by Lee Juslin
Phyllis, a brindle Scottie, had a rough start in life. Used as a breeder in a puppy mill, all her front teeth had been removed so she couldn’t bite or chew her way to freedom. Apparently this is a common tactic by puppy mills.
Eventually she came into an all-breed rescue that posted her on their Petfinder page. Erica of Greater New York Scottie Rescue was alerted and kept tabs on Phyllis. Despite their best efforts, the local rescue could not place her and Phyllis was turned over to Scottie Rescue. A volunteer in Ohio, Phyllis’ home state, drove her down to New York and a new foster home.
Flaps had formed where her front teeth had been pulled and that proved to be a recurring problem because food got stuck in the pouches. The local Ohio rescue group had tried surgery twice, but it didn’t work. Meanwhile loss of the front teeth had effected the rest of Phyllis’ teeth so Scottie rescue, in consultation with their vet, made the decision to have all the remaining teeth pulled. In addition, she was spayed and brought up to date on her vaccinations.
Along with her teeth problems, Phyllis had skin issues and was practically hairless so she didn’t even look like a Scottie, and that no doubt was a big factor in the lack of interest from potential adopters. However, the Ohio rescue had a program that was working well, where dogs were fostered, socialized and trained by prisoners.
Phyllis, although shy of new people and other dogs, had gained a lot of confidence from her Ohio foster and the prisoner in charge of her sent a very helpful note about Phyllis to her new foster parent. As a result she did well when she came into her Scottie rescue foster home. Her skin improved, much of her hair grew back, and her blood work was all normal. Although her silver brindle coloring made her look old, she acted like a younger Scottie and, with her good blood work, was judged to be about six years old.
When Erica listed Phyllis on the Scottie rescue Petfinder page, she was pleasantly surprised to be contacted by a couple who had previously adopted a rescue. Their previous Scottie had died of cancer and, now Scottie-less, the couple thought Phyllis would be a good fit.
When taken to her new home, Phyllis was bathed, groomed and spiffed up with a Martha Stewart collar which, as it turned out, was befitting of her new digs.website.
An older couple with no children, Phyllis’ new people were eager to spoil her. Working from home, her new mom encouraged Phyllis to join her in her home office, but just in case she made sure there was a dog bed in every room, a fancy, tricked out crate, and plenty of sofas throughout the house so Phyllis could choose where she would be most comfortable. There was also a huge backyard for the little Scottie to play and run. As Erica put it, “Phyllis was now living in a canine Taj Mahal”.
As for her lack of teeth, Phyllis has learned to shake her head after eating and to stand still for a thorough face washing, so there have been no further problems with the pouches in her gums.
When Erica told the Ohio rescue about Phyllis’ new home, they were thrilled. After being worried about her for so long, they were being overjoyed when Phyllis went to her forever home, Erica admits she really misses that sweet, toothless Scottie.
Learn more about Scottie Rescue, volunteer, apply to adopt a rescue or make a much needed donation. Rescues, as 501C3 organizations, depend on volunteers and donations from supporters. Visit the Greater NY/NJ Scottie Rescue on their Facebook page and their website.
Check out more animal rescue & therapy animal stories in our Pets section.