Not unlike the delectable fruit she’s named after, cute bulldog Kiwi is a fuzzy brown powerhouse on the outside and a whole lot of sweetness inside. And, while we’re talking about the fruit, did you know that kiwi is a “super fruit” because it’s so good for you? It contains tons of vitamins, antioxidants and all that other healthy stuff. Undeniably, the fruit is good for us. But what about the dog?
In early fall of 2017, Kim Matsko’s heart was breaking. Three of her bulldogs had passed away in a five-month period. Although not knowing if she was truly ready, she knew that the only thing to heal her heart was to find another furry, turned-up face to bring home. Kim also noticed that her older bulldog Tank* became visibly depressed and was clearly missing his dog siblings. She feared for Tank’s health. Being a bulldog rescuer for many years, Kim found herself searching the bulldog rescue sites for a potential new family member. Landing on the Georgia English Bulldog Rescue (GEBR) Facebook page, Kim read about a bulldog puppy-mill bust that had recently taken place in Atlanta. A large warehouse had roughly 20 bulldogs and 20 other dogs in crates stacked on top of one another. With no air conditioning – in Georgia! This was a full-on breeding operation – the dogs were rarely let out of their crates, and they were certainly never let outside. Imagine a dog spending years of its life in a crate with no walks, no runs and very little human interaction.
One of the dogs shown on GEBR’s website was Kiwi. A 2.5-year-old, 40-pound tawny bundle of love, Kiwi had never been out of a crate for any length of time. When Kim saw Kiwi she just knew she was the one to become her forever companion and help hers and Tank’s hearts heal.
Kiwi had been used solely as a puppy-making machine and had already had 2-3 litters of puppies in her short life, as evidenced by her large, saggy teats. After the dogs were removed from the warehouse, Kiwi was vet-examined, spayed and put into a foster home for care and socialization, so the rescue group could get to know Kiwi’s personality.
Kim and Kiwi, adoption day
Once Kiwi was ready for Kim to adopt her, Kim jumped in the car and raced to the meeting place in South Carolina to meet her new friend-for-life. Although Kiwi had little muscle tone from being crate-bound, and it took a couple of weeks for Kiwi to get used to walking on anything but concrete, she is now happy and healthy and loves her toys, walks, treats and her new, best buddy Tank. Kiwi spends her daytime hours at Natural Pet Essentials (Kim’s pet supply store) where her duties include greeting and soliciting cuddles from customers, stealing treats from the bins, and napping. At the end of the day, Kiwi waddles happily home with Kim and Tank, her puppy-mill days having faded into a distant memory.
Evidence certainly suggests both kiwi the fruit and Kiwi the dog are heart-healthy.
About Georgia English Bulldog Rescue: Since 2009, the organization has rescued over 480 bulldogs. They rescue dogs who are sick, injured, abused and neglected, and at any given time have at least 40 bulldogs in foster.
*Tank’s story will be featured in Behind the Eyes soon – stay tuned.