Wednesday, April 16

Bonny, brave Bertha

If you have been following the website, you are aware that FBRN has taken in ten dogs purchased with private donations at a dog auction. A group of FBRN volunteers who are also active in Puppymill Awareness Day in Lancaster County, PA, attended the auction of an Oklahoma puppy mill that claimed to be going out of business and selling its stock. The dog auction scene is fundamentally corrupt, since it is supported by people engaged in a corrupt and vile industry. Frequently millers will claim to be going out of business in order to sell off their older stock and then they will use the proceeds to buy younger dogs. The group who attended this auction were convinced that these millers were truly going out of business and they were attending to get as many animals out of the stream of exploitation as they could with the funds they raised.
Bertha is one of the dogs they were able to purchase.
Here is a note from her foster mom, describing Bertha's first few weeks as a family dog, living in a house, learning how to be a pet:

Bertha has been with us for 2 weeks and is such a sweetie. When she is let out of her crate she bounds around with a goofy grin, so excited to see us, which is really something to see because she is a big, long girl and not entirely graceful! Our neighbors even commented that she has a sparkle in her eye now.

In some ways she is like a puppy, because she is just figuring out her new world. The other day after a bath she discovered the mirror on the back of our bathroom door and was very confused, thinking it was a doorway and being a little startled by her reflection, not to mention the fact that she could not barge on through it with her big head, like she does with other doors. She is very curious and likes to check everything out. Like a puppy, she is having to learn to notice when people are talking to her. As a mill dog, I'm sure she never learned this, and that thought breaks my heart. She also does not take treats from a hand, which makes getting her to take her pills somewhat frustrating. If I give them to her in a ball of cheese or hotdog she rolls it around on the floor and eventually gets it in her mouth but is very good at spitting the pills out!

Twice daily pill-time sometimes takes several tries and a lot of patience...

She has started barking when Luna and Rollo [formerly FBRN's miracle puppy, Piglet] do, but when left to her own devices she is very quiet (although she will let you know when she would like out of her crate, like at the crack of dawn). She has to be supervised closely because she enjoys chewing on anything and everything, and doesn't yet know what is okay to chew on and what's not okay (like the remote control, the phone, furniture, rugs, etc.). It will be a long process of consistency to teach her that. Unlike a puppy, she appears to be housetrained--yay!

She gets along very well with our dogs, who are not the most easygoing dogs out there, although I have to brag a little and say that Rollo has been fantastic, bless his little high-strung Russian heart. Actually, now our dogs vie for Bertha's attention; it is really funny to see Rollo trying to tempt her with a toy while Luna rolls around and waves her feet at Bertha.

A. sent Bertha a stuffed toy and some nylabones and Bertha actually played with the stuffy (a first), rolling around on her back and holding the stuffed toy between her front paws and chewing on it. She is precious! She also loves chewing on the nylabones, and they are a great tool to use when distracting her from something she shouldn't be chewing on. She really does not seem to be afraid of people, and so far does not have any behavioral issues, which makes me hopeful that her past was not entirely filled with misery and that someone was kind to her once. She used to flatten herself like a pancake when you went to pick her up, but she does that less now, unless she just doesn't want to go somewhere in which case she just goes totally limp like a 30 lb sack of potatoes.

She will be a devoted and delightful companion to a special person out there somewhere!"

In our next website update, you'll find an essay about the special needs that puppy mill dogs have, and what it takes to adopt one. Each of our survivors will have a link to the essay. We hope you will read it and consider applying for one of our Oklahoma 10 dogs. Their rescuers thought about calling them the OK10, but decided against it. Puppy mills aren't OK. And though these dogs are on their way to a happily ever after, many, many more are not.

FBRN exists to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome French bulldogs in need, regardless of their background. Whether Good Samaritan or owner surrendered, pulled from a shelter, or puppy mill survivor: all our Frenchies are in need, and we rely on our supporters to help us help them find homes as safe, warm, and loving as your own dog's home. Many of our foster dogs have no sponsors tonight. You can change that by finding a face that appeals to you and making a commitment to helping by clicking on their photo and making a PayPal donation. Be sure to leave a note for your dog in the comments section on the PayPal form; they (and we volunteers and foster parents!) all love to hear from you!

The Frog Princess


Anonymous said...

Just a suggestion about getting the meds down...unless there's a problem with allergy or sensitivity of some kind, you might try giving the pills hidden in a glob of peanut butter, especially the "chunky" kind. I have 7 dogs of various breeds, including Frenchies, & none of them have a problem with reactions to peanut butter, they love it, and that way the one getting the pill doesn't realize it, while the licks are being passed out to the whole gang!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the suggestion! The problem with Bertha is that she won't take anything from your hand. It has to be something I can put on the floor that she then picks up to eat. I have tried the peanut butter trick and putting it directly in her mouth, but she manages to spit the pill out. She's a wiley one! I am open to any suggestions in that department!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like Bertha is getting accustomed to a good life so quickly--perhaps she's expecting the yukky pill to come with foie gras or caviar!

Sorry I can't be of much help, my pooches eat everything, even the broccoli leaves that fall on the floor.

Thanks FBRN for all that you do!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update on Bonny Brave Bertha, and I am going to look at the fosters and choose one to sponsor. Even if the donation is small, every dollar counts, right Frog Princess?

Anonymous said...

How about a little liverwurst (braunschweiger). Our Serengeti used to be able to sniff a pill out in anything, except liver sausage. And good luck with Miss Bertha, we have a FBRN rescue from a puppy mill and Miss Phoebe is 1 y/o with us and coming around wonderfully. The fear melts away with the love, it just takes time. Need someone to sponsor...we did for Bree and also Sally Jane to resuce her from the miller. Just FYI, love from the Malone's