Monday, 22 April 2013

Meeting Mya

Meet Mya (pronounced My-ah-- and yes, we recently changed the spelling), the newest addition to our family. She is a 3 year old (estimated) Chihuahua- Dachshund mix who is about 10 pounds. I would like to start with a bit of her story so you can fall in love with her (if you haven’t already from the pic).
Mya came from a puppy mill near Milbank Ontario. For those of you who don't know what a puppy mill is, it is a place where (usually Amish/Mennonite) people have turned to breeding dogs in order to generate income. The dogs are often kept in a barn, in small cages where they have to defecate, sleep, eat and live-- never seeing the outside world. They are simply livestock. Because the Amish do not (usually) have electricity or running water etc., the conditions that the dogs are kept in are horrific. Many dogs go blind, lose teeth and get a variety of other viruses because of the poor, unclean quality that they are kept in. Often, females are over-bread and do not make it past the age of 5. Once the "caretakers" are done with the dogs, they shoot them. Mya is lucky. Mya made it out.

Kismutt Small Dog Rescue is responsible for saving our Mya, and many like her. They "call [themselves] Kismutt Small Dog Rescue because the word kismet means fate or destiny. [Their] mission is to alter the course of destiny for dogs in need, dogs that have been abandoned or abused, or are in danger of being euthanized. [They] provide them with a happier, more deserving fate by placing them in loving permanent homes. Kismutt Small Dog Rescue was created to help counteract the pet-overpopulation epidemic facing North America today. For whatever reason, our society has deemed pets a disposable commodity, to be acquired and discarded at will. Millions of pets are senselessly destroyed every year..."( . You can follow this link to find out more about Kismutt and the amazing work they do-- you can also get a better visual of puppy mills (but I can't post them here because they break my heart). An interview with Kimberly Thomas, founder of Kismutt, can be found at  where Thomas speaks about how Kismutt began. Thomas delves into the fact that while she is an enabler (because she responds to the puppy millers and picks up the un-wanted dogs in essence, helping the mills), it is about the dogs in the end.

While puppy mills are not illegal, because of Thomas, and people like her-- more and more inspections and regulations are being placed on puppy mills. It is time that people become more educated and aware of the puppy mill predicament, so we can provoke change within our country.

As for our Mya apparently, upon a visit to the puppy mill "she was hiding in the back of her cage and the Amish mill owner grabbed her out and held her up by both hind legs. [The rescuer] was full of mill dogs, so [they] sent her to TAS... She is the sweetest little girl you can imagine" (a fb post I found on her).

I first saw my baby-girl on a blog post on the Pound Dogs of Toronto Animal Services South face book page. The blog ( which is full of beautiful pictures taken by a man named Fred (who also takes care of the blog itself).

Fred went on to chronicle Laura's, now called Mya's, story of how she came to TAS with an eye infection that, left untreated, would have caused her to go blind. With the help of both vet check-ups and foster care, Mya was treated and her eyes became clear again. She was described as a "happy, though still shy, little squirt".

This is where I come in. I saw her picture. I fell in love. We had been talking about a second dog for a while (specifically thinking about getting a Chihuahua), however the idea of going through the "puppy stages" right now was not what we wanted. We also knew that Vinny (our toy poodle (5 lbs)) doesn't like puppies so it would be a challenge to work with him. Could this be a different option? The "shy" description is what made me know it would work. If we were to get a second dog, it would have to be one that wouldn't push Vinny around. I kept looking at her picture and asking myself if this was our dog. I checked the pound site-- there she was. We slept on it and in the morning, when I checked on her, she was gone. Adopted. Not meant to be. I was disappointed. I didn't realize how much I was thinking of adopting her until I wasn't able to anymore.

However, this got me thinking that maybe-- just maybe it was finally time to consider adopting a rescue dog (something I have always wanted to do, but have never been sure if I had the strength or if I was a good enough dog owner). I started checking the adoption site regularly (I get obsessed very quickly). That afternoon, she was back. It was our dog. I knew it. I phoned to find out when we could come meet her. (Once you meet these babies, there is no going back-- and we both knew that). We met her, and she became our newest baby-- Vinny's new sister. Although I don't think Vinny was as excited about this as we were, but he still manages to get more than enough attention.

We take things day-by- day with Mya. She is a shy, special little girl, who needs patience and love. I realize that this is a ‘three steps forward, two steps back’ kind of situation, but focusing on the positive is key. We have already come leaps-and-bounds with her.

I would like to thank all of those people who helped Mya out along the way. To those who rescued her, fostered her, took the time to give her eye drops, all of those at the TAS, caring for these animals, and constantly trying to find good homes for them, my heart goes out to you.

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