This page is now a memorial. Missy died July 20, 2006. Please read
on and learn about
the horrors of puppy mills. Missy's first 4 years were hell on earth. No dog should have to endure
the suffering that she and many thousands of mill dogs do each and every day.
This is my 'before' picture.
Here I am on April 17, 1996, when I was
rescued by Hearts United
For more information, please visit
the Truth About Puppy Mills page, or visit
The Horror of Puppy Mills
I wasn't always such a happy-go-lucky dog. Until April of 1996, I
lived a miserable existence in a
puppy mill. In 1996, when I was rescued, I was
approximately 4 years old, and
I had probably already had at least 3 or 4 litters of puppies.
When I was a puppy myself,
there was a flood at the puppy mill. Of 10 puppies, I was the only
one to survive. I was kept in unsanitary conditions, in a cage.
I did not receive adequate food or veterinary care. When I was dumped
at Hearts United for Animals,
I was terrified of people. I had heartworm. I had
an infected uterus. One of my upper incisors was broken and was
piercing the gum. That tooth has since been removed, and now I have
a rather lopsided grin.
My fur, which is now a rich liver and white, was orange from malnutrition and it was falling out in clumps. My bones jutted out from underneath my skin. My eyes had no expression except fear and exhaustion. I delivered my last litter of puppies early in 1996. The man who brought me to the shelter said that of my eight puppies, 4 had frozen to death. He brought 3 of the remaining puppies to the shelter with me. The reason he brought me there was that there had been another flood at the "kennel", as he called it. Most of the dogs had died. It is said that I saved my puppies from the swollen creek, but I don't really remember. I am trying to forget that life. I spent two and a half months living in a foster home, with a wonderful foster family who nursed me back to health and taught me that it would be safe to trust some humans.
The humans I live with now are known to other humans as Mary and Paul, but I call them mom and dad. They found out about me through the Internet, specifically through a newsgroup called rec.pets.dogs.rescue. It seemed like kismet to them. They had already had one springer spaniel in their family, Brandy. Please visit Brandy's Page.
Missy's Big Adventure
Well, my mom read about me on the newsgroup, then she emailed Hearts United for Animals and asked if it would be possible for me to move to Canada. My mom and dad filled out an adoption form, and submitted veterinary and personal references to prove that they would be fit parents. Once I was well enough, and had been spayed (ouch), my new parents came to get me. My mom and dad drove 13 hours from Ontario, Canada, to Iowa City, Iowa. My foster mom and her daughter drove 5 hours from Auburn, Nebraska, to Iowa City to meet them on June 28, 1996. I was scared and didn't want my foster mom to leave me behind. But these new people seemed nice enough and petted me a lot. We drove a long, long way to return to my new home in Canada. I have many insecurities from having been treated poorly in my former life. I love to sit on a couch or lay in a bed; for some reason it makes me feel safe. I can do this in my new home and I am gradually learning to overcome my fears.
I am enjoying my new life, but I will always carry the scars of abuse. I have a scar that runs the length of my nose; there is still a hollow there that will never fill in. I might have cut it on a sharp wire on the cage, or someone may have hit me. I also have a bald spot on each ear. The spot is the same size and shape and is in the same place on each ear. Someone may have glued my ears together at some point to keep them out of the way, or in a vain attempt to make them grow in a different direction. I have scars on my chin which look like burns; I don't remember how I got those. I am still very shy of people I don't know, and I tremble when I meet someone new, but I am growing bolder as I learn to be secure in the love of my new home.