Meet the Survivors: Midge

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Written by Becky Monroe

Meet Midge also known as “Sissy” Midge, a beautiful Pekingese, was originally rescued from National Mill Dog Rescue when she was about 7 years old. Not long after arriving at NMDR, Midge was spayed and had a successful nasal surgery to improve her breathing.

It was then Bridget adopted her. Bridget wasn’t new to puppy mill adoptions. Midge would be her 4th one, but Midge was different. It was obvious Midge wanted to be a dog, but she just didn’t know how. Bridget said, “You could look at her and see so much hope.”

In the beginning, Midge acted almost feral. She was extremely fearful of human interaction and tried to keep herself secluded as much as she could. She was anxious and scared of most everything.

Like so many mill dogs, she had this faint desire to want to interact and to play with the other dogs and toys, but she had never learned how to do any of that in her 7 years in a cage. Her fear outweighed her yearning to want to get involved. She would poke her head around the sofa and just observe the other dogs so very unsure what her next move should be.

Doorways and thresholds, often a difficult situation for mill dogs, were also very hard for Midge.

Bridget explained that they knew the only thing they could do was to give her time to adjust and to learn from her doggy siblings what real dog life could be like. Bridget said,”We knew not to ask anything of her.”

With constant, positive reinforcement and lots of treats over 2 years, Midge, also called Sissy, finally was comfortable going through doorways and going outside. She flies through doorways now without a care in the world!

Eventually, Bridget had to move across the country and was so very concerned that it would be a tough move for Sissy and might even cause setbacks in all of her progress. Luckily, the move proved to be the exact opposite. Sissy loved the road trip and enjoyed the adventure. All of the new smells and sights seemed to bring Sissy right out of her shell!

Now Sissy was holding her head high! With new found confidence, she even found her voice!

Bridget explained that they never called Midge “Sissy” because she was afraid or wimpy, but because she became such a wonderful sister to all her siblings.

Sissy has taught them that you can overcome most things with hard work. That we should all live the good life and to keep in mind there is always a better picture ahead.

She believes Sissy would tell others, “There is always hope and to never give up. Always face the new challenge. And, even as a mill survivor, you can find the true dog within.”

Sissy educates the neighborhood on puppy mills these days. Her confidence soars as she flips her head about and her beautiful coat shines for all to see.

Today, at 12 years old, that fearful, shy dog is now a very animated, funny girl who enjoys socializing.

Bridget summed it up best, “She is now a bit bossy, opinionated, and chooses which way we walk, and the pace we keep. I’m really at her service now. It’s ok, she deserves it.”

Tails and Truths would like to continue to showcase mill survivor transformations as a way to put faces to the thousands of dogs still prisoners in breeding facilities.

If you would like to share your mill dog’s story, please email me at


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