🌱 Safe and secured fenced yard
🐶 Canine companion
🏡 Quiet adult only home
💜 Puppy mill dog experience, preferred
Millie is an extra special puppy mill survivor in need of an extra special home. Her first adoption did not work out and it is imperative that we find her a home and family that is very conducive for her needs and completely committed to supporting her on her journey. She is very traumatized and troubled by her horrific past and it's important to understand that this is not something that just simply time and love is going to make better. Her family will need to put the work in on a daily basis to meet her where she is at while finding ways to support and encourage her progress. Her write up is long and detailed, but necessary...
Millie is 7 years old and came into rescue overweight and with significant medical issues that were not being properly addressed. She had a very dry eye which had ulcerated as well as same side dry nose/ nasal cavity and same side very inflamed, sensitive ear. We knew there had to be a link. Sure enough damage to her ear and eardrum had caused damage to the optic nerve and as a result damage to her eyes and nasal cavity. The good news was that there was treatment for this and that it was believed that Millie would respond well to it, which she did. Once her ear was healed we were able to restimulate tear production in her eye and she is now producing an adequate amount of tears and nasal moisture. Moving forward, Millie's ear care is extremely important and we will be providing a protocol to her family on how to properly prevent and treat any ear issues that may arise in the future. Millie is now up to date on vaccinations, spayed, microchipped, and on monthly preventatives. She is congenitally sound at this time with clear eyes, hips, knees, and heart. She does display some sensitivity in her neck and back with pressure and palpation, so we have started her gabapentin, an affordable medication for pain.
Millie has lost the extra pounds in rescue and is at her ideal weight of 18 pounds. Although she started off on a big hunger strike in rescue, she is now a chow hound and loves her food and meal time. She is eating a weight management formula which we would ask the family to continue. Because she goes on hunger strike during stress and changes, we fully expect one to occur when she moves to her forever home in which case homecooked meals can help get her over that hump and transition. She is not a very active girl and so strictly portioned, healthy, low calorie meals will be needed to ensure her optimal weight and health. She came into rescue with a very short cut, but her pretty fur has grown out nicely now. Millie has a “docked” tail which we understand is as a result of an injury that happened in the puppy mill.
Millie is doing very well with potty training in her foster home. She does need to go out regularly and provided with frequent opportunities to be successful. She does not "ask" to go out and so it is important that you take the initiative first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and every couple hours in between. In the beginning, Millie will be too scared to move from her "safe spot" and you will need to carry her outside. She will want to run back inside to the safety of her "safe spot" so standing in the doorway back inside prevents her from going in and also gives her the privacy she needs to go potty outside as if she feels like you are watching her or too close to her she will be scared to do her business. Having other well-adjusted, confident dogs in the home also helps her to start to learn and understand what to do. She now goes out willingly with her spaniel foster sisters and is enjoying being outside more and more - but this is after quite some time and after she has reached a level of familiarity and comfort in her routine and in her environment. As with all puppy mill dogs, accidents are to be expected, especially initially.
Millie is quite fearful, cautious, and distrusting which is all a result of her horrific past. If she is able to flee and retreat to a safe spot or crate she will, otherwise she will just become a frozen statue. She will identify spots or areas in the home which are her "safe spots", usually positioning herself in a corner of a room where she can observe everything going on without the fear of something going on behind her back or out of her view. We will recommend that all crates are closed up initially or else she will find one and will not come out. Encouraging her to find a spot in a main living area of the home where she can still be a apart of the family is recommended. This way she can begin to watch and learn, instead of being secluded alone somewhere. Humans are very threatening to her and so her 'safe spot' is viewed as a place where she can start to relax without the threat of humans touching her, having too much attention on her, or overwhelming her space. In her foster home she is starting to willfully come out of her safe spots more and more and is getting more and more brave by the day. She is playing a little bit of peek a boo where she will bravely run out of her safe spot to be closer to where everyone is and then remember she is scared and run back to her spot. She very much wants to be with you and receive attention and affection but she is just far too terrified to allow herself. While it is natural for humans to want to just scoop her up and shower her with love and touch, it is very important to understand that that is the wrong course of action and will only further scare her and hinder her progress. There is a fine line of giving her too much and too little space and we will help her family in understanding where that line is.
While containment/crate is very comfortable for her, her time in it should be limited. Right now, she is allowed in the crate with her Cavalier foster sister when no humans are home. When humans are home, the crate is closed up and Millie is encouraged to be with the family from a safe spot. At night, she sleeps in the big bed with her humans and furry siblings. While this closeness may initially be scary for her, we feel this is great therapy for her and an important part of her rehabilitation. She will now bark at bedtime to ask to be lifted up on the bed. While the reaching for, grabbing and lifting can still be a challenge for her to tolerate, it is clear she very much likes being up in bed with everyone and enjoys that nonthreatening closeness. We are seeking a family who will continue this with her and allow her in the big bed at night.
Millie needs a very safe and secured fenced yard in her home both for potty purposes and for enjoying her freedom. In her foster home, she is spending more and more time outside and coming to really enjoy herself out there. She is certainly not anywhere close to being able to be on a leash and this should not be asked of her any time soon. Great care needs to be taken that all experiences be very positive and trying new things like leashing will only further scare and traumatize her. While Millie is quite independent and doesn't engage much with her furry siblings, we feel that their leadership and modeling is very important for Millie and therefore seeking a home with another Cavalier or other breed of similar size and temperament, preferably a dog who is well-adjusted, and mild and gentle in nature. Millie needs an adult only home, preferably a calm, quiet home with little activity, noise, and people in and out. She would thrive best in a calm, peaceful, loving patient, and understanding environment.
Millie is such a sweet, innocent, precious baby who is suffering from the effects of a horrific past. She means absolutely no harm. She is a very 'easy' dog in that she is quiet, often out of the way, and requires very little of you, but at the same time, her family needs to put in the work and effort on a daily basis to support Millie and help her to become the best Millie she can be. This doesn’t mean leaving her alone in the corner of a room because that is where she has ran off to. It means creating a conducive environment for her needs, making special accommodations for her, and providing for her the continued encouragement, patience, love and understanding that she needs. Her family need not have any expectations for her or expect anything from her. The focus should be in moving in a forward direction, no matter how slow that may be. Please know that Millie likely will never be a social dog who can tolerate change, new people, new places, or jump on your lap for love and affection, but she is an extremely deserving little girl who just seeing find a peaceful state of mind and enjoying the comforts of her home will be an extremely rewarding experience for her family.
We will work in partnership with her selected family to provide guidance, support, and tools to best support them and Millie. Experience with undersocialized, traumatized, fearful dogs and/or puppy mill dogs would be very beneficial. Again, we are seeking a calm adult only home, with another mild mannered dog, and a safe and secured fenced in yard. A committed family, with an abundance of patience, a positive attitude, and the want to make a positive difference in the life of a very deserving dog is a must. If you feel you are that special forever family for a very special girl, please complete an adoption application found on our website and then email us at CavalierRescueAL@gmail.com to express your interest. Millie is being fostered in Birmingham, Alabama (travel there is required), and her requested adoption donation is $350.