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The Life of a Dog in a Puppy Mill
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This is the story of Two
tiny Yorkshire terriers. Emmy
who lived in a
puppy mill for 10 long years.
Emmy had pretty well stopped eating
this past week. For some reason, she decided she wanted to eat
dinner last night. That was followed by a night of rapidly
deteriorating health. I think she was only semi-conscious this
morning. I had promised her that she would never suffer again after
leaving that hell-hole where she was born and lived for 10 years.
I kept that promise and today she
is flying with the angels. My grief is overwhelming. I will write
a eulogy for her in a few days.
Mommy on Thanksgiving Day. 2007
Her face is more thin now as she gets older, but her weight stays right
around 4 lbs 8 ozs.
|Jackie P. got
off the plane in Minneapolis and gingerly handed over to me a "close to
dead" little old Yorkie.
Emmy couldn't hold up her head, she had no muscle in her neck. She could
however eat!! Even with a jaw that had been recently broken and pinned
together, her appetite has always been good. She was definitely kind of
homely!! Always beautiful to me, but not to the rest of the world. She went
everywhere with me those first few months. I was afraid to leave her at
home. We went to my daughter's school, her play productions, to the post
office and to one of the finest restaurants in Minneapolis!! Most people
would look at her and say "what is that"???
Emmy only wanted to be held for the longest time. I re-arranged my schedule
every day and just sat holding her. We have been to the vet many times this
past year, but this little toughie has come thru everything and come out the
other side stronger!! She loves to play with me and try to chew my
fingers(even tho she has no teeth). She runs around the kitchen with her
nose to the floor looking for even the smallest crumb. Everywhere we go she
is a living testimony for the horror of puppymills.
But to me the greatest thing about Emmy is the love she has given to me. She
will not let anyone else hold her if she can see me. She sleeps at night
curled up against me and is never far from me. She races me for the pillow
at night at bedtime. She spins in circles when it is time to eat, making all
of us laugh at her antics. She is a typical Yorkie and will bark at me when
she wants something or if I dare to walk off and leave without taking her
She will never be the most beautiful Yorkie- the mill did too much damage to
her. Her little spindly legs are bowed and will never be straight. Her one
front leg will not sustain weight for very long, but it is much better than
it was. Her eyes are cloudy.
Emmy has been a gift to me. A gift more precious than I could ever have
Thank you PMR for staying the course and never giving up until this little
girl was safely out of the mill. Thank you for trusting me with her care.
Thank you Emmy for trusting me with your love and little kisses!!
Happy Freedom Day my little angel:):)
Emmy's Christmas picture 2004 that I took this evening. It is hard to get
her to keep still;) Notice you can see the tattoo in her ear!! But doesn't
she look wonderful? She will have a beautiful Christmas:) Her first Merry
Click here to view Emmys vet bills to date;
who lived in a
puppy mill for 10 long years.
Emmy and Holly have suffered more than any living
creatures should have to bear, in a large central Missouri puppy
mill. They can count themselves lucky though, they found their way into our
gentle hands. Two more Thousand and more are left behind not on S*********
Some of the pictures are
very graphic!, but nevertheless their story needs to be told
Judy Silver and
Megan Gentry thank you so much
Emmy came to PMR in February 2004.
It was the first week of February when I received a call from Jean telling
me about this precious little one. PMR had been offered two Yorkies from a
2000 plus mill in Missouri. One named Emmy and one named Holly.
Emmy was gravely ill and there was a lot of doubt if she would live until we
could get her transported to a PMR foster home. We would need a foster mom
that could be home 24 hrs. a day and nurse Emmy back to health. I
volunteered for the job instantly!! This little one had already grabbed at
my heart without even seeing her.
Emmy's jaw had been broken as a vet had been pulling infected teeth out of
her mouth. This is a common problem in older mill dogs who have developed
"rubber jaw", from a lack of nutrition and dental care. Emmy's body had
turned on itself to get the calcium it needed and leached the needed
minerals from her bones. The vet in Missouri did not feel that her jaw could
have a pin put in it, so it was decided to wire her jaw shut. Emmy was left
for one week with a broken jaw that was just hanging open. We do not how she
was able to survive. It is impossible to eat with a broken jaw and PMR had
previously had to euthanize a dog with a broken jaw. To this day, I do not
know what kept this little girl going from day to day. She was in pain, had
infection raging in her body, couldn't eat, but she did not give up hope.
