home for the final leg of her incredible journey.
So far Chi Chi seems to be adjusting beautifully considering all she has been through. She still requires frequent bandage changes and additional care, but for the Howells Chi Chi is worth the extra time. They have been so impressed with her gentle, outgoing nature that they plan to have her trained as a therapy dog when her recovery is complete. Chi Chi will provide comfort, support, and inspiration to children and veterans who have lost limbs.
Note: The average Korean diet does not include dog meat. This is a common misconception. In fact, dog is a rare delicacy, and quite expensive by Korean standards.
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