The sad, short story of my sweet Lily

Occasionally, when I feel the most overwhelmed by things I don’t want to deal with, a distraction comes along that is so effective, I can think of little else. For the last month, that distraction has been a stray dog in my neighborhood. I named her Lily. She’s an emaciated, black lab mix with the sweetest face. She can’t be more than a year old; she certainly looks young and small, but that could be due more to malnutrition than genetics.

When I first saw her, I just started crying. She was so thin. For the last month, between 8 and 8:30 every night, I’ve put a bowl of food out for Lily, and each morning it’s been eaten. Two weeks ago, she got some wormer in her food, mixed with some canned wet food to sweeten the deal. When I saw her last weekend, she looked better. Still thin and still very scared, but a bit better. Thank goodness.

Since it’s been cold, I’ve been putting one of Barley’s old beds and a blanket outside for her every night, but she hasn’t used it. I think it’s because my house is in the center of the development; she sticks to the perimeter, presumably so she doesn’t feel trapped.

Unfortunately or fortunately, last night she was trapped. Animal control set a trap for her in the greenspace. I found her when I got home. I left a message for animal control (no one answers the phone there, apparently) to report that an officer needed to come get her, that she couldn’t spend the night in that cage without water or shelter. After waiting an hour for a call back, I went out to wrap the cage in plastic and give her some blankets and water. I was afraid I would get in trouble if I tampered with the cage. Thankfully, someone else wasn’t so scared. Lily was gone. I put her food out in its normal spot and went to bed hoping she was safe.

This morning, animal control called me back. A neighbor had Lily in a garage overnight and animal control will pick her up today. I don’t know if I’m happy or sad about it. I’ll miss her and, frankly, I’m worried she’s going to be put down. She’s such a scared pup. I don’t know that she’ll be adoptable. It will take so much love and time to bring her around. With all the homeless dogs out there, friendly, happy ones that are easy to love, the competition could be harsh.

Even so, I suppose there’s comfort in knowing that, no matter what happens to her, she won’t spend another night out in the cold. I wish the same could be said for all the dogs out there.

Best of luck to sweet Lily.