My husband and I do a little bit of animal rescue here in our own small little home town. Consequently, over the years, we've adopted several pets that could not, for some reason, be adopted out. As such, we've had to watch many cross over the Rainbow Bridge over the years.
This is Star. Star is a Decker Rat Terrier. You will notice that in the picture one of her eyes seems to shine brighter than the other; she is blind in that eye. Star is special...she is a puppy mill survivor. We're not sure what happened to her eye, however, our veterinarian felt it was most likely due to an infection that was not treated and ended in her losing the sight in that eye.
Although we're not entirely sure what caused her blindness in that one eye, let me tell you what we are sure of. Star was taken to a kill animal shelter by her puppy mill owner and told the workers there that she could no longer produce puppies so he wanted her "put down." Luckily he happened to take her to a shelter whose workers were not only kind and loving souls....but one of them owned a pet rescue herself. She took in Star even though her rescue was full to the brim.
Finding a home for "special needs" pets is especially daunting. The workers at the rescue were desperate to find Star a home as they prepared themselves for the work ahead of them....finding Star a home. Bob and I had just that week lost our dear sweet Alex, our blind and diabetic Dalmatian. I have all of the "local" animal shelters and humane societies on my "favorites" computer list and am always "dropping" in on them just to see if they have any "special needs" pets listed. Thus...I came across Star's picture and immediately called them and.....yes, they told me, she still needed a home. This particular animal shelter was about an hour away from us....but they wanted to bring her to us....hoping (in their minds) that we wouldn't turn around, as so many do, and change our minds. And...this also gave them a chance to take a look at our home just to make sure that Star would be in a loving and safe home. They received a special treat when they arrived at our home; Ben, our little senior deaf Rat Terrier greeted them at the front door. Ben came from their animal shelter and they remembered him. I'm sure taking at look at Ben and seeing this particularly spoiled little guy let them know just how "special" Star would get treated in our home.
Star was at a loss in our home. She had never been in a "home." She had spent the first 6 years of her life in a cage. As she stood in our living room, that first evening she spent here, Bob and I were watching a game. As we shouted and rooted for our favorite team, Star thought we were screaming at her. She urinated where she stood, dropped to her belly and crawled to us....still on her belly. She had been so abused....that this was her way of coping. I grabbed a hold of this baby and cried and cried and cried.
Siblings at Play:
Star, as we said, had never been out of her cage. She had never seen grass let alone walk on it. She had never seen or felt the sun. It turned out to our advantage that we have 2 other canine furbabies and Star looked to them for comfort...and it was by watching them that she figured out how to be a "pet."
Here she is playing with her siblings. On the far left is Digger, our Blue Healer who was also a rescue and far right is our sweet little Daisy. Daisy is actually the only pet we have that we actually went ourselves to get. She is a little terrier mix, and we found her at our local animal shelter.
Star had never run and to this day, several years later, she runs with a wide-based gait. In other words, when she runs, she positions her legs very far apart. This is from always being in a cage. One of Star's favorite pasttimes is lying out in the sun. She loves to feel the sun on her and I will often have to coax her to come inside...especially on a bright and sunny day. When inside though, her favorite pasttime is naping on someones lap. If there is a vacant lap....you can be sure she will find it. Or...if the lap is not completely empty...she will push the other sibling out of the way...lol. If there is not an empty lap and she actually has to sleep on the couch by herself...she will find the softest place. There are always pillows and blankets on our couch and she will "arrange" them all until they are "just right" and then she plops herself down right in the center of it. How adorable is that!!! When we love on Star, give her belly rubs, etc., she will get so excited that she has no idea what to do with herself....so she will run through the house, then back to us, do circles and more circles and then start all over again by running through the house.
We are lucky...we know, that Star was as healthy as she was. She was filthy, but was bathed before we saw her. Her blind eye is, as far as we know, the only reminder (to us) of her horrible beginnings. But....she is certainly spoiled now. Even her siblings love her; they are all 3 very attached to each other.
Please....the next time you are contemplating adding a pet to your home, remember Star. Don't adopt from breeders, pet shops, etc. as, regardless of what they may tell you, they DO purchase puppies from puppy mills. Instead make a visit to your local animal shelter or humane society and save one there from the gas chamber. Look into the eyes of these sweet little ones...and I'm sure you will find one there that you could easily fall in love with.
Help me to end "Puppy Mill Cruelty" - - - click on link below and watch the movie. Then...please, sign the petition.
This site has been designed by Bob Greenwalt