Hunter is what I consider a rescue dog. I did not get him from a shelter or through a rescue organization. I actually was searching for a registered male to breed to my sweet girl, Hope, when I came across an advertisement for him. After talking to the breeder, Mike and I made a very long trip to Southwest Virginia to purchase him. When we got there, I could not believe my eyes! There were literally hundreds of Dachshunds.........wire haired, smooth, long hair, miniatures and standards. The place turned my stomache. It was not that it was dirty or that the dogs were not cared for properly. In fact, I recently looked up the web site to the kennel and found that they are inspected frequently by AKC. It was the sheer enormity of the operation that made me sick. The fact that all of these adult breeding dogs could never be loved and handled. They could never know what it is like to have a family that loves them and gives them personal attention. I wanted to turn and run, but I couldn't because there looking at me with an expression I had never seen before, was a nine month old miniature Dachshund that had been passed over. I knew at his age, he probably would never find a home, and I wondered about his fate. He was handsome...........perfect in conformation and a very popular red color. Having owned only rescue dogs, before Dachshunds became my passion, I knew that he would come with a host of issues. I also knew that by purchasing him, I was saving only one and the breeders would take the money I gave them and continue their operation. There was no way I could walk away from him.

Hunter had never even been outside and he was nine months old. Everything was new to him and he was scared. Mostly he needed and longed for human touch and affection but would cower when I went to touch him. It was heartbreaking. I named him Hunter, with the desire that someday he would live up to his name, and run the fields of our farm hunting and enjoying being a dog.

Hunter will ever be "normal". Take the simple act of walking through the door to go outside. Most days, it is a real ordeal. He loves to be outside, but something about going through the door intimidates him. Many times I have to pick him up and place him through the doorway. It's funny but he doesn't have any trouble coming back inside through the doorway. He also will run to his crate when he feels scared. He does not like to be separated from Hope.
On the positive side, he doesn't tremble constantly anymore and he LOVES to run in the fields and hunt! When he is in the fields, he forgets that he was once confined for nine months without access to the outdoors and he runs so fast that his feet hardly touch the ground! Hunter does not like to feel hot pavement, cold or wet on his feet, so when he runs, a lot of times he will run on three legs! It doesn't slow him down to run on three legs! He still runs unbelievably fast!
Hunter is always gentle and loving with the pups. He will "mother" them, just like Hope. In fact, at times you will see her resting and Hunter taking care of the pups.
Not everyone is able to deal with the issues that come with a rescue dog, but those who are able and take in a rescue dog have my respect and admiration. For those who choose to purchase pups, my desire is that they learn to choose a responsible breeder. A responsible breeder is someone who has the dog's best interest at heart, loves the pups, handles them and gives them the kind of start they deserve before placing them in the best homes possible while promoting the best qualities of the breed.
(Note: Picture of Hunter relaxing in peace with Hope and puppy looking on.)


Jorg said...

Very good point about researching the breeders. Puppy mills produce AKC registered dogs, but they come with a lot of issues.

tcuppminiatures said...

I think a lot of times, the puppies from these puppy mills are sold quickly and maybe don't develop as many noticeable issues, but when they have one, like Hunter, who stays around for a while and is neglected and not socialized, it is so sad! I learned the hard way that just becuase a breeder sounds wonderful and says the puppies are "raised in their home and handled daily", one must still be very cautious and take time to do their home work about the breeder! Of course, then there are people like me, who can't walk away and that just enables them to continue. I am not sure what the answer is.