Friday, September 25, 2020
Dogs from MO puppy mill 2010

Minnie Moves from Missiouri to the Big Apple

Minnie's Story


Minnie is one adorable and lucky little girl.  She started out life in a puppy mill, but  little did she know how much her life would change in December 2010!

On December 15th, Minnie went from being a little midwest farm girl to becoming a City Slicker!  She boarded a flight in Missouri and winged her way east to the Big Apple - New York City! 

The day she arrived, we scooped her up from the Pet Airways lounge with all of her collars and leashes firmly placed, and tried to let her paws touch the ground of the airport parking lot for a bit of a wee, but she didn't seem too keen on producing anything right then and there, so we all hopped in the rental car to make the trip back to Manhattan where she fell right to sleep in the back seat.  We took a quick stroll around my two favorite and quietest blocks and discovered that she was wary of all moving things - of which there are PLENTY here on the Upper Westside of Manhattan!  Minnie decided she'd work on getting the hang of things quite quickly.  She was just being cautious and inquisitive rather than being downright frightened, so that was a very positive sign.  Minnie walked well on the leash IN SPURTS but was rigidly placed a good deal of the time as she let the smells, sights and sounds wash over her.

The biggest event of her first few hours in Manhattan took us all by surprise.  Life for Minnie in NYC just wouldn't be complete without a criminal record... she actually got a summons on her very first walk there because she didn't have a city license tag around her neck!  Two rookie cops in their nice warm police car trying to make quota were not having any part of Minnie's harrowing tale as to why she didn't yet have one.  Hilarious and 100% sure it would be dismissed at her court appearance on March 1, 2011, life for the new Uptown Girl began.  (And yes - her ticket was dismissed!)

Minnie had a banner Christmas weekend.  She was hanging in her room on her favorite little cushion just resting away and not at all fraternizing with the resident dogs at her foster home.  She wasn't interested in any friends that would come over other than to poke her head into rooms where we were all were together and then immediately scurry back to her safe place.  I was a bit worried about her outgoingness too, but the more I worked with her and the more she got comfortable with a routine, she continued to build her confidence.  Then came Christmas Day.  I took my boy pup Burl to a friend of mine's house where he spending a couple of days.  As soon as Burl left  (who she felt safe with and would sit next to safely or sniff inquisitively) she came out of her shell.  Remaining in my household were my female terrier mix Dot and Minnie so I thought it was high time for all the chicks to bond with one another on their own, without worrying about Burl and his slightly grumpy ways so off we headed to the dog run in Riverside Park together where I'm happy to report....Minnie and Dot could not have had a better time!  They just ran and ran and ran and all with no incident.  We returned home from our outdoor frolic and they continued the same kicking up their heels with glee activity indoors. It was a wonderful Christmas gift to us all to see her growing into a happy dog!

Shy and most tentative when she first arrived, Minnie made leaps and bounds whilst in my care.  My permanent dogs didn't make her first days at all easy, giving her nothing but growls and who the hell are you looks, sniffs and snaps, but after a few days of the cold shoulder, they finally couldn't resist her delicate and charming ways.  Burl, who's a bit of a grump to begin with, tolerated her with a "Whatever!" attitude as he does with most of the visitors that arrive here for a spell, but Minnie and my girl Dot could not have been happier running around my apt./dog run/or anywhere else that allowed them to kick up their heels with glee!  They wound up being fast friends over the almost 6 weeks she was with me.  

Minnie followed me around everywhere and with each soulful look or wag of a tail or gentle lick, she made it harder and harder to even think about having to release her to another home.  I cried my eyes out as i took a taxi with her cradled in my arms to meet her new parents, but I knew in my heart that I had chosen the right home for her to live out the rest of her life. Her new Dads, Robert and J.P., couldn't be a more caring couple, packed with a great sense of humor and a tremendous amount of love to give.  They have showered their 14 year old wire hair fox terrier Bernie (also a rescue) with love, and now Minnie is fortunate enough to share in that love.  

New York is where I'd rather stay.
I get allergic smelling hay.
I just adore a penthouse view.
Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue.


P.S. Below are some e-mails from Robert and J.P.

