As I posted on Twitter and Facebook last night, we have another new member of our family. Her name is Lily. Another little dog in another bad situation. Is it happening more often? Or are Alan and I somehow fated to find these dogs in need? I’m not sure, but here is Lily’s story:
Alan and I were on the way home from Cross Country Practice. We’d stopped at the grocery store for dinner supplies. It was a little after 7:00. As we drove up the street toward our home, a little black and white dog crossed the street in front of us. She was very small, and we could see that she did not have a collar.
I pointed her out to Alan, who had already seen her. He slowed down as she crossed the street and started heading down a side road. We turned and followed her. We hoped to find out where she lived and get her safely home.
She stopped as we approached in the car and as I spoke to her through the window (“Hi Sweetie, in baby-talk), but as soon as I started to open the car door, she started running away. The last thing we wanted to do was scare her farther away from home, so we backed off, and decided to “head her off at the pass,” so we circled the block and came around from the other side.
This time Alan got out of the car, but again she ran away, turning down another street. We decided to give it one more try, so we slowly drove down toward where she had finally stopped and settled down on someone’s front lawn.
Hoping that we’d lucked out and this was her home, I knocked on the door and a young girl answered. She told me that it wasn’t her dog, but that she lived across the street, on the corner. As Alan went to the door, I stayed to keep an eye on the dog, to make sure she didn’t try to run away again.
As I stood there, a woman came out of the first house (apparently the mother of the young girl). As I waited for Alan, this woman started to tell me about how badly the owners treated this poor little dog. She said they threw rocks at her, didn’t care if she ran all over (I could see that already!). I was wishing I’d talked to her before Alan had a chance to knock on the owner’s door.
In the meantime, someone had answered the door at the owner’s house. He came out, but he acted like he just didn’t care. He made no attempt to pick her up or call her to come to him. In fact, he just went back into his own house! When he did, I called Alan over and filled him in on what I had been told.
The woman told us that she left food out for the dog, but she already had two dogs and couldn’t take any more. She said that this poor animal preferred to sit on her lawn than go to her own home. She wanted to call animal control, but she was afraid if they took the dog, she would end up being put down.
Alan told her that he would give her is business card, and to call him before animal control. We didn’t want a confrontation, but we did want to get the dog out of her awful situation. At that point, the owner (who was hovering around his front gate and probably heard what was being said) came out. He said “well, she just showed up here a couple months ago, she’s not really my dog.” We were quick to jump on that and told him that if he didn’t want her, we would take her. He said fine. Not wanting to give him a chance to change his mind, we walked back across the street, where the woman picked up the dog and handed her to Alan.
She was so scared! If we moved too quickly, she would snap in self-defense, so we slowly took her to the car, talking calmly, and holding her tightly. As we pulled away, Alan said, “Are you sure?” I knew what he meant (six dogs!) and said “yes.” “If they don’t get along, we can find her another home, but for now, she’s with us.”
So we drove home and reminiscent of a few days ago, set the little dog down on our front lawb and brought the “pack” out to meet her. She was much more scared than Olivia had been, and tended either to shrink away or snap at the other dogs. I can’t blame her for that. if I had five dog snouts sniffing every bit of my body, I’d be snapping too! Although she needed a bath, it was getting late, we were getting hungry, so we decided it could wait until the next day.
I brought her in the house, showed her where the water bowl was and put her down on the ground. She was too tense to drink anything, and even though she acted hungry, she didn’t want to eat either. We tossed a couple names around and decided to name her Lily. Much better that “Crispy,” which is what the previous owner said “uh, that’s what we call her.”
I tried to keep the dogs from annoying her too much, but it is a process that dogs need to go through to establish the proper order in their pack, so, staying close, I let them work it out. She stayed right there for the rest of the evening and the dogs eventually got bored and left her alone. When we headed off to bed, we let her stay there as the rest of the pack followed us into the bedroom.
When I woke up this morning, the first thing I did was check on Lily. I found that she had moved from her spot. In fact, she was comfortably settled in on the couch in the living room. She was much more relaxed, and even looked happy to see me!
The morning went fine. She ate a little. I’m so used to big dogs, that I’m not sure how much little dogs are supposed to eat. I’ve already seen that Olivia doesn’t eat that much either. She also piddled on the kitchen rug, but we’ll work on that. I doubt that she’d ever been on a leash, but she was happy to follow the other dogs and all enjoyed their walk.
By the time I left for work, Lily and Olivia were actually playing. So it looks like this little dog will be fitting right our pack. We are happy to have her. Happy to be the “Dog Rescuers” again. It’s what we do.