On Saturday we went to a shelter in our state that had received some of the Border Collies that were removed in the Tennessee puppy mill raid. If you haven't heard about that, you can read about it here. I've seen several photos of the dogs and the condition they were in. Absolutely horrible.
They have 4 Border Collies left of the ones received and our hearts were breaking looking at them. We stayed there for a while and visited with 3 of them. We went with the intention of possibly adopting one but realized this called for a big discussion and lots of thinking. None of these dogs have had any training or socializing. Kitty, the one that pulls my heart the most seems to be afraid to leave the her kennel. She stays in the back corner, curled up in a tight little ball with as much of her body as she can fit under her bed. I've never seen a dog so shut down. Kiedis, the one that Domi's Boy can't get out of his head, is a bigger than average boy. We are wondering if he also has some lab. He isn't quite as withdrawn as Kitty but he also seems to not know how to enjoy being a dog. He at least appreciates affection and I think wants to be able to love. The third one is Bridget. She is the most "normal" of them and fortunately is in a foster home. She is very affectionate and can't get enough attention. She also is very interested in everything around her. Her only problems is that she has had no training and will need a home that can make sure to focus her high-energy in a positive direction. The fourth dog is Fly. While a sweet and cute boy, we eliminated him from the list because his problems seem more than what we can take on and we don't think he would be good for Stella.
While we hate saying no to bringing any of these dogs into our lives and home, we really need to think about what bringing one in will mean, for both us and the dog. We both work full time so do we really have the time available that it will take to properly train and socialize one of these dogs? And what about Stella? While I know she is lonely during the day, is this the right "friend" for her? Expenses are another factor. The dogs have all been vaccinated and fixed by the shelter but they've been malnourished for a long time (resulting in some teeth needing removed). Will this cause any future health problems? Neither of us are sure if we can emotionally or financially take care of another long term illness after our battle with Domi's cancer. The shelter is a 3 hour drive from us so we aren't able to spend time getting to know these dogs as much as we like. I'm considering driving up later this week to meet them again and go from there.
If anyone has had experience rescuing a dog that has come from a similar environment, I would love to hear to hear about it. The good and bad.