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Dachshund Rescue, Inc.

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Darlene was rescued from a puppy mill, along with 24 of her cell mates. Darlene was one of 2 in the group, absolutely terrified of human contact of any kind.

Darlene has scars on her body and is missing most of her tail, most likely from being attacked by other dogs in the mill. Typically, when it's time to breed, the female(s) in heat will be placed in a small pen area, along with several males. Most often the males will fight for dominance and mating rights. Unfortunately, sometimes it is the female that gets injured in this situation.

Darlene's anxiety stemmed from only having contact, when it was time to be tossed into the breeding pen. Her activity in her new foster home was limited to cowering in a corner or the safety of a kennel. While she did not bite when touched, she would cower, as if in anticipation of harm. If you picked her up, she would struggle, at the risk of injury, to escape.
Her foster mom, Margo, was very patient, working with Darlene every day, to build trust between her and Darlene, and to help Darlene build her confidence. Of course, because of her extreme fear, Darlene was not a good candidate for adoption, as it was going to take months, maybe years, for her to find emotional peace. So, Margo adopted her, knowing that Darlene was special, seeing first hand those rare moments when Darlene was able to accept attention without fear, and even crave it, from Margo.

As months passed, Darlene had resolved much of her fear; being able to attend social events with other dogs, and even allowed other people to hold or pet her. Although improved, Darlene is still very cautious of strangers, and prefers to curl up on her comfy pillows and blankets, and watch the activities from a safe distance.

However, in her home, Darlene is amazing, showing very few signs of her anxiety. She even dances for her treats and wags her tail non-stop when her mom, Margo gets home from work, or fixes her meals. She's learned to trust and is often seen out front, when there's a barbeque in process, knowing that her dad, Roger, will toss a nibble or two in her and her sister's direction.

Darlene's mom, Margo, is amazing in how well she's been able to bring Darlene, and her sisters, out of their fears. They are regular visitors to parties and other dog events, showing off their special party outfits. It's not often that Darlene will venture up to a stranger. You have to earn her trust, and that's not an easy task.

Darlene has a unique sense of good and bad in people, and if you've met her, and she gives you a nose tap on the outstretched hand, consider yourself blessed, as Darlene is extremely particular about who she hangs out with, or allows to touch her.

She's not only learned to believe in herself, for the first time in her life, she gets to decide when and if someone touches her.