Submitted by Jen Buffington
In September 2015, I was included in a raid of a puppy mill. We rescued 47 dogs that day.
One of them was Pearl. She was estimated to be 6 years old. She was in horrible condition, like all the other dogs we rescued that day. They had never been out of a cage, they had never experienced kind, loving human hands, they had rotten, infected teeth, most of which had to be removed.
The first time I held Pearl, she didn’t want to let go. She was shaking with fear and yet the craving to be loved and held was stronger. It took a long time for her to trust. At first, she mostly laid in a bed, and, if I approached her, she would shudder and curl into a ball. After about a week, she seemed to relax a little.
Her friend, Ruby the Pomeranian, made her feel safe. Pearl watched as I gently held and petted Ruby, and eventually, Pearl let me do the same with her. It wasn’t until after about a month that she first played, like a real puppy. It was that moment, you could see it in her eyes, that she exhaled a sigh of relief for the first time.
Now, she’s a total spitfire! She runs around and plays with the other dogs, barking and rolling around. She loves to be held and follows me everywhere. She loves belly rubs and loves to just be wherever I am.
She is a true gem!