From Mill to Milan

It is every puppy mill dog’s dream to escape from the horrible confinements of a puppy mill and someday be adopted into a loving family. 

Hi, I’m Lilly, formerly known as dog 314. I was a Pekingese breeding dog in a puppy mill in Missouri (which is the worst state to have to be a breeding dog in, trust me!)  I was bred constantly for the first five years of  my life and I had never met a human that was kind. One day, my breeder threw me into a cage and off we went down the road. I was terrified and had no idea where we were going. When we stopped, I was surrounded by a lot of dogs that I had never met. There were a lot of people around talking about buying us and there were so many dogs! Hours later I was thrown onto a table in front of a huge crowd and people started shouting, I had never been more scared in my life. When the shouting stopped, I was taken back to my cage- how confusing! At the end of the day, I was grabbed out of my cage, again, and I thought that I was going back to work, but something was different. The person holding me was REALLY holding me! She sounded so nice and was petting my fur. If I was confused earlier, this really scared me. These nice people kept telling me that it was over, and I was finally free. What did that mean? Free? I would soon learn.

Me in the Big Apple for a night!

There I was, on the road again, this time with people who I had never met and a few other dogs from my mill- but this was way different. I was comfy for the first time in my life! I felt safe. After what seemed like hours, we stopped and that is where my life really began! I was taken to my foster home in a place called Minnesota, where I had a BED and real food!  I was in heaven! I don’t know what “foster” meant, but this is the life! They even took me to see a doctor and he made me feel so much better! They told me that I would never have to have any more puppies (and boy am I thankful for that!). After a few months, I was the queen of my house! I learned to bask in the attention and I became a little sassy 🙂 I ran around and for the first time in my life I learned how to smile and wag my tail!! It is amazing what love and patience did for me! But for all of you dogs that are still awaiting your furever homes (or for the ones still stuck in the mills), my story doesn’t end here. Yep- it gets even better! 

This mill mama gets to move to Milan! I will be living the luxurious life (or so they tell me). I am not sure where Milan is, but everyone seemed so excited for me! The volunteer that saved me from my first life said that we were going on a long trip and that she hoped I did okay. For my first trip on a plane, I would like to think that I did pretty well. The nice lady even let me sit on her lap the whole time! We had to stop at a place called New York because of a storm and we slept in a big hotel where I got a WHOLE bed to myself! I got to eat bagels and stretch out, it was wonderful. I thought that my new home was just awesome! I guess it wasn’t Milan though because the next day we were back on the plane, this time for a really really really long time. I slept a lot! When we landed, I started getting really nervous. The nice lady kept telling me that my new family was here… But I was kind of scared… Would I recognize them? Would they recognize me? What if they didn’t like me? 

All my worries were gone when I saw her… My new mom! She was SO PRETTY and so nice and all mine. I knew it instantly.It was love at first sight!  I have never been so happy in my life!! When she took me to my home, she introduced me to my new brother, Teo. We get along really well, like we were supposed to be a family. 

Friends, please know that life does get better for some of us. I am one of the really lucky ones, but thanks to the really great people at Peke N Chin Midwest (who saved me) and other rescues, dogs like me are saved every day. We find great homes and, thankfully, we never have to breed again. Don’t give up hope and always fight for those of us that can’t speak. We appreciate it. And if you want to learn more about dog auctions, like the one that I came from click here

CIAO from Milan! 

— Lilly the lucky mill mama <3 

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Life’s a Journey

One of my readers wants to share his success TAIL! Please read and leave your comments below!

All of my life, I have dreamed of owning my own dog. One I would love and cherish for my entire life. It started back when I was only 10 years old. All of my other classmates had their own pets, ranging from cats, hamsters, and fish; one of my classmates even had a raccoon as a pet. However, I was not very interested in owning any of these types of animals- I was interested in owning my very own dog. I would listen in envy as my classmates would talk about how their dog was special. I was even made fun of for not owning one. These moments had depressed me for quite a very long time. I was depressed at the thought of never being able to own a dog in my future. I asked my parents all the time for one, only to be told that I would not be able to get one unless I had a working job to pay for the expenses. Even constant years of begging brought no luck or hope to me as I was always told the same thing. As I grew up, I would donate whatever money I had to local shelters. I had even donated my entire money that I made from gaming after seeing a fundraiser for the Creston Animal Shelter. I ended up buying seventy dollars in supplies for them to show that help would always be available.

