This is Colby (above). We rescued him from a puppy mill in Missouri along with many others in July 2010. After about 7 years living in a small wire cage, never once being groomed, his coat was so matted it was painful even for him to move, we couldn't even tell which sex he was. But he was one of the lucky ones, he still had his eyes, many of his kennel mates did not, in this particular mill the cages were power-washed to be cleaned, WITH the dogs in them. There was no regard for the dogs' eyes, eyes were not necessary in the breeding business. Colby's outer condition was gruesome, frankly. What is worse is that his little spirit had been crushed - our volunteers described him as “catatonic.” All of this considered, to many he might have seemed a hopeless case, but not to us.
Immediately after his rescue we got to work on all fronts: he had to be shaved to remove his matted coat, many of his rotten teeth were pulled, his infected eyes were attended to, and anything else necessary to make him feel better. Most importantly, we showered him with love and warmth to nurse his spirit back to health,
He cleaned up pretty well, didn’t he? Who knew he was a black and white Shih Tzu? Our next job was to find the perfect home for this little guy, so he could experience love and belonging for the rest of his days.
This is Colby today. He was adopted by a wonderful family, who with patience and kindness continue to nurture him into a world of love. The following was written by his forever mom, she offers some insight into Colby's life now.
"Colby has been a wonderful and unique addition to our family. He used to sit and stare at a white wall but hardly ever does it anymore. He's really blossomed and enjoys taking daily walks. In the beginning he was afraid of grass, he'd walk on it gingerly, but now he runs and rolls in it. Colby's even been on a few hikes and a camping trip, too. We were at the dog park the other day after a rainstorm and there was Colby, playing in the mud, rolling and having a good time. I couldn’t believe it. His face when he finishing playing was caked in mud! He was so happy! Colby loves riding in the car, dancing the jig for treats and getting a massage every morning. We can’t imagine life without him." ~ Sept 2012