Darby (Kansas 10)

On March 26th 2015, exactly one year to the day after losing our beloved Chihuahua-terrier mix Buddy, we received a call from Wheatens In Need. They had a female puppy mill rescue for us to adopt if we were still interested. The next day, our lives changed forever, we adopted one of the Kansas Ten, Darby.

Having owned several Wheatens before, we knew the breed. We already has a boisterous two-year-old male, Harp, as part of the family. We’d had some experience with rescue dogs, our Buddy was a rescue, but we were new to puppy mill rescues. Meeting Darby was a new experience for us. She had been returned from a previous placement, which made our initial meeting heartfelt. In comparison to our Harp, Darby was shy, timid and very, very afraid of us. Her coat was thin, and she’d been shaved because of mats. It was heart-wrenching, but we felt it was destiny that brought us together. We were emotionally tied to her after meeting her.

Her first morning home, Darby and Harp played chase in the yard. It was clear there was a future and that she’d learn to trust us. She displayed all the signs of a puppy mill rescue; timid, running away, complete lack of trust and only comfortable in her crate. There’s some evidence that her left front leg was broken or dislocated – we’ll have the vet confirm on her next visit. She was abused, emotionally and physically. She shook when we touched around her neck, and tensed up every time we touched her. So, so sad that anyone could treat these wonderful animals that way.

It’s been 6 months and 5 days since we first brought Darby home. She’s slowly learning to trust us. While she is more comfortable with mommy, she’s coming around to dad. The spark of personality that was hidden behind the abuse is starting to come alive. She comes out to see who’s at the door. She’ll bark with Harp at any “intruder” walking down the street in front of the house. She LOVES walks and behaves beautifully. She’s gained weight, in fact we need to slim her down some. She and Harp have bonded. We take both of them to Doggie Daycare once a week for play therapy and socialization. This is the highlight of her day as she sits at the door each morning for mommy in hopes that it’s day care day! She walks out to the car without a leash and jump in right alongside Harp. They are becoming quite inseparable together. Her coat is now thick, beautiful and so curly. She’ll come (albeit it slowly) when she’s called in from the yard. She keeps growing and recovering more and more every day. She’s come such a long way in 6 months.

We are blessed to have her as part of our family and so grateful that destiny brought us together. It will take more time for her to become comfortable and completely trusting of people, but we’ll love her through it!