Home > Daisy, Puppy Mills > A look back – Daisy’s everywhere!

A look back – Daisy’s everywhere!

Daisy at the dog park

Daisy at the dog park

Today I am taking another look back to the early years when Daisy first came to live with me.  Daisy is a former puppy mill breeding dog who was estimated to be four years old at the time I adopted her. She was afraid of everyone and everything. She practically crawled on the ground the first few days she came to live with me. This is an old blog post from Daisy’s blog, “Daisy the Wonder Dog (and how she found her inner Lab).” It highlights the progress Daisy had made after I adopted her in 2007.

I hope it gives hope to those who have a damaged or unsocialized dog. Progress can be made. It takes time and patience and often happens in fits and starts – for every step forward there are two steps back, but it is so rewarding when you start to take those steps forward.  The key is to never give up hope. You need a lot of patience and understanding. You also need learn to learn to celebrate the small successes.

This post is from January 21, 2009, a little over 2 years after Daisy first came to live with me.

Daisy had a surprise guest this week. Her friend, Daisy Mae (a black Lab), came to stay for a couple of days while her “Mommie” had a little baby boy.

It’s been awhile since my Daisy and I had seen Daisy Mae. They girls first met about a year ago at the Alimagnet dog park in Burnsville. Her mom and I started talking after realizing that our dogs had the same name and then realized that both our dogs came from Minnesota Valley Humane Society. Who knew that her Daisy Mae was the same dog I had walked at the shelter as a young pup?

She has grown quite a bit since I last saw her, but it was obvious that she was very happy in her new home. Her parents really love her and spend a lot of quality time with her. She goes to the dog park once a day (sometimes twice a day), and she gets plenty of walks and belly rubs. She’s a well-rounded dog – good with humans and other dogs.

I was pleased to see that Daisy was happy to see Daisy Mae. She seemed pretty comfortable with her. This past summer, when Daisy Mae and her mom had come to spend the day with us (gardening) Daisy was quite nervous. She spent most of her time sitting right by my side. Of course, I encouraged her to go play but she would only wander a few feet and then come back and sit next to me. She does that when she’s nervous.

It was with great relief that I saw how she was to see her old friend. In fact, they got along extremely well together. They hung out at the dog park, searched for treats in the snow together (a game they both love to play) and slept on the couch together. It reminded me of when Aspen was alive.

Daisy used to looked to Apsen for guidance on how to be a dog. Aspen set the tone for everything: jumping on the couch, taking a nap, hanging out in the backyard, riding in the car, going to the pet store, approaching strangers, etc. Daisy really relied on her for guidance and direction.

That’s why I have toyed with the idea of getting another dog – one that is older, and more experienced, in living with humans. I’m constantly asking myself whether I am helping Daisy or hurting her by not getting her another friend. Part of me thinks that her rehabilitation would be much easier on her if I were to get another dog, but the other part of me is worried that making the wrong choice could be devastating for her.

Watching her with Daisy Mae made me realize that there is no easy answer to my questions. While Daisy enjoyed having a companion around for a few days, she also spent some time hanging out in her kennel (her “safe spot”). Whenever Daisy Mae would bark at a noise or get interested in a bone Daisy had Daisy would get nervous.

It’s nice to have Daisy’s everywhere, but it’s also making me wonder even more…Should i get another dog for Daisy? Or, should I let her be an only dog?

The question remains unanswered…for now.

  1. August 8, 2013 at 5:36 AM

    My suggestion would be to get another dog so she has company, but it should be a puppy. We were a little apprehensive when we adopted/rescued Bella and hoped that Nikita would be ok with it. Nikita was a little apprehensive at first and got a little anxiety from having another dog in HER house, but they quickly became best friends. Now, they whine when the other one is not around. It is so cute on how they became so close and I know that they love each other and have someone to play with during the day.

    • Mel
      August 10, 2013 at 4:49 PM

      How beautiful! They sound like the very best of friends.

      I did end up adopting another dog, Jasper. And now, I have Cupcake too. All the dogs seem to learn from one another and they really seem to enjoy being in each other’s company.

