Last year I was looking for a French Bulldog, and found Maddy on petfinder.com. I submitted an application to All Rovers Rescue Friends for her and was accepted. Poor Maddy was almost five years old and had been bred at a puppy mill for most of her life.
We picked her up in Michigan and brought her home. Except for her brief time with the rescue group, she had never lived in a house. She did not know how to walk on a leash and was not house broken. She didn't know how to use the stairs in our home. We couldn't get her to eat from a bowl for several weeks. We assume that she preferred to eat off the floor because that was what she was accustomed to.
The edges of her ears were beat up from the puppy mill and her feet are a little strange from standing in a wire cage. She has a tattoo in her ear that reads 86. That was her name before she was rescued. I can only imagine how many animals must have been in the place she came from if she had such a high number.
We spent the first several weeks with Maddy outside as much as possible. We waited until she went to the bathroom, and then whisked her into the house for a treat and some praise. Half an hour later we went outside and did it again. My daughter slept on the floor next to her crate for weeks to keep her company until she was housebroken and could sleep outside of it.
We've had Maddy for a year and a half now. She is completely housebroken, her coat is beautiful and soft from her high quality diet, and she is the most devoted dog I have ever known.
Maddy enjoys our other dogs, and loves coming to the kids' soccer and baseball games. She mingles comfortably when we have company. She is so well loved that I have to make sure no guest takes her home! She is my constant companion and sleeps cuddled up with me every night.
I will never buy a puppy again. We have been so fortunate to be able to watch our sweet girl blossom into the wonderful family pet that she was always capable of becoming. It has been one of the most rewarding experiences of our lives. She loves us in a way that only a rescued dog can. She knows we gave her a wonderful, comfortable life, but we feel like the lucky ones.