Monday, June 26, 2006


I'm adopted! I'm not a foster dog anymore! I know mom and dad are really excited too! I'll miss being part of Grandma Judy's foster family, but I really belong to someone now. For the first time EVER I belong to someone who loves me! Mom and dad are really excited too! Woo hoo! Mom and dad are going to get some pictures of all of us together so we can put a brand new picture up - and send one to Grandma Judy of course, 'cuz she'll always be my special grandma! Mom gets paid today so she says we're going to PetSmart, just the 2 of us, and I get a new squeaky toy! That's good 'cuz I've broken all the squeakers on all the other toys. Even Ruger has been hiding his favorite duck from me, it has one squeaker left - I know 'cuz he squeaks it sometimes when he has it in bed with him and I can't get to it!

Isn't that the best news? I'm so happy I'm doing the doxie happy dance!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Please read this...

This is pretty much the story of my life until someone saved me from the puppy mill and then grandma got me, and from there I came to live with mom and dad. Please rememeber there are a lot more dogs just like me in places like these. These are evil, wicked places where dogs have no fun and we're always afraid.

Born In A Missouri Puppy MillBy Brenda Shoss 6/14/06
ht tp://www.KinshipCircle.orgShe waddles over, a puffy "hair-do" perched upon stubby legs. The four-pound pup nestles against my chest and gives me the goofy sideways glance. I'm a goner. I'll call her Mandy.

I first laid eyes upon this irresistible Lhasa Apso at Flawdogs Adoption, a rescue dedicated to "little puppy mill leftovers" about 45 minutes southwest of St. Louis in Morse Mill, Missouri.

There are no kennels or cages at Flawdogs. A tree-lined bridge leads to a canine Shangri-La where Silky Terriers, Corgis, Chihuahuas and Yorkies frolic amid pools and sunbathing decks in outdoor runs across eight yards. Inside, Shih Tzus, Poodles, Bichon Frises, and Dachshunds tumble over toys and each other. It's Camp Cute, with an army of wide-eyed fluffballs auditioning to steal your heart.

But Mandy's doubtful peer recalls another setting. During her first week home, direct eye contact threatens her. Reaching han ds remind her of harsh hands that once threw her from cage to cage. She pauses before open doors, remembering other dogs smashed in gates when they tried to flee. She freezes on a leash. My gentle tug reminds her of a yank by the head or neck.

Love and a loose leash soon erase Mandy's memories of birth inside a Missouri puppy mill. Yet though Flawdogs had tested and vaccinated her for ailments commonly spread inside breeding mills, Mandy grows anorexic and lethargic. She is treated for coccidia and giardia parasites. Her back legs cave in as she walks. An x-ray reveals the head of femur bone is missing in her left leg. The same bone in her right leg is porous, ragged and dying.

Still, Mandy is one lucky dog. Flawdogs founder Sally Ives, former director of Open Door Animal Sanctuary in House Springs, MO, talks about wire hair terriers salvaged from a puppy mill in northern Missouri. One dog's entire nasal channel was exposed where his face had been torn away in a fight. A Dachshund came with third degree heating pad burns over 60% of her tiny body.

"It's a miracle that dog lived," Ives says. "Those are the heartwarming cases -- the ones who are supposed to die, but insist on living instead."

Puppy mills are profit-driven enterprises that typically fail to provide adequate veterinary care, diet, exercise or shelter. Large sites house up to 1,000 dogs in rusted chicken wire cages heaped three or four tiers high. Urine and feces seep into lower cages. Dogs at the top swelter in the summer and freeze in the winter. Smaller facilities may board 50 or more dogs in squalid kennel runs.

The mass breeder's bottom line is low overhead and high return. So bulk food purchases are often comprised of sweepings from the food manufacturer's floor. Dogs are so nutrition deprived, their teeth rot as young as one or two years of age. Sometimes their jaws di ssolve. Others lose their front teeth from gnawing on the metal bars that contain them.

There are approximately 5,000 mill-style outfits nationwide. Cruelty investigators have uncovered parasite-infested dogs with oozing eyes, ear infections, and fur so matted it forms a cocoon over sores. Mange can transform a puppy's skin into a blanket of red scabs. Dogs in congested quarters easily spread worms, upper respiratory infections, coccidia, giardia, and deadly parvovirus and distemper.

Dogs are found with gangrenous skin where collars became embedded in flesh. Others are balding, blind, emaciated. Some long-term mill dogs have been debarked by shoving a steel rod down their throats to mutilate vocal cords.

Breeding factories function primarily in Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. Missouri leads the way, with an estimated $40 million per year in puppy mill profits.

Ives' relationship with mill managers, mostly women, is unique. On 24-hour call, she awaits their invitation to collect the rejects slated for euthanasia. "They see themselves as professional breeders. I must appear positive and flattering. The few times I've leaked a look of horror, I've never been invited back. My commitment is to any dog I can get out.

