In early March 2015, as my husband and I were still mourning the loss of our 14-year-old poodle mix, Daisy Mae, the news reported the shutdown of a local puppy mill, where over 140 dogs were seized and placed in a shelter to be available for adoption.
Though we had no plans of bringing a new dog into our family at that time, something about this news story spoke to us. We began looking online daily to view the dogs to be available for adoption the following day. One dog’s photo caught our attention. There was something about the expression on his face, as if to say,”Look at me!” He was a 5-year-old West Highland Terrier that had been shaved due to the fact that he was so tangled and matted when he arrived at the shelter.
The next day we arrived at the shelter at 5 a.m. We had heard that because of the high publicity about these poor dogs, the lines at the shelter would be long. Only a handful of dogs were up for adoption each day and it was first come first serve. We were determined to be at the front of the line. We waited 6 hours, and when the shelter doors opened, we were the first to enter.
As we walked into the room where the dogs were in cages to be viewed, we immediately spotted him. He looked right at us with those beautiful eyes, willing us to come to his cage. When we walked over to him, he licked my husband’s hand. It was in that moment that we made our choice. We chose Wesley.
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This past year with Wesley has been an incredible journey. As with most rescue animals, he had special challenges. As a result of the deplorable living conditions at the puppy mill, he had many health issues, including kennel cough,periodontal disease, pneumonia, heartworm disease and chronic bronchitis. He continues to receive daily medication for his bronchitis.
It took time for us to earn Wesley’s trust. Slowly,he began to accept our affection and return it. With patience and lots of love, a forever bond has been formed.
Today, Wesley is a happy healthy dog, He is truly a special member of our family. He has brought us so much joy and laughter. He loves playing with his toys, taking daily walks, barking at the ducks in our backyard pond, and going to the dog park. It’s remarkable how well he has adjusted to his new life, considering he spent the first 5 years of his life in a cage.
It is heartwarming to watch him enjoy life, knowing he will never live in a cage again.