Monday, December 22, 2008

The day she became known as Cherie

submitted by Johanne Tasse of caacQ

It always starts with a phone call. Cherie was no different than the others.

"She needs help," I was told.

"What kind of help," I inquired.

"Medical, psychological and physical." I already knew her story - even before meeting her.

Cherie was "snatch" from a puppy mill.

As I travelled to meet the guardian angel who saved her I was wondering how broken her spirit would be. As I stepped out of the car to cradle her in my arms, her body language rang out loud and clear. This was a dog with a broken spirit.

As I drove to the veterinarian with Cherie you try to make sense of this needless cruelty. Then my grandfather's voice came to me, "Don't look at the road but the destination." It came to me that her destination was for today to be the first day of the rest of her life and it starts with me, in this car, right now.

At the vet clinic, the diagnosis was all too frightening. She was severely underweight, her fur matted and dirty. Her vocal cords were cut to prevent her from barking. The tip of her ear was missing. We noticed a tattoo in her ear, teeth and gum infections and, the most disheartening news, Cherie was missing an eye.

Where do we begin? A good bath was a first step. She was so frightened we thought she would try to escape from the grooming room but Cherie was too petrified to move. Years of abuse often result in such behaviour. She just stood there. Three baths later her white fur began to resemble that of a Bichon Maltese. The nails had to be trimmed; will she bite in fear? Again she stood still.

As we proceeded to clean her ears we were able to decipher her tattoo number. Quickly I took note of the numbers. The vet prescribed antibiotics for her tooth infection, a nutritious diet and a crate for her to call home. Her foster Mom came and took this little bundle of helplessness under her wing.

Now the questions were racing through my mind. Where does she come from? The person who snatched her was hesitant to provide too many details. But we had an idea…

Monday morning I contacted a Canadian dog registry. Once I was provided with the name of the breeder I explained Cherie's condition. I said that they should monitor their members with closer scrutiny. Then came the usual mindless answers, the excuses and the final response "it's not our job". I realized this association has only one objective in mind. Make money.

One day we will overcome this awful and inhumane situation.

But in the meantime, how is Cherie doing? She has gained weight, some confidence and is learning, a few steps at a time, to tame the stairway. She is now starting to cuddle with humans. She enjoys the grass under her feet and the most rewarding thing of all; she has learned how to play. What more could we ask for!

Next time you are contemplating the purchase of a pet, don't walk past a pet store during your lunch hour to admire the pups/kittens or scrutinize the internet ads. Contact the CAACQ or Humane Society in your area and adopt. Just remember the cute puppy you are thinking of buying has a mother in a puppy mill, who never had the option to be called Cherie.

Picture here.


Anonymous said...

Hannukah is here. It isn't really a Jewish Christmas, more like a thanksgiving for all the blessings G-d has given.

This year, my special thanks are for people like Joanne, and Elizabeth, Fred, Nela, Claudine 1,2 and 3, and all those who understand that the greatest gift of all is a life.

And that it is not only the cute and the perfect who deserve the gift.

I hope someday to read a follow up post telling everyone that Cherie has become the happy, healthy, much loved companion of someone who truly deserves her.


Fred said...

Yes, lechaim for all.

Caveat said...

Just to clarify - the CKC has a very strict set of regulations under the auspices of Agriculture Canada.

They are a registry for purebred dogs and not much else, although they are working on new things within that mandate, such as the RDog (responsible dog owner) program, the CGN testing and more.

The are also working on improving standards for breeders and have other committees involved in other issues.

They are not a policing organization or a political lobby group. This is unfortunate because they are in a good position to help dogs and owners. Hopefully they will consider renegotiating their operating framework with Ag Canada.