Today’s post may be short on cute pictures, but long on words.
Saturday was a series of very sad events and fresh starts. It started when I first woke up and when I went outside and it was pouring rain. Just the day before mum and I were laying on the grass basking in the warmth of the sun. I know the rain is needed to make the gardens grow, but it sure isn’t pleasant to run around in.
Next mum got a message on her cell phone which flew her into a whirlwind that quickly blew out the door until after dark. Without me. The rest is the story mum told me when she finally got home.
The text was from Lindsay of the Boston Terrier Pug Rescue of Southern Manitoba. She was wondering if mum would like to join her on a mission to rescue some needy dogs being sold by a puppy mill that is closing down. No it wasn’t shut down – the owners are just retiring. Now this is not a large-scale puppy mill like I’ve seen on Animal Planet, but when your sole purpose for living is to breed and produce puppies, it doesn’t matter if you share your fate with twenty or a hundred other dogs.
The kennel looked fairly clean, but according to the humans, the smell of ammonia was enough to make them gag. There was no heat except for a couple of heat lamps in the whelping boxes, only one of which was turned on. In the front half of the kennel were the moms with litters and a couple kennels of puppies who no longer needed their mother’s milk. The back half were pairs ready for mating. These breeding kennels had doggy-doors to allow for outside excursions. Each kennel measured about 4′ x 5′ with a larger outside section for the adult dogs.
With a bit of negotiations, the humans were able to secure the release of two adult dogs and one very sad puppy with a third adult (the puppy’s mother) thrown in for free.
Yes, the rescue did pay to acquire these dogs. They felt it to be the lesser evil than to allow them to be sold into possible further breeding. As it was, the kennel owner joked how two of the adults were probably pregnant so the humans would be making a profit from them.
On the long drive back to Winnipeg, the humans offered an apology for those they left behind. A dog rescue’s funds are limited, but more importantly foster homes are needed before dogs can be retrieved. Winnipeg is lush with generous families willing to open their homes and foster dogs in need. Sadly the dogs in need vastly outnumber the available homes.
The first stop in town was at the vet to have the mom and pup checked out. The mom, newly named Freya, has given much of herself to produce multiple litters and this has taken a toll on her small body. Her back legs are weak and prone to giving out. This makes if very difficult for her to get around. The vet was unable to determine whether she is suffering from hypocalcemia due to nursing and inadequate nutrition, or pelvic trauma from giving birth.
The eight-week old puppy, who was sold with an assurance of having a clean vet check, had an eye infection and bilateral luxating patellas (a common genetic condition in these dogs) that may require surgery down the road. Luckily for her, the humans recognized that she was much smaller than her litter mates and was most likely not strong enough to survive without her mom quite yet.
This little girl will get the care she needs to grow strong. She will be spayed as soon as she comes of age and will never face the suffering of being bred for money. She has been given a name, Tyra, and has quickly learned the comfort of living in a warm and loving home. The puppy who once isolated herself from her siblings, shivering and hiding in the corner has already bloomed into the holy terror she was destined to be.
Believe me on this one.