Lily’s Story: from starvation to safety

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:

Lily coming home


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!

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 Red heart.



So talented! She can lick her own nose!

lily's face-01


We love you, Lily!

6 thoughts on “Lily’s Story: from starvation to safety

  1. Hi Johnson Familia! I just checked out your facebook page-what an awesome program!! If I lived in Arkansas I would definitely come and volunteer. Keep up the wonderful, much needed, work!


  2. Lily is beautiful! I have almost the same exact story with my basset Ginger! She too was starved, neglected and mistreated. She was found aimlessly wandering the inside of a shopping mall and sent to the dog-pound. My friend is a dog catcher and she called to tell me that there was a basset that needed a home. Just like Lily, two years later after love, food, vitamins and more food, she is beautifully healthy and a sweet girl. She weighed 26 pounds when we saved her and now she is a lazy basset 86 pounds!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s