"Federally licensed Class A breeders form contractual agreements with brokers, or Class B dealers, who purchase mill pups for resale to some 3,500 U.S. pet outlets. Brokers seek flawless 8-week-old puppies to pile into crates for shipment by truck or plane. According to the Companion Animal Protection Society, a half-million puppies pass from mill to broker to pet shop in the U.S. and Canada every year.

A dog who misses a broker's weekly pickup from the mill may be deemed "too old" by the next collection day and consequently killed. If a broker reaches his sales quota in a region, he has nowhere else to market puppies. In most cases, these leftovers are healthy young animals.A broker's criterion is based on what the public will pay for. "We've saved a lot of Bichon and Maltese pups who have biscuit-colored ears. They won't accept biscuit on a white dog, or any color considered inconsistent, even an odd-colored eye," Ives explains.

Ives rescues any animal a mill will release: Too small. Too large. Undescended testicles. Umbilical hernias. A sparse coat. A short tail.

"How do you pick which ones to save and which ones to pass a death sentence on?" she asks. "They ride quietly in our crowded van. We hold as many in our laps as we can to start the socialization."Mandy was a disposable mill dog. Her twisted back legs were likely injured in a cage jam-packed with puppies. Dogs suffer abscessed feet, hyperflexion, loss of limbs or bones, and deformed or broken legs from trauma inside overcrowded wire encl osures.Mills usually cull puppies with leg defects. Ives acquires many Italian Greyhounds dismissed for luxating patellas. In fact, their wobbly kneecaps arise from insufficient muscle growth. After days of open space and nutritious food, they "run around like lunatics," she says. The "flaw" in older dogs is their inability to produce a viable litter of six or more pups. Mills breed females from six months of age to every heat cycle thereafter. When too worn to turn a profit, dogs as young as two to five years are shot or clubbed in the head. Other throwaways are sold to research laboratories or simply discarded.

Brandylyn, a 17-year-old "chocolate" poodle, was five pounds and pregnant when Ives retrieved her from a mill. Three baths later, Brandylyn emerged as a white dog. "She had been sold, auctioned, and traded so many times, they lost track of her color," Ives says. "Her babies were stillborn."One overbred Yorkshire Terrier arrived with 12 mammary tumors. Ives compares their insides to "cole slaw, filled with adhesions, cysts, and scar tissue. Some are boiling with pyometra (an infection of the female organs) that can fatally rupture.

"While breeders and brokers retain consulting veterinarians, they rarely call upon them. "Their idea of medical intervention is to stick a sick dog in a garage, basement, or barn," Ives claims.Shoddy breeding methods predispose dogs to chronic infirmities such as hip dysplasia, dislocating kneecaps, seizures, eye lesions, liver and heart disease, and autoimmune disorders.

In California, a state financed study revealed almost half of pet store pups were sick or harboring diseases.The Animal, Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) arm of the USDA regulates animal industries. This financially strapped agency employs a relative handful of inspectors to monitor thousands of Class A licensees (breeders), Class B licensees (brokers), Class C licensees (exhibitors), handlers, and biomedical researchers.

Present law categorizes high volume breeders who sell directly to the public as "pet stores, and exempts them from U.S. Animal Welfare Act guidelines. Thus, a breeder who sells animals via a middleman broker, the internet or newspaper ads functions with minimal oversight. Kittens, puppies and other companion animals easily cross state borders with no information about the decrepit surroundings in which they were raised. This loophole undermines a key intent of the AWA and deceives consumers, who are conned into spending huge fees on animals with health complications. When I ask Ives about her role in a system clogged with lax laws, she pauses and then quietly clarifies her mission: "I am their caretaker. I get to touch their lives for a little while and send them bouncing into people's arms. I am upstairs right now, looking over my little dogs in their playhouses, just hanging out the windows. This is grand. I am way too happy.

"Somehow, Ives finds homes for even the most traumatized animals. One family traveled 300 miles to adopt Trina, a blind dog with detached retinas. Mufasa's family adores him, despite undernourishment that left him permanently hairless over most of his body. Tick, an underweight Dachshund who couldn't sustain his own body temperature, is photographed weeks later amid a swirl of shredded paper towels. Once they can wreak puppy havoc, Ives knows they are okay.

In closing I mention to Ives that although I currently have two cats and two dogs, I really want to rescue a beagle. "If I can talk my husband into more animals... Do you get beagles?""Funny you should ask," she drawls. Ives knows I'm already hooked, but offers this advice: "You need to break your husband in gradually."Honey , how do you feel about beagle pups?"

Flawed Dogs
a poem by Berkley Breathed
So in this world of the simple and odd,
the bent and the pain,
the unbalanced body,
the imperfect people and differently pawed,
some live without love...
THAT'S how they're flawed.