In my future, I would be blessed to have our first family dog named Ozzy; a purebred chocolate lab. Our parents had adopted him from a shelter and brought him home. He was quite playful and I was overjoyed inside but it still did not feel the same as if he was mine. Our second lab joined us last May. She was also adopted from a shelter and she is named Maggie. She is quite an energetic dog with the speed of a greyhound. But, likewise with Ozzy, she just did not feel right to me; like as she was my dog. I however continued to show my love for them and treated them both as if they were truly mine. It would not be long though until I would find my own dog to care for. I remember it was August 10th of this year. I was working the usual night produce shift at Hy-Vee, just running out the last of items to fill up before heading back home. Soon my attention was caught by an ad from the Creston Animal Rescue. It was highlighting the available animals up for adoption.

I browsed through them, many were very interesting but soon my attention caught on the last picture. It was detailing a German Sheppard/Siberian Husky mix. She was black and white, and two years old and named Journey. My heart soared in joy as I caught sight of her picture. It was like I was staring into heaven’s beautiful light when looking in her beautiful brown eyes. She was practically calling me out to adopt her and give her a home. I then quickly jolted back and rushed to punch out on the time clock, so I could write down contact information to ask for her. I then called three times for three straight days with no answer on the other side. My heart was starting to sink. “Was I too late? Was she already taken?” Those thoughts haunted my dreams and heart for two days. My heart soared in joy when I finally had received a call back and was told she was still up for adoption. I arranged a date to meet with her and take a look at her. I was so thrilled to finally see her but soon remembered my troubled part of this deal. I still had to ask my parents about adopting her.

 I was able to build up enough courage to finally ask them. With a raspy breath and built up courage in my heart, I finally spoke out “Mom and Dad…..I have really been thinking and keeping this secret for quite a while. May I adopt my own dog?” I ask this of them bravely; without fear. My parents were shocked at this. My father’s initial reaction was “Why? We already have two dogs you love so much?” He was trying to discourage me. My mother was quite interested and asked about Journey. I told her everything about Journey I had learned. My mother had a few moments of silence when I told her she was abandoned and have suffered from a nasty leg injury by her last owners. My father though was not amused and simply said. “We’ll think about it.” There it was again… heart just sank even more like a lead balloon. I had lived my entire young life being told “We’ll think about it.” Have I failed even more? I could not cope up with this thought and had my worst night of trying to sleep. I had tear-filled eyes when I thought I would never reach my goal of earning my own dog. I could not stand the thought of being heartbroken again, especially after seeing Journey for that first time. Finally the night came where my family could see Journey for the first time. I was quite excited but filled with fear to the fact they could say no.

After several long minutes she came. Journey was quite timid about seeing us. She had already been visited by five other people who then had turned her down due to her being timid around new people. I slowly approached her, offering my hand out as she sniffed in curiosity. I placed my hand on her, petting her and speaking to her. She enjoyed being around me. I walked her around the parking lot, getting used to her and soon decided, she just had to be mine. Everyday my excitement built more and more as I thought of her. The day would soon come as I picked her up from the shelter. She had a very nice sleeping bag to lay on in my backseat with her toy to play with. She rested and smiled at me as we were on our way home. When I arrived, I held her on her leash and walked up to our two labs. Ozzy and Maggie were silent for a few seconds before barking at her as if she was a stray. I knew this was normal as they were not used to her yet. The cats went up to her curiously as she sat next to me. She growled at them, not used to them as well. I simply just smiled and petted her. “It’s okay Journey, they won’t hurt you.” I said giving her a gentle hug as I lead her into her pen. She was hesitant to go inside but I soon got her to go into it. I decided to let her rest for a couple of hours to get her used to her kennel. I soon let her out and hooked on her leash, as she was excited to be walking with me. It took her quite a bit to get used to her new surroundings.

I share this experience with your readers to show why adopting her has done her way more good than it probably did for me. I saved her from a life of loneliness. I will always have never-ending love for her no matter what. I encourage all of you to adopt an animal from a rescue center like I did. I promise you will not ever regret it.

–Brett Sporleder

Saying… “Adopt, Don’t Shop!”