When Carla first laid eyes on Whanda, a tiny Chihuahua, she couldn’t help but feel afraid of accidentally breaking the frail-looking pup. Scheduled for euthanasia, Whanda was saved by a last resort rescue when a call came in from the LA shelter system. Whana entered a foster program and found a new home with Carla and Ash at their rescue sanctuary.

At first, Whanda’s spirit seemed completely broken, which made Carla extremely nervous. Whanda was estimated to be between 12 to 17 years old and weighed only 3.9 pounds. Every time Carla tried to touch Whanda’s belly, the little dog would scream in fear. During her time in the shelter, Whanda even earned the nickname “Don’t Touch Me Wanda.”

However, over the course of the past year, Whanda has experienced a remarkable transformation. In her new home, she has developed a sense of safety and security, and her once-broken spirit has started to heal. Whanda’s athletic abilities have also emerged. She now has a spring in her step along with agility, which allows her to jump and explore like never before.

One memorable evening, as Carla and Whanda lay on the sofa together, Whanda rolled over and asked Carla to rub her belly. This marked a significant turning point in their relationship, as it showed that Whanda was beginning to trust Carla. Now, the two share a nightly ritual of belly rubs.

Whanda’s personality has blossomed as well. She has become a bossy, sassy, and loving companion. If Carla or Ash give attention to anyone else, Whanda is quick to intervene, even going so far as to chase off 100-pound dogs from their food dishes. Despite missing a portion of her jaw, Whanda has adapted and can now eat kibble from other dogs’ bowls with ease.

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Carla, Ash, and Whanda’s bond has grown so strong that they eventually decided Whanda would become a long-term foster at the sanctuary. Carla feels that these animals are magical and teach humans so much about life, love, and resilience.

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