Written by: Susan Weiss
Somewhere in 2002 a severely abused rescue dog came into our life. She came into our life via Pet Finder who connected us with Pekes and Pals Rescue, Fort Myers FL – They really didn’t know too much about her. We decided to build her a ‘biography’. They called her Sara but we changed her name to Lily Perez… as Perez in Cuba is like Smith in the USA –We decided to give her a first name and a last name. We also gave her a birthday .
When we filled out the application to adopt her, Pekes and Pals shared some info about his dog. She was abused. She was a fear biter. She could be aggressive if frightened. She had a low threshold for anxiety….. and she was extremely pretty, a Havanese (maybe Havanese with a little something else) and would we be interested in meeting her.
A few years earlier I had fallen in love with the Havanese breed – and even with all the problematic information I was given, I was off and running to Pekes and Pals to meet her.
The rescue organization carefully told me – she was a handful…. beginning with the simplest task of putting a collar on her and attaching a leash. Lily and I went home that night, I introduced her to her dad (Jay) and we became a family of 3.
Lily was never the perfect dog. But with patience and a real understanding of what she must have gone through we were able to love her, respect her boundaries and have a great life.
About 2 years ago her kidneys began to fail. Additionally she had symptoms of hypertension. With excellent veterinary care (Dr Victor Brown, DVM Brown Veterinary Clinic, Naples, FL) and following his instructions to the letter we were able to get her into a holding pattern. Life with Lily was pretty OK until about a month ago – Dr Brown did some more tests and told us her kidneys were in very bad shape. We were prepared to do whatever it took to help her. We did acupuncture, aquapuncture, IV fluids daily, Chinese herbs and a new special diet.
Despite all our efforts we were not able to stabilize her and she continued to go downhill. At the end Lily was not Lily- She didn’t care who held her (BTW she also hated being touched by strangers). We realized we had to think of her and let her cross the Rainbow Bridge.
With us at her side till the last minute, Lily Perez crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Tuesday January 28th 2014.
Our home is weird without her. I’ve washed her bed and bowls. I went through her toys and decided which ones to keep and together Jayand I made a decision that the best way to honor Lily is to rescue another dog – so we are now focused on bringing another Havanese rescue into our life.
Why am I writing all this? Part of this is to honor Lily and part of this is to let you know that rescuing an abused dog is not an easy trick. However, if you have patience, an open heart and financial resources it is very doable. Would I adopt Lily again knowing that Lily was a difficult dog with very special needs? Definitely!
I hope when you consider adding a dog or a cat to your life you will always think RESCUE