Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Awareness Day and Bill's Buffalo Adventure

Puppy Mill Awareness Day in Lancaster, PA, was a great event, but I think it would have been more effective if it were in downtown Philadelphia. Essentially it was a festival to raise awareness about puppy mills, but I saw it as more of a networking event for rescuers - the majority of the 1500 people who went clearly already knew about, and were involved with dog rescue.

What really hit me was the vastness of farmland in the Lancaster area and how easy it would be to stash puppies, illegal substances, or whatever back on those farms where no one would ever find out about it. According to investigative groups, there are HUNDREDS of puppy mills in that area. I got to thinking about that and it became so profound that I could almost hear the puppies suffering as I drove through the countryside. But, what really sealed the deal for me at the end of the day was, as I was driving out of town, I found myself behind an open Amish buggy with two men behind the reins and a dog in a 2 x 2 chicken wire cage in the back. It was as though they were mocking us, saying, "Ha! Everyone knows the suffering is real - but you can't touch us!" Well, guys, I've got a message for you. With the number of passionate people working to END the suffering - we will get to you sooner or later.

On a lighter note, my homecoming was great. Bill has recently taken up playing with a squeaky blue buffalo before bed, and last night we had about an hour long game of fetch. My husband thought he needed more of a challenge, so he started throwing the buffalo behind our plant stand, and then into our closet. Bill is already very tentative about picking it up (we play the slowest, gentlest games of fetch ever). When the buffalo got under the plant or in the closet, the game took on a whole new speed: dead stop. Bill just stood there for what seemed like ten minutes, barking and growling at his prey.

The closet was the best - we were very patient and just kept saying, "Go get it!" Finally after much barking and growling, Bill went into the closet... And a minute later came out with a sock! He just stood on the floor, staring at us as if to ask, "This is a buffalo, right?" We laughed but kept telling him to go get it. Finally our patience paid off and Bill emerged victorious with his blue buffalo.

I'm wondering if this new step in his recovery from being an unsocialized puppy mill breeder is because I've been putting an herbal tincture, Rescue Remedy, in his water. Either way, Bill is almost a whole dog, and things are becoming VERY fun.

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