Minnie is still so great, but no non-snow pee, yet.  :(  But she sure does love to dig in the snow and walk in the cold.  It is great! And she can jump like nobody's business.  She bounds up to the sofa or to bed.  I wish I had her energy!
But she and Bernie are great on the walks together.  No real behavior problems except that she gets very cranky with Bernie if he comes near her red velvet bone that you gave her.  (She just growls and then he walks away.  No biggie.) 
She doesn't love kids, we've noticed, but that seems OK, too.  She just kind of backs away from them. 

Hi, Cam: wanted to let you know that are still going smoothly for Minnie.  she is playing nicely (and napping nicely) with bernie, and things are great! she is so sweet and cute--thank you for bringing her into our lives!


This couldn't happen without your ongoing support.  Help us give all these wonderful dogs the gift of health.  Just click the "Donate" button below to make your tax deductible donation via PayPal.  Or mail your tax deductible donation toKathy Lauer, American Fox Terrier Rescue Treasurer, 8738 Prestwick Parkway, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443





Sugar_update7/14/11 - We received a nice update from Lucie, Sugar's foster mom.  Thought we'd share it with you.  Sugar is a very special case.  Will she ever go off to home of her own, or will she stay with Lucie?  That is yet to be known, but a dog that is traumatized like Sugar was is a very special case that takes a very special person to help bring them around.  Many in rescue end up keeping these special dogs because the work to bring them around to trust us, only to send them to a new home once again is often far too traumatic for the dog and they can back-slide.  So we'll see... On with the update!

Sugar and I had a very informative visit to the Behavioral Veterinarian in May. She informed me that when an animal is isolated from other humans and animals their brain does not develop like animals who interact on a regular basis. Therefore, some of her behaviors such as trust might not ever develop like other animals. Sugar will probably never be a fox terrier who really interacts with her family. The Doctor also told me to leave her alone and let her come to me when she is comfortable. I followed these instructions and noticed a change in behavior within a few days. It was a great investment in Sugar's and my peace of mind.

Sugar loves to come to me when she is in the bed and inches her way to me when I tap the bed. Miss Sugar rules the house from the bed and growls and Casey (my other resident fox terrier rescue) when he enters the room. She loves to have her head scratched and does the foxie head turn showing her pleasure. Whenever I come into the house she comes running downstairs along with Casey.  Sugar is always coming to me from my bed, where she stays almost all the time. If I need to get her to come I either use the squeaky toy or call Casey's name and she comes running with him, since she knows she will get her head scratched along with Casey!

Sugar hoards all the toys.  When Casey isn't looking she runs with all she can collect upstairs to include in her stash! She still runs from me if I move to quickly and it startles her.  She runs into the house from the backyard and hauls up the stairs to the bedroom where she feels safe. She is petrified to walk on a leash and only eliminates in the backyard. I was told by the Behavioral Vet that I should not force her to walk with Casey and I since it causes too much trauma for her. Although, when Casey and I go for a walk she comes to us and seems like she wants to go for a walk.  So maybe someday she'll decide she'd like to join us.

You can really see how much she has grown in confidence from the first picture at the airport to the picture above. She seems so much more at ease now. Maybe she was afraid of me with my sunglasses on .LOL

Thanks, Lucie, for the great update!  We're so happy fate brought you together with Miss Sugar.  She seems to have found a person she can trust and feel comfortable with in you.  Our hearts break for what must have hurt her soul so much, but you are the answer to her pain - just letting her "be" and letting her decide the timeline.  Not many would be able to do what you're doing.

We look forward to more updates as thing change for Sugar!

Sugar's Early Story

Sugar arrived at BWI Airport in Baltimore MD on December 15th on Pet Airways. She was terrified of everyone and everything.  When I walked her it was probably her first time on a leash. Sugar spent the first six years of her life in a cage bearing puppies and based on her reaction to people especially men she was mostly definitely abused.


She came home with me to met my housemate Mike and my resident senior terrier Casey. She was introduced to squeaky toys which made her feel more secure. I would watch her sneak by Casey(when he wasn't looking) and steal all the toys and bring them up to my room and put them on my bed. She now feels more secure and does not have a need to hoard all the toys anymore.


