The Story of Chia

Gwen F. shares the story of how she came about adopting Chia, and the reminisces about Chia’s life:

I got Chia as a result of a public outreach campaign about vaccinating children. A sad little boy was trying to sell a pup to have money to pay for his aunt’s pregnancy meds. In a moment of generosity, I offered to buy the meds for the aunt without taking the pup. It was only about $10. When I delivered the meds, the pup was cowering by the back door while he was being yelled at by the boy’s mom. The mother was so grateful for the meds and so desperate to get rid of the pup that she insisted that I take him with me. I wasn’t supposed to have any pets at my apartment, but the pup was so tiny and helpless I kept him until I could find another owner. I’d carry him in my jacket pocket everywhere I went. He’d earned the name Chia from all my classmates. But no one would take him.

About a year later, I let him out in the morning and he ran away. He’d been testing the waters for a while, but this time I couldn’t find him anywhere. I posted flyers for months! It was almost a year before I got a call from the manager of a nearby apartment complex that she suspected one of her tenants had Chia. Before she had seen my flyer, she had given them a warning to either pay the pet fee or get rid of the dog. She checked in their apartment and called me back to say that Chia was no longer there. A few days later, I get a call from a friend whose son lived in those apartments. She tells me that he picked up a dog walking on the side of the road that looked just like Chia. That evening I came home to find Chia cuddled up in the arm chair with my roommate!!!!

Since then, he’s been with me through life’s roller coaster journey all up and down the eastern seaboard of the US. I can’t say that he was particularly loyal to me, but he did trust me over most other humans. He was always an independent dog and ready to bolt every chance he got. I got so used to it that I quit running after him. Eventually he’d make it back to the house. He hated being picked up, but he loved to cuddle. He’d rarely show affection but he’d lick the heel of my foot real gently to let me know when he was near. And he’d be so patient when I’d groom him or put hats and wigs on him. He’d just humor me. He was so full of life that it was hard to rein him all in. It’d take ridiculously long walks to wear him out. I had to put on roller blades and have him pull me around to tire him out faster.

And he had a massive bark! I’d love going to the vet with him, cuz he’d back so loud that we’d get seen first. Barking and whining were the only two words he knew, and he used them as often as he could. So when he stopped vocalizing, I knew it was really time. I’d read so many articles about dogs not eating or drinking, isolating themselves, and soiling themselves when they come near death. I kept looking for those signs, but they never really showed. For him, it was excessive sleeping and silence. And when his blindness, deafness, and frailty made him nervous even to my touch, I knew I needed to let him go. It was so relieving to watch him relax into death. No twitching, no soiling – just peaceful and pain free finally.

We had a good run there, bud.

Gwen, thank you for telling us about Chia.  It’s clear that he was a very special dog, and we’re so sorry for your loss.

We’d love to feature your rescue dog or cat here, too! Just email PetMeds at and share your pet’s adoption story and a photo or two of your own rescue dog or cat.

About author

Abby Rosenberg

Abby Rosenberg is a PetMeds employee and long-time cat lover. She was a volunteer for several years at a local no-kill cats only rescue shelter. This has prepared her for her most challenging role to date: secretary, photographer, social coordinator and treat dispenser for Daisy, and Daisy’s sidekick Harley. Daisy is a dilute calico Devon Rex cat, and Harley is a “cow-cat” who was adopted from the shelter where Abby volunteered. You can also find Abby on Google+

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