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I could write hundreds of stories about heroes and the people they rescue and the happily ever afters, but I'll just give you just one.

Meet Xoco.

Xoco

This is the way she looked when we first found her - her back legs didn't work and that oversized head was caused by hydrocephalus. She only had hours to live. Her patchy fur (not very visible in this shot) was caused by demodetic mange - a type of mange puppies get from stressed mothers. It's not contagious, but some puppies will never grow in their fur again.

Of all the puppies we looked at, Itzl chose her.

So we took her straight to the vet, found out all the things wrong with her, got shunts put in her brain to drain the fluids building up there, and did our best to re-align her dislocated hips and back.  We started treatment for her worms and mange.

When we took her home, Itzl fed her and cleaned her and slept beside her.

She worshiped him from the moment their eyes met. In trying to follow him, her back legs got stronger.

Itzl and Xoco Playing in the Admin Office

She loves him more than anything.

She grew strong and can walk and run now, but her hips and back legs never got strong enough for her to climb or jump, so Itzl taught her how to use ramps.  He leads the way whenever she's afraid and she trusts him so implicity, she will follow him wherever he goes.

Including down icy, snow-covered steps wearing snow booties (which were scary enough all on their own!)

Itzl helping Xoco down the stairs

Where he leads, she goes:

Itzl and Xoco - great snow explorers

Water Paws 027

Itzl and Xoco

Itzl and Xoco

Itzl, Xoco

And when Itzl had his surgery, she was there for him.

Xoco

Even when she's upset

Xoco Giving Attitude

Or being Little Miss Drama Queen about taking her meds

Xoco Playing Dead

she has a lot to be thankful for

Xoco and Big Bone

Xoco Birthday Bone

Xoco

Itzl and Xoco on a Visit

And most of all, she's thankful for her every day forever hero, Itzl:

Xoco Snuggling Up to Itzl

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