It all started when I received Pyg's health records from Secondhand Hounds. The precious few sheets I had- those that told me everything I would ever know about his past- were confusing. Dates didn't line up like I thought they should. Some of the info didn't jive with what I'd been told. His supposed breed mix was different on various documents, as was his birthday. He was a mystery.
My friend Nicky advised me to let it go. I would never know about his past, she told me. Let go now and just enjoy the dog in front of you. Sound advice, I know, but... well, I have amazing google-fu. If something exists on the internet, I can almost always find it. And I knew something had to be out there about Pyg.
On April 30, 2013, Pyg was “rescued from a very neglectful situation” along with his mother, Belle Belle, and his two siblings, Princess Leia and Wookie. Belle Belle was a three-year-old shih tzu (or maybe a shih tzu mix), and the puppies were about three months old.
|Click to embiggen.|
The Animal Rescue Foundation in Mobile, Alabama, who took in the dogs, is a no-kill, foster-based rescue. Belle Belle found a home quickly; she was adopted on June 5, 2013. I don't know when Pyg's brother and sister found homes, but I assume it was relatively quickly. Pyg, though... I cannot for the life of me understand why, but he languished in rescue.
|Then again, using this as his Petfinder picture probably didn't help. Such an ugly little face.|
He was, by all accounts, sweet and friendly, but there just weren't any takers, even after he went to a large event called Adopt-a-Palooza in October. Of course, I am happy this was the case, as Pyg was meant to be my dog. But for that to happen, he needed to travel cross-country from the gulf coast to the frozen wastelands of Minnesota.
Pyg took a plane from south Alabama to north Alabama thanks to an organization called Pilots N Paws. Then, he had a car trip to Chicago, and then another plane ride. I actually found pictures from that first leg of the trip on facebook, and as I read the comments from the volunteers who had lovingly cared for him over the course of six months, I was touched. These women truly cared about the dogs they had selflessly taken in. They cried as Pyg left on his grand adventure. I am so grateful that they took care of him until Pyg and I could find each other.
|Leaving on a jet plane! (Is "jet" an overstatement?)|
There is still much that remains a mystery about Pyg's past. I assume that he lived in a rather deprived environment during his critical socialization period, an assumption backed up by his occasional fearful behavior and tendency to get overwhelmed by new situations. But at least now I know the rough outline. Oh, and did I mention I dug up some puppy pictures? Yeah, totally did.
|Ew, kid cooties!|
|Probably around 12 weeks old.|
Awww... he was even an ugly puppy. (PS- please don't be offended when I call him ugly! I know lots of people find the underbite endearing, but... I just don't. However, he has an absolutely ADORABLE personality, and I love him to pieces. I am so very happy I adopted him.)