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Senior Rescue Dog Diagnosed with Brain Tumor Fights for Her Life

Written by: Scott H
Scott Haiduc is the Director of Publishing for iHeartDogs, iHeartCats and The Hero Company. When not working, Scott spends his time on the farm, taking care of his animals and crops.Read more
| Published on February 26, 2019

After spending a lifetime in a puppy mill, Chloe was finally rescued. Tragedy struck again, however, when Julia Arney’s vet recommended she euthanize Chloe, her senior Maltese, due to a brain tumor. But Julia was determined to give her beloved pet a fresh start, and Chloe was ready to fight!

“Every day is a gift. We were supposed to lose her so long ago.”

In September 2017, Julia Arney’s vet recommended she euthanize her senior Maltese, Chloe. Julia was heartbroken – but she wasn’t ready to say goodbye or give up without a fight. “I wanted to exhaust every option and leave no stone unturned,” says Julia.

Adopting Chloe

A few years earlier, Julia was looking to bring a new dog into her family. She searched online and found one who caught her eye, but had “accidentally transposed the zip code, so instead of living North of Indy, where I live, the dog was in Colorado Springs!”

Despite the mixup and distance, Julia’s husband said, “go see her!” So she flew out west and got approved to adopt the pup. The foster family was out of town for a few days, so to fill the time, Julia volunteered at a local kennel. This is where she met Chloe… an older Maltese who was not the dog she had flown to Colorado to meet.

“It was an instant connection,” says Julia. “Chloe would make eye contact with me and bark if I walked by. The lady in charge of the kennel said she’d been there 11 months and had never barked. So I went to see her and that was it. She picked me.”

Julia called her husband and said, “honey, I’m in trouble.” He heard my voice and immediately told me to “bring ‘em both home.” But the airline would only let her travel with one dog, so she flew home with Peyton, the dog she’d originally gone out to adopt, and then turned right around at the airport and went back for Chloe. “I could not get back fast enough,” says Julia. “She stole my heart immediately.”

The sweet senior pup was the perfect fit for Julia’s family. She’d been rescued from a puppy mill where she’d lived for the first 9.5 years of her life, and had a lot of health issues – but it wasn’t too late for a fresh start. Having been raised in such terrible conditions, sweet, petite Chloe didn’t know what it was like to live as part of a family. “When we brought her home, there were a lot of things she didn’t know about, like sitting on someone’s lap for hours. But it sure didn’t take her long to adjust to the love! When she wants attention, she sure lets you know. She’s a snuggler now.”

Julia and her family were head-over-heels in love with Chloe – which made it all the more heartbreaking when the five-pound Maltese was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

The Diagnosis – and a Fresh Plan

When Julia’s vet recommended putting Chloe to sleep due to her illness and advanced age, Julia was devastated – and determined to find a solution to keep Chloe happy and healthy as long as possible.

After some research, she found a holistic vet who said, “if she’s a fighter, we will do everything we can.” This vet recommended herbs and medicine, treatments like acupuncture, massage therapy, and lasers, and a healthier diet. “She said that one-third of success is making sure you have her on the right food.”

Julia began researching the best options for healthy dog food. “I tried a couple other brands and I wasn’t happy. They said they were fresh but they often had freezer burn, and I thought: how long was this in a warehouse if it already has freezer burn?” And Chloe can be a picky eater, so it was hard to get her to take the herbs and medicine, even in food.

Then, a breakthrough: she discovered Nom Nom. She took the nutritional information to her vet, who was on board right away. “She said ‘that’s it. That’s the food you need to have her on.’” Julia immediately switched Chloe’s diet to Nom Nom, and she took to it right away, even with the herbal holistic medicine added. To serve it, Julia says, “I warm it up lightly. It smells like food, it looks like food, it is real food.”

Nom Nom’s fresh, healthy meals – along with the vet-recommended herbal holistic medicine and treatments – have made a world of difference in Chloe’s health. Her coat is shinier, her eyes are brighter, and her health is vastly improved.

“Here we are 14 months later. I know we are on borrowed time, but every day with Chloe is a gift. I’ve had some health issues myself and been in the hospital, and she’s what got me through.”

Julia now has two dogs eating Nom Nom and says “it’s worth its weight in gold. I feel so much better about what I’m giving them. I know that it’s part of our success in treating Chloe. I try to really tell everyone – fresh food might not always be the cheapest, but consider what you’re feeding them. If your animals are your family, and you knew what was in regular dog food, you really wouldn’t feed that to family. We’re so careful about what we put in our bodies, but people don’t realize that most dog food has a lot of stuff that is horrible.”

“We have to do better for our pets. We wonder why our animals don’t live as long as they used to, but yet we feed them stuff that is just not good for them.”

Chloe’s Impact

Chloe is now 15, and her life has had a big impact – not just on Julia, but on the world. Julia was forever changed by learning about Chloe’s puppy mill experience, and has dedicated her life to education and fundraising on the topic. Since being adopted, Chloe has not only overcome health issues, but has also helped raise tens of thousands of dollars toward puppy mill awareness.

“Even after all of those years being harmed, used, neglected at the hands of humans, the way she can forgive is incredible,” says Julia. “She shows everyone she meets nothing but love. We did a fundraiser with Harley Davidson and even these big, burly guys loved her. I remember people saying things to me about having a ‘heart dog’ that changes you forever. I had always loved all my dogs… well, I get it now. I love all my dogs tremendously. But this one. She’s the one.”

Julia believes Chloe wouldn’t be here today to share her story if it weren’t for Nom Nom. “We are so appreciative for the quality of food. It’s fresh and it’s SO healthy. We are thankful to all of you. Everyone is so responsive and helpful. You walk the walk, and it shows.”

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