Home for the Holidays?

Meet Mija, a shelter smiler with a special story
By Lisa Wogan, December 2009

We don’t often write about smilers on the Bark blog. After all they have their own section on the website, their own pages in the magazine, and their own book, Dog Joy (a great holiday gift, by the way). But when we saw and read about Mija, well, we made an exception. Below is the tale of Mija and her pack, direct from Lynda Demke, manager of the Eleanor Sonsini Animal Shelter:

This is Mija. She is a 13-month-old Terrier mix residing at the Sonsini Animal Shelter in Pittsfield, Mass., awaiting adoption. Mija was found amidst a feral pack of owned dogs. She was born under a sheet of plywood, leaning against a barn, with seven others—all of whom were taken in as five-week-old puppies.

“There were 27 dogs total on the small, rural property. None were spayed or neutered. Living outdoors year-round, they were very shy of humans. All eight puppies (of three litters) were raised in foster homes and adopted—including Mija, who was returned after eight months for difficulties in house training. One very old dog died before the rescue; I adopted the matriarch of the pack; and one young female sadly had a heart attack during her spay and died. The remaining 16 dogs, all too human-shy and feral, were caught, spayed or neutered and vaccinated. They now live together in their original ‘pack’ at the private home of one of my volunteers. In this sanctuary, they will have good food, a warm barn and lots of fenced area to play outdoors for the rest of their lives.”

To learn more about Mija, contact Sonsini Animal Shelter at 413.448.9800.