But Sugar's fears of pretty much everyone but me have proven to be a challenge.  While she learned to not fear me as much, she often runs away when I  walk near her. Poor little thing runs so fast down the stairs that she will fall and bump into the wall. I hope and pray that she does not hurt herself. However, Sugar has really made some progress.  Instead of running from me, she will lie down in a submissive pose and let me approach her. She follows me wherever I go in the house and sits right next time when I am on my computer. When she first came to me she would never come when I called her. I started to call her name while squeaking a squeaky toy and she slowly started to come to me. Now, she will slowly come to me when I call her and put a treat on the floor. A few weeks ago, she started to take a treat from my hand occasionally.  She's still working on being able to trust, and it's heartbreaking to think she's been so traumatized by her previous life.

Though Sugar has made great progress with love, patience and medication she still has a long way to go. Sugar will be visiting a Veterinarian who specializes in Behavior Modification next month and I am hoping to learn more about her fear and ways to help her to continue to progress to live a happy and secure life. Sugar has been with me now for 3.5 months and will I will continue to foster her until she feels secure, safe and less traumatized.


This couldn't happen without your ongoing support.  Help us give all these wonderful dogs the gift of health.  Just click the "Donate" button below to make your tax deductible donation via PayPal.  Or mail your tax deductible donation toKathy Lauer, American Fox Terrier Rescue Treasurer, 8738 Prestwick Parkway, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443






Hermann came to us on December 30, 2010. He settled in like a dream and has just been loving life here in Arlington, VA. He was house-broken in just a few days too. We became his "forever home" a few weeks later.






He is just such a joy to be with...curious, smart and affectionate! He also likes to chill on the sofa.


He has moved from being in his crate while I'm at work, with a break at noon, to staying out of his crate all day.  I still come home at lunchtime to let him run around outside and play with him. He even lets me have my lunch! Hermann loves to take walks and is great on the leash...where did he learn to "heel" so naturally???!


Thank you, Celia, this April update on Hermann:

Here's the latest from Hermann, our very own from the MO 11 gang!

Yesterday Hermann was so funny I actually laughed out loud.

After work, I came home and heated up some decaf then went to hang out in the sitting room. Hermann came too and was feeling frisky. We played fetch for awhile with his squeaker monkey but then his attention turned to his BuddyBear. He started wrestling with the bear and shaking the bejeebers out of it. He must have thought he had triumphed over the bear because he tried jumping up onto the love seat holding it by the scruff of its neck. Of course, that meant that the rest of the bear was hanging down in front of the little guy! He fell backwards once but kept the bear in his grip. He tried again from a different angle and this time fell off to the side. I started chuckling then laughing out loud and he stopped dead in his tracks at the sound of my laughing as he was readying for the third go at it. Hermann drop the bear, put his left paw up on the side of the love seat and looking at me with that adorable cocked-head turn of curiosity..."like, so, what's so funny???!!!" He stared at me like that for awhile and I just kept laughing!!! It was just so cute!


PS. We LOVE Hermann!!!! Thanks for all you do!

This couldn't happen without your ongoing support.  Help us give all these wonderful dogs the gift of health.  Just click the "Donate" button below to make your tax deductible donation via PayPal.  Or mail your tax deductible donation toKathy Lauer, American Fox Terrier Rescue Treasurer, 8738 Prestwick Parkway, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443






From the time she arrived from Missouri, three year old Sissy was the social butterfly and the "girly girl" of the Missouri 11. With her cheery disposition, sweet temperament and “happy dance,” this darling girl charmed both of her foster homes and then her forever family.  When she arrived on her Pet Airways flight, it was clear that life in a puppy mill didn’t snuff out her joy or curiosity. Despite bearing litters for profit, Sissy was never afraid of people and thought that everyone she met would love her … and we do!

Sissy was fostered with Franklin for the first month after she arrived in Baltimore.  She made excellent progress in her leash manners, ability to get along with other dogs, and being comfortable riding in a car and visits to the vet and pet supply stores.  Like many puppy mill dogs who’d lived in a crate or outdoor pen, Sissy struggled a bit with housebreaking so when Pretty Boy Floyd got comfortable enough to start challenging the senior male it was quickly decided that Sissy would move to Ilonka and Mike’s home to keep their resident dogs safe and springboard Sissy into a new situation that would give her more consistent reinforcement on her housebreaking (i.e. a working from home foster Mom).Snow_playHappy_face

Sissy’s sweet personality and ability to love life made her an adored member of her second American Fox Terrier Rescue foster home.  As her housebreaking skills become rock solid, it was clear this little lady was ready for her forever home.

