Friday, 10 April 2009

Floradozer the American Bull dog

Dear Flora,

Your little face puckered in anticipation at what may happen ,the rest of your wrinkled puppy body hid behind your brother. He being equally worried by the large bark persisting in a threatening "whose there" manner from behind the tightly closed pine door had no one to hide behind so he trembled.
This was your first introduction to me and me to you. You precariously straddled the back of the sofa trying to be brave and making sure you were the last puppy facing the Dane but the first puppy next to the door through which you had just been thrust and left, just in case you needed to hit the road alone.

You and your bigger brother were the typical purchase we as a sanctuary would expect. A young couple with a small child and a new house. A couple of pups bought so you could grow up with the kiddies and the husband wouldnt mind walking you both with your huge chunky collars studded untill there was just room for your head to poke out like a fist in a sleeve.

Education is the cheapest thing when set against the cost of a big mistake.
You knew as much as your new owners did about raising pups and children together. Your owners knew even less about puppy farmers in wales because, despite all that sanctuaries do to educate people that puppy farmers equal vermin, they were still impressed by the swish gates and expensive bungalow at the end of the long tarmac drive that led to you locked in your concrete nursery near Cardiff.
And you Flora of the universe, with your little happy expectant face actually landed on your paws that day. Despite your new family not yet being your for ever family you found the right road to them.
Your brothers fate depended on your being so appealing and when the breeder suggested a large figure for you ( as of course you could be bred from,producing more puppies that would suffer terrible pain like you did ) He also said the family could have the dog pup for free as you were both the last of an older litter and people wanted tiny pups just weaned.
Your fates were sealed and you set off with no expectations as you had just been parted from your many relatives left behind in the builders yard come puppy farm not even important enough to be one or tother.

You were not to know that childrens outstretched sticky fingers offered through bars were not to be licked in appreciation,or that a young mum wouldnt understand your need to have a wee and far worse close to the door that opened inwards.You and your brother were just babies and here you were abandoned on the back of my sofa late at night by a couple who sadly saw their mistakes too late. There you were not knowing where the room you had taken time to settle into after losing your siblings had suddenly gone. Far worse was a huge black dog howling at you.

You were too little and frightened the pair of you to stay here where little paws could get trodden on by large horses and so I found you the best place to be which was Lizzies barn sanctuary for little people just like you.
Time passed and you settled happily with your brother growing into lovely pups,happy and confident ready to reach out into your future.

Sarah fell in love with you whilst helping at Lizzies barn and you with her, The little heart on your side seemed to grow as you became bonded body and soul with your new family. You loved your walks and fun with the children and you knew your place as head dog.

One day you didnt want to get up and then one day turned to many, your hips gave you a lot of pain from where you were poorly bred, no health checks for your parents nor for you in puppy farming land. Just a quick turnover of cash was your heritage rather than the pride of informed choice breeding.

At two years old you would have reached the end of your life just as you had found the right place for you to be.

There was no question though that you really were home and that your family would take care of you so a few days ago you went off waggy tailed to a rather good surgeon who did an excellent job of your bad hips. You little dog became a very important girl as people all over the UK wished you well and willed you to get better.
So you did Flora, already you are back to being the good girl ,the happy girl,the wonderful pet that you were destined to be. Safe with the family that adores you.
You Flora have an important message to give out which will help free countless pups from misery and pain. As you get better and better you need to bark louder than you have ever barked before. Welsh puppy farms are shameful. "DONT BUY FROM PUPPY FARMS".

1 comment:

Sarah and Bran said...

Thank you so much, Lesley, for publicising Flora's story :o)

Flora is such a special girl - I knew that from the second I witnessed her doing several speedy "wall of death" laps around the Barn before landing heavily on my lap and grinning at me. I knew at that moment that she was *meant* to be with me, no matter what.

We've been through lots of trials and tribulations in the 2 years that we've been together. We've met far too many people who believe that Flora is dangerous (as are all American Bulldogs, apparently!), that she should not have been allowed to endure the fits (all 2 of them!) she suffered 18 months ago or the trauma she's had to live with thanks to this bloody hip dysplasia or that she is just a "bad dog" :o( Thankfully, we have also met many more people who see Flora for the wonderful, loving, joy-filled, gift that she is.

As you have so eloquently worded, her foundations were shaky and I doubt that a second thought has been given to her, her siblings or her extended family by the man responsible for their existence. Money, so sadly, is so much more important than the wellbeing of these gorgeous creatures in too many cases :o(

Thank you, also, for posting the link to the puppy farm petition. The more people that can make their feelings on this "trade" known, the sooner that something can be done to bring a halt to it.

With big love,

Sarah, Jacob, Sophie, Flora Dozer and Branston Pickle xxx