Before San Francisco residents Jill and Harrison adopted him on Christmas Day 2013, Mocha had spent his entire life as an outdoor pup in the desert near Palm Springs. Mocha’s previous owners kept him with a large, nearly blind old dog named Ray, fenced together in their backyard. After a move to Southern Arizona last year, Ray began to show signs of confusion and agitation in his new surroundings. Harrison, who knew Mocha and Ray’s owners, offered to housesit one weekend while they made a trip out of town. It was during Harrison’s visit that Ray bit Mocha several times, leaving the tiny Chihuahua fighting for life and requiring emergency surgery. Realizing that Ray had become a danger because of his blindness, disorientation, and size, the owners asked Harrison and Jill if they’d be willing to adopt Mocha. The timing could not have been more perfect; Harrison and Jill had been looking for a companion for their own rescue dog Chai, whom they had adopted from the San Francisco SPCA.
In June Harrison and Jill noticed that Mocha was having a difficult time urinating and seemed to be in distress; concerned for his comfort, they called the SF SPCA Veterinary Hospital for help. Mocha was brought in right away and a catheter was inserted to relieve his bladder pressure. While this provided temporary relief, X-rays revealed that Mocha was suffering from bladder stones that required surgery for their removal. Mocha’s medical and surgical care was overseen by Drs. Goh and Henriksen, who also neutered him after the bladder surgery. Harrison and Jill had wanted the latter procedure done since adopting Mocha, but the cost was more than they could afford.