On a very (!!!) rainy day, Sissy’s two foster Moms met at Marilee and Martha’s home for a home visit and introduction. Both of these fine women were charmed with Sissy’s easy going temperament and sweet personality. Sissy loved their calm demeanor and good energy and it was soon apparent this was a perfect match.

We are so happy with Marilee’s update below! It tells us that Sissy (now Ruby) is loved beyond measure which is EXACTLY what this sweet girl and every foster dog in American Fox Terrier Rescue ’s care deserves!

Ruby’s World

My partner Martha and I shared life and time with a wire-haired fox terrier, Roxie, for nearly 16 delightful years until her death on the second to the last day of 2009. (Parts of the story of that life are shared on the blog I started writing in Roxie’s voice in 2006, Roxie’s World. You can find that here:

Our grief when Roxie passed was profound, but a little more than a year later we felt ready to be part of a pack again and so began researching our options online. We had never had a rescue dog before, but the story of the Missouri 11 caught our eye and tugged at our hearts as we explored the possibilities. We knew and loved the breed and agreed that we didn’t mind bypassing puppyhood this time around, so late one Saturday night at the tail end of February, I filled out an adoption application through American Fox Terrier Rescue . The next day Debi Drake called and declared she thought she had a little girl who would be a great match for us. A week later, “Sissy” of the Missouri 11, a small but adorable 3-year-old, came for a home visit along with Debi and foster mom, Ilonka Welda. An hour or so later, the two human visitors left, but Sissy/Ruby stayed with us. (Like Roxie, Ruby is named after one of my and Martha’s grandmothers. In this case, the grandmother was a 5’11” part-Cherokee woman who drove around West Texas in a white Falcon taking orders for the family produce business. Martha’s family is much more colorful than mine is.)


Here are some highlights of Ruby’s brief but happy history in her new home:


Ruby loves people. She greets everyone by getting up on her hind legs and gazing up longingly, hoping that the human will bend down for a kiss or an ear rub. She is usually successful in getting one or the other (or both!), because those foxy brown eyes of hers are darn near irresistible. She is also very friendly with other dogs. We took her to dinner at the home of some friends of ours recently, and their two-year-old dachshund spent much of the evening barking hysterically at Ruby, right up in her face. Ruby was absolutely placid. She never barked back. She never even moved! She was as serene as a Buddha on the brink of enlightenment. On walks, she hangs back from other dogs until she knows they are friendly, and then she engages, eagerly and playfully. She does well on the leash, never tugging, as her predecessor was so fond of doing.



She is wonderful to have around the house. She has become Martha’s official research assistant, a job that requires epic amounts of napping on the floor of Martha’s study. She is also an accomplished snuggler, content to spend hours on the big couch in the great room pressed up close to one mom or another. (She thoroughly enjoyed both the NCAA basketball tournament and HBO’s remake of Mildred Pierce, despite its rather too slavish fidelity to the novel on which it is based.) She loves her crate and will sometimes take herself upstairs and climb in for a break, though as she has settled into the household she is doing that less. She rarely barks, but she seems to be figuring out that a well-timed whine can come in handy. We call her a girlie-girl, because she is so much less dominating than Roxie was and because her default pose is to sit with her paws daintily crossed in front of her.


We recently discovered that Ruby also loves riding in the car and visiting human and canine members of her new extended family. She accompanied us on a road trip to Michigan and Indiana over Fourth of July and loved everything except fireworks (of course!). She was calm and quiet in the car, got along beautifully with her cousin Scooter, a beagle/basset mix (and also a rescue), and charmed everyone she met, including my 80-year-old mother, who is in somewhat fragile condition after enduring several months of chemo and radiation for lung cancer. Ruby was attentive yet gentle with Mom, proving again that dogs have great instincts and empathy when it comes to humans. I cherish the photos I took of my bald mother giving her new grand-dog’s wiry coat a light brushing while Ruby sat patiently on the floor in front of her chair. The smile on Mom’s face says all you need to know about the joy dogs bring to human lives.


