The Heart Dogs: Archie

Dog's Name                Archie

Age of My Dog           4 years old

Gender                          Male

Breed                           Yorkie Mix

Home                           Sarasota, Forida

What you love most about your Heart Dog       Archie was rescued from a Puppy Mill in May of 2012. About a week after the rescue we saw the article in the paper. We went to one of the rescues listed to see if we could help one of these pups. We saw Archie first on the other side of the aisle softly barking at us. "What about this dog?" I asked. "Oh he's afraid of men, he bit a male rescuer during his rescue". Since my semi-retired husband would be the primary care taker that pup probably wouldn't be a good fit. We saw dog after dog, this one was spoken for, this one was back for vetting, on and on. Archie (then known as Declan) kept softly barking at us. Not frantic like some pups, not in the corner and shaking like others. I asked again about this little terrier so intent on getting my attention! "He was in foster for the week, healthy and only back here because he's going to Jacksonville on Monday (It was a Saturday) where they wanted terrier types". "Does that mean I can't adopt him?" "Oh no, if you want him he's yours!" So my husband took him (alone) for a walk around the grounds, Archie behaved just perfectly. When they returned I looked at my husband and said "well?" he said YES. Please understand my husband hardly EVER says YES. Typically his reply is more along the lines of: I don't know, what do you think? Or let's think about it.  I got a YES and I ran with it! We took him home that day. 

That first day we were all exhausted so my husband laid down for a nap in our bedroom. Archie didn't know what to do and just stood in the middle of the room panting. Wanting him to feel comfortable I lay on the floor.  He tentatively came over so I gently touched him. He stiffened probably because mill dogs are not used to the human touch. I just lay on the floor softly talking to him. Before I knew it Archie and I fell asleep. Husband wakes up , comes into the room and BOOM , Archie was barking , growling and showing teeth! Turns out Mr. Archie was very fearful of men. He was also afraid of just about everything else. Grass, doors, walks, noise, being alone, toys, the list goes on. But regardless of his fearfulness I was always able to interact with him, gently and slowly and it seemed to me from the very beginning he did better, or was less fearful or more willing to submit to handling new things only if it was me introducing it to him. My heart melted realizing how fearful this animal was and he was willing to put his trust in ME from the very start!

I started looking for ways to help him, article after article, book after book. Trainers, Vets, I devoured information like a starving person! I learned how to best help this fearful dog of mine. With a lot of time, patience ,counter conditioning, and desensitization protocols Archie has overcome most of his fears. 

I've had dogs before but none which taught me so much about their species and how they learn. He has taught me more about commitment, patience and guidance than any human. I am a changed person, a better person for having him in my life. 

Finally , he has inspired me to take up the fight against those horrid puppy mills and speak for those with no voice! I created a page dedicated to those 260 dogs who were imprisoned in small cages for years, and to help other fearful dog parents find a way to help their pups love life!

Pawrent                       Mary M

You can Like and follow Archie on his journey to help puppy mill survivors on his Facebook Page 

Is your dog a Heart Dog? Check out The Heart Dog Page to learn how to submit your furry canine to the pack.