Adoption Foster Coordinator Kristina Helfer fell in love with a dog’s medical record. Helfer first saw Tito, a senior Chihuahua with irreparable nerve damage that prohibits him from utilizing his back legs, on an animal shelter intake form. The organizer understood this dog, homeless at 15 because his owner was sick, and needed a loving home and a healing touch.
Helfer welcomed Tito home as his “hospice mom” through Wise Animal Rescue’s Lola’s Legacy program. Lola’s Legacy was created in remembrance of a dog with an indestructible spirit who was spared from overbreeding and endured 37 days before succumbing to huge mammary tumors.
Wise Animal Rescue pays for senior and very ill animals’ medical care so they can live out their final years in a loving environment. Helfer found Tito with neurological damage, a collapsed trachea, and an infected tumor. After treatment and surgery, Tito moved into the animal lover’s house, which she shares with Frank and Piper, Instagram’s @theyinyang twins.
Piper, who has helped Helfer care for scores of foster pets, welcomed Tito, but Frank adored him. Helfer calls the pet Nurse Frank because he has a “strange intuition” for needy pets. 70-lb. Frank had no issue being on Tito’s level and presenting the elder with therapeutic friendship.
After meeting, the duo became attached and are often observed cuddling or walking together. Tito, who can’t walk, rides in Frank’s vest for walks. Helfer says Tito’s favorite times are on these walks, especially at outdoor cafes where she enjoys her lunch with him.
The owner says they’ve already been to the beach, bought ice cream, and spent a day at the Jersey Shore. Tito and Frank watch each other at home. Frank catches Helfer’s attention when Tito seems uncomfortable, and he licks his paws. Helfer hopes this bond motivates people to adopt older dogs and disregard pit bull stereotypes.
Hoboken Girl shared a meme of Tito and Frank, which has gained popularity. Helfer’s universe “exploded” after that. She’s thrilled to tell Frank and Tito’s story. On Sept. 14, she and Wise Animal Rescue will celebrate Tito’s 16th birthday in Hoboken, New Jersey. All proceeds from the event will go to Tito and other Lola’s Legacy pups.