In April 2006, NAFA (Northeast Arkansans for Animals) assisted with the closure of a Chihuahua puppymill in Southeastern Missouri. At the conclusion, NAFA took the 27 worst Chihuahua of various shapes and sizes. Perhaps the poster pup for this rescue was a black and white female Chihuahua apply named Skunk. She was nearly toothless (only 3 rotting teeth remained in her mouth). NAFA investigators were told that most of her teeth had been pulled because she was a biter. As a result her tongue constantly hung from the side of her mouth. Three of her four legs had been broken at some time and never set, so she walked with an incredible hobble. She had also had damage to one of her eyes that had never received veterinary care so she had limited sight in her left eye. Perhaps the most daunting of her many qualities was a heart condition that required expensive medication. It is also no surprise that she trusted no one and for nearly a year wanted no one to touch her.
NAFA volunteers tried several foster homes but none seemed to suit her and the expensive drugs that she required limited her adoption. Finally, the decision was made that she would live at the NAFA office to oversee the parade of geriatric and disabled dogs that NAFA rescued. And, she did her job very well. Somehow she taught them to trust and allow people to handle them. Several of those whom she mentored were a dachshund named Moses, a pom named Flower, and another chihuahua named Stitch just to name a few. Over the past several months, Skunk's many maladies began to worsen. A chiweenie named Nimaway took over Skunk's job and began to care for Skunk. Glaucoma finally took the last of Skunk's sight, but Nimaway became her eyes. Although Skunk could still get around some, Nimaway would make sure she had treats in her bed and was often seen cleaning and grooming Skunk.
Early Sunday morning (October 24th) Skunk passed away. She will always be remembered as the true spirit of NAFA. We promised that the horrors of her past would be replaced with love and each of us at NAFA loved and cherished each day we had with her.
Skunk was recently part of a "Trash the Dress" photo session with one of NAFA's long time volunteers, Janae McCallister. I don't think she ever looked more beautiful than in this photo. We will miss her greatly.