Pansy is a very lucky dog. Her family now includes two adults and a teenage boy who lavish her with love, another dog who is her best friend, and two cat buddies. Her home has a big fenced-in yard in which to romp and roam. Pansy’s life is a dream.

But before she was rescued, it was a recurring nightmare.

Pansy was a commercial breeding dog, valued not for who she was but for her ability to produce litter after litter of profitable puppies. She lived outdoors in a cage. She received little medical care or comfort. She had no one who loved her.

Earlier this year, Pansy’s commercial breeder brought her to an auction. She was destined to continue her life in much the same way with another breeder. Thankfully, with funds provided by Friends of Flicka, Retrieve a Golden of the Midwest was able to rescue her and provide a very special opportunity for her to enjoy a new and wonderful life.

When Pansy arrived in her foster home, she was frightened, shy, and in desperate need of a bath. But her life was about to change. Her foster family was eager to help her transform and show her that life – and humans – could be good. Pansy soon discovered the joys of a clean fur coat, nourishing food, and caring people.

Pansy receives a much-needed bath

A few days after her rescue, Pansy underwent an emergency spay surgery to clear up a serious infection. She spent three nights at the vet and had several return visits. But despite all she’d been through, Pansy seemed to understand the people around her were helping her get better. Her eyes brightened and she began to smile.

Not feeling good – if Pansy hadn’t been rescued, she likely would not have survived her infection

Pansy miraculously recovered from her infection and surgery and settled back into her foster home. She was in the best of hands. Her foster family loved helping her build confidence and prepare for life with a permanent family. They gradually exposed her to new experiences and friends, both two- and four-legged, to help her adjust to the world around her.

Pansy felt most comfortable in nature. She loved being outdoors and taking walks, although she spooked easily. She was frightened by passing cars, garbage cans, or even walking in a new direction. But with constant reassurance and encouragement, Pansy grew braver.

As time passed, Pansy continued to experience new challenges. She was leery of strangers, but couldn’t resist a nice ear rub. As her confidence grew, her desire to be loved began to overrule her instinctive fear. She started sleeping next to her foster family at night.

She was ready to find her forever home.


Meanwhile, a wonderful family was looking to add another rescue dog to their family, and when they saw Pansy’s online profile, they knew she was the one. Julie had worked at a humane society growing up and understood that rescue dogs frequently experience transition challenges and often exhibit behavioral quirks. Fortunately, Julie had the patience Pansy needed, while quickly realizing their dog Molly would be a great role model. They adopted her, and the timing was extra special – Pansy’s birthday.

Pansy was initially rattled by her new environment, but she slowly began to navigate her new surroundings and seek out new adventures. One day, after watching her role model Molly, she decided to jump up on the couch to join her new friends. She wasn’t sure how to go about it, but she persevered and figured it out, which has been the theme of her new life.

She did it! Pansy masters the art of climbing onto the couch to cuddle.

Pansy is now a morning dog – she’s awake at 4:30, eager to start the day. She greets her family with a “stuffie” in her mouth and a great big wag of her tail. When the back door is opened for her, she zooms around the yard, and then flops at the feet of her mom, awaiting a good pat. She knows the day ahead will be filled with love and positive experiences.

Pansy with some of her “stuffies”

Pansy’s family honors her quiet nature and the careful pace at which she is comfortable. She loves carrying her toys around the house and collecting them in one place. She has also discovered a fondness for carrying mittens, fetching tennis balls, and receiving belly rubs. But most of all, she loves to be near her new family of adoring friends.

Pansy with companion dog Molly, and cat friends Flower and Toby

The feeling is mutual. “We love everything about Pansy,” adopter Julie states. “She’s a very gentle, trusting soul and is so eager to please.”

“I can’t wait to see what she’ll be like in a year. You can tell she wants to play outside with Molly, but just doesn’t know how yet. Molly will try to initiate play and Pansy tries to play back, but then she stops, rolls onto her back and looks at us. We tell her it’s okay, that she’s allowed to play. She will get there.”

“I’m so very grateful to Friends of Flicka for their generous donation to rescue Pansy from the commercial breeding world. It has allowed her the chance to be a normal dog. Without their support, Pansy would not be with us today, because she was so sick when she was rescued. She is a wonderful, beautiful dog and I’m so very happy she has the chance to see what a forever family is all about, with all the love we have for her.”