*Warning: This rescue story has sad and disturbing content. Please continue at your own risk*
My name is Marlee Bates, I am half shih tau – half poodle. I am about three years old, and this is my rescue story. The dog I am today is no where near the dog I was when I was first rescued. My pawrents rescued me when I was 17 months old from a puppy mill. When I was first born, there was lots of dogs at the puppy mill. There was a litter born one month before my litter, which was half shih tzu (the same dad as my litter) and half bichon. All of those dogs including the parents left the home. One of the puppies from the litter is now my real life cousin. My grandma’s sister rescued him and his name is Bear! However, I was still in the home for a?very long time after Bear left.
For those of you that don’t know what a puppy mill is, its a terrible place. The people that ran the puppy mill were breeding the doggies just so that they could make money. They were not taking care of us properly. They were not feeding me properly, so I was very under weight and unhealthy. They also were not getting me groomed regularly. Since I am half poodle and have curly hair, it is very important that I get groomed regularly. That means regular baths, brushings and hair cuts. In the 17 months that I was at the puppy mill I was not groomed once. The people that ran the puppy mill were also bad people, who would get angry and do bad things to us. When my furever family recused me, they noticed that I had previously broken ribs and I was scared of everything.
I lived my entire life in the house, and was pee pad trained. While it is okay to be pee pad trained, they never let me outside. I?had never?left the front porch or walked on grass. I also had never worn a collar or been on a leash. Due to the lack of grooming and not going outside, the pads of my paws were so bad they were crumbling and so sensitive. I was also shaking and trembling because I was so scared for my life. Then one day, a very nice lady took me from that home and brought me to another place.
On August 26th, 2016, I went to my furever home with my furever pawrents. My great aunt (remember my?grandma’s sister that owns Bear?) came to the house and brought me in her car. This was a very scary experience, and I had no idea what was going on. She brought me to this place that took all my hair, and gave me a nice bath. It was so nice to be able to see again, and not be all matted. It was at this place that my?mom (Karlee) and dad (Matthew) picked me up! They took me to their house and I got to meet all these nice people, and two other dogs (Grandma’s dogs)! I was very scared for a very long time. I would shake night and day and I was so cold without all of my hair!
My Mom and Dad put a cute sweater on me, and while I didn’t like it in the beginning, I learned to love it since it kept me warm. I was also given a collar to wear, I got used?to this very soon (now I have close to 20 collars!). Walking on a leash was a different story, I hated this and I am still not always a fan of going places. At first my Mom and Dad would just walk me on the grass since my paws were so sensitive. It’s a good thing we live in the country and have more grass to run on than I could imagine. I was so scared to walk and run on the grass in the beginning, but now I love it so much! Sometimes I even play hide and seek with Mom and Dad because I love to explore it!
My pawrents quickly learned that a harness worked best for me. But this wasn’t until after I had tried a dog stroller and got to see my dog aunties (my grandma’s?dogs) walk on leashes! However, now that I can walk on a leash, the stroller is long gone! Now we regularly walk on the trail in the forest by our house, which I love because there are so many different smells. Sometimes I am still scared to walk to the trail, but once we are on the trail I am happy all the way home. I also love going for walks on sidewalks, especially when I visit my Nana and Grandpa and get to walk in their?subdivision!
When I was first rescued Mom and Dad crate trained me. In the past my Dads family crate trained all of the dogs they have?had. Usually this is done from the time that they have brought the doggie home as a puppy, and over time it has become their safe place. When Mom and Dad first started crate training me it was so scary. I would shake and cry at night, but Mom and Dad kept my crate right next to their bed and would help me calm down. It didn’t take long before my create?became a safe place. After a couple months, Mom and Dad?didn’t put me in my crate anymore and I was?allowed to sleep in their bed at night. I also have my own?dog bed next to mom and dads, so I can sleep in my bed or with them. I love sleeping with Mom and Dad so I rarely sleep in my own bed at night.
While I have overcome many challenges along my rescue journey, there is one that I still continue to struggle with on a daily basis. Since I wasn’t fed well when I was in the puppy mill, I hate eating. Don’t get me wrong, I do love food but I am scared to eat. I absolutely LOVE treats, especially duck tenders and?freeze dried beef liver. However, whenever I have to eat my regular food I get so scared. Mom and Dad have tried me on many different foods. In the beginning they tried me on a kibble but my teeth weren’t the best for it, since I was never given bones or anything to strength them. Mom and Dad also learned that I was allergic to chicken and grain, so they had to switch my food.
I was then on a wet food and I really liked that one, but overtime I stopped liking it. My pawrents switched me to a really good kibble called Acana, since my teeth were strong then. I would like some flavours but overtime I always stopped liking it, and wouldn’t eat. Now I am on a raw diet! Mom and Dad feed me raw beef, it is the brand Instinct Instinct Raw. I love this food, but I still don’t eat all the time. I make things really difficult for Mom and Dad and make them hand feed me. If they leave the food in my bowl for me to eat by myself I will not touch it, even if I am starving. I need to have the security of the person feeding me or I am too scared to eat. Maybe overtime I will eat on my own, but that is a work in progress.Well furiends is my rescue story! I started in a bad place that didn’t treat the doggies very well, and now I live with the two most amazing people ever! I am so obsessed with my Mommy, I even have to go to the bathroom with her, to make sure she always has company. I am so grateful and happy that I was rescued into a family that loves me so much and has taken the time and energy to learn and understand what my needs are. I am also lucky that I was rescued before the bad people bred me to have a litter of puppies, and that my furever family had me spayed so no one can ever try to use me as a breeding dog in a puppy mill.
I hope you enjoyed my rescue story! Mom and Dad say I have come along way in the year and a half they have had me. I can’t see what my future has in store for me, but I hope you come along and share my journey with me!
Are you a rescue dog, or do you own one? Share your story in the comments below!
Wet kisses and tail wags!
Marlee – The Rescue Dog
P.s. If you would like to know about my mom and what life with four paws is all about click here.
*This post is not sponsored, all thoughts are our own.*