Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Rare Breed of Love (copy)

Baby doesn’t speak. Instead she looks at you with haunting black eyes and the question on her lips expresses, “Will you love me and treat me special?”

Baby is a 15-year-old poodle that spent her first nine years of life as a breeder in a puppy mill at an undisclosed location in California. Her known story begins with a woman, book refers to her as “Drive-by Angel,” driving the country roads and spotting a “Puppies for Sale” sign. When Drive-by Angel pulled into the idyllic setting she remembered being excited by the type of puppies she might find.

She could feel something awry after the home owner refused her entrance into the house, but insisted she bring the puppies out to a pen in the yard. These were no puppies, but Drive-by Angel played along. Her heart ached as the dogs vied for her attention, but all she saw was matted-down filthy, malnourished animals.

The gig was up and the woman said matter-of-factly, “They’re too old to produce. I’m going to put them down. You can have any of them for two hundred dollars.” Drive-by Angel decided the little white poodle with 94 tattooed inside her ear—an indication of birth and expiration date—deserved a new home.

During her first days in the new home, Drive-by Angel gave her the name Baby. She explains, “When I brought her home, everything was a first for her. Grass. Toys. Furniture. My kids said, ‘She doesn’t know about anything, just like a baby.’”

Within two days of being in the new home, Baby jumped off the sofa and shattered her left leg. Osteoporosis is a common problem with breeder dogs because the puppies require most of the calcium produced by the breeder, and being in a puppy mill most dogs are deprived of sunlight, exercise and proper nutrition. Her bones were too brittle to repair and her leg was amputated. The vet also informed the family that Baby’s vocal chords were severed and this is why she didn’t make a noise when hurt.

Readers will encounter Baby’s story within the first chapter of Dr. Jana Kohl’s A Rare Breed of Love. The rest of the book is Baby’s encounter with the rich and famous in order to change our archaic animal laws. Seeing her portrait with the likes of President Barack Obama, Judge Judy, Elizabeth Dole, Paul Harvey, Todd Oldham, Amy Sedaris, etc., one will recognize her as the perfect “spokesdog.”

Visit with Baby here.


Missy B. said...

I can usually read books about animals without much of a problem...but this one, I think would be too much for me. It sounds like a wonderful story, though.

Anonymous said...

I won't be able to read this one...just this had me crying at work...Thank goodness Baby found a loving home...

maggie moran said...

Looking at that loving dog in your arms, I can see why Missy! The book's premise is to not purchase a dog-store dog, but trek down to a humane shelter and give an older dog a home. This way you won't have to read it! ;D

Susie, I cried reading it just now, too. I read my article to hubby on Wednesday afternoons after work and I choked up knowing the vocal chord sentence was coming up! :(

The book is a delight to look through with all the photos of a happy Baby with most the celebs cradling her where the leg was; effectively, making them closer to her heart. :)

Carol Murdock said...

WOW ! This makes me want to open my own doggie shelter!! My little Pekingese Sadie is pregnant but this will be her one and only litter. They will go to friends and family and she and Jake(the dad) will get fixed.This is a heartbreaking story.

~ Carol ~

maggie moran said...

Makes me cringe, Carol! The book does point out that there are millions of people, like yourself, who raise healthy puppies in the home or garage w/out resorting to churning them out. I think it is just greed on the part of mill owners, but to cut the vocal chords to keep dogs quiet verges on evil.

Jeane said...

It sounds like such a sad story- what that poor dog had to suffer! and all the others she had to leave there. I'm glad at least one dog found a happy ending and helped others- I might just have to read this one.

maggie moran said...

It is sad Jeane, but it is only the first chapter. It gets better and I want to print the 11 Reasons to Get an Older Dog for our students. :)

Sharon said...

So sad. I just don't understand how people can own and treat animals that way. This looks like a book I would really like to read. Poor Baby.

I just purchased a book called "Second Chances." It is full of pictures and short stories of people who have rescued dogs and given them a second chance.

Tiffany Norris said...

Oh, you know I love Baby's story! I'm so glad she and others are bringing some awareness to puppy mills. So sad--but I have hope!

Unknown said...

Here in Ohio, a lot of Amish farms have puppy mills. One reason I won't buy or support anything Amish. I realize that not all of them do this, but it just turns me off completely. There have been bills to regulate puppy breeders languishing in the state legislature for years. But the breeders have a very strong lobby.

Let's all hope that people like Baby's adopted family can put these people out of business. We can all help by never, ever buying a puppy from a pet store.

maggie moran said...

The book sounds hopeful, Sharon. I was looking at "WORD" yesterday, but thought I better read something else for the newspapers. I don't want to get too "activist" and run off readers. This article writing can be a double edged sword at times. This stuff also makes me sad and angry with little recourse. :(

This is the perfect book to get the word out. All those dog lovein' celebs, Tiffany. :D

Susan - Why you make me cry again!?! The footage of that horrible puppy mill owner who vagrantly (sp) disregards dip lables and practices her own form of vet practices makes me so spitting mad!

nomerwahid said...

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