Rescue Journal

sometimes, you have to give them what they had.

Carol  ·  Aug. 30, 2013

at least close enough or sometimes even a little bit better if you can.

puppy mill can not pull them out of those filthy, disgusting cages that have trapped their minds and bodies for so long and set them loose in a park or a living room or a shelter and expect all that they have suffered will just go away. it is all too frightening, too alien for them to comprehend. they would rather be back in that dark and dirty confined space. they understood that, it was predictable and safe.
so you give them a new cage...a cleaner one with a little more light. you let them get used to better things just a little bit at a time. one day you open the cage in a very small and quiet room and you let them take whatever time they need to get used to a little bit bigger and better world. next you open the door and wait until they are ready to explore. first just a few peeks from the safety of what they know, then a few steps out the door into the unknown.

two steps forward, one, two, three steps back to retreat to where it is safe. a few more steps forward the next day, and the next. it takes a while to see how far they can come.

most of these really damaged guys will never be truly comfortable in a big world. but they can with patience and time find some comfort in a somewhat larger and kinder world.

this is what we did with squirt. how many years has he been here to find the expanded yet still condensed world that he can understand.... five years...six...I am not sure. his life will not be long enough for him to continue to grow til he can comfortably leave saints but his life is much happier than it was before. he has taken many, many baby steps in his own time, by his own choice.

I left the dog room door open for lance. he came in on his own and laid down on the couch. I turned off the lights and fed him a cookie and closed the door because it was cold.
tonight was the first of lances choices. choices he made on his own.

he is not a puppy miller, I do not know where he comes from or what is hidden in his past. but I do know that lance will do better and lance will be happier if I let him choose as much as I can.

maybe it is not such a bad idea to move cali up to the suite. that is where she came from, a quiet apartment where she lived alone with an elderly lady. I am not able to give her the home back that she understood. but maybe I can give her close to it..close enough to it so that she feels this place is somewhat familiar too.

I think with squirt and lance, we can do better than what they had. maybe with cali, we will not be able to do quite as good, but maybe a little bit less than what she had will do.

of course the trick will be to get her back into a carrier to get her safely moved up there without spilling a bunch of my blood.

big sigh...sometimes all you can do is little bits and wait to see how all of the little bits continue to add up.
patience is a virtue they say and we have all of the time in the world.
I guess tomorrow when I get back from the dump, I better set up and vacuum the cali suite. and I better plan on hanging out there for some time every day with her too.

please cali do not hurt me when I visit, I am pretty sure I have already shed my quota of blood for the saints this year.
I admit it, I am a little bit nervous (ie scared shitless) about this new plan. seems kind of stupid to knowingly walk into a possible pissed off lions (ie nasty attack cats) expanded den.

wish me luck...hope it works.



Lance is a really nice dog..his colouring is least to me..sorta a steel grey with a smokey tinge..AND he knows his name already and responds..he found dog heaven. A little anxious but he seemed to enjoy his time at the barn..and then put himself away by going into the doghouse when he was done. nice nice dog


Just a comment about puppy mill dogs. I got my pug, Rose when she was 5 and was a puppy mill mama. About a month or two later, I had her at the dog park and the lightbulb of joy went on. What a moment! She started running in huge circles, snorting and smiling. Just a wonderful moment I'll always remember.

Barb H

Your approach to Lance's needs seems indicative to me of the care and attentiveness that goes into the decisions you make. Each to his/her own needs.


Maybe put some temptations/catnip in the carrier and put it right in front of her and tip the dome. At least in the suite she can move around and get some exercise.

janet nicholson

Oh Carol - you are so very brave - and we all respect you for it - and I hope there is a good supply of bandaids on hand at S.A.I.N.T.S. for you! Good luck! Have you thought of getting Cali stoned on cat nip?