Home > Animal Rescue, Maggie, Pine River puppy mill, puppy mill dogs > Foster Maggie: Then and Now

Foster Maggie: Then and Now

@animalhumanemn @sfratzke Maggie says "Good luck today!". Hope it is a great walk!I always find it funny how we humans can be so close to something (or someone) and not notice the subtle changes that occur.

We usually notice the big changes over time, but when we are too close to the person or animal or event, the subtle ones get missed.

If you have ever had a puppy you have probably experienced this very thing. Someone comes up and exclaims their disbelief at how much your puppy has grown since they last saw him/her and suddenly you see, as if for the first time, that your puppy has indeed grown several inches. How did you miss it? How did you miss seeing those subtle signs?

I would argue that we only notice the big changes because they are concrete packages of time that tell us time has passed The smaller changes are so subtle and so woven with the other moments of our days that they don’t stand out (i.e., we notice when the puppy can no longer crawl under the coffee table, but not when his back starts to touch the bottom of it).

The other night I was texting with a friend and was telling her about bringing Maggie to a friend’s house. I told her how shocked I was by how well she did.

The little dog who would run from my outstretched hand just a few months ago actually approached two people she had never met and touched them, several times. Even more shocking to me was that she chose to do so all on her own. She even stayed for quite some time so she could get some pets and butt scratches. I was seeing Maggie’s small steps of progress all in one moment and in my eyes, it was as if she took a giant leap!

My friend responded back that she had seen the subtle changes in Maggie too. I was so surprised. She told me that I should look at Maggie’s early pictures, from when she first came to stay with us, and compare them with the ones I have taken of her more recently. She said you can see the subtle differences.

And you know what? She was right! I pulled several photos of Maggie from the early days and compared them to ones I have taken in the past few months. She looks different now. Some of the changes are really subtle, but I see:

  • A less worried look in her eyes
  • She looks like she is less in a “high alert” state now.
  • She often laid closer to Daisy than me in the early days. Now she actually chooses to be near me when she sleeps.
  • Here eyes and body position seem indicating a curiosity that was not there in the early days.

What do you see?

Maggie then

Scared Maggie in her new foster home

Maggie now
Holding my bone.

Guess she likes Daisy's spot. I told her not to get TOO used to it. 😊

Maggie then

Maggie now (just a few days ago)
Practiced walking on leash tonight. #Maggie #fosterdog

Maggie then

Maggie now
Miss Maggie wishes you a happy Saturday! #Sheltie

Maggie then
The aftermath of game night.

Maggie now
Time for bed #Maggie #Daisy


Maggie then

Maggie - Former Pine River Puppy Mill Dog

Maggie now

I think she wants the leftover hamburger bun.#maggie

Maggie getting some loving at my friend, Cindy’s, house.

  1. May 6, 2015 at 11:14 PM

    The differences between ‘then’ and ‘now’ are quite astonishing! She is so relaxed and she has a lovely little smile 🙂 It’s wonderful to watch Maggie develop and blossom. Her time has come to shine, way to go Maggie! I know how pleased and proud you are of Maggie, Mel, but she couldn’t have done it without all your patience and love.

  2. May 7, 2015 at 12:43 AM

    I also noticed the smile and the way she looks directly at the camera (or the photographer I suppose) with so much confidence and trust.

  3. May 7, 2015 at 5:46 AM

    She seems so comfortable, the apprehension in her eyes is pretty much gone. How wonderful for her!

  4. Sue
    May 7, 2015 at 6:47 AM

    Your photos tell quite a story and it is beautiful to see Maggie so relaxed and confidant these days! You are one awesome foster dog mom, Mel!

  5. May 7, 2015 at 6:59 AM

    She is really is coming out of her shell!! Its so great to see the progress in her. You really can just see how relaxed and happy she seems in her now pictures.

  6. May 7, 2015 at 8:16 AM

    Thanks for sharing your story and experience. I thought the difference in her eyes on the first comparison pictures were remarkable . . . from concern and uncertainty to eyes of love. Wow!

  7. May 7, 2015 at 8:32 AM

    So amazing. You have done a wonderful job for her, She looks way more relaxed and happy.

  8. May 7, 2015 at 10:12 AM

    5 stars for that adorable face! Way to blossom, Maggie. Well done.

  9. May 7, 2015 at 10:25 AM

    So wonderful! You have been such an amazing mom to her her and allowed her to be safe and loved! She smiles now. 🙂 She has a sparkle in her eyes. I have learned so much from your blog about Magggie. Thank you!
    I have noticed the same thing with my puppy mill mom, Kira. Some days I am struck suddenly by how far she has come in 10 months. On her blog this week, I wrote about her running in the rain and how amazing it was to realize that she was actually having FUN! Fun is not a word I ever, ever thought I would use to describe her…

  10. jan
    May 7, 2015 at 11:51 AM

    The pictures say it all. How rewarding it is to turn a fearful dog into one who will lead a happy life.

  11. May 9, 2015 at 3:58 PM

    She is so cuteee !

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