As you’ve heard me mention in many of my posts, we have a wonderful dog named Lily. Since Dave and I don’t have any little munchkins yet, she is like our daughter. Most of you probably don’t know that we got her last year from a wonderful organization called PAWS, located here in Chicago. PAWS (Pets Are Worth Saving) is a no-kill animal shelter that rescues strays and abandoned dogs and cats from kills shelters like Animal Care and Control. The amazing thing about PAWS is that dogs and cats will be kept and loved in their facilities until they are adopted. There is no time limit on how long they will hold the animal before “getting rid of it.”
The day we went to PAWS we were a little apprehensive about getting a “shelter” dog since people sometimes tell horror stories of how they adopt Cujo-type animals that end up destroying their homes, etc. Well, I am here to say that the behavior of any animal can be modified with hard work and a lot of love.
We choose Lily because when we went into her suite to visit her she didn’t start barking. She didn’t start growling. She didn’t even start jumping up and down on us. Instead once we sat down on the floor she walked over to Dave, laid down next to him and put her head in his lap. We fell in love instantly.
Part of the reason that Lily was so calm and quiet was that she was extremely malnourished. PAWS told us that Lily had been a stray dog and that was all the information they had on her. We don’t know if she was abandoned by a family or if she had been living on the streets her whole life. We suspect that at one time she lived with a family since she already seemed to know the command “sit.”
Here we are on the car ride home from PAWS:
This video was taken the day we brought her home. You can see the extent of her malnutrition in her rib cage and hip bones. It still breaks me heart to see this!
Again, in this picture you can see her ribs protruding out.
Fortunately, Lily’s story has a happy ending! Through many meals, treats, hugs and kisses Lily is now a healthy, obedient, well-trained dog.
We worked through house training, obedience training, and major separation anxiety. It took many, many months of consistency but Lily has turned out be the dog of our dreams!
Oh, and she’s fattened up quite a bit! When we first got her she weighed about 29 pounds. She now weighs in at a healthy 52 big ones.
Here is a video of Lily today. She’s like a different dog, eh?
No matter if you live in Chicago or another city, small town or bustling metropolis, if you are considering getting an animal please consider adopting one from a shelter. And if you can, consider supporting no-kill animal shelters. I can’t wait to start volunteering at PAWS in a few weeks! Let’s just hope that I
do don’t have four dogs this time next year.
And now for a few more shots of Lily, just because I’m a proud mommy .
So talented! She can lick her own nose!
We love you, Lily!