How did she know that someone was coming to save her? After 10 years how
could she still believe that someone would save her? I don't think that any
of us would have survived the hell that was her life for 10 years.
After returning to the Missouri vet he determined he could put a pin in her
jaw. This was done and she was sent to Robin in Missouri. Jackie picked her
up in St. Louis and brought her to me in Minneapolis. Later, Jackie told me
that she didn't know if Emmy would even survive the trip to Mpls.
To be honest, Emmy was one of the ugliest dogs I had ever seen. It was hard
to even tell what breed of dog she was. She weighed 3 lb. 6 oz. and looked
like a zombie. There was no expression, no emotion. She could not hold her
head up. Her neck was like a thin piece of limp spaghetti.
The first several days consisted only of holding and feeding. Emmy had a
voracious appetite and wanted to be held 24/7. She craved human touch. We
took naps together during the day, and if I had to leave, she went with me.
I took her to my vet the next day and it was a sad report. Her ears were
deeply infected, she had mammary nodes that could be cancerous, her left
front leg did not function, her kidneys were showing infection. She had no
muscle tone., a grade 1 or 2 heart murmur. My vet suggested taking her to
the Univ. of Mn. immediately. After talking with Jean we decided to give her
several weeks of healing. Jean said a lot of the mill dogs come out with
infection in their bodies. We decided to put Emmy on antibiotic, good food
and lots of love.
There was not much noticeable change for a long time. It was discouraging,
because she ate so much, but did not put on weight. Gradually she became
able to hold her head up. She showed no interest in anything around here. I
was her world and she didn't want anyone else. She was like a newborn baby.
In April we decided Emmy was ready for a trip to the University of Mn. to
have a full physical exam. Her blood work did not show any kidney or liver
problems. Her front left leg would never be able to hold weight. It had been
damaged probably from a trauma such as being stepped on, thrown or who knows
what! She has a bilateral luxating patells in her back right leg. She does
have a slight heart murmur. The vet did recommend having Emmy spayed when
she put on some weight. She has 3 mammary nodes that need to be removed and
biopsied and the spay would prevent any uterine infections. The doctors feel
she would not survive a uterine infection The doctor told me that Emmy
needed to heal from the inside out and weight gain would be the last thing
in the healing process. As usual, Emmy was a little ambassador for the mill
dogs and everyone was touched by her story.
So, we went back home and waited for Emmy to grow stronger. Emmy seems to
live her life from crisis to crisis. One morning as she was eating I noticed
blood dripping into her food. It was a Sunday so I rushed her to the
emergency vet. They sedated her, looked into her mouth and removed a 1/2
inch long piece of wire that was looped at one end. Apparently her jaw had
been wired shut at one time and when they decided to put the pin in her jaw,
they just left the wire in there. As Emmy's mouth healed and she started
moving her jaw, the wire started moving. It is a miracle it did not move
into her intestines, where it could have killed her.
Several weeks later Emmy was bleeding from her back left paw and was
obviously in pain. She had a cyst on the bottom of her paw. This is from all
the years she lived on the wire, probably in urine and feces. She will
always have trouble with the bottoms of her feet and we have to watch this
carefully. It was decided to amputate the toe where the cyst was located. So
it was surgery for this fragile but tough little girl. She came thru this
with flying colors.
Along the way we have had many other incidents-- severe diarrhea that
required an intravenous fluid infusion, more ear infections and on and on.
Emmy has finally started to look like a dog!! She is now weighing 4 lbs
13oz. and is finally ready to be spayed. That was scheduled for this
Tuesday, but on Friday she went into heat! Apparently getting her body
healthy has started her cycling again. So this will be put off for now.
My sweet little angle now "hoovers" along the kitchen floor, tries to play
with my 14 lb PMR Yorkie Rose and wants to play with me every night at
bedtime. She even barks!! Her eyes are bright and she looks so very happy. I
am still her "only one"!! We have a bond that is hard for me to explain to
other people. Emmy has no greater joy than for me to hold her. She will let
others hold her if she cannot see me, but if she can see me she squirms and
wiggles until she is back with me. We seem to have our own special language
with each other. Every night she snuggles up next to me, looks into my eyes
and I talk to her. She just lays there and looks at me. She sleeps so she
can be touching me all night. I will never understand what kept her going
all those days and nights in the mill. I do know that she has changed my
life. I hope we have many years together, but realize that the years of
breeding, lack of food and medical care may have caused irreversible damage
that will shorten her life. I have decided to be thankful for every day that
God gives me with my little "borrowed angel"! (Linda Landers description of
Here is out little Emmy girl this morning!!
