Positively Woof

Dog Rescue Stories: Pickles the Puppy Mill Survivor

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Rescuing my tripawd, puppy mill survivor, Pickles, was the best decision I’ve ever made.

I wish I had the words to describe what she means to me, but I don’t think they exist. She filled an emptiness in me I didn’t know I had. I’ve never felt this immense love for another living creature like I do for her. It must have been fate for Pickles and I to cross paths because I found her on accident while browsing Petfinder.

Once I saw her, I felt an immediate connection and had to know more about her. In a matter of days, I had paid the pet deposit for my apartment, bought every necessity for her, and had an amazing group of volunteers (from Tall Tails Rescue) sign up to help drive her from her foster home in Texas all the way up to Kansas where I lived.

After weeks of anticipation, she finally arrived on September 12, 2014. The second I laid eyes on her, I fell in love.


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I was told by so many people that adopting an older dog from a puppy mill situation wouldn’t be a good idea because she would have behavioral issues. I was told caring for a tripawd was extremely difficult and that I shouldn’t get a special needs dog.

They asked if I was sure I wanted a dog that wasn’t “perfect”. I’m beyond glad that I didn’t listen to them, because to me, she is perfect. Pickles’ missing leg and scar from the C-section of her last time having babies are battle scars and show that she survived and overcame her nightmare past.

Her gray hairs add depth to her beauty, and her deep brown eyes hold her secrets and show the gentle soul inside.


We’ve had our struggles and have overcome every one of them. She came to me timid and struggled to walk for long periods of time.

Through time and trust, she has shown her wonderfully sassy and loving personality. Pickles has overcome her fears of larger dogs and now gets along with almost all other dogs at home and at the dog park and can now sprint and keep up with her four-legged brother.

Even though she is a tripawd, I don’t feel that her condition has been difficult to care for. A few glucosamine pills, a nice orthopedic bed, and a stroller to put her in when she tires from walking is all that is needed to keep her comfortable.


While many people think I saved Pickles, in reality she saved me. Pickles has helped me get through my boyfriend’s deployment and has helped me manage my depression and anxiety.

Every panic attack, every bad day, every hard time I have, she’s the first one to run over to me, lay in my lap, and cover me in her stinky, sloppy, lovable kisses.

Seeing her goofy face, tongue flopping, nub wagging, and hopping towards me as soon as I come home makes every day perfect. For everything she does for me, I try my best to make her happy.

After the horrible situation she was forced to live in for the first five years of her life, she deserves to be spoiled and pampered and treated like the queen she is. We spend days at the beach, lots of car rides, and of course some dog-safe cake on special occasions.

She loves clothes and bones and snuggles and enjoys every minute of her comfortable life.


Pickles shows others that adopting a dog, especially a special needs dog, even one from a bad situation, can be a life-changing experience.

Pickles is the reason we chose adopt our second rescue dog, Rhaegar, from the Helping Hands Humane Society in Topeka, KS. He helped Pickles learn to play, become more active, and completed our little family.
They’re now inseparable and living the best life together.

Pickles has helped me view every day in a more positive light and makes me enjoy every moment of this wonderful life with her.

She taught me to love more than I ever thought possible and to never let anything get me down. She doesn’t let her missing leg or horrible past affect her and makes me realize that no matter what happens, things will always get better. I feel so lucky to have rescued such an amazingly perfect dog.

We celebrate every day and every occasion we can because every day together as a family is a blessing.

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My mom says my brother and I are awkward sleepers 🤔🤔🤔 doesn’t everyone sleep like this?? 🐶🐾 By the way if anyone has tagged us in a comment or text post and we haven’t answered its because IG doesn’t notify us of it anymore! If you want us to see a specific post please tag us in the actual picture when posting ❤❤❤ we don’t want to miss anything our furriends say! Stupid IG 😒😒😒 #igprobs #ig #sleepytime #sleepydog #awkward #awkwardsleeper #yinyang #rescue #rescuedogsofinstagram #rescueismyfavoritebreed #adoptaspecialneedspet #adoptdontshop #tripawd #tripawdsofinstagram #specialneedsdog #specialneedsisabreed #weloveyou #igfriends

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THANK YOU to all my amazing furriends who went to my pawty and wished me a Happy Birthday!🎁🎉🎊🎈 So much love!💕💖❤💖💕❤ I have the very best furriends and I love every one of you! 😘💋😘💋😘💋😘💋 I had the bestest birthday ever except when I grabbed my whole birthday burger and daddy tried to wrestle it out of my mouth. 🍔🍔🍔😠😠😠 So what if I choke on the burger when I swallow it whole?! I’ll go happy and full of yummy burger! 😍🍔🐾🐶🐾🐶🐾 #sillydog #pickles #birthday #burger #fatdog #chubbydog #tripawdsofinstagram #tripawd #birthdaygirl #birthdaydog #specialneedsisabreed #lovearescue #adoptdontshop #rescuedogsofinstagram #igrescuedogs #birthdayhat #prettygirl #glutton

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This story originally appeared at Positively Woof by Larry Kay.

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Positively Woof shares Animal Rescue Stories to celebrate the heartwarming victories of rescued animals and the heroism of people who make a difference. Curated by P-Woof Story Editors Jarissa Aquinde and Robbi Hess, award-winning dog author Larry Kay, and Rescue Spokesdog Louie. Discover what the P-Woof team is doing today.
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