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Puppy Mill puppy has success

Updated on July 27, 2011

Rumer had her first success today.

For those of you who have read Life of a Puppy Mill Puppy, you will realize that she is a rescue from a puppy mill – a rescue turned rescuer who now works as a therapy dogs.

Rumer had a first real success today. She made friends with a woman terrified of dogs. It sounds like a simple act, but it was more than that. IT was a small miracle.

The woman reported being attacked while 7 months pregnant with her now-17 year old daughter. She found herself lying on the hood of a car terrified by the attacking dog. It wasn’t the only time she was attacked, but the one that stayed with her for years.

Rumer, for those who don’t know her, is a daunting dog. She’s part Rottweiler, part shepherd. She weighs 80 pounds and stands waist height at the top of her head. The minute she encountered the woman, the woman looked as though she was about to be set on fire.

Leashed, Rumer walked away quickly, finding a quiet room and settling in. The woman had to be encouraged to even come into an adjacent room. Slowly curiosity got the best of her.

She talked to the dog through a door. Standing at a window, she tossed a few treats into the room. Rumer walked past her on a leash to access a door to outside to relieve herself.

Finally the woman came into the same room as the dog. When she sat down, tensed, Rumer approached her, leaned against her and extended an ear for a scratch. The scratch was tentative.

Rumer seems to sense when people are distressed, mentally or physically. She seeks them out and offers herself as comfort, as a way to bring peace. She accepts what they offer – touches, cuddles, kisses, petting or being ignored.

Rumer lay down at her feet, rolled on her side and offered her belly. As the woman tenderly touched an ear and touched a foot, she accepted the touches.

When the dog sat up, she commented that scratching her ear was therapeutic.

When it was time to leave, she attached Rumer’s leash to her collar, parading around building walking the dog. Rumer walked like a lady through the building, acknowledging her new friend. That is the purpose of a therapy dog, to rescue people one individual at a time.

A puppy mill can be large or small. It can be run with a few dogs or hundreds. It doesn’t cost much to run. In most cases animals are kept in exceedingly small spaces with no access to fresh food, water, cool air, heat or medical care.

Dogs are caged, forced to breed, contained, the puppies removed when they are barely old enough and sold to pet shops or unsuspecting buyers who believe pups are coming from small family breeders. The internet and newspaper ads, aided by nationwide shipping make it easier to disguise these places.

And yet in many states, puppy mills, with few restrictions, are legal.

A recent survey indicated that dogs intelligent as a 2 year old child and understand up to 165 words. Researchers indicate that they believe that sometime in their evolution learned to read human behavior, determine who is paying attention to them, versus those who aren’t and calculate their behaviors accordingly.

How can someone who looks into those eyes refuse to acknowledge that those creatures feel no pain?


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