Vito is MAD, y'all. I know you are shocked. He's been trying to get a blog post up forever now and I (Mom) have just been too busy/overwhelmed/really-none-of-those-things-just-lazy. One day I promise I will let him write his own blog post again. But it won't be tonight!
We have a lot of catching up to do and as I've mentioned, Vito is horribly slow at dictating his posts to me to type for him, so I'm going to have to take on this massive post for him! And if we have another incident like a few months ago where Blogger cuts it off mid-post and I have to break it up after already writing and posting a ton of pics - then I will just have to throw my hands in the air and walk away! So fingers crossed we get this whole blog post done in one clean shot!
Alrighty then! I can't believe it's already September! Back in July(!) - Friday July 6 to be exact - I got an email from another SEPRA foster mom/volunteer, asking if any of our fosters could help with a little pug girl who was dumped at the high-kill/animal control shelter in Springfield, MO. This was her picture:
Look at that tiny, scared baby. Unfortunately, even though she was brought there by someone, she had to be kept on a "stray hold" for 5 days in case someone was looking for her. Our theory is that a breeder dumped her there and claimed to have found her so they didn't have to pay the surrender fee. This is so common. And so sickening. So I immediately said I would take her, but had to wait the 5 days - knowing that no one was looking for her - and knowing that this tiny girl had to be absolutely terrified in that place. I couldn't sleep or think about anything else while waiting for those 5 days to pass.
On July 11, she was finally able to be sprung from prison! The awesome volunteer/foster mom went to get her out of there. She said she was adorable, but as I suspected, terrified. She was also filthy.
That night they took her to a very pug-friendly vet in Springfield to spend the night in her own quiet dog-run until we could get her to St. Louis the next day. She also got a bath and nail trim, flea treatment, etc. I had planned to meet the volunteer/foster mom in Rolla, MO (about an hour and a half from St. Louis) to get her the next day, but then got a call that an incredible volunteer who works with the Rescue Road Warriors could bring her all the way to St. Louis from Springfield! You guys - this group is AMAZING. This volunteer brought back my little pug-girl plus I believe 7 other dogs that day. She does this every single week - drives from St. Louis to Springfield, MO - saving dogs from kill shelters and other horrible situations and getting them to rescue groups. That is a 3.5 hour drive - one way!!
All packed up and ready for her ride to safety!
She got to be the transport driver's co-pilot! She was very happy to be on the road to freedom! And you can see, her teeth were NOT in good shape!
Turning on the charm by resting her chin on the arm-rest. The transporter said it was a good thing she was so cute because she nearly stunk her out of the car with her gas! Her gas continued for a few days after she arrived! Luckily good food and no more fear of that awful shelter got the gas under control (but she IS a pug)!
Before Baby Girl Pug (as I named the album on my laptop in which I stored her Animal Control picture) even arrived, I named her Lolly. And so, she made her way to our house. And I fell in love.
Lolly is a tiny pugger - only 14 pounds. She came in smiling and happy that day. But she was absolutely EXHAUSTED. She laid on the sofa with me, Vito & Vinny within 30 mins of arriving and slept as hard as she possibly could. She had obviously been through a lot in the 5 days she spent in the shelter. I would find out how much she had been through before that, in the coming days.
The first time I fed her (away from Vito and Vinny in my bedroom) was the first time I realized how scared she was. I put her food bowl down and proceeded to do other stuff in the bedroom while she ate, like hanging up clothes, etc. She jumped a mile and/or cowered ever time I made a movement. It was both horrifying and heartbreaking to me at the same time. What had someone done to this tiny adorable girl in the past to make her so scared? As weeks went by, she still did this, as well as jumping any time the tags on her collar hit her stainless steel food bowl. She also cowered in fear when I reached down to pick her up.
A few days after she arrived, I had an unplanned get-together at my house, and Lolly got to meet some of my friends, including the V&V's best friends Kyle, Paul, and their Aunt Becky. She was scared at first, but showed how starved she was for affection because it only took a few pets for her to just melt in to anyone.
