Sunday, November 29, 2009


Barbara Cooper is the author behind the Fur-licity blog about her dog, Daisy's journey from life in a puppy mill. She kindly took a moment to give us some advice about adopting puppy mill dogs. Here's what she said:

HTB: How did you make the decision to adopt a puppy mill dog?

BC: When I was a child, my father took me to the SPCA or similar organization when I wanted a dog. As an adult, I continued to look for canine companions at the local SPCA. It just seemed the "right thing to do." After the death of my last dog, Jessie, I went to the local SPCA but found they only had large and active dogs. My age and mobility prevented me from adopting there this time. I went on-line and found two rescue groups for small dogs that were close to home. I applied for a dog and the Coordinator of FureverAfter did a home visit. She then matched me with Daisy, which was an excellent choice. I was really impressed by the care they take to find the right home for their rescues.

HTB: How has Daisy changed your life?

BC: Daisy is the first dog I've adopted who was abused; the others were surrendered for different reasons. So it's been a new learning experience. I've had to deal with discouragement, and learning new levels of patience. But each step she has made toward being less fearful and more confident brings wild waves of happiness and delight. She "points" toward my own growth and makes me more aware of it and the future possibilities. So we are kind of in this together.

HTB: Some might ask, why would anyone go through the trouble of rehabilitating a puppy mill dog. What do you tell them?

BC: It's not for everyone. But for those of us willing and able to do it, the rewards are great.

HTB: What advice do you have for other people who have adopted puppy mill dogs?

The best advice I have received is "relax". Stressing over whether I'm doing the right thing or not can drive human and dog completely nuts. Listen, observe, allow the dog to find comfort at his/her own pace without trying to rush things. Keep a journal so you can see progress when you are discouraged. Join a support group such as shy k-9s on Yahoogroups. Search the internet for information about puppy mills and the effect on dogs. Keep learning, together.

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