She is looking very scraggly!! She hasn't had a bath for 2 weeks!! No baths
until that bandage comes off of her paw.
The paw hasn't healed quite as quickly and well as I had hoped. The stitches
had pulled away from the wound and so she has had a lot of draining and an
abscess. Things were looking better yesterday at the vet and as long as the
healing progresses they won't have to go back in and re-stitch the spot
where they removed her toe.
She is a happy little girl, full of kisses and getting more playful all the
|Our sweet little
Emmy had her first professional grooming today. I feel like a mommy when she
takes her toddler in for their first haircut. Emmy looks so grown-up with
her new "do"!! We wanted to get all that frowzy old mill split end hair off
of her!! I can hardly believe she is the same dog who arrived here in
February of this year.
She is turning into a realy little beauty:) She was such a good girl -
except for the trimming around her mouth. Emmy hates anyone touching her
mouth. I'm sure it has a lot to do with her broken jaw and all the pain she
has had in her mouth and jaw.
Emmy went to the vet
this morning for a bandage change on her paw. She was not a happy girl
by the time we were done!! The wound is oozing and was somewhat swollen,
so they massaged the paw to remove some of the fluid. By the time they
were done doing that, Emmy was actually growling!!
Emmy weighed 4 lb 4 oz on the day of her surgery. She is now at 3 lbs.
15 oz. Not a big difference, but I was just remarking to my husband last
night that I thought her face looked thinner.
Needless to say, she was very happy to get home, get some Metacam and
take a nice long nap:):)
Thursday Update: I finally got
to talk with Emmy's regular vet this morning.
She is going to call
me back with a surgery date for Emmy. If what they are seeing on the
x-ray is definitely a tumor, my vet says the probability of it being
cancerous is very high. So of course, it needs to be removed before it
Even if it is a deep infection or bone problem in that toe, the best way
to fix it is to remove the toe. She feels that Emmy will function very
well without the toe. And the pain will be gone!
Debra Anderson Vogt
We finally got the results of Emmy's
x-ray taken last week of her back paw that was swollen. The radiologist
feels that it is a tumor and that the toe needs to be amputated. The tumor
would then be sent out to be examined to see if it is benign or malignant.
The vet who did the x-ray is not my regular vet and I want to discuss this
whole thing with my regular vet before going ahead with any amputation. It
is very obvious that this paw causes Emmy daily pain. She limps more when
she is outside on the concrete and the more she is on her little paws during
the day, the more it bothers her.
So now we have another hurdle for this little girl to overcome. She is a
tough little girl and I believe she will also come thru this as she has
everything else in her long, pain-filled life.
Emmy is on metacam for the pain in her little paw. She is very stoic as are
so many of the mill dogs. She never complains, I just notice her pulling
that foot up when she tries to put very much weight on it.
I just can't imagine my life without Emmy. We share a deep and very special
Emmy did great at the vet this
morning. She cried and whimpered when they took off the bandage and replaced
it, but at least I got to hold her while they were doing it.
We should have results back from the tissue in about a week. Meanwhile, she
continues to eat like a little piggie:)
Just wanted to give everyone an update on Emmy. This picture was taken of her at
the vet's office on Tuesday.
This little girl captures hearts everywhere she goes!! She has a
long way to go, but she is a little fighter. It is truly a miracle that she is
even alive. Emmy needs to see a specialist about her broken jaw that now has a
pin in it. She also will see an orthopedic specialist about her front leg that
just seems to hang in the air. This shoulder is basically permanently
dislocated. If you feel your own shoulders, you will feel muscle around the
bone. Emmy's leg has no muscle left around the shoulder bone, it is just like
feeling a skeleton. All of the muscle has deteriorated and is gone. It is
doubtful she will have use of this leg again, but hopefully we can fix it so it
does not cause her pain.
