One yr ago to date I brought a sad, terrified, withdrawn, unhealthy dog home with me. 48- 72 hrs prior she’d been rescued from one of the most horrific puppy mill busts in Tx. Left in the hands of someone paid to take care of them, 63 dogs were found in a 90° building, standing in pools of green stagnant water to keep cool, filthy & coated in mud & feces. They had actually resorted to eating each others feces for ultimate survival.
From that hell hole she was taken to the HSNT Fort Worth Shelter. I had posted on FB about being ready to adopt a dog & I particularly wanted a small Yorkie. Melissa Kitchen, Patron Animal Saint of Trinity Loft(PASOTL), sent me the link on Thurs about the bust & then went with me on Fri to find my Yorkie. After realizing my Nav was taking me to the wrong shelter, we course corrected & made it to FW. Even though I had called earlier, the shelter staff said they weren’t completely ready & were still bringing dogs out. We looked the shelter over. No Yorkie! Melissa had gone before me & said there may be something I like! Of course I had to talk to every dog in every cage, so by the time I got to the last room, last cage…….there she was. Cowered down & turning completely away from me, I found the only Yorkie there! Our wrong directions was actually the perfect time delay necessary in allowing them time to bring her out! I wanted to hold her, but she was petrified. We took her out & she smelled so bad I almost couldn’t hold her. She was the one!! We put her down for me to complete adoption paperwork & were amazed at her curiosity. It was like watching a blind person receive sight. She took in every second, especially the outdoors view. I knew immediately what to name her. She needed a strong, determined name representing how she has survived & would still overcome many challenges. From that moment she was chipped & in the next couple of days, spayed. She then would be released to me!! What a whirlwind she must have felt like being in. Caged, abandoned, rescued, transported, chipped & all these people!!
On the drive home, Melissa read the instructions they gave me about owning a puppy mill dog. In tears we discussed what torment these animals were subjected to. They wouldn’t be familiar with grass, sunlight or kind human interaction. This broke my heart & I knew she had to be shown grace, mercy, patience, but most of all love!
On Monday 6.1.12 I picked her up. Groggy from surgery, I put her in the front seat & headed to Dallas. The first thing I had to do was scrub her! The shelter was overwhelmed with the number of dogs they received & they only had time to do the tests necessary to adopt dogs out. Her skin was horrible & I seriously thought I was going to use the entire pack of Q-tips on her ears. Her mouth was equally as disgusting! Yuck!! She was emotionally & physically exhausted so once clean, I just left her alone. She slept on a nice, soft, comfy bed without moving for almost 24°.
Her journey has been amazing! I’ve been there for many first time experiences. Grass, soft bedding, natural organic & even raw food diets. She was seriously convinced the leash would kill her, but quickly realized it was her ticket to long outdoor walks! Living in a loft meant getting used to the elevator. I began noticing her obsessive behavior while waiting for it! She memorized the sound of the dings & knew the doors were about to open! She developed a routine & immediately adapted to her environment! She made instant friends!! Tuxedo & Jasper were her wrestling buds, BJ was her sprinter, who’s human, Wendy, brought her back upstairs one day because she got on the elevator all by herself!! Leo was the lovey, who lived next door & always wanted to give her kisses! Star was bigger, but super sweet & Porterhouse was the sweetheart who’s human, Chris, helped chase her around the entire parking lot late one night bc she got off leash. They were precious & I enjoyed watching their interaction every day.
The most difficult challenge I’ve faced was her digestive system. It took 9 months to regulate! I think their extreme survival skills caused her to develop something! Her diet is strict! She only eats Organix Small Bites by Castor & Pollux. No human food except for occasional spoon of eggs & her 1 slice of bacon every evening. She loves bacon!! She takes chondrointin chews every day bc she has popping hips due to hip dysplasia. I think she has arthritis like me!!
When we moved from our Dallas Design District loft to a house, she spent several weeks exploring every room, nook & cranny bc the house was over double the size of the loft!! I’ve learned she is afraid the dark when put outside by herself, loathes rain & snow! She never experienced change of seasons so these were new for her. June bugs were weird little creatures that she quickly determined weren’t necessary to befriend!
The human interaction & trust factor is ongoing. While she won’t let me pick her up, she freely gives me kisses & is at the side of my bed very early every morning encouraging me to get up!! I wanted a snuggle bunny, but that will take more time!! Unless she’s Aced! That’s another adventure Lilli & I experimented with!!
She’s passive aggressive towards Lilli, but not so much Kaelleb. She’s never minded Bryce or Russell, but Summer isn’t as popular! A walk causes an immediate attitude adjustment & the word T- R- E- A- T makes her come home if she’s exploring the neighborhood too long! She goes to Cosmepawlogy for grooming faithfully & loves to ride in the car. She eats her morning food only if she’s in the same room within close proximity to me.
This year has been about introducing her to a culture of humans who truly love & take care of their animals. Assimilating her to weather changes, day vs night, cats & bugs, & of those 2…..she likes neither!
Puppy mill rescues are extremely challenging, but the intrinsic satisfaction of knowing anything & everything you do for them is greatly appreciated far outweighs any challenge.
As I write this, she is outside in her yard enjoying what she so deserves……FREEDOM!!
Amelia Murphy is a survivor & here’s to the next phase of our journey together! Find your pet at a shelter or rescue facility & begin enjoying what love they can bring!