To the monsters from the bad place: an open letter to the puppy-mill breeder of my dachshund

When Charlie Osman replied to an online ad for a family pet that needed rehoming, she had no idea what she would walk into. A man waving puppies in her face opened the door, Charlie looked past him to see an infected, bruised bitch left to die in a cage. Pops was traumatised following a back-street spay. Fast forward nearly four years, Pops has flourished into a fashion icon, therapy dog and campaigner against puppy mills. Charlie has written an open letter to the breeder

“Bitch number 3” now has a name, she is called Pops and she is amazing.

Do you remember what you said to me when I begged you to let me take her? “That one’s not for sale – it’s dying”?

Well firstly, “it” is a “she”, and she was failing to thrive due to neglect, abuse, overbreeding and lack of love and care.

Sure, it took a while: the physical recovery took a few months, and there are life-long issues with her health because of your greed and lack of compassion. The emotional recovery is ongoing. We have overcome many hurdles, including her crippling fear of men, anxiety and basic social skills. But with a little love, a warm bed and two meals a day, she has grown in every way to become a wonderful animal who means so much to so many.

No longer “it”, Pops is a lady about town now

Pops is not the sharpest tool in the box, a silly sausage if you will, but she is certainly the one that brings the most joy. I belly-laugh every single day at her escapades and I pity you because you don’t know what you lost. That little lump of whimpering skin and bone that you didn’t even say “goodbye” to is worth far more than you will ever know. You weren’t worthy of her. You were just not a good enough human being to deserve a friend like Pops, and I hope no other animal ever has to endure you again.

Pops in her Therapaws outfit with a patient

Pops is loyal, brave and sassy. She has a soul so good and eyes so deep that I’m certain to have magical powers. She has the power to transform a child’s perception and irradiate their fear of dogs; she has won prizes for her beauty; she has raised money for important animal welfare charities; she is a dog model and a therapy dog for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia at the local hospital (as a Therapaws dog, the therapy-dog programme by London dog rescue Mayhew). The joy Pops brings daily is staggering. If only you took the time to look, to engage and to love her, you would have seen this.

Pops showing her Mona Lisa smile for London dog blog The Dogvine (image: Teresa Keohane)

I may be biased because she is mine, but there is a whole army of people that will vouch for this magic little lady, my best friend, Pops. Your loss was my gain and I thank you, from the bottom of my heart. because of you, I am loved unconditionally. I have an excuse to get out and explore more of my city and beyond; I get to meet wonderful like-minded people and I have the noblest sausage-shaped sidekick a girl could ask for.

Your “trash” will always be my treasure.

The puppy mill Pops was rescued from has been shut down, and the breeder has been prosecuted.


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    What a wonderful story – how awful to think of all the other little darlings

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    OMG Charlie what a wonderful thing you have done. I have cried tears of anger and sadness for the way Pops was treated and it doesn’t bare thinking about all those other beautiful souls that are in the same position, but also tears of happiness for what you have done for Pops your beautiful little girl. Love following yours and Pops adventures. X

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    Long live beautiful Pops and her brave and awesome humum! Xxx

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    Things always happen for a reason and this just proves that point. Well written Charlie and keep on being fabulous Pops! xxx

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    Carolyne Yard

    What an emotional story. Pops is lucky you found her – you can see she adores you. “well done and long live Pops 🙂 xx

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    What a wonderful lady you are to have her . Such a lovely story my sausage is a rescue but wasn’t badly treated but her ceasurian was her saving grace, she wasn’t any use then . She is a sassy madam and I love her very much. I also have a wonky sausage who was born that way and he has the sweetest nature. Well done for highlighting these baddies x

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    Shar Mullaney

    Little Pops is one very lucky dog to have you!
    What a Beauty! Wishing you and Pops many years of happiness together! 🐕❤

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    That is a moving and inspiring letter. All hail the sausages- they are an amazing breed. X

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    I have shed a few tears, as I read this. No human being should be allowed to get away with treating their loving animals in this way and shame on those spineless individuals who do.
    Thank god you rescued Pops, she is beautiful
    Love from Gaynor and Fudge (my beloved Dixie).

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    Lotte Poole

    Hi Charlie – thank you for the story. I got my Pebbles from a terrible man at a puppy farm and after 6 weeks she has blossomed so much it’s hard to recognise the terrified skeleton that I rescued. She has overcome some of her fear of men, noises, not being fed, expecting to be kicked and hit, of being left in the cold knowing she has a home that loves her very much and will always look after her. I’m so glad we found her and she now has us. Her ‘sisters’ unfortunately are mainly still there.

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    Thank you Charlie and Pops. A very sad story with a very HAPPY ending, with everything that Pops has gone through, you and Pops are bringing happiness to others. Love Carole and my lovely dogs Larry and Dora. Xxx

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