A puppy mill survivor’s first Christmas
I have a new dog. My last dog Ronan (main character of this blog) died last January. I’ll leave it at that for now as it still hurts. Anyone who has or has had a pet understands.
I wasn’t going to get another dog but someone said that I may not want to go through that heartbreak anymore but there are dogs (and other animals) desperately needing homes, love, respect and kindness. To provide a better life for an animal in need is worth the eventual heartbreak.
So I went online and found a rescue organization. I saw that a small dog named Yuki was going to be at one of the meet and view sessions the rescue hosts occasionally at local pet stores. It was in my area so I submitted my application and went to see her.
Everything worked out and she moved in within a couple of weeks.
Yuki was in a puppy mill as a breeding female for 5 years. The only reason she was released was because she had a hernia and wasn’t any use to the mill anymore.
She is the shyest dog I’ve ever met. She’s afraid of almost everything. Although she has settled well in our apartment, going out (even in the hallway) is stressful.
For the first couple of weeks she had bad separation anxiety. Racing back and forth, barking and howling, peeing and pooping. It was a nightmare. I have a voice recorder that let me know about the barking and yet none of my neighbours complained! I have great neighbours. I should mention that when I first got her I took time off work and would go in and out to show I always returned.
Luckily I work from home for most of the day and am only away at the office for a couple of hours. But I worried that she would hurt herself with all the running back and forth frantically and asked her vet for suggestions . He prescribed a mild anti-depressant. She had no side effects and within a couple of weeks showed improvement. We were able to reduce the dosage and she still seems okay. It didn’t do much for her fear of the outside though. Most of the people in my building know her story. A lot of them know about puppy mills and the ones that don’t are shocked when I explain. And I don’t hold back. The more people who know about the cruelty and abuse that goes on in a puppy mill the better the chances of closing them down.
I can’t say it’s been easy. I’m ashamed to say that if I knew what I was getting into I don’t think I would have gone through with it. But I’m glad I did. She sleeps with me and wakes me up with kisses. She snuggles up to me on the couch before settling down for a nap. When I come home she can barely keep still she’s so happy to see me. We have a little cuddling session to make up for my absence. And I think that she’s starting to find some joy in her life. I hope so.
Now I’ll get down off my soap box and wish everyone and their pets a Merry Christmas!