Dedicated volunteers from Hearts United for Animals, a National no-kill shelter located in Nebraska drove to the commercial breeding facility in Missouri. The task before them was to collect pitiful little dogs released because they no longer made money for the mill. These tragic little critters were housed in barn-type buildings in 2′ x 2′ cages, two or three dogs to a cage. Little Polo (now Paolo) refused to breed and thus earned his freedom. The mill owner pulled a terrified little Paolo from his cage by an ear and a leg. How sad it is these breeding facilities are allowed to be.
I studied that sweet, engaging little face in the photos on the HUA site. “I have two-year old Maltese sisters and he will fit right in,” I reasoned.
Paolo, a 2-year old Maltese, arrived May 24, 2006 at 11:14 a.m. aboard NWA flight #2929. His little paws were stained orange from standing in waste in cramped quarters at the puppy mill. Paolo was extremely frightened as I coaxed and tugged to free him from the airline carrier. I was convinced that this little guy was afraid the love and comfort he experienced for the first time in his little life at HUA was about to be taken away.
Paolo is a spirited little guy and is fitting right in. He wakes up happy, stretching and squirming in the fluffy duvet covering the bed, smothers my face with kisses then continues his stretching and squirming. Paolo adores soft. And, he adores his new best friend, a tiny brown bear that plays “let me call you sweetheart, I’m in love with you.” I know this to be true because I hear that tune twenty-five times or so a day. The menu appears to be to his liking; he is an enthusiastic little gourmand. Commercially prepared food is definitely out as I learned in a moment of desperation, aka sloth. Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health with braised lamb and a little sweet potato is his favorite meal. Duck breast comes in second, but happy hour is a close third where everyone gets to sit up at the table and enjoy little bits of Prima Donna Gouda straight from Holland.
His sisters are even beginning to include him in their play, although Paolo is much too busy to worry about it when they don’t. He has table tops to explore, fresh flowers to pluck from vases, rugs to rearrange, baskets of toys to empty and a chipmunk on the back patio that needs a lot of supervision. He is such a big help! Paolo is also instrumental to the significant increase in my daily activity.
Just six weeks after his arrival, Paolo clearly feels safe and loved. He is a happy little guy with tons of love to give. If you are looking for a true-blue best friend, consider the amazing little critters in shelters, waiting for a best friend, too.
— Lois Steven