The St. Louis Senior Dog Project welcomes you. We've had another busy week rescuing homeless dogs and finding them new homes. We are selling calendars to raise money and would like to thank all those who help us with donations of both money and time: See our adoptable dogs at St. Louis Senior Dog Project website Read on:
I met the Blue Lady after a long drive across Missouri that began in darkness. She was waiting in a cage while I was still at home waiting for my ride.
I’d actually been awake for some time, anxious perhaps, eager, enjoying (much to my surprise) the velvet and sparkling magic of the predawn hour. As the headlights turned up my driveway, I wondered what adventure lay ahead.
My companion arrived in a van stuffed with dog crates. We soon joined another van similarly equipped, and together we took off for a puppymill auction on the other side of the state.
Our goal was to save a few dogs from spending the rest of their lives in commercial breeding facilities. During the day, hundreds of dogs would be lifted into the air or placed on a table, one by one or in pairs, turned this way and that, as the auctioneer explained their virtues. This one had large litters. This one was a proven breeder. You’ll make money with this one. Puppies are selling for $$$$ on the internet.
Why are these dogs here? In some cases, a breeder is getting out of the business. Some are getting rid of older dogs or puppies a little too old for the pet stores. Some are just raising money with dogs they don’t need anymore.
What will happen to these dogs? Most will end up in other puppymills and for many of those, their future home will be even less desirable than their previous one.
A few get lucky. Some individuals visit auctions to purchase pets for themselves. And every auction has its share of people from rescue organizations. We recognized several others and made sure not to bid against them. Our budget was small, but we thought we might pick up a few dogs.
As things turned out, we picked up quite a few. By the end of the auction, the crowd had thinned and we were able to win some scrawny bichon frise pups for $10 and $15. And even before that, we’d won the bid on a cocker spaniel, dachshunds, welsh corgis, a yorkie, a few bassets, a poodle, a miniature pinscher, and The Blue Lady.
Before the auction began, we’d walked through the auction barn looking at the dogs in their cages, taking notes and circling numbers on our “programs.” The Blue Lady was at the front of her cage, quiet but curious and hopeful. That, anyway, is what I saw. Here was a beautiful 5-year-old blue merle Shetland Sheep Dog looking straight at me and asking for my help. She might have been timid, but she was not afraid.
Today The Blue Lady is at my home. She saw the vet today and was told she’d make a fine pet for someone. Then it was off to a volunteer groomer who shampooed away the yellow in her white ruff, and fluffed, puffed and perfumed her into quite the little show dog. She’ll be spayed and have her teeth cleaned on Monday. As The Blue Lady prepares for a new life as a pet, so do the other auction dogs. All will be spayed/neutered, checked over, updated with shots, teeth cleaned when necessary, groomed, petted, cuddled and told they’re good dogs. And soon they’ll be ready for new homes.
The Blue Lady takes treats from my hands and follows me through the house. She is still very quiet and watchful. She doesn’t know how to walk on a leash, and she hesitates before going in or out of the door. Sometimes I need to carry her in and out…but she lets me. She enjoys being petted. She has the most wonderful eyes.
I’ll tell you more about the others and about The Blue Lady in future blogs.
Please visit our website and buy our calendars. We always need donations and we’d love to hear your ideas.