Just popping in to show off our two bundles of joy. GP dog II, (the fluffy one), is growing more confident by the day; she's a real comic, with a character all her own. So different from the timid little creature that came to us in December. That said - the two foster famililes she'd been with previously had worked wonders; without their hard work we'd not have been able to get nearly as far as we have with her. We've gone down two routes with our dogs: the pedigree route with GP dog I. We were very fortunate there - he came from a reputable, loving, dedicated breeder, who unlike some, loved her dogs like children, had their best interests - not commercial gain - at heart and wouldn't for a moment have let her precious charges go to anything but a good home.
Come GP dog II, we went down the rescue path and began to learn about some of the horror stories behind the murky world of back street breeders, puppy farms and internet dealing. Fluffy dog we hope, may be one of the least damaged ones, relatively speaking. Relatively, because although we know little about her past in detail, we do know from the rescue that for the first four or five years of her life she was used for breeding. If you can imagine being taken from your mother, held down, forcibly impregnated, kept in disgusting conditions with little food, water, medical attention, no kindly human contact and made to churn out litter after litter of puppies. Rinse and repeat for the first half of your life, only to be 'disposed of' once you're no longer in fit state to be of any more economic use. And we'd best not go into details about what exactly 'disposal' entails.
Enter the organisations who rescue the 'lucky' ones. Fluffy dog was quite unusual, I think, in that she was discovered to be pregnant whilst she was in rescue, so was able to have her final litter in a proper, loving home environment. (Not ours, I might add - think our cat might have packed up and left home if he'd been faced with four little fluffballs!) So far so good, she's not as yet suffered any major health niggles, as so many rescue pooches do, sadly. And, though not perfect (what dog ever is?), she seems to be remarkably free of behavioural problems. Sadly, that's not always the case.
'Our' rescue drew our attention to another little rescue dog - Susie-Belle. She even has her own blog: Susiefoodie where you can read her story and learn more about some of the work being done to try to stamp out the puppy farm trade.