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Miri’s Journey - 1,350 Miles to Freedom (originally known as CP’s Lena)

By Amy R. and Brian A.

For many rescued Cairns, the yellow brick road that leads to their forever home is not an easy one. Some struggle with health problems and others face trust issues.  The road for this little lady was even more difficult because she was fighting not only for her own future but also for the lives of her as yet unborn pups. 

MiriMillMiri, as she was pulled from the mill auction.

Miri traveled 1,350 miles from the horrible conditions of a life in a puppy mill in Carthage, MO to Portsmouth,VA via Little Rock, AR.  When she arrived at her foster home in VA, it was estimated that she was at Day 45 of a typically 63-day pregnancy.  Although she was trembling and weak, it was hoped that her difficulties were due to her pregnancy and her long trip to her foster home.  However, it soon became evident that something was very wrong.

Miri was finding it almost impossible to go potty and on what was only Day 48 of the pregnancy, it also looked as if she was going to have her puppies within the week.   She was taken to the vet who discovered that she had a large bladder stone that was shutting down her system.  Her calcium levels were also dangerously low.  He determined that it was unlikely she would be able to deliver the puppies. The only option was to do surgery immediately.

Within hours the entire vet team was involved in the effort to save her and her five puppies. After a C-section delivery she was spayed and her bladder stone was removed.  Since all her lower front teeth in the front were missing and her back teeth were green the vet decided to scrape her remaining teeth while she was till sedated.  But her teeth were in such bad condition that one after another, they just fell out of her mouth.

She lost a total of six additional teeth, including an abscessed molar that must have caused her terrible pain when eating.  Miri and her five pups were given the thumbs-up to go home but there were concerns about her firstborn son.

Although all the preemies were about half the size of full-term Cairn puppies weighing only about 2 to 3 ounces each, little boy #1 was even smaller than his tiny siblings.

After three days of bravely struggling to survive little boy #1 crossed the Rainbow Bridge, devastating his foster parents.

Meanwhile, Miri and her remaining son and three daughters continued to improve daily under the loving care they received.  She was a model mom despite everything she had been through. Although still noticeably weak, she was able to feed all four puppies on her own.


MiriPuppiesMiri and her four miracle babies.

She was taking calcium supplements and was being nourished with soft foods.  She began to regain her strength now that she didn’t have to struggle to chew food.

Miri so enjoyed her newfound life of comfort and showered her foster parents with grateful affection.  For an eight-year-old dog this journey had not been an easy one but she continued bravely on, leading her four puppies toward a happy life in a forever home. 

That forever home just happened to be ours here in Mehoopany, PA.  We welcomed Miri with open arms on Sunday, May 14, 2006. Fittingly, this was Mother’s Day.  All of Miri’s puppies had gone to wonderful forever homes all over the U.S.  Sadly, one of her babies at the age of 10 years has since crossed the Bridge but had a wonderful life, although a bit too short.

Miri was a joy with more love to give than anything. You would think that with all that had been done to her she would hate humans, but she gave hugs like nobody’s business.  She was just loving being free of the cage she was in for her entire life being bred at every season and when she was ill, dumped with a full litter of puppies.

Her most horrific decision when adopted was to decide whether she wanted to be in the back yard, play with one of the other dogs, or her ultimate favorite thing to do--just cuddle with her human forever parents. This little girl who surely would have died a horrible death while trying to deliver her puppies must have known in her heart that she was destined for a greater life.

Miri lived the life of Riley until we lost her due to complications of Cushing’s Disease on November 22, 2010. Our goal is always to have our adopted kids live with us longer than the time they spent in hell.  Sadly, this did not occur with Miri but there was enough love packed into her life in the 5 ½ years she lived with us to make up for all that she had lost before.

We miss you every day still little girl…run happy and free at the Rainbow Bridge.