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Please read about puppymill dogs and the kennels they come from by clicking on puppies.
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Puppy mills are basically puppy factories. They are in the business of producing litters of puppies to sell to pet stores and brokers for a huge profit. To make the most profit possible, the adult dogs (producers) are kept in very poor to horrendous living conditions, usually in cages or dog sheds which house many dogs together.
At first, most puppy mill dogs are scared of humans and more shy than a normal socialized dog. The perfect family will be gentle and patient with a calm environment. A second dog in the house is very important to help the puppy mill dog learn how to adjust to life outside of the puppy mill. Puppy mill dogs tend to take their cues from the resident dog.
They will probably always be a little more timid in new situations, but with love, patience, socialization and training, they develop self-confidence and are wonderful pets. And for you, helping a puppy mill dog "learn to be a dog" is an incredibly rewarding experience.
Please read the wonderful stories below from the special families that have adopted some of our rescued puppymill Goldens. They are to be applauded for their hard work and dedication in helping these very special dogs.
We wanted to adopt a dog who needed special care because we knew our home would be a calm, quiet place. Jo (aka Maryland) moved in 3 1/2 years ago. She came from a backyard breeder but exhibited the same behavior as a puppy mill dog. She needed a companion so Lily, 14 months old from a puppy mill in Missouri, joined us less than a year later. Both girls came to us very skinny, timid, scared of the world and needed to learn to live in a house. Jo stayed on her new dog bed for weeks and Lily chose to hide in corners and under furniture to feel safe. We needed to be very careful when training and working with the girls. Even a firm 'no' would send them crouching to the ground. Slowly, carefully, patiently and quietly we have taught them good dog behaviors. Both girls are very smart, but the learning process has been slower because they were so timid and needed to learn to trust us first. After three years they still exhibit fear of noises, strangers and children, but every day become more outgoing and friendly.
Kurt, Diane, Jo & Lily
Lily and Jo are incredibly loyal, loving and very attached to us. We
believe puppy mill dogs know they are rescued and sense they are
grateful for that. Some of our friends and family wondered why we didn't adopt a
puppy or a more 'normal' dog. Why dogs with so many social problems?
To watch these timid, shy girls blossom into healthy, happy, energetic,
loving, trusting, funny, friendly goldens has impressed even the more skeptical
among our acquaintances. We wouldn't hesitate to adopt another puppy
mill dog. Lily is one of the most affectionate dogs we've ever met. Both
girls are the greatest joys in our life. Jo and Lily will probably never be
the typical golden, they may always have timid behaviors and fears we can't
understand (so often we hear the comment "I've never met a shy golden
before") but to us they are perfect. We didn't know we could fall in
love with dogs, but we have. It has been an honor to be trusted with these
special girls. We look forward to seeing them bloom even more in years
Kurt B. and Diane K.
Kooper AKA Durango 03-315
"This dog's sorrowful expression and beautiful
face on the RAGOM website fascinated me."
I asked Paul to look at the picture to see if he agreed (RAGOM warns you to remember a dog pictured on the website probably won't be there because the application process takes a while). After waiting for several weeks, going through the application process, and checking the website everyday we finally got the call from the foster home. Paul and I traveled to the cities to see if we were a good match. After the meeting and the wait period - we knew it was the right choice for us.
It was a difficult ride home for Boomer - he was drooling and looked so scared. The foster family advised us about what to expect with a puppy mill dog - and they were right. Boomer didn't move the whole way home (almost 3 hours). Upon arrival to our home, he found the sofa and that became his safe place. Boomer would not get off the sofa without a leash even to eat or drink. He would shake and drool. I would sit on the floor beside his bowl for 20-30 minutes until he got the courage to eat. I would sit on the back step for 15-20 minutes until he would come inside. We just talked to Boomer in soft voices and petted him for long periods of time.
Look at Kooper now!
The steps for the now named Kooper were very small. He still wouldn't take treats. I was thrilled when he would eat two bites of food without backing away from his bowl. Then suddenly one day, Kooper got off the sofa and jumped into Paul's lap. We still don't know why but we were so excited. Over the course of the next few months Kooper continually progressed with small intermittent steps. We could tell he was getting more comfortable (less drooling & shaking). He would get off the couch to play with Paul on the floor. He would go after a tennis ball and had two favorite toys he would select from his basket... We had some backward steps as well. The electrician inadvertently scared Kooper and it took several days for him to leave the sofa again without a lead. Even today, Kooper still bolts to the sofa if a loud noise scares him.
We have had Kooper for almost 15 months now. It has challenges but the list of milestones are growing.
He comes in and out of the house on command, he lets us know when he needs to go out, he really lets
us know when it is time to eat, he warms up to visitors after a short while, he plays with the cats, he gets
up and goes to the bedroom to bed without prompting, he loves treats, he likes his groomer, and loves the
lake. Kooper still has anxiety and fears new things, but these are getting less frequent and he gets over them
quicker. Paul and Kooper play like two year olds - rough and tumble, catch and chase. He loves to play hide
and seek with Paul's feet. He comes to be petted and follows us around the house and yard. We had to have
lots of patience but this dog is fantastic and well worth any effort on our part. RAGOM gave us an opportunity
to provide a home to a worthwhile beautiful dog. We cannot thank them enough. I hope you will consider an
adoption - it is worth all the time and effort!
Joyce, Paul and Kooper
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