Right now she is on antibiotics for her jaw, pain meds and antibiotics for her
ear. She is getting to be a very picky eater. Her food of choice today is
strained baby food meats. She loves to lick them up off the plate!!
When Emmy first came here she ate constantly. We seem to have passed that stage
now. She is not eating as much food at each meal and she is sleeping better. To
me it seems as if she is sleeping a deeper and more healing sleep. As you can
well imagine she has probably spent most of her life afraid to fall asleep.
Emmy craves human touch and she has strongly bonded to me. Even if my husband or
daughter are holding her she is looking around for me. We affectionately call
her our "little E.T."!! With her skinny little neck and those big eyes, when she
lifts her head up, it reminds me of E.T.:)
There is no kindness or understanding in my heart for puppymillers!! They are
like the slime on the bottom of rocks. People who live in out of the way places
so the rest of the world cannot hear the cries of pain and suffering coming from
the dogs. People who will knowingly sell sick and dying puppies to others just
to make another dollar. People who will breed sick dogs "just one more time",
for just "one more litter"!!
I hope you will all say a prayer for Emmy that she continues to thrive and grow.
She deserves a chance at a loving life. As you pray for Emmy, please say a
prayer for all the other dogs that are still left behind.
Every day with Emmy is a blessing and today she started to
make me wonder if this was to be our last day together!!
Last night Emmy seemed to have a very small amount of blood on her mouth. I
assumed she had cut her gum some way. She is going to the vet on Tuesday and
I was going to have it looked at when we were there.
This morning when I fed her, the blood started coming out of her mouth and
into her food quite extensively. She was also having difficulty eating, it
took her a long time to eat her food and it was full of blood. I cleaned her
mouth and it looked to me as if the back of her tongue was bleeding quite a
bit. This was enough excitement for me so we hopped into the car and ran to
the emergency vet. I was concerned there could be something going on with
that pin in her jaw. Whatever, it was obviously painful today.
When the vet looked at her mouth he said she seemed to have quite a bit of
hair impacted in her mouth. He decided it would be best to sedate her so he
could look deeply into her mouth. Poor Emmy was clinging to me for dear
life!! But finally the vet peeled her off of me and took her back for
Five minutes later he walks in with a wire at least 1/2 inch long in his
hands. One end of the wire was curled up, that was the part that was cutting
her everytime she tried to use her tongue and eat. She also had so much hair
impacted on the wire and in the back of her mouth that it was keeping her
from freely opening her mouth. We figure that they wired her jaw shut after
it was broken. Then it was decided that her jaw would be able to have a pin.
When the pin was put in, the wire was also left in. This was never mentioned
in any of the vet papers given to us. But then, everyone associated with
Emmy before we got her assumed that she was going to die.
I am so thankful that this wire did not move down Emmy's throat or in to her
intestines. This could have killed her. Once again her strong little spirit
has triumphed over the millers!!!
The vet told me that Emmy would be groggy on the drive home. But not our
Emmy!!! She was very active and looking out the window the whole time. She
just felt so much better. She had a nice big snack when we got home. How
wonderful it must have felt to eat without pain.
First of all--- it's all good news.
Emmy spent the day at the Univ. of Mn hospital. We were there for the inital
workup this morning and then Emmy stayed there for more tests. We picked her
up at 6 pm this evening and got home around 7pm.
Blood work: Basically all good. It does not show any kidney or liver damage.
She is still a little anemic. The vet expects that to resolve as she grows
Urine: No results until tomorrow.
Her front leg that she does not use: The orthopedic vet says this is from a
trauma. They can do surgery in the future. It may take more than one surgery
and they cannot guarantee how much function she would get from that leg.
She has a bilateral luxating patella in one of her back legs. It is not
causing her any pain, so no action is required right now.
They did an echocardiogram of her heart. She has a slight murmur. She is not
in any kind of heart failure and it is not serious enough to require any
medication. She has an arrythmia, but it may be the way her heart has always
The vet highly recommends getting Emmy spayed. She feels the benefits of
spaying outweigh the risks. However, she wants to wait about 2 mos. so Emmy
can get stronger. At that time they would also remove remove one mammary
lump and check it to see if it is benign or malignant. There is no sign of
any cancer spread in her body.
Dr. Viviano also feels that Emmy has had to heal from the inside out, her
muscles and organs. She feels that the putting on weight will come last in
the healing process.
