Hello, my name is Blue. This is me with my best friend Devo. I’m going to tell you my story and then ask you to do a few simple things. I hope you will listen.
I’m 9 years old, but it’s a miracle that I’m alive. You see, I was born into a puppy mill. For the first 6 months of my life, I lived in a cage, up to my chest in feces and urine. There were 33 of us in that horrible place. The crying and howling never ended. We were starved and abused and we never saw daylight, never experienced even the slightest amount of affection or caring. On the rare occasion when our captor chose to feed us, she would simply pour the food into a big pile and let us fight over it. Only the strongest and the least sick would survive.
One day our captor decided that she deserved a vacation, and the person she hired to take care of us had enough of a conscience to let us out of the cage. For the first time, we left that room and had the run of the house. But she didn’t have the courage to do more than that. Finally, weeks later, a neighbor, hearing the howls, smelling the smells, and noting that no one had been there for weeks on end, was kind enough to complain to the authorities, and this is what they found.
As you can see, that brown carpet used to be blue.
It was so soaked with our urine that our rescuers had to wear gas masks to enter the house because the amount of ammonia made the air unsafe to breathe. And yet that’s what we had been breathing our whole lives.
As you may have noticed, we were pretty thin and had a lot of health issues when we were found. Thanks to their excellent care though, we were soon healthy again, and were adopted by loving families.
I can’t speak for the others, but I can say that the emotional scars still remain for me. When my mom, the person who usually writes this blog, first got me, I was so unused to the great outdoors that I wouldn’t go into the yard to do my business without her being right beside me the whole time. And even then, if I heard the slightest sound, like a car backfiring several blocks away, I would bolt screaming back into the house and shake in a corner for hours. It took me 6 months before I could enjoy the sunshine and even think about playing. Now I love to play with my friend Devo. We race all around the yard and have a lot of fun.
To this day, though, I’m scared of strangers, especially men with belts. Belts terrify me. I don’t even like them if they are lying around untouched. The story behind that is something I choose to keep to myself, but I bet you can guess.
I also still have a lot of issues with food. At feeding time, even though I have my very own bowl now, and Devo is the only other dog in the house and he is very kind to me, I’ll take a mouthful of food, run into another room, eat it there, then come back for more. I learned my lesson well. Where the food is, there is usually the danger of being attacked by other starving dogs. So it’s best to grab your share and run away.
My mom will sometimes tell me, with tears in her eyes, that I don’t have to be afraid anymore, but I’ve seen too much to believe her. But she lets me do what I need to do, which is really nice.
She also gives good cuddles, by the way, so I tend to stick to her like glue.
So that’s my story. I hope you will help me so that no other dog has to go through what I did.
- Never buy a pet from a pet store. Ever. The vast majority of pet shop animals come from mills. If you support them, you encourage them.
- Whenever possible, get your pets from rescue organizations such as your city’s Animal Care and Control department, or the Humane Society, or a rescue organization for a specific breed. There are so many of us out there who need your love.
- Please also support these organizations through donations or volunteering your time. They need all the help they can get.
- Please spay or neuter your pets. They will live longer, healthier lives, and they will not bring more animals into a world that already has too many.
- If you absolutely insist on buying your pet from a breeder, make sure it is licensed, and take the time to actually inspect the facility. The WHOLE facility. Yes, there are responsible breeders out there, but many are not. Make sure you aren’t supporting a puppy mill. It may even be that my captor started out as a responsible breeder, and then got overwhelmed or mentally ill. We’ll never know. But it’s important that you monitor your breeder carefully, and if he or she is a responsible one, that shouldn’t be a problem.
If you have given a pet a loving home, thank you. If you’ve lost a pet that you loved a lot, I’m sorry. But I hope you will adopt again. We need you.