Penny Then and Penny Now!
When Penny first came to PRN she had been rescued from a Missouri puppy mill where she had been used as a breeder dog. She was seriously malnourished, had multiple infections, untreated “dry eye”, worms, had not been spayed and had several decayed teeth. She needed entropian surgery.
Once rescued, the wonderful PRN folks got her started on everything she needed to get her healthy again. All of her medical needs were addressed and costs covered by PRN. When I saw her on the site as being available, I knew she was the one!! Soulful look, so thin you could see her ribs and her needs as described above. My husband had a different response…….he said, are you kidding??
But, once we met her, she was indeed the one and in June, 2010, Carol and Jerry agreed to let us foster her until all her medical needs were taken care of. When she arrived, she was semi house trained, afraid of EVERYTHING including us, the stairs, noises, the car, any touch……you get the picture. For the first month we had to have a leash on her all the time just to be able to draw her to us when necessary.
As time went on, we were able to begin to overcome some of her fears. Though she was still leery of human touch, she began to come closer and eventually began sleeping at the end of the bed. (Our other pug has always been a bed resident) and after several weeks she joined Roxie snuggling up by her people.
We joined an obedience class for socialization and obedience skills. She was a fast learner. We did lots of activities and excursions to get her used to other people and dogs. In January, 2011, we began agility training with a fabulous trainer in Florida where we spend the winter. Agility has been a fabulous tool to increase her self esteem, improve her obedience skills, increase her comfort with other people and dogs. Though afraid of each obstacle as it was introduced, she eventually has conquered them all!!
We continued agility training back in Michigan throughout the summer of 2011 and then in August 2011 I felt she was ready to take the Therapy Dogs International (TDI) certification test. She passed on the first try and is officially a certified therapy dog doing monthly visits with her sister Roxie.
It is now early 2012 and we are back in Florida for four more months and back on the agility training schedule. In February, I registered her so she could attend Canine Performance Events (CPE) agility trials and on February 4 Penny and I competed in our first ever agility trial!! Though we didn’t win any ribbons we sure had fun and my goal is to continue to enter future events and maybe someday win an award!
All of this is to let people know that rescue dogs are so trainable, so lovable and so adoptable. In just 20 months Penny has many accomplishments and is a well behaved, much loved member of our family. Any time there is a special event such as a birthday, anniversary, expression of sympathy to be made in our family, I ask family members to please make a donation to PRN in honor of my pugs and all pugs who are served so wonderfully by the people who are a part of PRN.
Respect everyone’s safety and crate your Pug when traveling.
The following is written by one of the Pug Rescue Network’s volunteers, Jim Sywak, relating to the accident his family
experienced and why small animals, such as Pugs, should travel in portable crates when being transported inside a vehicle.
On Saturday, December 6th, my wife and our Pugs, Baxter and Abby, were going to travel up to Frankenmuth Michigan
to attend a Pug Rescue Network "Meet-n-Greet" and then partake in a great, chicken dinner at Zenders, but we never made it
and our lives were changed forever.
The weather that morning called for snow accumulating from 3 to 5 inches within the morning hours and wind gusts of 35 MPH causing blowing snow. Because we are such "dedicated volunteers" to the rescue, we choose to make the trip up there. The Pug’s plastic travel crates were loaded in the back seat of the pickup truck, and then we placed the Pugs in their separate crates. We NEVER travel with the Pugs loose inside any vehicle. Not even a harness attached to the safety belt system. For the Pug’s safety, as well as ours, they ALWAYS travel inside their crates.
At 9:30 am we started out and visibility was good, but the road surface on I-75 north was slippery and covered with snow. Traffic was traveling in either the right or center lanes. Around 10:00 am, Jerry and Carol Dalton called us to let us know there was an accident on US-23 and the police closed the road because of a rollover accident due to the present weather conditions. They said to be careful and drive slow.
At approximately 10:30 am we were in the right lane with a vehicle speed of between 45 and 50 MPH. We just passed under Dort Highway (Exit #109) and noticed the road ahead had no snow on it and looked clear. As we proceeded to make the curve to the left, the pickup truck started to fishtail to the right. To correct the steering, I turned the front wheels to the right. The pickup truck then fishtailed to the left. I turned the wheel to the left. At that point I knew I could not correct the vehicle and we were going to crash. What appeared to be clear road was actually black ice and there was no way of gaining traction to correct the pickup truck. We then spun 180 degrees (now facing south) and slid down the west shoulder of north I-75. The vehicle hit the frozen cattails and brush at the edge of the swamp, and then the pickup truck rolled over onto its roof into the swamp water. The pickup truck is now on its roof with about 2 feet of swamp water inside
the pickup truck.