Emmy's weight is staying at a constant 3 lbs. 7 ozs.
Emmy is a little ambassador wherever she goes and her story was told to two
people while we waited to see the doctor.
I was so happy to see her this evening and she just burrowed into me when we
picked her up. She slept all the way home, gulped down her supper and has
been asleep ever since. She is all worn out.
Thank you all for your prayers. This little girl is a living miracle!
This is what Emmy is like when someone else is holding her.
My husband is hanging on to her with both hands because she can see me out
in the kitchen and she is trying to literally "leap" off his shoulder:)
We had a breakthrough with Emmy last night at bedtime!! Jean had suggested I
get Emmy some little cat toys for Emmy- especially little balls, because
they are lighter weights than doggy balls, well I hadn't gotten to Petsmart
for that yet:)
I had some small tennis balls for Moory and there was one laying on the bed
last night. I rolled the ball to Emmy and that little girl OPENED her mouth
to try and get that ball. It was of course too big for her and she couldn't
get it, but she kept trying. And I was so amazed to see her opening that
little mouth that I just started crying and kissing her at the same time.
She has refused to even try to open her mouth since that pin was put in her
jaw. So, this morning we are going to Petsmart and buy some smaller balls
that she can play with:):)
She is a little wonder every day!!
Brenda, John & Abbi Lech (our little
fur baby) are
helping donate towards Emmy's medical bills...
is a yorkie about 7 - 10 years old. She has
had a very rough life.
Hollie is a very sweet laid
back silky terrier. She was released as a yorkie but I am convinced that
she is a silky.
Hollie loves attention. She gets along with everyone as she does not have
an alpha bone in her body. She really does not like the outdoors but will
go out with you and follow you around in the yard. I have never seen her
play with any toys only chewies. Hollie prefers people than to other dogs.
So if you are looking for a dog as a companion for another dog in your
home, Hollie is not the dog for this. But if you are looking for a dog
that will love you and be your best companion, Hollie is just the dog you
are looking for. She will fall asleep laying in your arms just like a
This is Holly they did a butcher job on her
stomach as they spayed her and removed a mammary tumor, see photos
She came out of the same place as Emmy. When she
came to us she had a very infected incision on her stomach that had green
pus coming out of it. She also had infections between her toes, in her
mouth, and in her ears. Due to the amount of infection that she had in her
body she tested positive to a disease called Brucellosis. We had to put
her on antibiotics to rid her body of infection. Then after she was off
the antibiotics for 2 weeks, she had to be retested with a special
confirmation test, which thank goodness came back negative. We were a
little worried but we after we did some research and found that the
initial test will pick up any gram negative bacteria in her bloodstream,
we took a sigh of relief. Then we had to wait until it was time to retest
her and then wait the two weeks for her results to come back in. We
celebrated her negative results.
Hollie had mammary tumors removed prior to us getting her. We had a chest
x-ray completed and there are two suspicious spots on the x-ray. They did
not remove all the tumors, and she will go back under on 4/6 to get them
removed. At that time they will be biopsy to determine if she has cancer.
They will also take another chest x-ray to compare it to the first one.
Hollie loves to be held and petted and she is very comfortable being in
the arms and on the lap of someone. Please keep Holly in your prayers and
hope that this time the results are also in her favor.
HOLLIE HAS BEEN ADOPTED and now has two kitties for siblings.
Holly recently died very suddenly, the years in the mill had taken their
toll on her tiny body.
Her memorial is on the
Rainbow Bridge Page.
On September 18, 2004, Hollie, on
the right a very precious and special little
silky girl, rescued from a horrible Missouri puppy mill, went to live with
her new forever family, Megan Gentry and Judy (Gentry) Silver, and kittky
cats Thor and Pixel. They renamed Hollie, Kikyo.
Despite many, many years of neglect and abuse, Kikyo loved to be
held and cuddled. Kikyo brought much happiness and love to her new family. I
loved to read updates about this sweet baby girl, and to talk to her new
family on the phone. You could just hear the love they felt for this
Sadly, Miss Kikyo went to the rainbow bridge last night. She was
with her family. Although her time free from the mills was short,
she gave and recieved unconditional love - the kind that touches the heart
Please extend your thoughts and prayers to Judy, Megan, Thor and Pixel at
this very sad time.