…HAPPILY EVER AFTER
My little Princess Reese has been a part of our family for six years and (for the most part), she is a very happy girl. The first two years were a challenge and incredibly slow going while we earned her trust and worked to bring Reese out of her shell. We took her to a small puppy training group for socialization, and she completely shut down. Reese would not move let alone participate. Having Henry – a confident, happy dog as an example helped immensely. Henry was such a great example for Reese; I credit him with ninety percent of her recovery. We’re a package deal as Reese won’t be without Henry. Wherever we go, we go together; Reese comes with Henry for his trips to the vet and visa versa. Reese sits beautifully on the sidelines and watches while Henry performs at agility class. Reese has even come to accept, and not shy away from Henry’s classmates and their people. Although certain situations make her uncomfortable, and she shakes and shivers, we see improvement in Reese, each and every day.
There are still times we have to move slowly, and Reese will scurry away when we approach. If we want to give her a fuss, we get down on our knees and sometimes even our elbows. Reese lets us know her comfort level, and once we reach that level, she will walk over to us. If Henry comes along to steal the attention, it speeds Reese up. Other times, she will run right to us and wag her tail and bark to get us to chase her! For a dog that didn’t know toys, she is OBSESSED with her ball and playing fetch. We’re still working on the return part as she doesn’t bring the ball directly to us.
Rehabilitating an animal is not an easy task, and not everyone is in a position to do so. If you are able and willing to make that commitment, it is incredibly rewarding to see the transformation. By exercising patience and encouragement and showing her unconditional love, Reese has become a darling, sweet and at times very cheeky little dog.
Every animal companion deserves to live happily ever after.
Puppy Mill Prison
What do you dream of little one?
What causes you to cry out in your sleep and your little body to twitch?
I gently caress your back
you flinch briefly, before relaxing just enough to stop grinding your remaining teeth
You are safe now little one – you are home
I watch as you settle and wonder
‘how is it possible these places still exist?’
a nightmare for dogs – a puppy mill prison
I whisper softly ‘I love you.’
you respond with a sigh
a deep, full-body sigh, releasing the demons that haunt you
What do you dream of my little one?
I lie next to you – comforting you
I also dream;
I dream of freedom for your friends and your family.
I dream of the offspring taken from you – sold in pet stores or at markets
I dream of a day when puppy mills no longer exist
I dream the law will protect the innocent
I dream of mill dogs running free, their paws knowing the softness of real grass
I dream of healthy, happy dogs – each knowing love
What do you dream of one?
I whisper softly ‘you are safe.’
You are free from your puppy mill prison
S. L. Parker
Photo of Reese taken by Gillian Woods
Gilly Face Photos