Kira's Puppy Mill Journey

Kira, a rescued puppy mill collie, on her road to recovery.

The Journey, From the Beginning

For those who have just discovered Kira’s blog and want to start at the beginning of her story, I have compiled a list of posts below in chronological order, beginning with her rescue.  

When I first adopted Kira, I searched and searched for information about what it was like to live with a former puppy mill dog.   I wondered if my experiences with Kira were “normal.”   I wondered if I was doing the right things.  I wondered what life was going to look like with a dog who was so afraid of me!   Would she ever adjust?  Would she ever leave her crate?  Would she always be so damaged and afraid?     I also wondered about so many everyday things…. Was it normal that she would only drink water at night?  That she was afraid of my voice?  That she ran from me every time I spoke to her?   That she was too afraid to go to the bathroom for the first 2 days she was with me?!

I read everything I could find on Puppy Mill dogs and I’ve included some in the resources section.  What I didn’t find was owners describing what it was like to live, day-to-day, with a puppy mill dog.   I decided to write this blog to fill that gap and I hope that in the future when someone adopts a puppy mill dog and finds themselves searching everywhere for information,  they will come across Kira’s story and reading it will help them!   All dogs are different and Kira’s story won’t be every dog’s story.   This blog doesn’t have any great training advice and it doesn’t tell anyone what to do with their dog. It’s not a “how to” manual for puppy mill dogs.  It simply shares our story – our successes and failures.

I did my best to provide Kira with a safe, quiet loving space and a predictable routine.   I tried to respect her fears and allow her to progress at her own pace.    This blog is a record of her journey.  And it was her journey, not mine.   It was her courage that allowed her to move beyond her abuse and it was her quiet, gentle spirit that somehow remained open to the possibility of love in spite of all she had suffered.

VIDEO Kira’s first year:

Kira’s Rescue Story

Kira’s Road to Us… or Our Road to Kira

Kira’s First Days Home

Relationship & Tameness

Kira’s 1st Month: Beyond this Point There be Dragons

Introducing Mocha

The Power of the Pack & Routine, Routine, Routine

On the Couch: Home & Family

When Kira Smile: Limitations, Celebrations


Princess Kira’s Happily-Ever-After Story

Kira’s First Christmas Tree

The Possibility of Joy

A Valentine for Kira and Friends

Living in a Scary World

I’m ME!

Happy Spring!

A Bit About Collies

Highlights from April


Standing in the Rain

A Sense of Wonder, Summer Days

Loving Old Dogs (not a Kira post)

Always in my Heart (in loving memory of Roxy)


Watching Kira

Kira’s Second Christmas

Kindling Hope

A New Page

Kira goes to Fearful Fido class!

Fearful Fido Class Continues

Graduation Day

Happy Holidays!  Year 3

4th Anniversary of Kira’s Blog

Impossible Goodbyes, for Mocha

Our Valentine’s Love Story

Posts Shared from Other Sites

TED x Talk on Puppy Mills

Puppy Mill Poem: Twas the Night of a Rescue 

10 Rules for Adopting a Puppy Mill Survivor

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