Written by Becky Monroe
This week we spotlight two adorable Toy Poodles: Trixie and Trudie who were rescued not just from a puppy mill, but from one of the HSUS’s Horrible One Hundred puppy mills. Blue Moon Kennel is one of the most notorious mass breeding facilities. Lucky for Trixie and Trudie they found a way out.
Their owner, Lisa, adopted them from Safe Haven Bichon and Friends rescue in Wisconsin. Safe Haven acquired them at an auction in Missouri.
Their story has a few bumps in the road. Lisa was originally their foster home for 8 months. She patiently worked with them so they could join a family as “normal dogs.” Eventually a nice woman wanted to adopt them and brought them to Illinois. Unfortunately, four years later she had to downsize and was not able to take Trixie and Trudie with her. Lisa said she was an amazing mom to the girls and Lisa still sends pics and keeps her updated on them regularly. “She adored them,” Lisa expressed.
Pictured below: photos of Bichons, possibly Trixie and Trudie, taken at Blue Moon Kennel.
Lisa stepped up to foster them right away and in time adopted them herself. They have been part of Lisa’s family for nearly 5 years and are about eleven years old.
Lisa wasn’t new to the struggles of puppy mill survivors. Trixie and Trudie joined her Bichons, Frida and Heidi, who were also rescued from a large USDA breeder in Wisconsin. As well as little Lucy, a miniature Poodle who came from a puppy mill in Missouri.
Lisa knows the ups and downs of taking in these survivors and the struggles they work through. Between Frida, Heidi and Lucy, Lisa had a lot of previous experience to offer the two new Poodles.
Lucy’s puppy mill experience proved detrimental to her upbringing. To this day, she is still fearful of open spaces and the cold. Lots of things are still scary for her, but she, too continues to grow and has learned it is okay to play with Lisa and that not all humans are out to hurt you.
As for Trixie and Trudie they are still working on potty training, but have made a lot of progress along the way. The pair are precious to Lisa and she is just grateful they are back in her life.
Between the girls’ first mom and her rescued poodles and Lisa’s pack, Trixie and Trudie have had many teachers to help them acclimate to the good life. Lisa said both girls are very obedient and LOVE to go for car rides. Lisa’s Bichon, Frida, was a wonderful mother figure to them and to all the dogs who came through the house. She offered a calmness to the others’ anxieties and with Frida’s passing that is still sadly missed today.
Lisa believes Frida’s spirit has gone on to live in Trixie and that when Frida passed she helped Trixie (and Trudie) to find their way back to Lisa.
The poodle pair are the same breed, same age, but very different personalities. From the beginning, Trixie has wanted love and been loving and cuddly and friendly, while Trudie has always been shy and reserved. But, together they are just the perfect peas in a pod.
Interesting how their experience in a puppy mill shaped their lives so differently, but, luckily, they have each other to face life with. It seems from the beginning they were a bipolar bonded pair. Lisa explained that Trudie has a bad habit of attacking Trixie when there is excitement in the household. She really will show her dominance, but at the same time they like to snuggle together and play and are best friends.
It is unknown if the two are related in any way. While the same breed, Trudie stands taller and has a deeper chest, while Trixie is shorter and could become plump if given the opportunity. Perhaps they were littermates – we will never know.
Both are full of energy and have adapted to all of the homes they went to, but lucky to land at Lisa’s as their forever one and remain together.
Originally, Lisa owned a home-bred Bichon and when that dog passed, she started thinking about adopting a rescued Bichon. Eventually, she found herself on petfinder.com and found Frida and Safe Haven Bichon and Friends Rescue. The rest is history as Lisa has become emerged in animal rescue and fostering.
Lisa said that above all else she has learned how resilient dogs are, especially mill survivors. Despite everything they have been through, they continue to make progress and eventually are able to trust and to show love and affection.
When asked about tips for living with a mill survivor, Lisa offered this, “Never expect perfection (or even close) and to adopt them for what YOU can do for them. Learn to love all that they are because of where they come from. They have been failed by humans but now have a chance to be reborn into a whole new life.”
She also added, ”They would probably do best not being the only dog in the house.”
It is true: puppy mill survivors tend to learn much quicker when they have another already trained dog in the household.
Trixie and Trudie help get the word out about puppy mills. They attended the Great Iowa Pet Expo and shared their stories and educated the public on the truth about pet stores and puppy mills.
If the Poodle pair could tell humans one thing, what would it be?
“Dogs deserve to be treated with compassion and kindness – no exceptions.”
Absolutely, Trixie and Trudie. We are so glad that you were given a second chance (kind of even a third) and now have lives full of love, compassion and kindness.