By Judy Reiss
I know over the years I have mentioned I have a wonderful female Yorkshire terrier. Actually I bought her when Malcolm was away for a week or so and I had seen an ad in the paper that said the Pet Store in Barre had Yorkie puppies. So, my daughter Polly and her two sons, McKinley and Sebastian, went with me to “just look” at the puppies. Well, we did and I had never seen such a scene before! In the back of the store, in sort of a storage room, there were many, many dogs and puppies of every size and varieties we had ever seen. Of course, there was a group of Yorkshires with a mother (I guess) and a lot of puppies. I vividly remember the one little female who kept standing up on the front of her plywood cage and just begging to be picked up. And when I picked her up she snuggled in my arms and licked my face and neck. Could I put her back into that morass of puppies and a nasty bed? Now, even I knew that I should not even consider buying a puppy from this establishment but what else could I do? I paid the exorbitant price for her and took her home. And I have to tell you that she has been a super duper little girl from the very first day! I like to think that she was so grateful we rescued her from “hell” that she bonded with all of us on the car ride home.
Now, Lily is the same dog who fell out of my car window on a trip to Cape Cod when I was driving along at about 70 miles per hour. I have always thought the reason she didn’t die was because I was in the fast lane and when she fell out she landed on the grassy island that separated the coming and going lanes. Of course, when I stopped at the big McDonalds and restrooms and found her gone I almost passed out. I had no idea where she was or what had happened. So, I went inside the building, crying like a fool, and asked the elderly woman who was manning the welcome booth if I could use her phone and her phonebook and she agreed. And here was the first miracle of my life. I called the first police station listed in the book and wonder of wonders, they had Lily there but were taking her to a local vet. It seems someone saw her fly out of my car and thought I had just thrown her out! And they picked her up and took her to the police. In fact, they told the police that since I obviously didn’t want her could they keep her! I assured the police I hadn’t thrown her out. She had put the window down by stepping on the button and when she leaned out, the wind just grabbed her and the rest was history. Oh, as an aside, I traded that car almost immediately and made sure the window buttons weren’t where a dog or a small child could put it down accidentally!
The good news was she really didn’t hurt herself too badly. She just cracked her pelvis and got a little road scrapes. After a few days at the vet, she came home to the cottage on the Cape and was supposed to rest. Needless to say the doctor had told me she should rest but didn’t tell her. I did everything possible to keep her quiet but absolutely nothing worked so after several consultations with the vet, we just let her go! And she never looked back.
I am happy to tell you that for 13 years she was the Queen of the Reiss household. But on year 14, we found out that she not only is blind, but quite deaf, too. Now here is the good part, unless you know that she is blind, you would never know! She goes all around the house with no trouble and she can come in the house all by herself. However, going down the stairs is much harder so we make sure that she gets carried down and then let her decide when she wants to come in and she does, all by herself. Oh, and I should tell you that I was very apprehensive about taking her to the Cape and our wide open cottage. What is amazing to me is that she appears to remember it and can come and go whenever she wants to. Now keep in mind this little girl dog can take care of herself while her mother (me) still has to use a walker and needs help whenever I can get it!
I am embarrassed to tell you that from the first day she has slept with us. When she first came home and Malcolm was away, I just put her in with me because I thought she was probably missing the rest of the puppies. She snuggled right under the covers and put her little body right next to mine and slept all night long. And today? Malcolm or I scoop her up every night, take her upstairs and put her in bed and just as she does every night, in Vermont or Cape Cod, she snuggles right next to me and sleeps the whole night through. And I have to admit, I do too!
Why am I sharing the tale of my little Lily with you? Well, I think it is because she has made our lives much happier and comfortable than it would have been without her. In our lives, our dogs are an integral part of them. Right now we have two dogs and two very old Siamese cats and our lives are just about perfect! And I couldn’t encourage anyone more to enrich their lives with a four-footed and furry member of your family. How anyone can go through their life with no pet to share it with horrifies me! And it isn’t really the pet who profits from this relationship as much as the human! An no one or no animal is more grateful than a pet who is rescued! And believe me, they never forget your kindness.