Ruby shows no signs of having been permanently harmed by the awful conditions of her first three years of life. She has had a problem with hookworm, but our wonderful vet, Dr. JoAnne Carey of the Takoma Park Animal Clinic, is helping us knock that out. (We closely followed the saga of Doug, another of the Missouri 11 who had a terrible health scare because of intestinal parasites.) She has quickly adjusted to life among humans who are eager to play with her and wait on her hand and, um, paw. It’s been interesting to watch her learn what it means to play, as that was something that was clearly missing from her life in the puppy-mill. She took to toys right away and has now learned that tug is a fun way to hold the attention of the humans. We’ve been delighted to watch her take possession of what we describe as our home’s ridiculously large back yard. She seemed a little intimidated by all that space at first, but now she races from one end of it to the other in a mad, happy blur. She loves to chase after a tossed ball. We are hoping she’ll soon realize the game is even more entertaining if she brings the ball back to the person who threw it.

In_dog_bed Sleepy

As is probably clear, we are totally smitten with little Ruby and pleased as punch to be dog people who finally have a dog again. One beautiful evening in May, a neighbor driving by saw us the three of us out in the front yard admiring the big azalea bush in its spring glory and stopped to say, “You all just look happier these days. And Ruby looks pretty happy, too!” We are, and we have a hunch she is, too. We are grateful as we can be to all the good folks at American Fox Terrier Rescue who helped bring this sweet critter into our lives. Thanks for all you do for dogs and people.



This couldn't happen without your ongoing support.  Help us give all these wonderful dogs the gift of health.  Just click the "Donate" button below to make your tax deductible donation via PayPal.  Or mail your tax deductible donation toKathy Lauer, American Fox Terrier Rescue Treasurer, 8738 Prestwick Parkway, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443




Baby Face Nelson

Baby Face Nelson


Baby Face Nelson and CW Moss arrived in Atlanta December 22, 2010 - and they were so cute that it was love at first site!  True to their namesakes, they "stole" many hearts everywhere they went!  They arrived in Atlanta after traveling from Omaha to Chicago to Long Island to Baltmore and finally Atlanta.


They made the trip just fine and both were happy to sit in laps and be cuddled all the way home from the airport. We didn't mind holding them!  Baby Face Nelson loved snuggling on Terrys lap, and giving little kisses. Does it get any better than that?

On first blush, it is easy to see that Baby Face Nelson, the smaller of the two, called all the shots between he and CW Moss, who was larger. Baby Face Nelson was the more self assured of the two, but CW Moss warmed up to hugs and snuggles more and more every minute.

They were among the youngest of the Missouri 11 at only 12 months old, and they clung to each other.  CW Moss would cry if Baby Face Nelson was out of his sight. Baby Face Nelson was much smaller but was the alpha dog, easily nosing his brother out of the dish and leading the way outside.  While they would cry when one of them was out and the other was left behind, they would sleep all curled up together in the crate, not a peep out of them. While this was as cute as can be, we knew that they would need to learn to do without each other.

After CW Moss was adopted, the resident female wire, Pepper was teaching Baby Face Nelson lots of new tricks like how to dance.


Unfortunately, she also taught him to roll in smelly stuff, which resulted in a bath - something Baby Face Nelson was not too happy about.


Soon, a lovely couple from Florida made a long drive up to Atlanta with their older wire girl, Maizie.  It appeared that all of Pepper's tutelage paid off when Baby Face Nelson immediately knew that Ms. Maizie was the boss.  The last update from them was that 12yo Maize was acting so young with her new playmate.


A happy ending for all, especially for two wire boys who started life living in an exposed crate with no one to love them.

This couldn't happen without your ongoing support.  Help us give all these wonderful dogs the gift of health.  Just click the "Donate" button below to make your tax deductible donation via PayPal.  Or mail your tax deductible donation toKathy Lauer, American Fox Terrier Rescue Treasurer, 8738 Prestwick Parkway, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443



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AFTR, Inc. is a 501-(c)3 charitable non-profit organization. Thank you for your kind donation!

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If you'd prefer to mail your donation click here for the address.

AFTR, Inc. is a 501-(c)3 charitable non-profit organization. Thank you for your kind donation!

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