As always, my wife and I wear our seat belts when we travel. With the pickup truck upside down, we are still strapped into the seats. My wife was actually contorted and being held above the water. I was not so lucky. My head was submerged under water and I could not breathe. I was frantically trying to release my seat belt to escape, but was reaching on the wrong side for the release. Since we were upside down, everything was on the opposite side. My wife lifted my head out of the water with her free hand so I could breathe. I then oriented myself and tried not to panic. I felt around and found my release. I pressed it and I fell into the water inside the pickup truck. I looked up and my wife was out of the water and talking. I then looked at the crates in the back and saw Baxter was moving and not making any noise. I figured he was OK. I then tried to see if Abby was OK, but could not see because of the muck and water. I asked Mary if she could see Abby and she said yes. Abby was moving and her little eyes and nose were above water, but her body was not. They both were still in their crates. I then tried opening the passenger door, but could not because of the pressure of the muck and swamp water. Mary said to try and see if I can see her seat belt release to get her free. Because we were upside down in a swamp, there was only a little light coming from what opening was left from the passenger front door window. I located the release and she was free.
By now, several good Samaritans stopped to assist us. A gentleman came to the window and asked if we were OK and able to move. My wife stated yes and to try to get us out. The gentleman had a crowbar and tried to pry on the door to move it open enough for us to get out. He was unsuccessful. He asked my wife if the window still operated and to roll it inside the door. When she did that, more water started to come inside the pickup truck. Baxter then started whining because water was rushing in. Abby was still making no noise, but moving her eyes and could be heard breathing (snorting). With the window opening clear, the gentleman hooked the crow bar onto the door and pulled it open even more. Mary was now able to exit. After she was out, the gentleman stated for me to come out, but I wanted to get the Pugs out first. He said leave them and they will try to get them out. I said no way and I reached in back to get Baxter’s crate out. I pulled the crate between the front seats and ripped the top off. Baxter was free and the gentleman took him out. I then tried to get Abby’s crate out but was unable because of the muck. I then got out and the gentleman said he would get her out from the outside. The backlite and rear passenger door window blew out upon impact of the rollover. When we got out, we could see Abby’s crate forced against the open area of the window and her little face just above water.
By this time, the ambulance was at the scene. My wife gave one of the technicians Baxter to take inside the ambulance. Another gentleman tried to get Abby out, but was unable to. Everyone wanted us to go to the ambulance, but I was not leaving until I got Abby out. When the attempt to get Abby out was not successful, I jumped back into the swamp to get her out. I approached the open window and saw the crate door was right there. I had six inches of space in which to get her out. I actually used my hands to bend the metal crate door in half to create an opening to pull her out. I had to pull her out of the crate underwater. Now, Abby is free. I gave her to Mary to take up to the shoulder. The gentlemen then helped me get out of the swamp. Movement was slow because the water was waist high. I said thank you to everyone who helped and went into the ambulance. The ambulance then transported all of us to Genesys Regional Medical Center in Grand Blanc, Michigan.
On the way to the hospital, the Pugs sat with us huddled together for warmth. Once at the hospital, the Pugs were not allowed to come to the emergency room with us. A very kind ambulance technician said she would watch them in the waiting room for us. Well, these Pugs were the hit of the hospital. Several nurses took the dogs into a conference room and wiped them down to get all the muck off of them. Baxter and Abby then got some treats and some water to drink. One nurse actually has a black Pug and made sure they were very well taken care of. My wife and I were in separate rooms and taken down to x-ray just to make sure there was nothing broken. After I got back from x-rays, the nurses wrapped Baxter and Abby up in blankets like babies and brought them into my room. They were so happy to see me! Every nurse in the ER came into my room to visit with them. It is not every day dogs come into the ER, let alone Pug Dogs!!! The nurses looked the Pugs over and they seemed fine. No significant physical injuries. Abby had a little cut under her right eye, most likely from the breaking glass. That’s it. My wife and I checked out OK. Nothing broken just some bruising. We are all VERY LUCKY we were not hurt and only scarred on the inside.
This leads me to the purpose of why we are sharing our story with everyone. I can guarantee that if Baxter and Abby were loose inside the pickup truck or belted in with a harness, they would be dead. Or could have possibly injured themselves and us as projectiles inside the pickup truck when it rolled over. I cannot stress enough how fortunate we are because we place the Pugs in travel crates when transporting them inside a vehicle. Now, anyone can make different arguments for different reasons of why not to crate an animal. And I respect every owner’s right on how he/she wants to transport his/her animal. But, as God is my witness, Baxter and Abby would have drowned if they were not in a crate. I am sharing my story not only with everyone who already crates their Pugs when traveling, but also to all those individuals who do not. Driving with a Pug on your lap is not safe - for you or the Pug. Please, please, please --- respect everyone’s safety and crate your Pug when traveling inside a vehicle.
A Pug’s life is a terrible thing to waste.
Thank you and God Bless.
Jim, Mary, Baxter O’Riley and Abby Road