Saturday, February 18, 2006
Meet Louise! Louise is a lucky pug that was given a second chance at life when she was rescued by her new forever home. Read on to find out more about Louise's Rescue Story and how she has adjusted to life in her new home.
As told by Louise's owners:
Aug 2004 - preparation
An employee from the SPCA informs my wife that they have a small dog he thinks we would like. We had been there earlier looking for an appartment-sized adult dog to adopt. We didn't want a puppy because we were both working and felt we couldn't really devote the extra time a puppy would require. So my wife calls me and starts the conversation out by saying "Don't kill me, but could you go over to the SPCA this afternoon to see a dog we might adopt?"
As it turns out, when I went over to the SPCA, they not only had the aforementioned dog, but they also had a Pug that had been removed from the previous owner's care due to neglect. Her previous owner was breeding English Mastiffs and had over sixty of these dogs, many being kept in 4 foot by 4 foot crates. The owner was alone and did not have any hired help to maintain the animals, so they were left to live in their own filth most of the time. Many dogs had severe kidney failure from prolonged exposure to their own urine, etc. Some dogs were literally starving to death. It was a pretty bad situation, and when I visited the SPCA, they had about 35 of the Mastiffs at the compound.
It would take the SPCA a couple weeks to get legal ownership of the dogs, so they could not be adopted until then. As for the Mastiffs, a rescue operation out of Calgary, AB came in, paid for all of the medical costs required for the dogs, and pre-arranged adoptions for all of the dogs to qualified homes, all of which had prior experience with raising this breed of dog. So virtually every one of the dogs that was recoverable was placed in an ideal home. Sadly, many were in too poor health and some didn't survive.
My wife and I decided to spend time with both of the small dogs and we would go over to walk them regularly. We both eventually fell in love with the Pug, and started making plans to adopt her into our home. As a rescue dog, there were behavioural considerations that we had to think about. This dog was living in it's own filth for quite a while, so we had to assume that it was not house trained. Also, we had no idea how she would be around children or other animals. We already had cats, and didn't want things to be disrupted too badly.
We were discussing names for the dog one night, and the conversation went from serious to silly. At one point, I suggested we call her 'Wheezie' and my wife asked me "What, like George Jefferson's wife?" That kind of settled things. The dog would be named "Louise", or "Wheezie" as a nickname, named in part for the TV character, and in part for the obvious pun on her breathing.
Sept 2004 - Louise moves in
As it turns out, Louise was in fact house trained. The only accidents we have ever had were due to us not taking her out of the house often enough, and we learned pretty quick to put her on a schedule. Also, Louise was pretty manic for attention, from just about anybody nearby. She would run from person to person, begging for attention above all else. She was also like this with other dogs, which wasn't always well recieved. As such, Louise is usually friendly toward other dogs so long as they are also friendly to her. She can get a bit aggressive if the other dog is 'rude'.
Louise is simply fantastic with children. I have had complete strangers come up and play with Louise, even pick her up and she has never shown any aggression. She simply loves attention from people.
It took about a month for Louise to start wagging her tail. She was simply that stressed before moving in with us, and it took a while for her to relax and accept that we were going to stay with her. Now, her tail wags every time we come home. She continues to try to socialize with our cats, and most of the time they tolerate her. They don't like when she chases them though, but at least they can jump up onto something tall to get out of harm's way. Sometimes they forget themselves and we catch them snoozing in the sun together.
Louise is a special dog and a permanent member of our family. Since being with us she has lost a little weight and now breathes easier because of it. We have started giving her an occular lube and have seen positive results (her eyes are much clearer now.) The vet we use just happens to be the same person who was involved in the initial rescue effort, so he knows Louise's background very well. His best guess at her age is at around seven years so we hope to have lots of time with her yet. I suppose I could go on, but the continuation of her story is already documented on Heavy Breathing