Dog lovers, prepare to cry. A rescued senior chihuahua is unable to go on long walks, so his foster brother carries him on his back. It’s a match made in heaven, says the dogs’ human, Kristina Helfer.
Kristina first met Tito four months ago, and he was in rough shape. The 16-year-old dog couldn’t move his back legs, and he had an infected mass on his back. He couldn’t see, and he could barely breathe.
“It was terrible,” Kristina told the Dodo. “He kept having to cough and move his head around to breathe.”
At some point, Tito’s owner had fallen sick, and family members were unable to care for him. That’s how he ended up in a New York City animal shelter and, eventually, in Kristina’s care.
Though a veterinarian said Tito was “knocking on death’s door,” Kristina felt determined to make every one of his last days great.
Kristina took Tito to the veterinarian, who started to get Tito’s health back on track. The dog took medication for a collapsed trachea.
After lots of love and care, the bite-size pup likely has plenty of time left to live.
The only problem? He still has a hard time going on walks, since he can’t see and he can’t use his back legs.
For a while, Tito needed Kristina to carry him.
But at home, Tito’s new brother was dying to help — a 2-year-old pit bull, Frank, to be exact.
Kristina adopted Frank last August. Like Tito, he was in bad shape at the time – he was starving and covered in mange.
Frank has anxiety, and he doesn’t always get along with other dogs. But he has a heart of gold, which is why Kristina nicknamed him “Nurse Frank.”
Frank is always there for dogs who need him — like Tito and his sister, Piper.
“Tito and Frank instantly bonded,” Kristina told Hoboken Girl. “I honestly think they were meant to be together.”
Not only do they share a similar love for naps and snacks, but Nurse Frank also looks out for Tito.
“When Tito was struggling to breathe, Frank would alert me,” Kristina said.
“They snuggle together and Frank frequently checks in on Tito in his bed just to make sure everything is OK.”
And since Frank uses a weighted vest, and Tito can’t walk easily, well…
Frank carries Tito around in his backpack.
And Tito could not be happier about it.
“I figured since they love each other so much, why don’t we combine these two things?” Kristina explained.
“Mostly [Tito] just wants to eat and be with Frank.”
Photos of the two on their daily walks went viral.
And Kristina is overjoyed about all the attention.
“When we walk by, people are like, ‘That’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!’” Kristina said. “Then they ask us questions about them, which leads into how they were rescued… They’re definitely breaking stereotypes about pit bull mixes, and senior dogs. Walking them is really special.”
Tito and Frank get along so well that Kristina decided to officially adopt Tito for the rest of his senior years.
With his loving new bro by his side, Tito’s 16th year will surely be one of his best yet.