Ambassador Pit Bull Alliance volunteer Paul’s mother Barbara was asked to be a guest blogger in honor of No Pet Store Puppies Day July 21, 2016. Here’s her story.
By: Barbara Schmitz
Back in 1993, before awesome rescue groups with a great online presence, it wasn’t as easy as it is now to find a dog to rescue. But I put out the word, and soon I learned of a dog groomer who took in 20 dogs that were homeless after the puppy mill in which they lived was disbanded.
When I visited the groomer, I noticed something odd about this group of toy poodles. They were barking up a storm, but something didn’t sound right. I learned later that they had all been debarked, a common practice in puppy mills, done to keep the noise down. I noticed a little black and white girl off by herself, looking a little lost.
I took this little dog out for a little walk in the yard. Her head was down and her tail was between her legs. As she explored the yard, I saw one wag of her tail. A few minutes later, another. I was hooked, plain and simple. I took this little lost pup home, and we named her Jessie.
It’s true there are many dogs that live through unspeakable abuse and neglect that recover wonderfully. Such was not the case with Jessie. She was a good little dog, however she often seemed lost in her little world. I often wondered what horrors she lived through. But, she had a wonderful life with us, no doubt about it, and she became a beloved member of our family. We were relieved when our vet explained her damaged voice box did not cause her any discomfort. When asked why her bark sounded so different, it provided an opportunity for us to speak out against puppy mills.
At the age of 17, Jessie crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Heartbroken, I swore off dog ownership. It didn’t last long – we soon met and adopted our handsome red dog Teddy and a short while later, our blondie Molly. But it all started with Jessie, my “gateway dog”.