Rescuing a Dog From a Puppy Mill Was the Hardest Thing I've Ever Done
In 2012, my then-boyfriend (now husband) and I rescued a 4-year-old Golden Retriever from a puppy mill in Taiwan. After we submitted home videos to a rescue group in Northern California and became preapproved adopters, the founder and "puppy matchmaker" at the organization sent us an email. We read the email together, shoulder to shoulder, like excited children on Christmas morning. The email said that our dog had just been rescued from an awful place, was currently getting care, and would soon be up to date on shots and strong enough to travel along with a volunteer to the United States. Jackpot!
"You're rescuing a dog from Taiwan?" people would gasp, emphasizing the wan in Taiwan as if doing so would make us realize how far away the dog was. "They have rescue dogs here," they'd finish.
But it was a common enough practice. The organization we used, Love and Second Chances, had a sister rescue organization in Taiwan. Once enough dogs were rescued, a volunteer would fly over dozens of dogs for eager families in the United States. We'd read up on common things to expect when rescuing a dog in general, but nothing could have prepared us for the journey.
Here are the eight most significant experiences I've had since rescuing.