In Which Lily Comes Home

In the beginning, Lily was a very frightened and unsure pup.  After being a stray in South Central LA, she had a stint in the South LA shelter.  Fortunately, when her time there was about up, Perfect Pet Rescue scooped up this sweet little Cavalier King Charles mix of a dog to keep her from being euthanized.  Lily was moved to a new shelter, spayed . . . and then we came along the next day. I fell instantly in love with her, and we took her home that day.  How uncertain and overwhelming her life must have seemed.

1st night home

We got Lily the second week after we'd moved to LA from Atlanta for my husband to take his first real job after he'd finished his PhD.  Everything was new to us and to her.  Meanwhile, our cats were horrified we'd brought a dog into their sanctuary.  Fortunately, everyone adjusted over time. (Lily was just afraid of them . . . and wanted to be their friend. Still does.)

For the first two weeks, Lily would drink water but wouldn't eat. (Our vet said it was okay. It did not feel okay.) The only thing we could tell she did want was love, so whenever she did something we wanted, we would drop to the ground and hold her, pet her, and praise her. 

One day, after I cooked chicken and rice to try to coax her to eat something, Lily suddenly realized she was ravenous.  She ate the bowl of food in about 7 seconds.  And when Lily ate that chicken and rice, it seemed to dawn on her that maybe we would take care of her, that maybe everything would actually be okay.

It's obvious that Lily was someone's pet before she was a stray.  She had been trained not to get on beds. She's extremely well-mannered with children of all ages (loves them, actually), and she has a particular fondness for Latino men we meet on the street.  I don't know who had Lily or what her full story is, but I'm so grateful she is our dog now.  Someone told me that rescued dogs seem to know, somehow, and be grateful that they've been saved, but I think Lily's also saving us, bit by bit, over the course of our time together.