I’m that person now. Who only talks about her dog. And cries every time she takes him to the vet.
And it only took four days. That was fast.
Let me back up a bit…
Over a month ago I wrote about our (Jason and my) search for a rescue dog and how frustrating it had been. I’m not one for clichés and I don’t believe in fate, but I finally understand when people say something was meant to be. All the frustration we went through— and there was more I didn’t even write about— was so that we would end up with our dog, Toby.
Literally just two weeks ago, Toby was in a puppy mill somewhere in Missouri. In all likelihood, he was living in a tiny crate in awful, dirty conditions that caused him to suffer from terrible allergies which he compensated for by constantly gnawing at his paws. He couldn’t sit down comfortably because his crate floor was barbed wire (easy cleaning, when they bothered). He probably never saw the light of day or got to roam free. He was fed just enough to stay alive and whatever it was, it was crap. He’s anemic and two pounds under weight— which is a lot when you are only supposed to weigh eight pounds— and his teeth are very decayed. As I write this, he is having serious dental surgery to repair (and remove) his neglected teeth— hence why I cried at the vet this morning. He also probably had fleas, worms and whatever else.
And he was one of the lucky ones. He served a purpose, which kept him alive for all those years. (We think he is at least four years old.)
Side note: I try not to ever get political in my posts, but bear with me I'm about to now. I've learned a lot about the puppy mill industry in the past few days and how unbelievably awful it truly is. You might not know it, but those cute little puppies you see in pet stores and online come from puppy mills where the mommies and daddies never get to see the light of day. You should NEVER EVER buy a dog from a pet store. EVER. Even if they claim they don't use puppy mill dogs, they are lying. Puppy mills are just evil, awful places. And the people who run them belong in jail. Adoption should always be there first option, but if that's not right for you, there are plenty of reputable places and breeders out there who don't use puppy mill dogs. Here is a great check list for finding reputable places to buy puppies.
Fortunately, Toby’s story has a happy ending. His puppy mill got raided and hopefully has been shut down for good. One can only pray the evil people who ran it are going to jail and paying hefty fines for their unconscionable cruelty. And Toby got sent to one of my new favorite places— Chicago Canine Rescue.
Another side note: If you are looking to adopt a dog in Chicago, visit Chicago Canine Rescue. They are fabulous to work with and they usually have a large and varied selection of dogs and cats— they even get many purebreds. Toby is a schnoodle, otherwise known as a schnauzer-poodle mix, but schnoodle is so much more fun to say.
So with a little blood, sweat, tears and countless phone calls, we got accepted to adopt Toby and he moved into our home this past Sunday where he is starting a new, happy chapter of life.
Now I want to brag. My little dude is the smartest, sweetest, most adaptable dog— or any living being for that matter— I’ve ever met. One would think after the horrible beginning he had, he would hate people and be terrified of everything. While loud noises do scare him and he still prefers his crate to his nice comfy bed, he is already adjusting so well!
He sleeps through the night with only minimal barking and he hasn’t had an accident in the house since the morning after we got him! He’s already learned his new name and seems to understand the “come” command. I’m pretty sure he is a genius.
And while he doesn’t really understand, yet, how to sit on a lap or snuggle with a human, he loves being scratched behind the ears and stand on you (awkwardly) as you pet him. He also gets so excited when you praise him and follows us everywhere we go in the house. He’s also doing well meeting new people and loves other dogs. I’m very proud.
I could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it up here. A few months ago when my parent’s dog passed away, I couldn’t imagine ever owning another animal and loving him as much, but Toby has already stolen my heart and helped me heal from the pain of that loss. I know I’m using another cliché, but for as much as we are hopefully giving him, Toby has already given us so much more. The best decision I’ve ever made, was adopting Toby.