We acted as the foster family for Beatrice, and I am happy to announce that she will be adopted today by a kind family from Catawba Island. However, even as an experienced canine foster, I was shocked at the condition of this beautiful dog when the breeder ended his working relationship with Beatrice.
This poor animal suffered from eye infections, ear infections, a cornea ulceration, whipworms, and a half-dozen rotted teeth that neded to be extracted. In addition, it is apparent that Beatrice has had little in the way of socialization in her life, and the dog is quite fearful of humans. It took her three weeks just to venture to the edge of the kitchen, where she spends her days, and even longer for Beatrice to take a treat from a human hand.
Her eyes were so clouded with infection that the poor creature fell down a step on our outdoor deck, as her blinded eyes were unable to recognize that there are two steps down to the ground.
Her health issues appear to be resolved, but Beatrice has a long way to go before she recovers from her long period of canine reproductive slavery. I know that animal rights activists are quick to slap the "puppy mill" label on breeders, but Beatrice is a prototypical example of the utter disregard for the needs of dogs exhibited by the worst sorts of irresponsible breeders.
Long denied basic health care and interaction, Beatrice will begin her life again with her adoptive family. I grew fond of her in the month that she has been with us, and I am glad that I could contribute to her recovery from her years of neglect and abuse.
Yet there is a part of me that rages like an Old Testament prophet at the evils of puppy mills. To white, here is a quote from the Book of Amos (8:4-7) that sums up my fire-and-brimstone mood:
Hear this, you who trample the needyOr perhaps I should just have a cup of coffee, clip some Sports Authority coupons, and chase away the indignation. This kind of stuff will give me ulcers if I stew upon it too long.
and do away with the poor of the land,
saying, "When will the New Moon be over
that we may sell grain, and the Sabbath be ended
that we may market wheat?"—
skimping the measure, boosting the price
and cheating with dishonest scales,
buying the poor with silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, selling even the sweepings with the wheat.
The Lord has sworn by the Pride of Jacob: "I will never forget anything they have done."