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2020 Highlights: Meet Richie

The One Tail at a Time staff shared some of their favorite rescue moments of the year! Anna, OTAT’s Director of Intake and Foster Programs,  remembers one of our most urgent medical cases Richie.

Richie came to us as an urgent request for help from Chicago Animal Care and Control, where he had arrived emaciated, not eating, and just not doing well. As it was early summer and the start of parvo season, our hearts sank thinking that with his symptoms, we were very likely looking at another case of parvo. Richie was seen immediately by the vet, where despite the hallmark vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and low appetite, he tested negative for parvo. Richie was hospitalized for 3 nights at the doggie ER, but despite supportive care, tons of diagnostics, and even an exploratory surgery to rule out everything, he continued to decline. He was plagued by fevers that would come and go, diarrhea, and his appetite was nonexistent.  But as sick as he felt, and as baffling as his symptoms were, Richie told us every day with kisses, tail wags, and his gorgeous brown eyes that he wanted to live. We knew we had to keep trying. 

After a few days, he started eating and improved enough that he could be released to his wonderful foster family. Richie’s foster was diligent in recording his progress, and heroic in their efforts to get him to take the steroids and antibiotics he’d been prescribed, despite Richie being the all-time hardest dog to pill EVER. Day by day, we saw Richie transform from a weak, skinny boy to a shiny, happy, bouncy dog – one who loved to eat, loved to play, and loved spending time with his family. Gradually, our daily check ins became every few days, then weekly, until we were no longer losing sleep worrying about Richie – he was consistently well. In the course of his recovery, his foster family fell head over heels in love with him (who can blame them?!), and in November, a full 5 months after entering our care, Richie was formally adopted into his forever home. He is now a member of the “chocolate boys” club and a treasured member of his family. We will never know what was wrong with Richie when he came to us, but we are so grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of his story.”

There’s still time to make a tax-deductible donation for 2020!  Please consider a year-end donation to for pets with urgent medical needs like Richie in the new year ✨