Hi! My name is Moxie. I’m a happy boy but it hasn’t always been this way. A year and a half ago I was rescued by National Mill Dog Rescue but before that I spent 12 years living in a puppy mill.
I arrived at the puppy mill when I was still less than a year old. For 12 years I shared a small cage with several other dogs, only standing on wire, and never leaving the building I was housed in. The mill I came from is a large, metal warehouse. There are no windows. The hundreds of dogs that live in that building are always in complete darkness. I lived my life with no sunlight or fresh air.
Thankfully, I’m one of the lucky ones who was rescued by National Mill Dog Rescue and received a second chance at life. It is pretty rare for a 12 year old puppy mill survivor to get a chance like this. Usually old guys like me are discarded like a piece of trash.
When the NMDR Rescue Team picked me up, I was close to dead. I was so weak that I could barely lift my head and I just sat still, staring at the ground. Nobody could tell that I was a Maltese. The color of my fur should have been white but it was yellow and brown. I was matted, dirty and covered with urine.
When we stopped for the night, I was given a bath and the kind rescuers cut the mats away from my face. It was then that they noticed I did not have a lower jaw. Many puppy mill dogs do not have lower jaws because they live their entire lives without dental care and they often drink dirty water out of a rabbit feeder. The jaw literally disintegrates. I only had two teeth in the top of my mouth. The roots were exposed and it was causing me a lot of pain.
A moment I will never forget was the first time my rescuers sat me down in grass. I had never experienced anything under my feet except for wire. My feet are still damaged from a lifetime of standing on it. That first time in grass felt good. Of course seeing a blue sky and breathing in fresh air for the first time felt amazing too. I tried to walk but after one step would fall over. Not only was I weak but sharing a small cage with so many dogs, there was never anywhere to go so I never took more than a couple of steps at a time.
We arrived at the National Mill Dog Rescue kennel in Peyton, Colorado. I had my last two teeth removed, and one of my rescuers brought me home for what she thought was only a few days. Nobody was sure that I would survive for longer than that. For two weeks I did nothing but lay in the same bed and stare at the ground.
Every time somebody walked by I heard them say “Look to see if he is breathing.” After a couple of weeks, my body and my heart began to heal. Slowly but surely, I reached a point where I could lift my head, stand up to eat (before that I could only lay in front of the food bowl) and walk a few steps at a time.
Well, here it is a year and a half later and I am going strong. I was officially adopted by my rescuer and love having a family of my own. Mom always says that all I needed was love. Love cured me. My favorite thing to do now is run in grass. I run so fast that sometimes my parents can’t catch me.
Now every day is an adventure. My mom is on the NMDR Rescue Team, and I’ve been on many rescues this past year. I have helped save hundreds of dogs, but we still have so much work to do.
Even though I can run like the wind, one of my favorite things about my new life is my stroller. My parents are very active and like to take me for long walks and out to public places. Adopting a senior dog hasn’t slowed them down a bit. My stroller allows me to go all kinds of places with them. Of course we get a lot of attention and that is the perfect opportunity for Mom and Dad to introduce me and educate people about puppy mills. I love meeting new people and give everybody I meet a high five.
More happy news is that we are making great strides in educating people on puppy mills and convincing them not to shop for puppies online or in pet stores. Please visit me on my Facebook page – there are loads of cute pictures!