5 min read

Shelter Said This Dog Was Too ‘Mean’ To Find A Family

She finally got a mom who loves her — and a brother too.

Someone at the at the animal shelter said this little abandoned dog was mean.

Too mean, apparently, for a regular cage at the California shelter.

So staff members decided to take no chances and put Lola behind not one, but two cages.

Hope still managed to slip through the cracks.

Staff members figured she was too aggressive to take any chances with, according to Nicola Grice, the woman who would eventually adopt her.

Nicola Grice

Grice, who lives in British Columbia, Canada, heard about Lola's plight through a rescue group and decided to take a chance on her.

One of the first things this tiny Chihuahua did when she got out of that shelter in 2013?

"When I took her to our vet for the first time, she fell asleep in her arms," Grice tells The Dodo. "Yup, that's an aggressive dog for you."

And when Lola got home to meet her brother, a Chihuahua named Chip who was also rescued from a shelter, the pair hit it off right away.

Nicola Grice

Against all odds, this snaggle-toothed, wonky-eyed dog had found her way home.

Nicola Grice

But years later, Lola suddenly found herself again fighting for her life. In early May, Lola was getting ready for bed, when she suddenly collapsed.

After a night at an emergency hospital, a veterinarian determined the grim diagnosis: hemolytic anemia.

Nicola Grice

But not yet, Lola.

Not after she had finally found her place in the sun.

Lola embarked on an epic medical odyssey: blood transfusions, medication, tests and more tests.

Nicola Grice

Finally, it seemed, Lola's aggressive side emerged. She is a fighter.

Nicola Grice

And she battled her condition for months. The same way she stared down a battery of conditions shortly after leaving the shelter - major dental work, an umbilical hernia.

Again, with Grice at her side. Indeed, Grice sold some of her belongings and canceled trips to cover the mounting expenses. She even made a public plea for help through a GoFundMe page.

"I am absolutely broke but still can't bring myself to give up on my otherwise healthy little Lola, who brings me so much joy without trying everything I can think of to find a solution first," she wrote on the page.

Nicola Grice

And months later, the veterinarian offered another diagnosis. Hemolytic anemia was in full retreat.

Lola has been off her medication for the last three weeks. Her blood tests suggest a picture of health.

"All in all, her prospects are fantastic," Grice says.

It's hard to say exactly how Lola came to be labeled an aggressive dog back in 2013. Certainly, she arrived at the shelter terrified. She had been dumped on the street. Then, she landed on death row at the shelter. But she bucked that label. And now, she's bucking another label, hemolytic anemia.

That's not to say her condition is gone for good. There's always a chance it will return. But it would be hard to bet against this snaggle-toothed trooper.