Woman That Takes In An Ailing Senior Dog Is Taken Aback By The Turn He Soon Takes

There’s no mansion in Florida where elderly dogs go to retire and play Go Fish with a neighborhood St. Bernard; there’s no apartment complex in the Hamptons serving up catered biscuits to ailing pooches recounting war stories. The truth is, there aren’t any senior citizen communities for aging dogs.

That’s why the world needs people like Kristina Helfer, who — along with her canine companion — fostered an ailing old pup to help him through a tough time in his life. What she didn’t expect, however, was that this greying mutt was still willing to learn a few new tricks…

Kristina Helfer is a New Jersey native who works in real estate. Her line of work is quite unique though: she’s the first and only pet-friendly realtor whose mission is to find homes for people and their pets alike. 

Real estate isn’t the only thing that Kristina enjoys doing with her life. She’s also the adoption/foster coordinator for Wise Animal Rescue in Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey. They promise to rescue dogs of all ages and help them find their “furever” homes.

Wise Animal Rescue / Instagram

On top of all her amazing work, Kristina also makes it a point to foster animals that are in need of some extra love and care. She’s taken in dogs of all ages with the help from her pitty Frank. She nicknamed him “Nurse Frank” because he was just so good at caring for the other animals.

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One day, Kristina got an email from the New York City Animal Care Center (NYCACC) saying that they were looking for a foster home for a very old and sick dog. At that moment, Kristina knew she had to foster this dog.

NYCACC

That dog’s name was Tito, a chihuahua, who was listed as 15 years and 8 months old. Tito had a whole slew of medical issues. The biggest issue was that he couldn’t breathe very well due to a collapsed trachea. Kristina was determined to fill the rest of his days with love.

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When Kristina took Tito home, all he was doing was coughing and trying to breathe all day long. On top of that, Tito was unable to use his back legs. It was a difficult homecoming, but necessary, as Kristina didn’t feel Tito would’ve survived in the shelter.

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Naturally, Frank was eager to meet Tito, but Kristina needed to be careful at first — she wasn’t sure how either of them would react to the other. But she couldn’t keep Frank away. He walked right up to Tito and stuck his face up to the sick Chihuahua.

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Tito didn’t growl or flinch in the slightest. He actually used all the energy he had in him to lift his head and reach out towards Frank to give him a kiss. From that moment on Kristina knew “Nurse Frank” was here to help.

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She would pick up Tito and place him near Frank so they could be together. Tito would wiggle his way as close to Frank as humanly possible and position himself on top of Frank’s paw. Kristina recalled, “For a dog who can’t walk, to make that much physical effort to make sure he was closer to Frank, was just a sight to see.”

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This made it obvious to Kristina that they were best friends for life. When Tito was really sick, Kristina had to care for him 24/7, and that meant Frank did as well. Wherever Tito was, Frank was right there next to him.

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Frank never let Tito out of his site and never let him sit alone. Kristina wholeheartedly felt the two dogs had their own unspoken language. Frank was telling Tito it wasn’t time to leave yet.

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With Kristina and Frank’s care, Tito started to improve. In fact, within about a week of round the clock care, Tito’s breathing and cough were almost all better. Knowing that the senior pooch wasn’t ready to leave this world yet, Kristina started thinking of ways to give him the best possible life.

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Since Tito didn’t have the use of his back legs, she couldn’t take him for walks or to the park like a normal dog. This is when she got the most brilliant idea…

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She purchased a dog vest with pockets on the side for Frank. Then, she picked up Tito and secured him into one of the side pockets. Instantly, a grin from ear to ear appeared on Tito’s face.

Hoboken Girl

To no surprise at all, “Nurse Frank’s” caring instincts kicked in. He was constantly aware that Tito was on his side. He would look back and check to make sure that Tito was okay. But as much as Frank helped Tito, the little dog helped Frank out just as much. 

Hoboken Girl

See, Frank was found in a junkyard completely terrified. Kristina wanted to adopt him because she knew a junkyard pit bull like Frank would be hard to get out of shelters. She knew it would be a lot of work, but she didn’t know how much he was affected. 

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Frank suffered from severe anxiety and trauma from his life on the streets. Fostering other dogs helped Frank learn to not be so afraid of everyday things, but none of the dogs impacted Frank the way Tito did.

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Tito was a very confident dog and through that confidence, Frank’s anxiety seemed to have leveled out a bit. There were still good days and bad days, but Kristina stated she felt it was almost like Frank wanted some of Tito’s confidence to rub off on him.

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Kristina said, “To see this bond between a breed of dog that is just so maliciously stereotyped and this little Chihuahua, it’s just… it’s beautiful.” It truly was and is a tale of unbreakable friendship.

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As of autumn 2018, Tito’s condition was somewhat stable. Kristina and Frank continued to shower him with love and care, and they would continue to enjoy each day as they came. Kristina was excited to celebrate the holidays with her favorite boys.

theyingyang_twins / Instagram

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