The Story of Me
Maggie. My name is Maggie. I want to tell my story because it’s about me! And life is all about me, and if you don’t know that yet, I am here to make sure you don’t leave this world not knowing that life is about me! Maggie.
A long time ago, I lived at a place called a puppy mill. It’s a funny term, puppy mill. Can you imagine a place that just produces puppies? Do you know the definition of a mill?
I don’t either, so I am going to look it up and define it for you!
So there are a lot of different definitions associated with the word mill. I will pick the ones that I think are what people refer to when saying the term ‘puppy mill’
-a place that processes things or people in a mechanical way
-a building fitted with machinery for a manufacturing process
-a piece of manufacturing machinery
and my favorite and most appropriate for my experience, is this phrase..
go (or put someone ) through the mill undergo (or cause someone to undergo) an unpleasant experience.
Where I came from, there were 175 dogs that lived there. Most of the dog’s primary purpose were to create more dogs (puppies)…puppies are cute, puppies sell..no regard for quality of the breed, just quantity and a lot of times there were mixed breeds breeding on purpose because they were little and cute…
No single person could adequately care for 175 dogs. you know? Creating puppies does not create a lot of wealth! So there is never enough money to pay for adequate help, or health care, dental care or quality food or clean runs. Or large play areas or grass….just barking barking barking…which translates to I’m hungry, I’m thirsty, I’m bored to tears, I’m angry, I need out of this place, I need attention, I need to sit in someone’s lap, I need to be petted and on and on and on. Dogs need a lot, just like people do.
The quiet ones most likely did not feel well. Their eyes hurt, their ears hurt, they had a tooth ache, they itched, their tummies hurt, they were cold, they were hot, they knew no other life, but they knew that life could be better. Somehow they knew life could be better…because they were bred for these traits, you know to want to be with people and sitting in their laps and getting petted all the time.
-a building fitted with machinery for a manufacturing process
So I am not sure about the building I lived in because my memory is a little hazy…but in general a puppy mill has a lot of cages or ‘runs’. Sometimes the boys stayed separate from the girls, sometimes they are housed together. Sometimes similar breeds are kept together in one run. But basically it’s a large building (if you are lucky it’s got heat and air) that has a lot of cages in it. Get the picture?
I know the place I lived at had a lot of rats because the little dogs loved to kill the rats when they would get in the cages to eat dog food.
Sometimes there were fights between dogs. Especially when a male dog was with a bunch of females and they weren’t in the mood to make more puppies!
So I think with this definition, the mom and dad dogs are the ‘machinery’ that is in the building. And the manufacturing process is to put the male dog with the female dog and if everything works out as it is supposed to, puppies are produced. There isn’t a lot of thought put into this part. It doesn’t matter if the male or female dog has any hereditary /genetic problems it can pass on to it’s offspring because that’s not the point. The point is to produce puppies in large quantities without any regard for the quality of the puppy-and it’s future health. Or the quality of life for the adult dogs for that matter!
And now for my story….getting put through the mill….
I am a dachshund. I have long red and white hair. I am not sure of what my life was before I got sick because I was so sick I can’t remember back that far. I was told I was a house dog at this puppy mill place. But one day, as I got to be mature enough to have puppies, they put me out in the kennel where all the dogs were and I was with another dachshund. I was eventually taken away from him and put into a 4 by 3 foot cage for 2 months! Can you believe that???
They didn’t think I got pregnant when I was with the other dog, but I don’t know how they could think that because my belly kept getting bigger and the rest of my body got really skinny! But anyway…I wasn’t one to like living in the kennel, I was a house dog! So all I did was bark. I didn’t eat much or drink much and I think that is why I got sick. I got a urinary tract infection and then I started to form a stone in my bladder. Nobody noticed I had a problem…Maybe they didn’t bring me water like I should have had? I barked so much I probably was persistently dehydrated…My belly kept getting so big because I had 4 little puppies in my uterus and they kept growing bigger as the days went on. The uterus pushing on my bladder made me have to urinate all the time. The stone was pushed into the urethra so firmly that I could no longer get urine out. Between the uterus pushing on my bladder and the stone in my urethra, my bladder just couldn’t take the pressure and it started to leak through the wall of the bladder into my abdomen. Boy did I get sick. No one still noticed. I wasn’t eating, I was vomiting, I wasn’t drinking anymore. I just wanted to die. One day the lady came out and found me lying down, not barking and not getting up and close to dying, she finally took me to get help. Thanks God!
Next thing I knew I was in the exam room of an animal clinic getting probed this way and that..I remember getting my neck poked with a needle and them laying me under a machine to take a picture of me…then came a needle in my arm and I stayed in a cage getting rehydrated before they took me to surgery. And I tried to bite them a lot because I was very uncomfortable and just couldn’t take it anymore. They still were the kindest people I ever met..they gave me pain medicine and talked to me… They said I had 4 dead puppies inside of me and that my bladder had ruptured and was leaking urine into my abdomen. They had to take my uterus out, remove the stone and fix my bladder where it was leaking..
I was sick for several days after the surgery and had to continue to be in the hospital on iv fluids. The doctor that took care of me had to take me home with an IV pump and all my medications because it was new years weekend and my owner couldn’t afford to take me to the 24 hours care facility for the holiday.
Boy but it was going to be a new year for me! A NEW YEAR FOR ME!!!!! But then I had this sick thought that I was going to have to go back to the puppy mill…oh no!
So on New Years day, I actually started to get hungry. I started to feel better and clean myself and was wagging my tail…I got the catheter taken out of my arm! And then I got visitors…The old ones…and these people just seemed to be the people I was meant to be with..I instantly jumped into their laps and didn’t want to ever move! But then I was taken back to the animal clinic where I was supposed to be reunited with my owner and taken back to the mill…I guess I never realized I was no good to them anymore without my uterus.
The bill had gotten big enough to where when the doctor said if my owner would pay half the bill, she would pay the other half if she would be allowed to find me a good home. Of course my owner jumped at this opportunity because the main concern was about money..and I was no good to her anymore without my puppy making machine. I had the best doctor ever!!!!!!!!!!!! She didn’t care about the money…..she didn’t care at all…she only cared that I didn’t go back there too! How did she know??
WOW I DIDN’T HAVE TO GO BACK!!!!
I went to the old peoples! (they aren’t really old, just older then anyone else I ever knew..) I could not control my bladder. It was stretched so much where the stone was stuck, it was really hard to not leak urine all the time. They put up with me anyway…and I bark a lot! Some things just don’t change…I bark for peanut butter toast in the morning, I bark for dinner, I bark at strangers, I bark at Pearl and Spice (my greyhound sisters) but at least now when I bark, people hear me!!!!
Living the best life ever 🙂 Maggie…