WHAT YOU CAN DO1. Boycott pet stores that buy and sell companion animals. Without pet store sales, mass pet producers would be squeezed out of business. Meet and fall in love with your own puppy mill rescue at Flawdogs! Out-of-state adoptions welcome. View animals online and visit Flawdogs (by appointment): Flawdogs Adoption ph: 636-274-2511; email: web:
P.O. Box 99
Morse Mill, MO 63066

In Missouri, Flawdogs is at the Arnold Petco every Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. They are also there on the second and fourth Saturday, each month.

Well, maybe I'm not the mighty hunter after all...

I woke up the other night and there was something in my bed. I didn't like it, so I barked and barked for mom or dad to get up and help me. First dad got up and thought I wanted to go outside, since I was standing by the gate. I went outside to make him happy, but that really wasn't the problem. Then I came back inside and dad put me back in my room and left me alone with that thing in my bed again. I barked and barked again. This time dad thought I wanted some applesauce, so he got up and gave me some. (I must rememeber that if I bark in the middle of the night I might get applesauce...) Anyway, after I ate he left me alone again. I barked and barked. I think dad was trying to ignore me because I had to bark a LONG time before he finally came back. Mom told him to make sure there wasn't a bug in my bed. Well, it wasn't a bug, it was a big old poop!

Dad took it out of my bed, and flushed it down the big water bowl and then I went right back to sleep. Man, what you go through to get people to understand you!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Here's mom and her birthday cake. I didn't get any of that either. Do you see a pattern here? Posted by Picasa

Here's my dad, Meg and my mom. I guess this graduation thing is a big deal!  Posted by Picasa

Here's my human sister, Meg, she graduated from college this spring. I guess that's kind of like obedience school, only harder. Posted by Picasa

Grandma and Grandpa at their wedding anniversary. I didn't get to go... Posted by Picasa

The Mighty Hunter Returns

Finally, mom got off the computer so I could write! She's sick today. I'm sorry she's sick, but she's such a HOG with the computer... What's a guy to do?

I killed another bird today. YES! I even got to eat most of it before dad found out. Mom is totally grossed out and won't let me near her, but that's okay, she'll forget in a little while and then I'll be back on the bed with her. Our weather has been really hot, but I like it. I sit outside for hours. Mom always has to come look for me, and call me, and she isn't satisfied until I come out of my hiding places (under the hostas) so she knows I haven't gotten out of the gate again. I won't do that again. I got scared kind of bad the first time I did that.

Mom was gone taking care of grandma and grandpa's cat this week. How's that for dog neglect? Leaving me home while she takes care of a stupid CAT! And Mr. Tucker doesn't even like dogs. I wanted to go to grandma's but mom said Mr. Tucker would eat ME! Bet he wouldn't. Silly old cat couldn't hurt a mighty hunter like me! (Note from mom - he took out after my brother in law's Irish Setter, so mighty hunter or not, Charlie stays home when we go to grandma's.) Some bad people got into grandma's and grandpa's house while they were gone, so mom had to take care of Mr. Tucker because my human cousin was afraid to stay there. Maybe if she had a guard DOG instead of a cat that wouldn't have happened. I'm only sayin'.....

I found a new treat this week - bananas! Yum! They're even better than applesauce, but mom doesn't share them as much. She says I can't have a whole one, so I can only have some when she has one. The other kids don't like them much. Good, all the more for me.

My back was all healed up, but then it itched me again, so I chewed it open. I don't think it's too bad. Mom thinks it is, so I had to go to the vet - again. I think I should just live there and mom and dad can come visit me. Geez. Dr. Jesske said I look "great". Woo hoo! My mouth is a little worse, I guess I have a fistula, kind of a hole in the bone of my jaw, but they can't fix it. Dr. Jesske said they could, but maybe if I go to sleep I won't wake up again. That wouldn't be too good, so mom said no. Whew! He said they could go to another vet where they have someone watch me when I'm asleep, something like a seezeologist, (note from mom - anesthesiologist) but that would cost a lot of money and even then I might not wake up. I'm not liking that idea too much, so I'm glad mom says no. I'm happy with my soft food and any birds I can find. So I don't think my mouth needs to be fixed - even though the other kids won't drink out of the water bowl after me 'cause there's icky stuff in it. More water for me, the way I see it. Besides, mom fills it up all the time with clean water. They're such BABIES!

Mom is really excited because Dr. Jesske gave her some prednisone for Heidi because she's itching - guess she's 'lergic to something, anyways the prednisone fixed her nose right up. No more scab. She's a pretty good lookin' dog, of course she's my sister though, so I have to say that.

Well, I just heard mom get up so I'm going to go lay in the corner and pretend like I haven't been on the computer. Thanks to all my friends who read this! I love everybody!