It isn’t news when I read a Facebook update from the Westie Rescue group we support and learn of another batch of breeding mill “retirees” coming into the rescue fold. What is news is when the head of this group reports that she was “brought to her knees” upon examining the worst of the lot, Christopher Robin, and when the photos of his condition have warning captions: Graphic, Bloody, Disturbing. Don’t Look if Easily Sickened.
Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you are proven wrong. His condition was beyond anything those in rescue have seen or could have imagined. There are breeders and then there are breeding mills. The canine equivalent of labor camps, much is being done to expose the truly horrifying condition under which cute little white puppies appear in your local pet store.
Christopher Robin’s condition was so disturbing that it was one of those tipping point moments and the floodgates opened with donations towards his care from all over the country and Europe. It was and is remarkable. Miraculously, his condition is improving and the prognosis is a bright one.
But it IS the Tennessee Seven, right? There are six other Westies in the group and they have stories too. They had the usual assortment of breeding mill problems: eye infections, skin problems, worms, parasites, etc. But three were healthy enough to go in for treatment and spaying/neutering which is such good news.
And then Beloved Husband and I saw the Facebook update asking for help in transporting those three Westies up to Maryland from Tennessee where Maryland Westie Rescue would take over their fostering and eventual placement.
Have I mentioned BH has his pilot’s license? And that he is a seriously good guy?
Here is my hero and those three Westies on their way up to Maryland this past Tuesday morning. Yup, BH dropped everything after checking the weather and flew down to Tennessee from Virginia to pick up the three little dogs.
Two out of three Westies are in Maryland now. You see, while all of this was going on, The Bossy One piped in that SHE wants one. It’s been several months now since Mary’s beloved cairn terrier, Hannah, left us and she is eager to bring a new pup into her life.
So I am pleased to introduce our newest Westie baby, Josephine. She is two years old. I don’t know how many times she’s been bred, but she shows signs of giving birth recently. Josie has never been in a house before having spent her entire life in a pen. She is scared of just about everything. The refrigerator kicking on startles her. I opened a drawer too quickly and she ran from the kitchen. She cringes when I go to pet her. All of this will work itself out. I’m sure by the time I deliver her to my sister in Colorado next month, she will be so much better. And I will need a Margarita (do you hear this, Mary?)
And the beat goes on at The Barn.
Should any of you want to learn more about the evils of breeding mills, read here. And never, ever buy a dog from a pet store.
Thanks for reading,