Kyle and Lolly
Paul and Lolly
Becky and Lolly
Lolly on my lap :)
We all assumed that Lolly had been dropped off by a breeder/puppy miller but the one thing that doesn't add up is that she is seemingly 95% housebroken. She may have been a "backyard breeder" - i.e. possibly living in someone's house but just pumping out puppies for profit and being mistreated/abused. She has definitely had puppies, which again broke my heart. This tiny 14 pound girl. She's estimated to be about 6 years old. She was spayed the week after she arrived, and had to have a dental and lost 4 more teeth - in addition to the many she was already missing, her breathing was just horrible, and she was even coughing & gagging at times.
Foster mama had never been through a spay and boy, is it different from neuters! So much more invasive and sad! But Lolly-Pug was feeling good enough by Day 2 to play with her much-loved Nylabone!
Vito the photo-bomber!
While under for her spay, her trachea and soft palate were checked. Her trachea was fine but her palate is elongated. The vet didn't recommend surgery, but we sought a second opinion from a specialist. In between those appointments, her breathing improved though, and the coughing & gagging all but ended entirely. The specialist also did not recommend the surgery at her age - he said it is too risky and she has adapted. I agreed, I hated the thought of putting her through it. He also said she has likely stopped the coughing and gagging because she is now breathing clean air and has a good diet, compared to whatever hell she was living in before (and likely eating slop).
First vet visit!
Lolly at the specialist where she was an excellent ambassador for SEPRA and made lots of friends! I was even able to give out two SEPRA business cards to people who had no idea that pug rescue exists! When we walked in to the vet's office, poor baby just splayed out on the floor in fear and I had to pick her up and she clung to me. But I think she might have known what she was doing - b/c that is what got so many people's attention in the waiting room and she ended up sitting on many people's laps and they got more information on pug rescue! I think Lolly is really a smart cookie! ;)
So! Now that we have all of that technical history out of the way (this is what I get for not posting a blog in so long!) - let's talk more about Lolly-Pug as a PUG! And how she gets along with her foster-brothers. This little girl is so wonderful. I can't believe she's been here for almost 2 months! She immediately got along with the boys and they have been exceptionally nice to her - even letting her snuggle in to them and rest her chin on them. Lolly is my first foster-girl, and I think there is some truth to the "opposite sexes get along better" because I swear it's like they look after her and take it easy on her.
She and Vinny seem to have especially bonded. I think it's just because Vinny is so laid back. He lets her lay wherever she pleases.
But Vito has also really taken to her - and more importantly, her dog bed. You might recall about a bazillion posts about Vito tearing open the dog beds I have so generously bought for him over the years to try to pamper him and make him comfortable - only to have them torn up like stuffies. Well Miss Lolly got spayed as I mentioned, so I brought out a donated dog bed for her to sleep on so she would not try to jump on/off the furniture. And whattaya know? Vito loves dog beds!! Therefore he snuggles with Lolly pretty frequently.
Also during Lolly's stay, I went to visit a friend for 4 days so Lolly went to stay with another foster mom. Here are the before/after pics - the after being the ONLY picture I've ever gotten of Miss Lolly-Pug "really" smiling! I think she missed me? And HOLY PUG, did I miss her (and the V's of course)!
Where exactly are you going??
Oh yay! You're back!
So, long post very long, Miss Lolly is an incredible little girl and we just adore her (yes, her foster brothers too!). She has come a long way. Not only is she my first girl-foster, but she's my first foster to have any sort of fear/possible puppy-mill issues. So she has especially tugged at my heart in watching her progress. She is like a different puggie since she's been here and especially in the last 2 weeks, compared to her arrival. Having never experienced a pug with these issues, I expected her progress to be faster, but I know that's ridiculous considering what she must have been through. But watching her conquer fears every day is an experience like no other. She has now gone down the back porch stairs about 4 times on her own. She no longer jumps when her tags hit her food bowls. Her tail is up and curled and wags more than it ever has before. She only rarely cowers now when I go to pick her up. She makes huge strides every day.
She is now officially up for adoption through SEPRA (and I will share her entire photo album in a separate post soon!), and has a very interested potential family. They recently went through a little storm called "Hurricane Isaac" though so we are all on hold for a bit (hint: they live far from St. Louis)! ;) Whatever happens, this little girl is going to make someone very happy and I will only let her go to the most perfect home, because I'm so in love with her. She has taught me so much during her stay with us.