Many of the most heart-warming happy endings follow some of the most heart-wrenching beginnings. For Sloan von Spiessbach’s dog Foxy, that beginning was as rough as it gets.
Says Sloan: “When I went to the ASPCA on March 5, 2010, I wasn't looking for the most adoptable puppy. I wanted a dog who was going to be more of a challenge—one that had had a really rough start in life. That's what I found with Faye (now Foxy).”
Foxy, an underweight American Eskimo mix with bald patches, anemia, 10 missing teeth and GI problems, came from a puppy mill. The ASPCA had raided a mill in Holly Springs, Mississippi, a month earlier, and more than 95 dogs were rescued from deplorable conditions. The dogs were transferred to various shelters for adoption, and a lucky 32—including Foxy—were transported to our headquarters in New York City.
As a puppy mill survivor, Foxy was unused to basic doggy activities like walking on a leash, running and stretching, and experiencing new sights and sounds. Because of that background, Sloan discovered, Foxy’s “physical issues were nothing compared to her paralyzing fear. She was literally frozen stiff and would ‘hit the deck’ if you moved too quickly around her. She didn't even know what to do when given a toy.”
Ten months of love and encouragement later, not only does Foxy know what to do with a toy, she keeps dozens. “The furious squeaking of her toys can be heard all day long,” Sloan says. “At night she collects all of the toys strewn throughout the living room and carries them back to her room one by one. She puts them in her bed before jumping into bed with me. She has to have everything in order.”
Foxy is flourishing with her new family, including her 80–pound “boyfriend” Walker. (“It was love at first sight!” Sloan jokes.) A true clotheshorse who owns tons of sweaters, Foxy splits her time between New York and New Jersey and enjoys meals cooked specially for her each day.
Although Foxy is still jumpy, she’s getting a little less fearful every day. And the lifestyle she’s enjoying—that of an extremely pampered pooch—can’t hurt. As Sloan says, “Not bad for a dog who didn't even have her most basic needs met for more than five years!”
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