Melly and the the unexpected joys of adopting a senior dog.

My darling Melly, snuggled up in bed

Melly, an approximately 10 year old Chihuahua mix, came in to the Ottawa Humane Society as a stray in July 2007.  She was then was surrendered to Canadian Chihuahua Rescue and Transport (, a dog rescue group I co-founded.  I picked her up and instantly fell in love with her – all 20 pounds of her! She was morbidly obese and needed to go on a diet big-time! She stayed with me for a few days until she could hitch a ride to her foster home in Elliot Lake, ON. Melly went to her foster home and was able to lose 6 pounds in just a couple of months. I stayed in touch with her foster mom who sent me regular updates and photos – I fell more and more in love every day.

Finally, on October 11, 2007 (my birthday) I realized that I wanted Melly in my life. I officially adopted her and made the 7.5 hour one way drive to Elliot Lake to pick her up. I returned to Ottawa the same day (yes, that’s 15 hours of driving in 1 day) and together, Melly and I started an amazing relationship.

Melly and I went on to spend the next almost 4 years together. Like all dogs, her favourite things were walks and food, but she also enjoyed curling up on the ottoman at my feet while I watched TV. She was housebroken pretty much from the moment she came to CCRT and even did tricks – it boggled my mind that such a well behaved, trained dog was not claimed at the Humane Society by her owners. They obviously loved her very much to take the time to train her – but their loss was most certainly my gain!

Sadly, Melly passed away on June 13, 2011. She had not been well, but her health took a serious and unexpected decline a few days prior. We spent her last day together, just the two of us and those memories are priceless.

Melly is a great example of a wonderful, older dog in rescue that is just dying to be a part of a family. Hopefully her story will encourage people to consider adopting an older dog when they are looking to add to their furry family. Melly’s story is also a testament to the wonderful relationship between shelters and rescue groups; we have a common goal and routinely work together to rescue and rehome deserving animals.

RIP my baby Melly.


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