      • August 10, 2013 at 8:50 PM

        Aw, good for you! All doggies need company & friends! Good luck! Can’t wait to see all of them on your blog! 🙂

      • Mel
        August 11, 2013 at 7:45 AM

        Thanks! Jasper is on there today. 🙂

  2. August 8, 2013 at 7:39 AM

    I think the Mill dogs need another dog for guidance and reassurance.
    Lacy copies everything Max does, including when it’s time to go outside. It has only been in the last year that she will go outside on her own or stay in when Max goes out.
    It is interesting how much our Mill dogs are so much alike in their progress. You really do celebrate the small successes.

    • Mel
      August 10, 2013 at 4:48 PM

      I agree Carole. I have seen Daisy blossom having Jasper around. And, the same thing has happened with Cupcake. Every day Cuppers gets closer and closer to approaching people on her own. She has watched Jasper and Daisy and learned from them. I so agree with you on the similarity in behaviors. The small successes are the best!

  3. dawnkline
    August 8, 2013 at 7:57 AM

    What a sweet story! My Cody is also a rescue, although he was only 2months old. He was also very timid when I adopted him. He had a special doggy friend, Jade, who was a Rottweiler belonging to my best friend. We would all walk together and Cody learned a great deal from her.

    This is a very difficult decision to make. I’ll definitely be thinking of you as you try to figure out what would be best for Daisy. Keep us posted!!

    • Mel
      August 10, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      Thanks Dawn. How wonderful that Cody had a friend to help him along too!
      I ended up adopting a 9 month old puppy, also from a mill, who brought daisy out of her shell. I also have another Sheltie girl from a mill, Cupcake, and she has made huge progress having Daisy and Jasper here to help her. It’s amazing to watch their progress isn’t it? Kudos to you and Cody!

  4. August 8, 2013 at 8:34 AM

    We’ve been in the same situation only in reverse. We’ve brought in rescued dogs who were badly treated and in need of love and reassurance and introduced them into our already established pack. They always fit right in and eventually became one of the bunch. With time, all their uncertainty about life (and their past life) disappeared.

    • Mel
      August 10, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      And that makes it all worthwhile doesn’t it Amber? I love that. Lucky dogs.

  5. jan
    August 8, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    It’s heartbreaking to think of all the puppy mill producers who never have a chance at a normal life with someone like you. A daughter of one of my friends just adopted one. I am sending her a link to your blog for encouragement.

    • Mel
      August 10, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      Yes it is Jan. I am lucky Daisy taught me how to help her. She’s taught me a lot in her short time with me.
      I hope some day there are no more dogs like Daisy sitting in mills. Some day.

      Thanks for sharing the link. It can be so overwhelming having a mill dog. You don’t know what to do, what not to do or how to help them. Wishing your daughter’s friend all the best with her little one.

  6. August 8, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    I’m from a puppy mill tooowooowooo. It was a lot of work and time, but I’m doing very well now. Woooowoooooo! Ku

    • Mel
      August 10, 2013 at 4:53 PM

      I am so proud of you Ku! I bet your mom helped you too!

  7. August 8, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    While my Meadow did not come out of a puppy mill, when she came out of the wild she was extremely fearful and in some aspects, completely shut down. Having our other two dogs around her helped tremendously in her re-hab, or at least, I think it did, because nowadays she can be a bit of a brat. 🙂

    • Mel
      August 10, 2013 at 4:41 PM

      LOL! I love that last statement. I imagine that Meadow was unsocialized just like many mill dogs. Coming out of the woods and into a home must have been so overwhelming for her. That you have made so much progress is a testament to both you and her. Made my day to read your comment. Yay Meadow!

  8. August 8, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    Another beautiful pic!!!!

    • Mel
      August 8, 2013 at 11:20 PM

      Thank you!

  9. August 11, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Isn’t it amazing how they change? Daisy has come so far and it’s been awesome to watch that slow transformation.

    I’ll never forget our trainer suggesting I get another, less damaged, dog for Felix to learn from and thinking “I have one dog who is a total mess and you want me to get another?!” Luckily, it was the best decision we ever made, because who could even imagine life without Koly?!

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