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quote="NoahFL"]Rachael - This might need a new thread, but as I've said, Lily is one of my favorite Chi's on the board and I may have missed it, but could you tell the story of when you got her? I really admire everything you do for her and it's obvious she's so grateful for it too.[/quote]

Well, everybody here knows how much I hate to talk about Lily but I’ll make an exception for you. :wink:

Lily came from a puppy mill in Missouri to a foster mom in Massachusetts. I don’t know the details of that cross country move but I will be eternally grateful that it happened. I was told she was born in 2000 but every vet who’s examined her has suggested she might be older. There’s no way to know for sure so I go with the 2000 date (like puppy mills would ever keep accurate records, right?). I also have no way of knowing how many litters she was forced to produce or what kind of conditions she endured but I don’t let myself think too much about it. I think it would break my heart if I knew the truth. :cry:

Anyway, when I adopted Lily she was scared of everything, every noise, every sight, every person. At first, if I tried to pet her she would flinch and even bolt. For months I would say, “Lily, can I pet you?” before reaching for her. That let her know what to expect so it wouldn’t catch her off guard. I also had to let her see me put one hand behind my back because she couldn’t tolerate having both hands reach for her at once. But once I started petting her, I could tell she loved it. She just soaked up the affection like nothing I’ve ever seen. She loved to be loved and she so wanted to trust.

For about 5 months I left her home alone because I had no other choice. I was looking for a daycare situation but I couldn’t find one outside of Boston. I finally came across one in a nearby town and I was praying it would work out. The first day I left her there I cried all the way to work. I knew it was the best thing for her but I thought she’d feel abandoned. Every night when I’d pick her up she’d cling to me and hide her face in my neck. I was so afraid she hated the place I was forcing her to spend her days. I talked to the daycare owner and she assured me Lily was doing fine. She was still very shy and would spend entire days just watching the other dogs play, never joining in. I don’t think she knew how to play, which is perhaps the saddest thing of all. :cry:

Eventually, either she learned by watching or else some nearly lost instinct kicked in and she started to play with the other dogs. Every day the daycare people would relate some new detail to me. “She wagged her tail today” or “She sniffed Buddy’s butt today” or some other perfectly normal canine behavior, but unheard of for Lily. Everyone fell in love with her and the kids who work at the daycare would fight over whose turn it was to carry her around in their sweater or jacket on chilly days. Daycare is her second home and I’m so happy that she has so many 4-legged and 2-legged friends.

Lily still has her share of fears - mostly certain kinds of noises - but she is the most loving and affectionate dog I’ve ever known. And now when I hold out both hands she turns her back, but only to make it easier for me to pick her up. No more fear of hands. How lucky I am to have such a sweet girl in my life. :)
 

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I think that was the first time I read her story too. That was beautiful Rachael! Lily is so lucky to have you and you are so lucky to have her! I am so happy you two found eachother! :wink:
 

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I had read Lily's story before, but it still brings tears to my eyes, and a big lump in my throat.

I know what you went through with Lily, Rach, because I went through the exact same things with my rescue Tia, who went to Rainbow Bridge last year. I never knew for sure if she came from a puppy mill, but the rescue people and my vet seemed to think she had borne several litters of puppies. She was afraid of everything and everybody - it took months before she was willing to really trust me.

I had seven wonderful years with Tia and she helped me through some very difficult times. There is something very special about rescues - they are just so grateful for love and try so very hard to please.

Lily is very lucky to have you, Rachael. And you have been blessed to have her.
 

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I have read bits and pieces of Lily's past but it just breaks my heart :cry: :love9: :cry: to imagine the life she had before she came to you. I am so thankful she has found such a wonderful home that is filled with love and happiness.
 

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Rachael....I didn't know the exact details of Lilies former situation...Thank God you came into her life........she is so special....as are you for having the heart to take her home and the patience to show her what love is.......you truly are one of the super moms.
 

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Kari said:
I think that was the first time I read her story too. That was beautiful Rachael! Lily is so lucky to have you and you are so lucky to have her! I am so happy you two found eachother! :wink:
I second that. What a wonderful ending.

Leslie
 

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:cry: I have a lump in my throat just reading that story! But, it sure does have a Happy Ending. I wish there were stiffer laws for these horrible people who run these "Puppy Mills". I'm like you Rachael I would not even allow myself to think about Lillys past. She sure had a great life now and deserves every bit of it...and more!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
sjc said:
I wish there were stiffer laws for these horrible people who run these "Puppy Mills".
I'd be happy to see every puppy mill operator executed. They're the lowest form of life on the planet - right down there with child molesters - and they do untold physical and psychological damage to animals who deserve only kindness. :angry5:
 

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That is awesome Rachael!! Poor Lily and what she had to endure....Kemo did not know how to play either, it is so rewarding to watch their lives unfold......BLESS BLESS BLESS you for your patience and love.
 

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I've read Lily's story before too and it breaks my heart still. I can think of lots of horrid nasty punishments for puppy mill owners and they deserve every one of them. My daughter just got a rescue Pom (or we think part Pom would be more appropriate) and he has no idea how to play either. Marcus is trying hard to teach him though.
 

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KB mamma said:
That is awesome Rachael!! Poor Lily and what she had to endure....Kemo did not know how to play either, it is so rewarding to watch their lives unfold......BLESS BLESS BLESS you for your patience and love.
You too, sweetie. But I'll tell you, the patience and love part was easy. I mean, here was this scared little creature with the saddest eyes (when she even dared to make eye contact). Once you've made the commitment to adopt a rescue, your heart takes over and shows you the way. And yes, watching them blossom is an incredible reward. Like, was I happy the first time she wagged her tail at daycare? I was on freaking cloud 9. :lol:
 

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Oh, my! I had never heard Lily's story, either. It brought tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat. I think all puppy mill owners should be put in cages and treated just like they treat their animals. I'm so glad you found each other.
 

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Awwwwwww....that is such a sweet story. I'm so glad Lily is so happy and has such a loving Mom who tends to her every need or want. In return you get the most precious gift...a companion, child, and friend who loves you just as much...no matter what.

I adopted a Shih Tzu from a rescue organization in Missouri. She was also such a scared girl....totally terrified of men (until the end...so sad). I have no idea what her life was like before I got her, but we loved her and gave her a life she had never known before. She's at the Rainbow Bridge now too...and we will reunite again one day. I'm sure of it. :)
 

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Oh my gosh! I've never heard that before! Poor Lily. I'm so glad that you both have found each other and that all her days will be happy ones now. :)
 
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