Let’s Rescue Little Guy Again
This is a photo of Little Guy. By all accounts, he spent his first five years in a puppy mill. He lived with me for seven. When I first met him, he was so shut down, almost catatonic. He didn’t want to be touched. He would turn his head away. It was as if the act of someone even looking at him was painful. I knew I had a lot of love to give, and I wanted to give it to him to see what love can do. It was 2 or 3 months of chasing him so I could pick him up. He finally figured out a way to let me pick him up on his terms. He did not establish eye contact for six months. I so remember the day I realized he was looking at me. He let me look into his eyes. Probably right then is when it crystallized that we were on this journey together. He had become my very heart. After all he had been through, he put down his guard and he took a chance on trusting me. He welcomed me. Seven years. In those seven years, I celebrated with him every little triumph. It was more than just learning to walk down stairs or no longer being afraid of the sound of footsteps crunching on gravel. It was more intangible; it was the embodiment of confidence. In seven years, he grew into a happy little boy with a carefree swagger. All along, he seemed to be in good physical health considering his origins, but on 2/17/2017, he transitioned from this life. Massive heart attack. He went instantly. So you can imagine how lost I felt. I asked him, “What am I going to do without you?” He made life really fun for me. And he said, “Just rescue me again.”
Come on, man. I said, “I can’t go to the mills and negotiate with breeders or go to auctions” because I would be too afraid of the reflection in the rearview mirror as I drove away and left dogs behind.” I personally would not be sustainable in that role. But I’ll tell you what: I certainly honor the good that comes from that work. That’s how I got Little Guy.
After he died, days passed with that little voice saying “rescue me again,” and I came across yet another video of HSUS or ASPCA assisting law enforcement in the raid of a puppy mill. I watched them haul out all of the animals. They weren’t leaving anybody behind. Little Guy showed me how I could rescue him again.
So that’s how our legacy was born, how our mission began. We’re on a mission now. We’re calling it Little Guy’s Puppy Mill Rescue and Rehabilitation. The rescuing, or giving the dogs a place to go when they are liberated from a mill or a hoarding situation or some case of abuse or neglect, is part of it. But the more important piece is in the rehabilitation, and I’ll be talking to you about that vision a lot in the days to come. But what we have before us is the opportunity to give these little beings new life, these animals that have suffered the most. Do you know what it takes for law enforcement to finally make a raid? They’ve investigated enough to believe that they can get a conviction because conditions are so bad that people should be punished for their treatment of the animals. Some of those animals will come to us, and we will get to do a do-over. For real. How often do we get to do that in life?
The two-fold mission of Little Guy’s Puppy Mill Rescue and Rehabilitation:
a) To rescue animals, primarily dogs, that have been seized by law enforcement and other agents from puppy mills, backyard breeders, hoarding cases, and animal cruelty and neglect cases.
b) Because the conditions from which animals are rescued are reprehensible, the physical and emotional health of the animals may be severely compromised. Therefore, equal emphasis is placed on rehabilitation of the animals. They are not inventory to be moved as quickly as possible through the program. Our charge is to serve them. Every member of the organization, including the adopter, is considered a rehabilitator in some fashion. For some, Little Guy’s will be a final stopping place where they fully experience love, comfort, and beauty. For the majority, Little Guy’s shelter will redeem their lives from the fear of cruelty and deliver them into the joy of belonging. Likewise, those who invest this mission will experience the same as they interact with and learn from the animals in the circle of unconditional love.