I mentioned last week here and here that Toronto Animal Services South would shortly be getting some puppy mill Poodles. Three of them arrived and I met them for the first time last Saturday.
All three were cuddled and shaking in their shared doggy bed in the corner of their kennel. I spent some time with them in there, letting them get accustomed to me and a couple of them even approached for a few licks on the hand only to scurry back to their corner whenever I moved.
Once I figured they weren't as petrified of me, I picked up the biggest one - a male - and carried him outside as none of them were going to walk on their own. I put him on the grass and he took a couple of steps which I thought was a good sign and then he stopped and trembled.
It wasn't a cold day but he trembled. He trembled at the grass underfoot. He trembled at the people walking around. He trembled at the open space. He trembled at whatever dangers he thought would descend upon him. It was too overwhelming so I snapped a few quick photos and carried him back inside.
I thought the other two might be better outside because they were the more affectionate ones inside but as it turned out they were worse than the larger male. Neither of them took a single step. One lifted her foot as soon as it touched down on the unfamiliar texture of grass and gingerly put back down and then just stood motionless. Well, not motionless. There was a lot of trembling with her as well. I thought she was going to have a heart attack so I took her back inside.
The last one I took outside lay in the grass which I thought was nice but she too was trembling.
I brought her back inside in fairly short order but not before I noticed her back left leg. This was the one I had heard about. When she was back at the puppy mill covered in all that matted hair, it was hard to tell what was going on beneath all the jumbles of knots. Kimberly, the rescuer from Kismutt, thought the end of the leg felt funny but it wasn't until after a haircut that she could see there was no foot there.